Meet the Artists 2019
Peter Rainer, Concertmaster
Violinist/GermanyPeter has been iPalpiti’s Concertmaster since 1994. In his native Germany, he is a concertmaster and a founder of the Kammerakademie Potsdam, and leads an active career as a chamber musician, soloist, and teacher. Since 2007, Peter has been on the faculty of the “Universität der Künste” (University of the Arts) in Berlin and of the “Stern Institute” for young talented students. Since 2018, Peter is the Head of the string department of “Musikgymnasium Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach at the “Hanns Eisler Hochschule für Musik," a school for highly talented musical kids in Berlin. He is the founder and leader of the Persius Ensemble, focusing mainly on repertoire written for the classical nonet, and has released three CDs; a CD with nonets by Spohr, Clementi and Mozart was chosen by Berlin-Brandenburg Radio (RBB) as one of the best releases of 2007. In 2008, he founded the Merlino String Quartet and has been a member of the Max Brod piano trio from 2012. In 2016, the piano trio released a CD of compositions by Robert Kahn, a wonderful discovery of romantic music in style of Johannes Brahms. Peter has worked as the assistant to Professor Schmieder at the Holland Music Sessions, at the Southern Methodist University in Dallas and at Temple University in Philadelphia. Music-loving children know Peter Rainer through the many interactive concerts he developed for them in the past 20 years, such as Till Eulenspiegel, Ferdinand the Bull, The Horse on the Violin, to mention a few. In the past 3 years, he has appeared at the Festival International de Musique de Chambre en Charente together with iPalpiti artist Jacob Shaw, and continues to collaborate with iPalpiti alumni on international musical projects. Peter studied violin in the U.S. with Professor Eduard Schmieder at the Meadows School of the Arts, where he received his Artist Certificate in 1994 and his Master of Violin Performance degree in 1995. Upon his return to Germany, he was concertmaster of the Brandenburgische Philharmonie in Potsdam from 1996 to 2000. In 2005, he received a commendation from the City of Los Angeles for his leadership of iPalpiti and his contributions to culture.
Violinist/FranceBoris began playing the violin at the age of seven at the National Conservatory of Toulouse and continued at the National Conservatory of Boulogne-Billancourt, where he was awarded a unanimous first prize with a special mention from the jury and prizes of Chamber Music, Analysis and Musical Culture. He entered the Paris Conservatory (CNSM) in 2009 where he received the Violin 1st prize and honors unanimously, and parallel courses of chamber music with Itamar Golan. He continues mentoring with Dora Schwarzberg and Patrice Fontanarosa at the Vienna University of Arts and Paris, and participated in the master classes of prominent musicians. Prizewinner of numerous competitions including "Jascha Heifetz" Special Mention at the IBLA foundation of New York International Competition in Italy (2011), in 2012 he made his Carnegie Hall debut, followed by USA Recital tour. He was invited as a Rising Star at the Great Mountains Music Festival in South Korea in 2011-2013 seasons, and has played with the Academy of the Radio France Philharmonic under the direction of Myung-Whun Chung. Boris performs internationally as a soloist, recitalist, chamber musicians, and in festivals at important venues in France such as Radio France, Cite de la Musique, Salle Cortot, Salle Gaveau, Carnegie Hall in New York City, theaters throughout Europe and Asia. Beginning 2015 season, Boris became an artist in residence at Queen Elisabeth Chapel with his piano trio "Zadig." Boris was selected and joined iPalpiti in 2016.
