Toby Appel, viola
Margaret Batjer, violin
Carter Brey, cello
Rachel Buchman, teaching artist
Martin Chalifour, violin
Jeffrey Kahane, piano
Eric Kim, cello
Lachezar Kostov, cello
Alexandra Preucil, violin
William Preucil, violin
Stephanie Sant’Ambrogio, violin
Joseph Swensen, violin
Viktor Valkov, piano
Aloysia Friedmann | Artistic Director violin, viola
Founder and Artistic Director of the Orcas Island Chamber Music Festival (www.oicmf.org) in the Pacific Northwest, Aloysia Friedmann’s broad ranging career has included national and international tours, performances with New York’s most prestigious musical ensembles including the Orchestra of St. Luke’s, and a special onstage role on Broadway alongside Dustin Hoffman in The Merchant of Venice. The New York Times praised her “fiery spirit” after her Carnegie Recital Hall debut.
Recent and upcoming festival performances include Amelia Island, Cactus Pear, Green Music, Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, Seattle Chamber Music Society, Strings in the Mountains, Sun Valley Summer Symphony, and San Diego’s Mainly Mozart Festival, performing with musicians including Peter Schickele, William Preucil, Chee-Yun, Alisa Weilerstein, Gabriel Kahane, Lucy Shelton, the Miró Quartet and Lynn Harrell. Aloysia Friedmann is featured as both performer and producer on several festival recordings. Chamber Music America recognized Ms. Friedmann’s artistic leadership with its 2008 CMAcclaim Award and most recently she was invited to be on the 2011 CMA National Conference Committee.
In Houston, Ms. Friedmann is Associate Concertmaster for the River Oaks Chamber Orchestra and also was Acting Concertmaster for Houston Grand Opera’s world premiere performances of Jake Heggie’s The End of the Affair. She has taught as an Affiliate Artist of Viola and Violin at the Moores School of Music at the University of Houston. Ms. Friedmann graduated from The Juilliard School and also studied at the University of Washington. She is married to concert pianist Jon Kimura Parker and they have a daughter, Sophia Keila. Aloysia Friedmann plays on a Grancino violin and a Grancino viola, both made in Milan in the late 17th century.
Jon Kimura Parker | Artistic Advisor piano
One of the most sought-after performing pianists today, Jon Kimura Parker performed an unprecedented array of piano concertos in the 2010-2011 season, including Rachmaninoff No. 3, Brahms No. 2, Tchaikovsky No. 1, Barber, Gershwin, Beethoven No. 4, Beethoven “Emperor”, Grieg, and several by Mozart. A true Canadian ambassador of music, Mr. Parker has given command performances for Queen Elizabeth II, the United States Supreme Court, and the Prime Ministers of Canada and Japan. He is an Officer of The Order of Canada, his country’s highest civilian honor.
Jon Kimura Parker has performed as guest soloist with major orchestras nationally and internationally, including the New York Philharmonic, The Philadelphia Orchestra, The London Symphony, The Deutsches Symphonie, The Warsaw Philharmonic, and the NHK Tokyo Orchestra. Conductors he has recently worked with include James DePreist, Jeffrey Kahane, Carlos Kalmar, Jahja Ling, Andrew Litton, Peter Oundjian, Larry Rachleff, Arild Remmereit and Pinchas Zukerman.
He performs as duo partner regularly with James Ehnes, Lynn Harrell and Cho-Liang Lin. An unusually versatile artist, Mr. Parker has jammed with Audra McDonald, Bobby McFerrin and Doc Severinsen. As a member of the outreach project Piano Plus, Mr. Parker toured remote areas including the Canadian Arctic, performing classical music and rock ‘n’ roll on everything from upright pianos to electronic keyboards. In commemoration of his special performance in war-torn Sarajevo in 1995, he was a featured speaker alongside humanitarians Elie Wiesel and Paul Rusesabagina at the 50th Anniversary of AmeriCares.
An active media personality, Mr. Parker hosted the television series Whole Notes on Bravo! Canada, and CBC Radio Two’s Up and Coming. His YouTube channel features the Concerto Chat videos, promoting the piano concerto repertoire.
