Madeline Island Chamber Music Faculty

Each week brings different chamber music faculty with our ensemble-in-residence and faculty members, giving students a breadth of input from renowned chamber musicians.

2024 Madeline Island Chamber Music Faculty

Artistic Director Jonathan Swartz

Jonathan Swartz

Artistic Director
Madeline Island Chamber Music

Violin Faculty
Chamber Music for Strings
Fellowship String Quartet

Windscape

Ensemble in Residence
Chamber Music for Winds

Wendy Chen

Piano Faculty
Fellowship Piano

Arianna String Quartet

Ensemble in Residence
Chamber Music for Strings
Fellowship String Quartet

Kyu-Young Kim

Violin Faculty
Chamber Music for Strings
Fellowship String Quartet

Misha Amory

Viola Faculty
Chamber Music for Strings
Fellowship String Quartet

Pitnarry Shin

Pitnarry Shin

Cello Faculty
Chamber Music for Strings
Fellowship String Quartet

4 people standing together with New York skyline behind them.

Harlem Quartet

Ensemble in Residence
Chamber Music for Strings
Fellowship String Quartet

Carolyn Huebl

CarOlyn Huebl

Violin Faculty
Chamber Music for Strings
Fellowship String Quartet

Ivo van der Werff

Ivo Van Der Werff

Viola Faculty
Chamber Music for Strings
Fellowship String Quartet

Felix Wang

Felix Wang

Cello Faculty
Chamber Music for Strings
Fellowship String Quartet

Brooklyn Rider

Ensemble in Residence
Chamber Music for Strings
Fellowship String Quartet

Min-Jeong Koh

Violin Faculty
Chamber Music for Strings
Fellowship String Quartet

Erika Eckert

ERicka Eckert

Viola Faculty
Chamber Music for Strings
Fellowship String Quartet

Melissa Kraut

Melissa Kraut

Cello Faculty
Chamber Music for Strings
Fellowship String Quartet

American String Quartet

Ensemble in Residence
Fellowship String Quartet

Sabrina Thatcher

Sabina Thatcher

Viola Artist Faculty
Fellowship String Quartet

Andres Diaz

Andrés Díaz

Cello Artist Faculty
Fellowship String Quartet

About Our Faculty

Artistic Director Jonathan Swartz

Jonathan Swartz

Artistic Director
Strings Residency Weeks 1-5

Praised by The Strad for his “impeccable playing” and “gorgeously viola-like tone,” violinist Jonathan Swartz enjoys a multi-faceted career.  His solo CD, Suite Inspiration (Soundset Recordings), received much critical acclaim.  John Terauds of Musical Toronto comments, “Swartz sounds as if his bow were strung with threads of silk rather than horsehair,” and calls his performance of Bach’s Chaconne “something to treasure.”A devoted pedagogue, Swartz serves on the faculties of Arizona State University and Madeline Island Chamber Music.  He has previously taught at the University of Texas at El Paso, Domaine Forget Academy, Round Top Festival, Interlochen Arts Camp, Innsbrook Institute, and the Rocky Mountain Summer Conservatory.  Sought after as a master clinician, and frequent presenter at the American String Teachers Association National Conferences, his approach to bow technique was featured in a STRINGS magazine article in 2006.Swartz is the founder and Artistic Director of the Visiting Quartet Residency Program at Arizona State University, a chamber music program that integrates visiting resident artists with a comprehensive chamber music curriculum.  He has also been instrumental in shaping the curriculum for the violin program at the Domaine Forget Academy.  He presently serves as Artistic Director for Madeline Island Chamber Music, and as Past President for ASTA-AZ.

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Windscape

Ensemble-in-Residence
Chamber Music for Winds

Created in 1994 by five eminent woodwind soloists, Windscape has won a unique place for itself as a vibrant, ever-evolving group of musical individualists, which has delighted audiences throughout the North America. Windscape’s innovative programs and accompanying presentations are created to take listeners on a musical and historical world tour — evoking through music and engaging commentary vivid cultural landscapes of different times and places.

As Artists-in-Residence at the Manhattan School of Music (MSM), the members of Windscape are master teachers, imparting not only the craft of instrumental virtuosity, but also presenting a distinctive concert series hailed for its creative energy and musical curiosity. The series offers the perfect setting for the ensemble to devise new, sometimes startling programs and to experiment with new arrangements and repertoire combinations. Popular programs that have emerged from this process in recent seasons include “The Roaring 20s,” The Fabulous 50s,” “The Young Titan: Beethoven comes to Vienna” and, “East Meets West: The Music of Japan and the Impressionists,” which features projections along with music. Family programs take the audience on a journey to “Brementown.” In an effort to deepen their connection to emerging composers, Windscape has initiated a student composition competition at MSM which has yielded several winners who write new works for Windscape. In recent seasons, Windscape has performed works by 20th and 21st century composers, representing musical traditions of four continents and has collaborated with students and faculty for memorable residencies.

Windscape’s recordings include works of Ravel and Dvorak, with guests Jeremy Denk, piano and Daniel Phillips, violin, (MSR Classics) and Bach’s The Art of Fugue with the Orion String Quartet (Deutsche Grammophon) following Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center performances.

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Wendy Chen

Piano Faculty
Fellowship Piano Program

Born in California, Wendy Chen debuted with the Los Angeles Philharmonic at the age of 15 under conductor André Previn. She won First Prize in the National Chopin Competition, the Young Concert Artists auditions, was the inaugural recipient of the Gilmore Young Artists Award, and was named a Presidential Scholar by the National Foundation for the Arts.