Violinist/CanadaBorn and raised in Toronto, Conrad has established himself as a foremost performer and teacher in his native Canada. A review in the Halifax Chronicle-Herald praised “the full, sweet, seductive intensity of Chow’s sound”, and his performance alongside Ani Kavafian with the Columbia Festival Orchestra was hailed as “ornate and satisfying” by the Albany Times Union. He is a prize-winner of the 2006 International Stepping Stone Competition in Quebec and the David G. Whitcomb Foundation’s Young Artist of 2003. Conrad began his violin studies at the age of three at the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto. His Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees are from Indiana University’s School of Music, studying with Miriam Fried. Conrad completed his DMA from the State University of New York, Stony Brook (under noted violinists Pamela Frank, Ani Kavafian, and Philip Setzer), and later pursued further post-doctoral work with Eduard Schmieder at Temple University in Philadelphia. He studied chamber music with the Grammy Award-winning Emerson String Quartet and is appearing in chamber music performances with Paul Biss, Christina Dahl, David Finckel, and Miriam Fried. His string quartet was winner of the Indiana University Kuttner String Quartet Competition, performing as the quartet-in-residence for the 2001-2002 seasons. As soloist, he appeared with numerous orchestras. Recital performances have included the St. Cecilia Concert Series, University of Toronto’s Hart House Sunday Concert Series, broadcast on CBC Radio, Mozarteum in Salzburg, Qingdao Music Hall in China, New York's Staller Center for the Arts, Toronto's Glenn Gould Studio and George Weston Recital Hall, and 2010 Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall debut. As a member of the prestigious iPalpiti orchestral ensemble of international laureates since 2008, he performed at Carnegie Zankel Hall, Disney Hall in LA, Philadelphia's Kimmel Center, and Israel. Being a teacher of one of the leading precollege private violin studios in Canada; his students are winners in many important national and provincial competitions and have made solo debuts with Canadian orchestras, in 2010 he has been appointed to a faculty position at the Canadian Royal Conservatory of Music's elite pre-college academy. He was a Visiting Assistant Professor of Violin at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia for the 2006-2007 seasons, and was member of the faculty at the Summit Summer Music Festival in New York in 2010. Dr. Chow has served as jury member and adjudicator of various Canadian competitions, at the international “Remember Enescu” in Romania, and is a presenter of master classes in Canada, the United States, and Asia. www.conradchow.org
Violinist/AzerbaijanAzer began his musical studies at the age of eight. At 14, he was accepted in the Musical College of the Tchaikovsky Moscow State Conservatory in the class of Professor Maria Keselman from which he graduated in 2007 at the age of 20 with an equivalent of a Bachelor Degree Diploma. Azer participated in master classes and festivals in Dortmund in Germany, Britten-Pearce Orchestra in Great Britain, and Volga Regional Young Symphony festival. Recipient of the Ministry of Culture Russian Federation’s Stipend, Azer is a Laureate of numerous national competitions. In 2007 Azer received a Diploma at the 14th Andrea Postacchini International Violin Competition in Fermo, Italy, and a special iPalpiti prize for participation in the iPalpiti Festival of International Laureates in Los Angeles. In the fall 2010, Azer was accepted into Bachelor of Music Program at Boyer College at Temple University in the class of Professor Schmieder, where, subsequently he completed his Master's degree in 2013, and currently pursues a Doctoral degree in Music Performance. Last year, Azer formed the Philadelphia-based The Amaranth Piano Trio with several performances in its debut season. He is a member of iPalpiti since 2009, including East Coast residency and in concerts at the Kimmel Center and Carnegie Hall, and Los Angeles festivals. In 2012, he performed at Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall as a winner the American Protégé International Competition of Romantic Music. In 2018, on a special invitation by the Ministry of Culture of Azerbaijan he gave solo recitals and master class in Baku, Azerbaijan’s capital. In May 2019, as a winner of the Beverly Hills National Auditions he and fellow iPalpitian, violist Adelya Shagidullina gave a series of concerts in Southern California.