Last summer Mr. Parker gave a recital tour of Taiwan with Cho-Liang Lin, collaborated with Pinchas Zukerman in Ottawa, performed at Chamber Music Northwest, the Seattle Chamber Music Festival, and Music@Menlo, and was the featured soloist with the Cleveland Orchestra at the Blossom Festival.
A committed educator, Jon Kimura Parker is Professor of Piano at The Shepherd School of Music at Rice University in Houston. He has lectured at The Juilliard School, The Steans Institute, New York University, and Yale University.
“Jackie” Parker studied with Edward Parker and Keiko Parker privately, Lee Kum-Sing at the Vancouver Academy of Music and the University of British Columbia, Marek Jablonski at the Banff Centre, and Adele Marcus at The Juilliard School.
Mr. Parker has recorded for Telarc, CBC, and OICMF. For further information, please see www.jonkimuraparker.com.
Toby Appel | Viola, Lecturer
Toby Appel has appeared in recital and concerto performances throughout North and South America, Europe, and the Far East. He has been a member of such renowned ensembles as TASHI, and the Lenox and Audubon Quartets. Mr. Appel has been a guest artist with the Vermeer, Manhattan, and Alexander Quartets, as well as a frequent guest with the Lincoln Center Chamber Music Society and with jazz artists Chick Corea and Gary Burton. Festival performances include those with Mostly Mozart, Santa Fe, Angel Fire, Bravo! Vail Valley, Chamber Music Northwest, and Marlboro Music Festival as well as festivals in England, France, Korea, Germany, Italy, Finland, Colombia, and Greece. In 1975, Mr. Appel was featured in a CBS television special performing works commissioned by him for three violas, all played by Toby Appel. In 1980, Mr. Appel was the winner of Young Concert Artists International.
Toby Appel entered the Curtis Institute at age thirteen under the guidance of Max Aronoff. He is currently on the viola and chamber music faculties at the Juilliard School in New York City. Other teaching has included professorships at the State University of New York, Carnegie Mellon University, and The Yale School of Music. He has toured for the United States State Department and performed at the United Nations and at the White House. Mr. Appel is a frequent commentator for National Public Radio’s Performance Today.
Margaret Batjer | violin
Margaret Batjer, has served as concertmaster of the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra since 1998. She made her first solo appearance at age fifteen with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. She has since appeared with a succession of leading American orchestras, including the Philadelphia Orchestra, St. Louis Symphony Orchestra, Seattle Symphony Orchestra, Dallas Symphony Orchestra, and the New York String Orchestra. Ms. Batjer has performed with such European ensembles as the Chamber Orchestra of Europe, the Prague Chamber Orchestra, the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra (of Ireland), Berlin Symphony Orchestra and the Hallé Orchestra at the Gewandhaus in Leipzig.
An esteemed chamber musician, Ms. Batjer was a longtime participant at the Marlboro Music Festival. Summers have also found her performing in the Minnesota Orchestra Summerfest, La Jolla Summerfest, the Sarasota Music Festival, Vancouver Chamber Music Festival, and in the Naples and Cremona festivals in Italy.
Among Ms. Batjer’s most noteworthy performances have been traversals of the complete Beethoven and Brahms Violin Sonata cycles in partnership with pianist Jeffrey Kahane, at Zipper Hall in Los Angeles. Another highlight found Ms. Batjer in Beethoven’s Triple Concerto, in partnership with Yo-Yo Ma, Jeffrey Kahane and the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra. She has also collaborated with such notables as mandolin virtuoso Chris Thile, pianist Wu Han and cellist David Finckel and Maurizio Pollini.
Margaret Batjer is a graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music, where she studied with Ivan Galamian and David Cerone. She joined the faculty of the USC Thornton School of Music in 2005.
Carter Brey | cello
Appointed Principal Cellist of the New York Philharmonic in 1996, Carter Brey made his subscription debut as soloist with the Orchestra in May 1997, performing many times as soloist with the orchestra in subsequent seasons.