Ms. Chen is an alumna of the predecessor to the Colburn School of Performing Arts, where she studied with Dorothy Hwang. She went on to study with Aube Tzerko and Leon Fleisher. Ms. Chen is one of the most sought after pianists and chamber musicians, performing on many of the world’s most prestigious concert stages. She has appeared in unique programs that also featured musical legends Art Garfunkel and James Taylor; and in a private concert for The Justices at the US Supreme Court presented by The Late Honorable Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Highlights have included performances at The Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, Carnegie Hall’s Weill Hall, The Kennedy Center, Zankel Hall, Château Chillon in Montreux, Switzerland, The Rudolfinum in Prague, an all Chopin recital at the National Philharmonic Hall in Warsaw, recording with The London Philharmonic, touring with Spoleto USA, duo recitals with cellists Stephen Kates, Carter Brey, Andrés Diaz, violinists James Ehnes, Anne Akiko Meyers, Elina Vahala, Chee-yun, and Andrés Cárdenes, concert tours throughout Finland, South America, in The Forbidden City in Beijing, China, and at Festival Week in Tokyo, presented by CHANEL.

Ms. Chen’s performances are regularly heard on NPR’s Performance Today. She gives masterclasses and lectures throughout the world, and served many years as panelist for the National Endowment for the Arts.

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Arianna String Quartet

Ensemble-in-Residence
Strings Week 1

Hailed for their outstanding musicianship, the Arianna String Quartet has firmly established itself as one of America’s finest chamber ensembles. Their performances have been praised for “tonal warmth, fastidious balance and expressive vitality” (Chicago Tribune) and “emotional commitment and fluent virtuosity,” (Pretoria News, South Africa). Formed in 1992, the ASQ garnered national attention by winning the Grand Prize in the Fischoff Chamber Music Competition, First Prize in both the Coleman and Carmel Chamber Music Competitions, and were Laureates in the Bordeaux International String Quartet Competition.

The Arianna Quartet has appeared throughout North America, South America, Europe, Asia, and in South Africa. They have collaborated with many of the world’s finest musicians, including members of the Vermeer, Tokyo, Cleveland and Juilliard Quartets, and their live performances have been heard on National Public Radio’s “Performance Today,” and “Live from Music Mountain”, which broadcasts to 125 stations in the U.S. and to 35 countries. The ASQ has recorded for Albany Records and Urtext Digital Classics, and extensively with Centaur Records. In addition to their critically acclaimed recording of the two string quartets of Janácek, the ASQ has also recently completed their recordings of the Complete String Quartets of Beethoven.

Since 2000, the members of the Arianna String Quartet have been the full-time string faculty at the University of Missouri-St. Louis, where they are professors of violin, viola, and cello, and coach student chamber music ensembles. On the UMSL campus, the Arianna Quartet enriches the academic experience of students outside of the Music Department by visiting classes in physics, business, history, philosophy, art, and language to actively demonstrate the interdisciplinary connections between music and these seemingly disparate disciplines. In the community, the ASQ are ambassadors for UMSL, teaching an average of 40 instructional clinics each year at high schools throughout Missouri and surrounding states, presenting a performance and lecture series at KWMU radio called “First Mondays with the ASQ”, and maintaining a national and international presence as educators and performers.

Highlights for 2022-23 have included concerts throughout the United States, returns to Madeline Island Chamber Music (WI), the Music Mountain Concert Series (CT), the Festival of Music in Santa Catarina (Brazil), the Cedar Falls Chamber Music Festival (IA), and performances at the Jazz and Classics Music Festival in Juneau, as well as concerts in Anchorage and Sitka (AK). The Arianna Quartet was also thrilled to once again host their two summer festivals in St. Louis, the UMSL String Orchestra Camp and the Arianna Chamber Music Festival (www.ariannacmf.org)

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Kyu-Young Kim

Violin Faculty
Strings Week 1

Artistic Director and Principal Violin of The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, Kyu-Young Kim is one of the most versatile and accomplished musicians of his generation. His appointment as the SPCO’s Artistic Director in January 2016 marks the first time a playing member has been tapped to take the artistic helm of a major American orchestra. Previously, Kim served as Director of Artistic Planning with the SPCO while continuing to perform in the orchestra. Since assuming his dual role in 2013, the SPCO has named seven new Artistic Partners, opened its new Concert Hall at the Ordway Center for the Performing Arts to great critical acclaim, toured throughout the U.S. and to Europe, and won a Grammy Award in 2018 for its disc of Schubert’s Death and the Maiden with violinist Patricia Kopatchinskaja.

Kim has also toured throughout the world as a founding member of the Daedalus Quartet with whom he won the Grand Prize at the 2001 Banff International String Quartet Competition and was a member of Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center’s Chamber Music Two Program. As a former member of the Pacifica String Quartet, Mr. Kim won the prestigious Naumburg Chamber Music Award. He has appeared as soloist with the Korea Broadcasting System (KBS) Symphony Orchestra, The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, the Amadeus Chamber Orchestra of Poland and the Bloomington Symphony Orchestra. He has also served as guest concertmaster of the Pittsburgh Symphony, the Minnesota Orchestra, and the Mostly Mozart Festival Orchestra, and is an Emeritus Member of the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra.

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Misha Amory

Viola Faculty
Strings Week 1

Since winning the 1991 Naumburg Viola Award, Misha Amory has been active as a soloist and chamber musician. He has performed with orchestras in the United States and Europe, and has been presented in recital at New York’s Tully Hall, Los Angeles’ Ambassador series, Philadelphia’s Mozart on the Square festival, Boston’s Gardner Museum, Houston’s Da Camera series and Washington’s Phillips Collection. He has been invited to perform at the Marlboro Festival, the Seattle Chamber Music Festival, the Vancouver Festival, the Chamber Music Society at Lincoln Center and the Boston Chamber Music Society, and he has released a recording of Hindemith sonatas on the Musical Heritage Society label. Mr. Amory holds degrees from Yale University and the Juilliard School; his principal teachers were Heidi Castleman, Caroline Levine and Samuel Rhodes. Himself a dedicated teacher, Mr. Amory serves on the faculties of the Juilliard School in New York City and the Curtis Institute in Philadelphia.