Violinist/PolandSara Dragan was born in 1999 in Poland and began learning to play the violin at the age of 7, under the tutelage of her parents, Konrad and Alicja Dragan. She attended the Music School in Legnica and concurrently studied with Prof. Zakahr Bron in his Meisterklasse Interlaken in Switzerland, continuing with him at the Escuela Superior de Musica Reina Sofia in Madrid. Despite her young age, Sara won first prizes/Grand Prix in about 50 violin competitions in Europe and the USA, including International Violin Wieniawski & Lipinski Competition, New York International Artists Association Competition, International Telemann Violin Competition, and International Violin Young Paganini Competition. Sara made her debut as the soloist with orchestra at the age of 7 playing Wieniawski's Obertas and since, performed with many orchestras including the Orchester Berlin, RRCMC Moscow Orchestra, Ukrainian National Orchestra, Uzbekistan National Symphony, important Polish philharmonic orchestras, with virtuosi repertoire such as Paganini’s Concerto No.1 and Carmen Fantasie by F. Waxman when she was only 12. At 15, she made her United States debut at Carnegie Hall (NYC) where she played Wieniawski's Concerto in F-Minor and The Last Rose of Summer by Ernst, and gave concerts at the Berlin Philharmonic, Rachmaninov Concert Hall in Moscow, Polish Royal Palace in Warsaw, Auditorium Sony in Madrid, touring around Europe and the United States. Sara has participated at prestigious festivals including Schleswig-Holstein and Mozarteum in Salzburg and is a laureate of many awards. For her outstanding artistic achievements she received "Young Poland" scholarships from the Ministry of Culture and the National Heritage, is a multiple grantee of the National Fund for Gifted Children in Warsaw. She is engaged in many charity events performing for promotion of talented children, as well as taking part in charity auctions for children with Down's syndrome. Sara was given opportunity playing on instruments of the best Italian luthiers by Guarneri, Vuillaume and Gagliano. Currently, Sara is playing on Nicolo Amati (1666) on the generous loan from Florian Leonhard Fine Violins. This is her first season with iPalpiti.
Violinist-violist/USABorn in Oakland, California, Joseph began his violin studies at the age of five. He has studied with Yayoi Numazawa of the Philadelphia Orchestra, James Lyon and Max Zorin of The Pennsylvania State University, and Eduard Schmieder of Temple University. A graduate of the Pennsylvania State University in 2008 with a Bachelor of Music in Violin Performance, he was honored to receive the Creative Achievement Award, given to only one exceptional student. Winner of many competitions in Pennsylvania, Joseph received first prize in the PSU Philharmonic Concerto Competition performing the Sibelius Violin Concerto (2008). He returns to State College every summer for the Penn’s Woods Music Festival under the direction of Maestro Gerardo Edelstein. Kauffman founded and performed with the “Valens” Piano Quartet, which received First Prize in the MTNA Chamber Music Competition. Most recently, Kauffman (along with his cellist colleague Yoni Draiblate) founded a chamber music concert series in Wayne, Pennsylvania, a Philadelphia suburb. As a chamber musician – both as violinist and violist - Kauffman was featured live on classical radio in Los Angeles and Philadelphia. In 2008, Kauffman was accepted into the international class of Prof. Eduard Schmieder in the Master’s Degree program at Temple University, which he completed in 2011, with distinction and received the Albert Tashjian Prize for excellence in performance. He frequently served as concertmaster for the TU Symphony Orchestra and TU Opera Theater. In 2010, Kauffman was selected to join the acclaimed iPalpiti orchestral ensemble of international musicians. He has performed on major concert stages including Disney Hall, Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, the Kimmel Center, and the Kennedy Center, among others. He has participated in master classes with world-class soloists and ensembles, including Jaime Laredo, Philip Setzer, Martin Chalifour, the Shanghai, Emerson, the American, the Tokyo quartets, and many others. Currently, Joseph is continuing his violin studies in the DMA program at Temple University, where he is also a teaching assistant. He teaches a talented class of students at the NBS School, maintains a thriving private violin studio, and leads an active performance career. Together with iPalpiti alumnus and cellist Yoni Draiblate, he founded the MUSIC TRANSFORMS concert series in Philadelphia.