Mr. Brey rose to international attention in 1981 as a prizewinner in the Rostropovich International Cello Competition. The winner of the Gregor Piatigorsky Memorial Prize, Avery Fisher Career Grant, and the Young Concert Artists’ Michaels Award, he has performed as soloist with many of America’s major symphony orchestras.
His chamber music career is equally distinguished. He has made regular appearances with the Tokyo and Emerson string quartets as well as The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, the Spoleto Festival in the U.S. and Italy, and the Santa Fe Chamber Music and La Jolla Chamber Music festivals, among others. His recordings of duo repertoire with pianists Christopher O’Riley and Garrick Ohlsson have received great acclaim. A faculty member of the Curtis Institute, Mr. Brey appeared as soloist with the Curtis Orchestra at Verizon Hall and Carnegie Hall in April 2009.
Mr. Brey was educated at the Peabody Institute, where he studied with Laurence Lesser and Stephen Kates and at Yale University, where he studied with Aldo Parisot and was a Wardwell Fellow and a Houpt Scholar.
Rachel Buchman | teaching artist
RACHEL BUCHMAN has performed and taught in the United States, Europe and Israel, New York’s Lincoln Center Out-of-Doors Festival and the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. Her latest of 7 albums is Rachel Buchman’s Homemade Band. Her 6 previous albums, on Rounder Records and A Gentle Wind labels, include: Shine Little Candles – Grammy Awards semi-finalist; Sing a Song of Seasons – named one of 6 Best Recordings by Sesame Street Parents Magazine; Hello Everybody! Playsongs & Rhymes from a Toddler’s World – winner of The American Library Association, Parents’ Choice, and Oppenheim Toy awards.
Miss Buchman’s artistic career ranges from musical performances of American folk songs to John Cage, in venues as diverse as elementary schools in under-served communities, Stude Concert Hall at the Shepherd School of Music, the Museum of Fine Arts and Congregation Beth Yeshurun, where she writes and performs services for families with young children. In 2009, Miss Buchman appeared as Mrs. Peachum in Threepenny Opera directed by Leslie Swackhammer, conducted by Cristian Macelaru. Since 2004 she has collaborated with conductor Larry Rachleff creating original family concerts and narrations.
Miss Buchman is a Lecturer in Music at Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music. She founded and heads the Young Children’s Division, a Dalcroze eurhythmics based program for children ages 2-10, in the Michael P. Hammond Preparatory Program. In collaboration with oboist, Janet Rarick, she coaches and advises JUMP, an outreach performance program for college students. She also coaches musicians playing pieces that require them to both narrate and play.
Martin Chalifour | violin
Martin Chalifour has been principal concertmaster of the Los Angeles Philharmonic since 1995. A native of Québec, Canada, Mr. Chalifour received many grants and awards in his native land from an early age, but came to wide prominence upon receiving a Certificate of Honor at Moscow’s International Tchaikovsky Competition in 1986, with a laureate at the Montréal International Musical Competition the following year. He has maintained the career of a much sought after orchestral violinist, soloist, and chamber musician ever since.
Mr. Chalifour began his orchestral career in 1984 as associate concertmaster of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, serving under the late Robert Shaw. He followed that term by occupying the same position with the Cleveland Orchestra, advancing to acting concertmaster, during Christoph von Dohnányi’s tenure as music director, before moving to Los Angeles. Throughout these years, he has simultaneously performed a vast repertory, more than 50 concertos, spanning the world as a soloist, sharing concert stages with such notable conductors as Pierre Boulez, Andrew Davis, Charles Dutoit, Christoph Eschenbach and Esa-Pekka Salonen.
During his Cleveland tenure, Mr. Chalifour was a founding member of two chamber ensembles, Myriad and the Cleveland Orchestra Piano Trio. His experiences as a chamber musician have included a notable series of concerts alongside the cellist Lynn Harrell at the Amelia Island Festival in Florida, and at the Madison Chamber Music Festival in Georgia.