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Pitnarry Shin

Pitnarry Shin

Cello Faculty
Strings Week 1

Cellist Pitnarry Shin has been praised in Strad magazine for her beautiful tone and passionate interpretations in her New York debut recital at Weill Hall, Carnegie Hall. She has toured throughout the United States, Europe, and her native Korea. Ms. Shin was the recipient of a Fulbright Grant to Germany, which allowed her to participate and perform in several European festivals such as the Manchester Festival, the Kronberg Festival, and the Ensemble InterContemporain Summer Festival, where she played solo cello under Pierre Boulez. Ms. Shin was a member of the Minnesota Orchestra from 2001 to 2006 and returned as a full time member again in 2012. In addition to her orchestral work, she serves as an artistic director of the Bakken Ensemble. Previously, she has served as guest co-principal cellist with the London Symphony Orchestra and as acting principal of the Singapore Symphony Orchestra. She has also played with the New York Philharmonic on their historic tour to North Korea, and with the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra. Ms. Shin received her musical education at the Curtis Institute of Music, Yale University Music School, where she received the Aldo Parisot-Yo Yo Ma Prize upon graduation.

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4 people standing together with New York skyline behind them.

Harlem Quartet

Ensemble-in-Residence
Strings Week 2

New York-based Harlem Quartet, currently quartet-in-residence at the John J. Cali School of Music and the Royal College of Music in London, has been praised for its “panache” by The New York Times and hailed in the Cincinnati Enquirer for “bringing a new attitude to classical music, one that is fresh, bracing and intelligent.” It has also won plaudits from such veteran musicians as GRAMMY-winning woodwind virtuoso Ted Nash of the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, who declared in a May 2018 Playbill article, “Harlem Quartet is one of the greatest string quartets I have ever heard. They can play anything.” Since its public debut at Carnegie Hall in 2006, the ensemble has thrilled audiences and students in 47 states as well as in the U.K., France, Belgium, Brazil, Panama, Canada, Venezuela, Japan, Ethiopia, and South Africa.

Harlem Quartet has three distinctive characteristics: diverse programming that combines music from the standard string quartet canon with jazz, Latin, and contemporary works; a collaborative approach to performance that is continually broadening the ensemble’s repertoire and audience reach through artistic partnerships with other musicians from the classical and jazz worlds; and an ongoing commitment to residency activity and other forms of educational outreach.

The quartet’s mission is to advance diversity in classical music, engaging young and new audiences through the discovery and presentation of varied repertoire that includes works by composers of color. Passion for this work has made the quartet a leading ensemble in both educational and community engagement activities. In this capacity, the quartet has written several successful grants, including a Cultural Connections Artist-In-Residence grant from James Madison University and a 2016 Guarneri String Quartet grant from Chamber Music America; the latter allowed the quartet to participate in an extended performance and educational residency in Mobile, AL, which included a close partnership with the Mobile Symphony Orchestra. In the 2017-18 season Harlem Quartet undertook a week of residency activities with the Santa Fe Youth Symphony. And since 2015 it has led an annual workshop at Music Mountain in Falls Village, CT, culminating in a concert at that venue.

In addition to performing a varied menu of string quartet literature across the country and around the world, Harlem Quartet has collaborated with such distinguished artists as classical pianists Michael Brown, Awadagin Pratt, Misha Dichter, and Fei-Fei; jazz pianists Chick Corea and Aldo López-Gavilán; violist Ida Kavafian; cellist Carter Brey; clarinetists Paquito D’Rivera, Eddie Daniels, Anthony McGill, and David Shifrin; saxophonist Tim Garland; jazz legends Ted Nash, Gary Burton, Stanley Clarke, and John Patitucci; the Shanghai Quartet; and Imani Winds.Harlem Quartet’s 2019-20 engagements included a weeklong Quad City Arts Residency (Rock Island, IL); debuts with Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Dizzy’s Club, Chamber Music Tulsa, Stanford Live, and Duke University; and return engagements with the Chamber Music Society of Detroit, the Phillips Collection (Washington, DC), Asheville Chamber Music Series, and Calgary Pro Musica. Scheduled for 2020-21 are concerts with bassist John Patitucci at Wheaton College (Wheaton, IL) and Chamber Music Concerts (Ashland, OR); an engagement at Newberry Opera House (Newberry, SC); and a joint appearance with the Catalyst Quartet at the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, sponsored by the Chamber Music Society of Philadelphia.

Alongside its regular activities as a chamber ensemble, Harlem Quartet performs a variety of works written for solo string quartet and orchestra. In 2012, with the Chicago Sinfonietta under Music Director Mei-Ann Chen, the quartet gave the world premiere of Leonard Bernstein’s West Side Story as arranged for string quartet and orchestra by Randall Craig Fleischer. It reprised its performance of that score with the Anchorage Symphony Orchestra under Fleischer’s direction, and again with the Santa Fe Concert Association. Chicago Sinfonietta and the quartet recorded the West Side Story arrangement, along with works for string quartet and orchestra by Michael Abels and Benjamin Lees, for the Cedille Records release Delights and Dances.Harlem Quartet has been featured on WNBC, CNN, NBC’s Today Show, WQXR-FM, and the News Hour with Jim Lehrer, and it performed in 2009 for President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama at the White House. The quartet made its European debut in October 2009 performing at the residence of the U.S. ambassador to the U.K., and returned to Europe as guest artists and faculty members of the Musica Mundi International Festival in Belgium. In early 2011 the ensemble was featured at the Panama Jazz Festival in Panama City.