Violinist/Malaysia-USAAcclaimed by the New York Times as, “a force to be reckoned with…” Miclen LaiPang started his first violin lesson at the age of three, inspired by his brother, a violinist in the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra. By the age of 9, he was a winner of numerous student competitions, including the grand-prize of the Merit Award Competition for the University of Redlands, the ASTA, and Redlands Bowl Young Artist Competition. Miclen has performed in over 40 countries and has won multiple awards. As a chamber and orchestral musician, he has participated in numerous programs including the New York String Orchestra Seminar, Young Musicians Foundation Orchestra, Terry King’s Lyricafest, the Castleman Quartet Program, Spectrum New Music Festival, and Boston Music Institute Masterclasses. With a wide range of standard violin repertoire, he is also an advocate for the music of contemporary composers. He has performed and premiered pieces by Steve Reich, John Harbison, György Ligeti, Luciano Berio, Lansing McLoskey, Augusta Read Thomas, Christopher Theofanidis, and Thomas Sleeper. In 2018, Miclen became one of the violinists for the LGT Young Soloists, described by Fanfare as “one of the finest youth orchestras in Europe.” His primary mentors include Ida Bieler, Charles Castleman, Ruggiero Ricci, and Alice Schoenfeld. He is honored to be an alumni of the Colburn School, Eastman School of Music, and University of Miami. Currently, he is completing his Konzertexamen at the Robert Schumann Hochschule with Ida Bieler. Miclen performs on the 1714 Giuseppe Guarneri ‘filius Andreae’ “Sue Miller” violin generously donated by the Miller family and on loan by the Frost School of Music. This is Miclen’s first season with iPalpiti.
violinist/ItalyBorn in Catania in 1986, Lorenzo graduated in 2005 from the Vincenzo Bellini Musical Institute of Catania with cum laude as a student of Professor Vito Imperato, with a solo debut with an orchestra at the age of 11. In 2013, he graduated from the famous Tchaikovsky Moscow State Conservatory with the highest scores in the class of the People’s Artist of Russia Sergey Girshenko. Lorenzo has taken part in over 25 national and international musical competitions, obtaining in all either first prize or absolute first prize. Under the patronage of the President of the Italian Republic, at the age 14, he received a special merit admission to study with Maestro Salvatore Accardo at the Senior Specialization Course of the Walter Stauffer Academy of Music; the honor which is given only with a performance degree, exempts younger students who are deemed by to possess exceptional talent. Lorenzo’s talent has on many occasions been encouraged by famous international musicians, such as Igor Oistrach, Michail Kugel, Rocco Filippini, Katia Ricciarelli, Giuliano Carmignola, Glenn Dicterow, Bruno Canino, Vladimir Skanavi, Irina Bochkova, etc. Lorenzo has given recitals for many important concert associations in Italy, Europe, Russia and in the U.S.A. As a soloist with orchestra, he performed the Ploesti Symphony Orchestra, the Kiev's Camerata, the Russian chamber orchestra and others. Since October 2004, he has been first violinist with "L'offerta Musicale Ensemble." The ensemble, under the guidance of Riccardo Insolia, focus in 20th century and contemporary music. In Russia he has played in White Hall, Rachmaninov Hall, Small Hall and Big Hall of the Moscow conservatory. He plays a Claude Lebet Violin of 2010. This is his second season with iPalpiti.
FEATURED SOLOIST 2017Samuel Nebyu is the Grand prize winner of the 2015 National ASTA (American String Teachers Association) Solo Competition, the “Remember Enescu” International Violin Competition (Romania, 2013), the Flame International Violin Competition (Paris, 2008), and a winner of the Beverly Hills National Auditions (CA, 2014). Born in Hungary of Ethiopian-Jewish descent, Samuel spent most of his early childhood in Asia. He began playing the violin at the age of six. At fifteen, he was admitted to the Young Talents Program at the Brussels Royal Conservatory where he received tutelage from renowned musicians, including Igor Oistrakh. He was a violinist-in-residence for several years at the prestigious Queen Elisabeth Music Chapel in Belgium. Currently, he is studying at Boyer College of Music and Dance at Temple University under Laura C. Carnell Professor of Violin and Artistic Director of Strings, Dr. Eduard Schmieder. Samuel has performed at important international music festivals, including the Eilat Music Festival (Israel), the Mozarteum Festival (Salzburg), the Ravello Festival (Italy), and the Summit Music Festival (New York). As a soloist, he has performed with orchestras such as the Brussels Philharmonic, and with the iPalpiti orchestra in Los Angeles at the Wallis Annenberg Center (2015) and at Walt Disney Concert Hall (2017). He has given recitals and performed as a soloist in venues such as the Centre of Performing Arts in Brussels (BOZAR), Peles Castle in Romania, the Wiener Saal in Salzburg, the Alice Tully Hall in New York. In 2016, he received the prestigious Clifton Emerging Artist Award, gave a recital at the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts in Philadelphia, and became a prize winner of the Mozarteum Salzburg Festpiel competition – the only one of 291 violinists to be selected as one of the eight prize winners – and was further honored to conclude the winners concert at the Mozarteum Grosse Saal. His new CD “Violin Gems from Black Composers” was released on BCM+D label this spring, was selected for Grammy nomination, and named Best Album of the Year by numerous classic radio stations across the nation, including KUSC-FM.