Mr. Chalifour teaches at the University of Southern California’s Thorton School of Music, and is a founding member of the Los Angeles Philharmonic Piano Trio.
Jeffrey Kahane | piano
Equally at home at the keyboard or on the podium, Jeffrey Kahane has established an international reputation as a truly versatile artist, recognized by audiences around the world for his mastery of a diverse repertoire ranging from Bach, Mozart and Beethoven to Gershwin, Golijov and John Adams.
A native of Los Angeles and a graduate of the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, Mr. Kahane’s early piano studies were with Howard Weisel and Jakob Gimpel. First Prize winner at the 1983 Rubinstein Competition and a finalist at the 1981 Van Cliburn Competition, he was also the recipient of a 1983 Avery Fisher Career Grant and the first Andrew Wolf Chamber Music Award in 1987.
Since making his Carnegie Hall debut in 1983, Mr. Kahane has given recitals in many of the nation’s major music centers. He has appeared as soloist with major orchestras such as the New York Philharmonic, Cleveland Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Philadelphia Orchestra and the San Francisco Symphony.
Mr. Kahane made his conducting debut at the Oregon Bach Festival in 1988. Since then, he has guest conducted many of the major US orchestras. Currently in his 16th season as Music Director of the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, Mr. Kahane concluded his tenure as Music Director of the Colorado Symphony in June 2010 and for ten seasons was Music Director of the Santa Rosa Symphony, where he is now Conductor Laureate. Mr. Kahane has received much recognition for his innovative programming and commitment to education and community involvement with all three orchestras and has received ASCAP Awards for Adventurous Programming for his work in both Los Angeles and Denver.
Eric Kim | cello
Eric Kim, has a diverse career performing throughout the United States, Europe, South America, and Middle and Far East as a recitalist, chamber musician, and soloist. Having made his solo debut at age fifteen with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, he was a featured soloist with the Juilliard Orchestra on its critically acclaimed tour of the Far East.
Mr. Kim has collaborated as soloist with such conductors as Zubin Mehta, Sergiu Comissiona, Lawrence Foster, Alan Gilbert, Paavo Jarvi, Gianandrea Noseda and Stanislaw Skrowaczewski.. He has also served as Principal Cello of the Cincinnati Symphony from 1989-2009, and has held Principal Cello positions with the San Diego and Denver symphonies.
Active as a chamber musician, Mr. Kim has performed with such artists as Emmanuel Ax, Joshua Bell, Yefim Bronfman, Susan Graham, Lynn Harrell, Stephen Hough, Jaime Laredo, Menahem Pressler and Gil Shaham, as well as collaborating with members of the Emerson, Guarneri and Orion string quartets.
Receiving his Bachelor and Master of Music degrees from the Juilliard School, Mr. Kim studied with Leonard Rose, Lynn Harrell, and Channing Robbins. Upon graduation, he received the first William Schuman Prize, awarded for outstanding leadership and achievement in music.
Mr. Kim joined the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music faculty at the beginning the 2009-2010 academic year. As a teacher, he has students in major orchestras throughout the world. He is a regular teacher and performer at the Aspen Music Festival and School as well as the Music Masters Course in Japan program held in Yokohama, and Tokyo.
Lachezar Kostov | cello
Hailed for the “awesome purity of his playing”, and described as a “prodigiously skilled protagonist” Bulgarian cellist Lachezar Kostov was the National Winner at the 2006 MTNA Young Artists Competition and has won numerous other prizes. He has appeared as a guest soloist and chamber musician throughout the United States, Japan, Italy, Germany, the United Kingdom and Bulgaria. Having spent three consecutive summers at the Tanglewood Music Center, Mr. Kostov was a member of the resident ensemble, collaborating with prominent American composers such as John Harbison, Ellen Zwilich and Harvey Solberger and participating in master classes with Yo Yo Ma and James Levine.