The quartet’s recording career began in 2007 when White Pine Music issued Take the “A” Train, a release featuring the string quartet version of that jazz standard by Billy Strayhorn; the CD was highlighted that year in the November issue of Strings magazine. A second CD, featuring three string quartets by Walter Piston, was released in 2010 by Naxos. The quartet’s third recording, released in 2011, is a collaboration with pianist Awadagin Pratt and showcases works by American composer Judith Lang Zaimont. More recently the quartet collaborated with jazz pianist Chick Corea in a Grammy-winning Hot House album that included Corea’s “Mozart Goes Dancing,” which won a separate Grammy as Best Instrumental Composition. The jazz album Heart of Brazil: A Tribute to Egberto Gismonti, recorded with the Eddie Daniels Quartet, was released in June 2018 on Resonance Records. Harlem Quartet’s latest album, the July 2020 release Cross Pollination, features works by Debussy, William Bolcom, Dizzy Gillespie, and Guido López-Gavilán.Harlem Quartet was founded in 2006 by The Sphinx Organization, a national nonprofit dedicated to building diversity in classical music and providing access to music education in underserved communities. In 2013 the quartet completed its third and final year in the Professional String Quartet Training Program at New England Conservatory, under the tutelage of Paul Katz, Donald Weilerstein, Kim Kashkashian, Miriam Fried, and Martha Katz.The quartet is represented worldwide by Sciolino Artist Management, www.samnyc.us.

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Carolyn Huebl

Carolyn Huebl

Violin Faculty
Strings Week 2

Violinist Carolyn Huebl enjoys a varied career as a soloist, chamber musician, and teacher. She is currently Professor of Violin at the Blair School of Music at Vanderbilt University and violinist of the Blakemore Trio. Prior to her appointment at Blair, she was Assistant Principal Second Violin with the Pittsburgh Symphony and Assistant Professor of Violin at Carnegie Mellon University. Critics have called her performances “unfailingly sensitive,” “utterly fearless,” and “pristine,” and STRAD magazine declared that she “possesses a beguilingly warm sound and highly responsive expressive personality.”

Since her appearance as soloist with the Detroit Symphony at the age of seventeen, Carolyn has soloed with orchestras throughout the United States, as well as in Argentina and Canada. She is an enthusiastic and convincing interpreter of contemporary music, and has commissioned several new works. Together with pianist Mark Wait, she recently released recordings of the works for violin and piano by Igor Stravinsky, and the complete sonatas by Alfred Schnittke. Both recordings were received with great critical acclaim. In February of 2015, the duo gave the world premiere of “Zwischen Leben und Tod”, written for them by American composer Michael Hersch. They have also performed this important work at the new music venues National Sawdust in Brooklyn, NYC, and The Icebox in Philadelphia.

In 2002, Carolyn founded the Blakemore Trio with cellist Felix Wang and pianist Amy Dorfman. Engagements have taken the trio to chamber series across the country including a New York debut concert at Merkin Hall in 2010. The trio recently released their first recording of trios by Beethoven and Ravel on the Blue Griffin label. American Record Guide gave special note to the Ravel recording as “Impressionism at its best.” In 2013, they released Gates of Silence, by Susan Botti, on the Albany label.

Carolyn often performs as concertmaster of the IRIS orchestra, under the direction of Michael Stern. During the summer, Carolyn has been featured on chamber series throughout the country, including the Walla Walla Chamber Festival, and is on the faculty of the Brevard Music Center and Madeline Island Chamber Music. She has also taught at the Rocky Mountain Summer Conservatory, National Music Camp at Interlochen, Intermountain Suzuki Institute, and the Killington Music Festival, and has presented master classes at leading schools of music across the country. Her students have been prize-winners and finalists in national competitions, and hold orchestral and teaching positions throughout the United States and South America.

She received her DMA from the University of Michigan and Bachelor and Master of Music from the Cleveland Institute of Music. Her primary teachers include Andres Cardenes, Paul Kantor, and Donald Weilerstein.

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Ivo van der Werff

Ivo van der Werff

Viola Faculty
Strings Week 2

Ivo-Jan van der Werff has attained accolades as a chamber player, recitalist, guest artist and teacher throughout Europe and North America. As a member of the Medici String Quartet for 30 years, Mr. van der Werff has performed in well over 2,000 concerts in major festivals and venues worldwide, broadcasting regularly on radio and television. The Medici quartet made more than 40 recordings for EMI, Nimbus, Hyperion and Koch, and won many awards for works ranging from Haydn, Britten, Janacek, Schubert and the Beethoven cycle to more eclectic works of John Tavener, Saint-Saens, Wajahat Khan and Nigel Osborne. The quartet has had collaborations with many artists across the musical, literary and theatrical spectrum including the Royal Shakespeare Company, George Martin, Alan Bennett, John Williams, John Thaw and Jack Brymer.

Mr. van der Werff has performed as recitalist in places as far afield as New York, New Zealand and Hong Kong as well as numerous venues throughout the United Kingdom. His recordings for ASV and Koch include the sonata by Max Reger and the complete works for viola and piano/harp by Arnold Bax. His latest release on the Guild label featured works by Britten, Al-Zand and Shostakovich. Mr. van der Werff is regularly invited to perform with chamber ensembles throughout Europe, the USA and the Antipodes, such as the Alberni, Coull, Bridge and New Zealand string quartets, Trio con brio of Copenhagen, and the Montrose Trio.