During the past three seasons Mr. Kostov performed a series of concerts in Japan, including concerts as a soloist of the Philharmonic Orchestras of Hino and Tachikawa, as well as recitals in Tokyo’s Sakura Hall and Oji Hall, where he performed with Japanese pianist Ai Shimizu. In 2009, Mr. Kostov made his official debut at Carnegie Hall’s ZANKEL Hall performing rarely heard works for cello and piano by Zwilich, Roslavets, Kabalevsky and Saint-Saens. Both concert featured his longtime friend and chamber music partner, pianist Viktor Valkov. In 2011 Lachezar Kostov and Viktor Valkov won the First Prize and all the special prizes at the 2011 International Liszt-Garrison Piano and Duo Competition in Baltimore, MD.
Lachezar Kostov is a Doctor of Musical Arts candidate at Rice University, where he studies with Norman Fischer. He also holds diplomas from North Carolina School of the Arts and Yale School of music, where he was tutored by Zvi Plesser and Aldo Parisot.
Alexandra Preucil | violin
Alexandra Preucil joined the violin section of The Cleveland Orchestra in 2008. Ms. Preucil graduated from the Cleveland Institute of Music with a Bachelors degree in music and a minor in dance. While in school, she held the position of Assistant Concertmaster with the Akron Symphony Orchestra and the Canton Symphony Orchestra and was a member of the Svanito Quartet. Ms. Preucil spent two years in the Young Artist Program at the Cleveland Institute of Music during which time she was concertmaster of the Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra.
She has appeared as soloist with the Georgia Philharmonic, Highland Park Strings, the Canton Symphony Orchestra, and the World Cello Congress. Summer festivals have included The Festival der Zukunft in Switzerland, Music From Angel Fire, and the Mainly Mozart Festival, as well as the Young Artist programs at the Amelia Island Chamber Music Festival and the La Jolla Chamber Music Festival. Ms. Preucil is one of the Cleveland Orchestra’s Music Mentors and teaches through the Learning Through Music and the Grow Up Great programs.
William Preucil | violin
William Preucil became concertmaster of The Cleveland Orchestra in April 1995 and has appeared regularly as a soloist with the Orchestra. Prior to joining The Cleveland Orchestra, Mr. Preucil served for seven seasons as first violinist of the Grammy-winning Cleveland Quartet, performing more than 100 concerts each year in the world’s major music capitals.
From 1982 to 1989, Mr. Preucil served as concertmaster of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, after previously holding the same position with the orchestras of Utah and Nashville. Composer Stephen Paulus’s Violin Concerto was written for, and dedicated to, Mr. Preucil, who premiered it and then recorded it with the Atlanta Symphony and conductor Robert Shaw. Mr. Preucil also has made solo appearances with the symphony orchestras of Detroit, Hong Kong, Minnesota, Rochester, and Taipei.
Mr. Preucil regularly performs chamber music, as a guest soloist with other orchestras, and at summer music festivals. Each summer, he serves as concertmaster and violin soloist with the Mainly Mozart Festival Orchestra in San Diego. Mr. Preucil also continues to perform as a member of the Lanier Trio, whose recording of the complete Dvo?ák piano trios was honored as one of Time magazine’s top 10 compact discs for 1993.
William Preucil began studying violin at the age of five with his mother, Doris Preucil, a pioneer in Suzuki violin instruction in the United States. At sixteen, he graduated with honors from the Interlochen Arts Academy and entered Indiana University to study with Josef Gingold.
Actively involved as an educator, Mr. Preucil serves as Distinguished Professor of Violin at the Cleveland Institute of Music and Distinguished Visiting Lecturer at Furman University. He previously taught at the Eastman School of Music and at the University of Georgia.
Stephanie Sant’Ambrogio | violin, viola
Praised as an “expressive and passionate chamber musician” by the San Antonio Express-News, and described as the “violinist who most often takes your breath away” by Gramophone Magazine, Stephanie Sant’Ambrogio enjoys a varied performing and recording career as a soloist, chamber musician and orchestral leader. She has performed as a soloist and chamber musician throughout the U.S. as well as in Canada, Estonia, Sweden, Ghana, Italy, Peru, Chile and Mexico. In addition to her active performing career, Ms. Sant’Ambrogio is devoted to teaching serious young violinists, many whom have successfully chosen careers in music. Currently Associated Professor of Violin and Viola at the University of Nevada, Reno she is also Artistic Director of Cactus Pear Music Festival, which she founded in 1997 while serving as Concertmaster of the San Antonio Symphony. Former First Assistant Principal Second Violin of The Cleveland Orchestra under Christoph von Dohnany, she toured and recorded internationally with this ensemble for eight seasons.