Before joining the Medici Quartet, Mr. van der Werff’s freelance career saw him working under many conductors including Sir George Solti, Bernard Haitink and Klaus Tennstedt and he has since been invited to appear as guest principal viola and soloist with many of the United Kingdom’s leading orchestras.

Mr. van der Werff has been a professor of viola and chamber music at the Royal College of Music in London and is now a full time professor of viola at Rice University. He has also developed a private viola program near London and is director of the ‘Catskills Viola Retreat’ in Upstate New York. He has performed and taught at many summer schools including Dartington and Oxford in the UK, Schlern in the Italian Alps, in Sweden, at the Texas Music Festival, Domaine Forget, California Summer Music, Bowdoin, and Madeleine Island in the USA, and has also been an adjudicator on many competition juries. Mr. van der Werff has given masterclasses all over the world at schools such as Eastman, Colburn, Vanderbilt, and Santa Barbara in the USA, Trinity College, the Royal Northern College, and the Royal College in the UK, the Royal Academy in Stockholm, and the Hong Kong Academy for the Performing Arts amongst others. Many of his former students hold principal and regular positions in orchestras such as the BBC Symphony, Philharmonia, London Symphony, and the English Chamber and English National Ballet as well as orchestras in Spain, Portugal, Norway, USA, and France.

For many years he played in London studios on literally hundreds of sound tracks for film, pop, and TV ranging from Harry Potter and James Bond to Madonna and Maria Carey to Pride and Prejudice and Doctor Who.

In 2011 he published A Notebook for Viola Players, a book consisting of exercises and explanations on and about viola technique, based in large part on his own studies with the great violist and pedagogue Bruno Giuranna and inspired by his viola mentors Margaret Major and Peter Shidlof.

Mr. van der Werff plays on a viola by Giovanni Grancino, of Milan, c1690.

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Felix Wang

Felix Wang

Cello Faculty
Strings Week 2

In addition to being the cellist of the Blair String Quartet, Felix Wang is a founding member of the Blakemore Trio and co-principal cellist of the IRIS Orchestra under the direction of Michael Stern. His diverse career has brought him throughout the world as a chamber musician, soloist, and in recital, receiving critical acclaim for, “beautifully wrought,” “dazzling,” and “soulful” performances.

Mr. Wang has been the winner of several esteemed competitions, including the National Society of Arts and Letters Cello Competition, where he appeared with the Phoenix Symphony. Judges included Mstislav Rostropovich, Raya Garbousova and Laszlo Varga. Frequently invited to perform at festivals, recent engagements include the Portillo International Music Festival, the Tucson Winter Chamber Music Festival, Strings in the Mountains Festival, the Highlands Chamber Music Festival and the Walla Walla Chamber Music Festival. He has been heard live on NPR stations across the country and has recorded for the Albany, Blue Griffin, Centaur, Innova and Naxos labels.

Already established as a well known pedagogue, Mr. Wang is Professor of Cello at Vanderbilt University in Nashville. During the summer, he is on the faculties of the Chautauqua Music Festival and Madeline Island Chamber Music, and is co-artistic director of the Hilton Head Chamber Music Institute.  In previous summers he has served on the faculties of the Green Mountain Chamber Music Festival, Brevard Music Center, Banff Centre Youth Arts Festival, the Interlochen Center for the Arts, the Rocky Mountain Summer Conservatory, the National Music Festival and the Killington Music Festival.

Mr. Wang received a Doctorate of Musical Arts from the University of Michigan, a Master of Music from the New England Conservatory, and a Bachelor of Music from the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University. Mr. Wang was also a recipient of the prestigious Frank Huntington Beebe Grant for study abroad, using it to study in London with William Pleeth. His teachers have included Erling Blondal Bengtsson, Laurence Lesser, Stephen Kates, Jeffrey Solow and Louis Potter, Jr.

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Brooklyn Rider

Ensemble-in-Residence
Strings Week 3

With their gripping performance style and unquenchable appetite for musical adventure, Brooklyn Rider has carved a singular space in the world of string quartets over their fifteen-year history. Defining the string quartet as a medium with deep historic roots and endless possibility for invention, they find equal inspiration in musical languages ranging from late Beethoven to Persian classical music to American roots music to the endlessly varied voices of living composers. Claiming no allegiance to either end of the historical spectrum, Brooklyn Rider most comfortably operates within the long arc of the tradition, seeking to illuminate works of the past with fresh insight while coaxing the malleable genre into the future through an inclusive programming vision, deep-rooted collaborations with a wide range of global tradition bearers, and the creation of thoughtful and relevant frames for commissioning projects.

The upcoming concert season is strongly illustrative of the intrepid musical appetite of Brooklyn Rider. This coming fall, they will premiere a major new work by the great Argentinian composer and close friend, Osvaldo Golijov. The quartet also has two new collaborative projects for 2021-22. One is with Israeli mandolin virtuoso Avi Avital, and the other is a brand new phase of work with Swedish mezzo-soprano Anne Sofie von Otter, where they will explore themes of love and death through the music of Franz Schubert and Rufus Wainwright. Looking further into the future, they will expand work already underway with Syrian clarinetist Kinan Azmeh and will launch a major new commissioning venture for the 2022-23 season called The Four Elements; an exploration of the four classical elements (earth, air, water, and fire) as metaphor for both the complex inner world of the string quartet and the current health of planet Earth.

Prior to the global pandemic, the 2019-20 season saw a veritable explosion of new projects and releases. Shared at the height of the US lockdown, the Grammy®-nominated recording Healing Modes (In A Circle Records) presented Beethoven’s towering Opus 132 — the composer’s late testament on healing and the restorative power of new creation — interwoven with five new commissions powerfully exploring topics as wide-ranging as the US-Mexico border conflict, the Syrian refugee crisis, the mental health epidemic, and physical well-being. Described by The New Yorker as a project which “…could not possibly be more relevant or necessary than it is currently,” the composers include Reena Esmail, Gabriela Lena Frank, Matana Roberts, Caroline Shaw, and Du Yun.Earlier in the same season saw the release of two projects from vastly different musical spheres. One with the master Irish fiddler Martin Hayes (In A Circle Records), an album which the Irish Times described as “a masterclass in risk-taking,” and the other, Sun On Sand (Nonesuch Records), featuring the music of Patrick Zimmerli with saxophone giant Joshua Redman and fellow collaborators Scott Colley on bass and Satoshi Takeishi, percussion.

In fall 2018, Brooklyn Rider released Dreamers on Sony Music Masterworks with Mexican jazz vocalist Magos Herrera. Celebrating the power of beauty as a political act, Dreamers amplifies the visionary artistry of Violeta Parra, Federico Garcia Lorca, Gilberto Gil, Joao Gilberto, Octavio Paz, and others, all who dared to dream under repressive regimes. Featuring gems from the Ibero-American songbook in evocative arrangements by Jaques Morelenbaum, Diego Schissi, Gonzalo Grau, Guillermo Klein, and Brooklyn Rider’s own Colin Jacobsen, Dreamers topped numerous charts and garnered a Grammy® nomination for best arrangement (Gonzalo Grau’s “Niña”). Touring widely to support the album, they appeared at venues ranging from New York City’s Jazz at Lincoln Center to Mexico City’s Deco masterpiece, the Palacio de Bellas Artes.Brooklyn Rider has remained steadfast in their commitment to generate new music for string quartet at nearly every phase of their history. To kick off the 2017-18 season, Brooklyn Rider released Spontaneous Symbols (In a Circle Records), featuring new commissions by Tyondai Braxton, Evan Ziporyn, Paula Matthusen, Kyle Sanna, and Colin Jacobsen. In the 2015-16 season, the group celebrated its tenth anniversary with the groundbreaking multi-disciplinary project The Brooklyn Rider Almanac, for which it recorded and toured 15 specially commissioned works by musicians from the worlds of folk, jazz, and indie rock, each inspired by a different artistic muse. The Fiction Issue, with singer-songwriter Gabriel Kahane, featured his composition which was premiered in 2012 at Carnegie Hall by Kahane, Brooklyn Rider, and Shara Nova. Additionally, Brooklyn Rider has enjoyed a long-standing relationship with the music of the iconic American composer Philip Glass, which began with 2011’s much-praised recording Brooklyn Rider Plays Philip Glass and continued with two subsequent installments of Glass’s works for string quartet, all released on the composer’s label Orange Mountain Music.

Numerous other collaborations have helped give rise to NPR Music’s observation that Brooklyn Rider is “recreating the 300-year-old form of string quartet as a vital and creative 21st-century ensemble.” During the 2016-17 season, Brooklyn Rider released an album entitled So Many Things on Naïve Records with Swedish mezzo-soprano Anne Sofie von Otter, comprising music by Colin Jacobsen, Caroline Shaw, John Adams, Nico Muhly, Björk, Sting, Kate Bush and Elvis Costello, among others. Some Of A Thousand Words, an evening-length program with choreographer Brian Brooks and former New York City Ballet prima ballerina Wendy Whelan, was an intimate series of duets and solos in which the quartet’s live onstage music is a dynamic and central creative component. Some Of A Thousand Words was featured at the 2016 Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, before two U.S. tours, including a week-long run at New York City’s Joyce Theater. A collaboration with Dance Heginbotham with music written by Colin Jacobsen resulted in Chalk And Soot, an evening-length work presented by Lincoln Center’s White Lights Festival in 2014. Brooklyn Rider has also frequently teamed up with banjoist Béla Fleck, with whom they appeared on two different albums, 2017’s Juno Concerto and 2013’s The Impostor. And in one of their longest-standing musical friendships to date, Brooklyn Rider and Iranian kamancheh player Kayhan Kalhor released the highly praised recording Silent City (World Village) in 2008, still touring the project to this day.

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Min-Jeong Koh

Violin Faculty
Strings Week 3

Praised for her “extreme versatility” and “simply unbeatable beauty of tone” (Berliner Zeitung), Min-Jeong Koh maintains a busy schedule as concert violinist, violist, and educator. As first violinist of the Cecilia String Quartet, Ms. Koh won First Prize at the Banff International String Quartet Competition, 2nd Prize at the Osaka International Music Competition, and the Prix de la Sacem at the Bordeaux String Quartet Competition. Their latest recording was chosen as Gramophone Magazine’s “Editor’s Choice”, “Top 10 Mendelssohn Recordings” and was nominated for a JUNO Award for Best Classical Album. With the ensemble, Ms. Koh has performed across Europe, Asia, and North America at such celebrated stages as London’s Wigmore Hall, Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw, Berlin Konzerthaus, Beethoven-haus, Prague’s Rudolfinum, Library of Congress, La Jolla Music Society, Stanford Live, Music Toronto, and the Ottawa International Chamber Music Festival, among others. Ms. Koh’s performances and recordings can be heard on BBC Radio 3, Bayerischer Rundfunk, DeutschlandRadio, New York City’s WQXR, Public Radio International throughout the United States, and the Canadian Broadcasting Company. She has performed with Leon Fleisher, Menahem Pressler, Angela Cheng, Michael Tree, and Danilo Perez.