Currently Concertmaster of the Fresno Philharmonic Orchestra (CA) and the Lancaster Festival Orchestra (OH), Ms. Sant’Ambrogio has a discography of over seventy-five orchestral and chamber music CDs. Her newest CD, Johannes Brahms: The Violin Sonatas, is due to be released in 2013. Ms.Sant’Ambrogio studied with and was the graduate assistant to Donald Weilerstein at The Eastman School of Music, where she received her Master of Music degree. Ms. Sant’Ambrogio plays a violin crafted in 1757 by J.B. Guadagnini of Milan and a 2008 viola by Jacek Zadlo of Chicago.
Joseph Swensen | violin
American violinist and conductor Joseph Swensen currently holds the post of Conductor Emeritus of the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, where he was Principal Conductor from 1996-2005. Mr. Swensen was recently Principal Guest Conductor and Artistic Advisor of the Orchestre de Chambre de Paris from 2009-2011. He has also held positions at the Malmo opera, Lahti Symphony and the BBC National Orchestra of Wales. Mr. Swenson is a busy guest-conductor throughout the world, enjoying long-established relationships with the Orchestre National du Capitole Toulouse, London Mozart Players, and Orquestra Sinfónica do Porto Casa da Música, among others.
Before launching his conducting career in the mid 1990’s, Mr. Swenson enjoyed a highly successful career as a violin soloist appearing frequently with the world’s major orchestras and conductors. Chamber music has always been a hugely important and essential part of Mr. Swensen’s music making. He is a member of the violin-piano duo with pianist and conductor Jeffrey Kahane and the piano trio, KahaneSwensenBrey, including cellist Carter Brey.
Mr. Swenson is Founder and Artistic Director of Unity Hills Arts Centers International based in Townshend, Vermont. The organization was established in 2011 to bring together artists of all kinds who are committed to applying their creative talents primarily to long-term community projects in the U.S. and abroad. He has recently been appointed Visiting Professor of Music (violin) at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music beginning in Autumn of 2013.
Viktor Valkov | piano
Winner of the 2012 New Orleans International Piano Competition, Viktor Valkov has been highly acclaimed by the critics as “lion of the keyboard” and “sensational”. Since 2002 Valkov has given a number of recitals in USA, Japan, Germany, Italy, Greece, Bulgaria, and Macedonia. In 2003, he received an invitation from the New Symphony Orchestra, and conductor Rossen Milanov, to perform Dimitar Nenov’s Grande Piano Concerto. Thus he became the fifth pianist to perform that concerto and the only one to do the entire version.
Mr. Valkov’s concert activities reflect a vast interest in the chamber music repertoire, as well as lesser known piano music. He frequently performs with the Bulgarian cellist, Lachezar Kostov, in a cello and piano duo. Both being deeply interested in broadening the repertoire for that medium, they often include in their programs composers like Kabalevsky, Roslavetz, Schnittke, Saint-Saens (the Second cello Sonata), and others. Their close friendship and professional collaboration began in 2000. In 2009, the Kostov-Valkov Duo gave their Carnegie Hall debut at Zankel Hall. In 2011 they won the Liszt-Garisson International Competition, where they were awarded First Prize, as well as all the special prizes in the collaborative artists category.
Viktor Valkov studied at the State Music Academy in Sofia, Bulgaria with Prof. Stella Dimitrova and subsequently in the Folkwang Hochschule in Essen, Germany with Michael Roll. In 2006 he enrolled at the Juilliard School and earned his Masters Degree studying with Jerome Lowenthal and Matti Raekallio. In the fall of 2010, Viktor Valkov started pursuing a DMA Degree at the Rice University, Houston with Jon Kimura Parker.