A passionate educator, she joined the faculty at The Glenn Gould School, The Phil and Eli Taylor Performance Academy for Young Artists, at The Royal Conservatory in Fall 2021. Previously, she has served as Associate Professor of Violin at University of Oklahoma, Adjunct Professor at the University of Toronto, along with teaching posts at McGill University, San Diego State University, and Wilfrid Laurier University. A sought-after teacher, she has been invited as faculty to the Indiana University Summer String Academy, The Banff Centre, Chamber Music at Port Milford, Innsbrook Institute in Missouri, Madeline Island Chamber Music, MISQA, and Austin Chamber Music Center.

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Melissa Kraut

Melissa Kraut

Cello Faculty
Strings Week

Co-head of the cello department at the Cleveland Institute of Music, Dr. Melissa Kraut is recognized as one of the leading pedagogues of her generation. Having developed and trained some of the outstanding young musicians of today, Dr. Kraut has demonstrated a unique ability to teach all ages and stages of dedicated students, helping them reach their highest potential both at and away from the cello.

With degrees from the Cleveland Institute of Music, the University of Iowa and Northwestern University, Dr. Kraut has had the opportunity to study with the great pedagogues Alan Harris and Hans-Jorgen Jensen as well as summer study/master classes with cellists such as Aldo Parisot, Frank Miller, Yo-Yo Ma, Tsuyoshi Tsutsumi, and David Soyer. As a student, she participated in the Aspen Music Festival, Banff Center for the Arts, and the Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival in Europe.

An active performer, Dr. Kraut has led a diverse career on stage, with solo and chamber performances throughout the United States and Europe. She has held leadership positions in several orchestras, and has played under the baton of conductors such as Sir Georg Solti, Valery Gergiev, and Semyon Bychkov. Dr. Kraut currently enjoys performing chamber music with her friends and colleagues throughout the world.

Dr. Kraut enjoys reaching students from all over the world through master classes and workshops. Her status as a Suzuki Teacher Trainer, enables her to pass on her love of pedagogy to the next generation of teachers. In addition, she is passionate about public speaking and the ability to reach audiences of a larger scope, about topics broader than cello.

In the summer of 2014, Dr. Kraut and famed cellist Zuill Bailey launched the inaugural summer of the Sitka Cello Seminar in Sitka, Alaska, bringing 10 elite cellists from all over the world to study under their guidance. In prior summers, Dr. Kraut was on the faculty of several summer festivals including eight summers at the Meadowmount School of Music and eight summers at Interlochen Arts Camp, where she was also the Head of Strings. Other festivals include the Lev Aronson Legacy Week in Dallas, TX, as well as Heifetz International Music Institute in Staunton, Virginia.

Dr. Kraut’s students have achieved great success, with top prizes in National and International competitions. Students of Dr. Kraut have won the Gold Medal and Audience Award at the Gaspar Cassado Competition in Hachioji, Japan, Grand Prize in the Music Teachers National Association Competition, First Prize in the American String Teacher’s Association, Grand Prize in the Walgreen’s Competition, Grand Prize in the Fischoff Competition, as well as prizes in many local and regional competitions.

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American String Quartet

Ensemble-in-Residence
Strings Week 4

Internationally recognized as one of the world’s finest quartets, the American String Quartet has spent decades honing the luxurious sound for which it is famous. The Quartet celebrated its 45th anniversary in 2019, and, in its years of touring, has performed in all fifty states and has appeared in the most important concert halls worldwide. The group’s presentations of the complete quartets of Beethoven, Schubert, Schoenberg, Bartók, and Mozart have won widespread critical acclaim, and their MusicMasters Complete Mozart String Quartets, performed on a matched quartet set of instruments by Stradivarius, are widely considered to have set the standard for this repertoire.Recent seasons featured performances of the Quartet’s major project together with the National Book Award-winning author Phil Klay and the poet Tom Sleigh, which offers a groundbreaking program combining music and readings that examines the effects of war. The Quartet also collaborated with the renowned author Salman Rushdie in a work for narrator and quartet by the film composer Paul Cantelon built around Rushdie’s novel The Enchantress of Florence. These tremendously imaginative collaborations cement the American String Quartet’s reputation as one of the most adventurous and fearless string quartets performing today, as comfortable with the groundbreaking as with the traditional.

The Quartet’s diverse activities have also included numerous international radio and television broadcasts, including a recent recording for the BBC; tours of Asia; and performances with the New York City Ballet, the Montreal Symphony, and the Philadelphia Orchestra. Recent highlights include performances of an all-sextet program with Roberto and Andrès Díaz, many tours of South America, and performances of the complete Beethoven cycle of string quartets at the Cervantes Festival in Mexico and the Tel Aviv Museum in Israel.

The American’s additional extensive discography can be heard on the Albany, CRI, MusicMasters, Musical Heritage Society, Nonesuch, and RCA labels. Most recently the group released “Schubert’s Echo,” which pairs Schubert’s monumental last quartet with works bearing its influence by Second Viennese masters Alban Berg and Anton Webern. This repertoire posits that the creative line from the First to the Second Viennese Schools is continuous – and evident when these works are heard in the context of each other.

As champions of new music, the American has given numerous premieres, including George Tsontakis’s Quartet No. 7.5, “Maverick,” Richard Danielpour’s Quartet No. 4, and Curt Cacioppo’s a distant voice calling. The premiere of Robert Sirota’s American Pilgrimage was performed around the U.S. in the cities the work celebrates. The Quartet premiered Tobias Picker’s String Quartet No. 2 in New York City in celebration of the 90th anniversary of the Manhattan School of Music.

Formed when its original members were students at The Juilliard School, the American String Quartet’s career began with the group winning both the Coleman Competition and the Naumburg Award in the same year.  Resident quartet at the Aspen Music Festival since 1974 and at the Manhattan School of Music in New York since 1984, the American has also served as resident quartet at the Taos School of Music, the Peabody Conservatory, and the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition.

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Sabrina Thatcher

Sabina Thatcher

Viola Artist Faculty
Strings Week 5

Sabina Thatcher joined the Minnesota Orchestra in September 2019 as associate principal viola. She served as the principal viola of the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra from 1989 until 2012. She was a soloist with that ensemble on numerous occasions, performing a wide variety of repertoire including Penderecki’s Viola Concerto, Mozart’s Sinfonia concertante, Hindemith’s Kammermusik and John Harbison’s Viola Concerto. She was also a member of the Rosalyra String Quartet, which gave its New York debut in 1996, and with which she recorded works by Bartók, Beethoven, Shostakovich and Brahms. She has also recorded both the Fauré Piano Quartets and the Brahms A-major Piano Quartet.

Thatcher was an artist-faculty member at the Aspen Music Festival and School from 1998 to 2016, and she has been a distinguished artist and teacher at the Robert McDuffie Center for Strings at Mercer University. She was a finalist in the Naumberg International Viola Competition and has performed solo recitals locally and nationally. Before coming to Minnesota, she graduated from the Eastman School of Music with a performer’s certificate and distinction, then studied at the Juilliard School with Lillian Fuchs. During that time, she toured with the Brandenburg Ensemble under the direction of Alexander Schneider and was a prizewinner in the Hudson Valley Competition. She currently teaches at Macalester College and is an adjunct professor at the University of Minnesota.

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Andres Diaz

Andrés Díaz

Cello Artist Faculty
Strings Week 5

Since winning the First Prize in the 1986 Naumburg International Cello Competition, Mr. Díaz has exhilarated both critics and audiences with his intense and charismatic performances. He has earned exceptional reviews for his “strongly personal interpretive vision” (The New York Times) and his “bold and imaginative” playing (The Boston Globe) and was awarded the prestigious Avery Fisher Career Grant as well as a generous grant from the Susan W. Rose Fund for Music in 1998. Andrés Díaz’s numerous orchestral appearances have included return engagements with the Atlanta Symphony under the late conductor Robert Shaw, performances with the American Symphony at Carnegie Hall, the symphony orchestras of Milwaukee, Seattle, Rochester under Christopher Seaman, the Boston Pops and Esplanade Orchestras, the Chicago Symphony at the Ravinia Festival with Edo de Waart conducting, and the National Symphony Orchestra. Among the highlights of Mr. Díaz’s recent seasons are tours of Taiwan, Hong Kong, Korea, Japan, Hawaii, and Canada performing in recital and with orchestra; appearances in Chile, Venezuela, Argentina, the Dominican Republic; a series of concerts in the Soviet Union where he performed as soloist with Russia’s Saratov Symphony in the cities of Saratov and Moscow; and a tour of the major cities in New Zealand with the New Zealand Chamber Orchestra.

Andrés Díaz’s debut solo recording on MusicMasters of works by Manuel de Falla and Robert Schumann with pianist Samuel Sanders was acclaimed by The Boston Globe as “strong and subtle; everything Díaz does has personality and, better than that, character.” On the Dorian label, the two artists have also released Brahms’s Sonatas for Piano and Cello; Russian Romantics, a compilation of short Russian works; and most recently American Visions, featuring works of Barber, Bernstein and Foote. Mr. Díaz’s most recent release features the six Bach Suite’s on the Azica Records label, available at ArkivMusic.

Mr. Díaz’s summer festival appearances (including frequent return engagements) include The Banff Centre, Santa Fe, La Jolla, Marlboro, Ravinia, Bravo! Colorado, Spoleto, Music@Menlo, Saratoga, and Tanglewood festivals. His appearances at Tanglewood earned him the Pierre Mayer Memorial Award for Outstanding String Player. In 2009 Mr. Díaz was nominated for a Latin Grammy. He has toured nationally with the Santa Fe and Spoleto festivals. Other festival appearances include the Victoria (BC), Steamboat (Steamboat Springs, CO), Musicorda (MA), Rockport (MA) and Cape & Islands festivals, and the Seattle Chamber Music Festival.

Andrés Díaz is very active with the Díaz String Trio, featuring violinist Andres Cardenes and violist Roberto Díaz. At Carnegie Hall in April 2003, the trio performed the world premiere of a string trio written for them by Gunther Schuller. The trio has performed in the cities of Pittsburgh, Washington, Boston, Los Angeles, Miami; at the Kuhmo Festival in Finland and the International Festival of St. Cypriene and the Casals Festival in France; and they have toured extensively in South America, Mexico and Canada. The trio was invited by Isaac Stern to play at Carnegie Hall’s Centennial Celebration, and from 1994-96 it served as Trio in Residence at the Florida International University. They released its first recording featuring the music of Paganini on the Dorian label. A second recording was released in 2003 featuring music by Penderecki, Dohnanyi, and Beethoven.

Andrés Díaz was born in Santiago, Chile in 1964, and began studying the cello at the age of five. Three years later he moved to Atlanta, Georgia and studied at the Georgia Academy of Music with Martha Gerchefski. Mr. Díaz graduated from the New England Conservatory where he worked with Laurence Lesser and Colin Carr, and currently plays an active role in chamber music performances with the Conservatory’s faculty. He served for five years as Associate Professor of Cello at the Boston University and Co-Director of the Boston University Tanglewood Institute Quartet Program, resigning in September 2001. Mr. Díaz now lives in Dallas, Texas with his wife, Julie, and sons Peter Manuel and Gabriel Andrés. Presently, he is Professor of cello at Southern Methodist University. During his spare time Mr. Díaz races his 1997 Dodge Viper. He plays a 1698 Matteo Goffriller Cello and a bow made by his father, Manuel Díaz.

Mr. Díaz holds The Koerner Chair in Cello at The Glenn Gould School of The Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto.

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