Violinist/RussiaIn 2015, Semyon was named a principal soloist of the Novosibirsk Philharmonic Society, giving concerts throughout Russia, Finland and Israel. From 2013 to 2015, he served as the assistant concertmaster of the Chamber Orchestra of the Novosibirsk Philharmonic and toured Switzerland, Germany, France, and Belgium. As a member of the ensemble of violinists “Bright Bows” Semyon performed in numerous international festivals, including the Summit Music festival in New York. Promoe is an Honors Graduate of the Novosibirsk Glinka State Conservatory (with the qualifications of Life Performer, Orchestral Performer, Ensemble Performer, Teacher of Instrumental Performance Majoring in Instrumental Performance) from the class of Professor and Honored Art Worker of the Russian Federation Marina Kuzina. He has also completed Postgraduate studies in performance and musicology. He taught a violin class at the Novosibirsk Music College from 2011 to 2013 and participated in the International Forum Musical Performance and Pedagogy in Jyvaskyla, Finland. As a soloist, he has performed with numerous symphony orchestras throughout Siberia’s major cities such as Krasnoyarsk, Tomsk, Barnaul, and his home city of Novosibirsk. He is a founder of the string quartet Phaeton. Semyon was selected to iPalpiti in 2017 summer festival, and toured with iPalpiti in Israel and Mozarteum Salzburg. This is his 3rd season with iPalpiti.
Violinist/VenezuelaVenezuelan violinist Pablo Stredel, is a graduate of "El Sistema" and, as a member of the Simón Bolívar orchestra of Venezuela for six years, has performed with great conductors such as Claudio Abaddo, Sir Simon Rattle, Gustavo Dudamel, and Krzysztof Penderecki touring Europe and South America. Pablo began violin lessons in El Sistema at the age of 4 at the Mozarteum Caracas School of Music with maestro Richard Biaggini and studied chamber music with pianist Arnaldo Pizzolante for 8 years with whom he has played chamber music recitals with major repertoire of piano and violin sonatas, piano trios and quintets. He continued his studies at the UNEARTE (Arts University in Venezuela) and at Simon Bolivar Music Conservatory in Caracas where he served as guest concertmaster for the Simón Bolívar Soloists Chamber Orchestra and the Mozarteum Caracas Chamber Orchestra. He appeared as a soloist with the Mozarteum Chamber Orchestra and the Venezuela Symphony, and also performed annually in the Jewish and Israel Foundation in Venezuela, playing Baal Shem Suite and the Schindler´s List with the Mozarteum Caracas Chamber Orchestra. As an "El Sistema" graduate, he toured several cities in Venezuela teaching and giving masterclasses. In 2015, he received the "Licenciate of the Royal Schools of Music" with distinction. Pablo participated in music festivals in Santa Barbara, California in 2010 and 2014 and attended to Esmeraldas International Music Festival in Ecuador in 2016 and 2017 where he served as guest concertmaster of the Festival Orchestra. In 2018, he was invited to return to the Festival for the series of concerts in Quito, Ecuador to perform Schubert Quintet with eminent cellist Gary Hoffman and iPalpiti’s violinist Sami Merdinian and cellist Francisco Vila (a founder and artistic director of the Esmeraldas Festival). Currently, Pablo is a member of the Orquesta Filarmónica deJalisco in Mexico, making tours in Europe and the US, performing in such venues as the Konzerthaus Berlin, Konzerthaus Vienna, Davies Symphony Hall in San Francisco California. In his hometown Carúpano in Venezuela he holds the award of “Good and Honorable Citizen.” This is his first season selected to iPalpiti.
Violinist/JapanWinner of numerous prizes in international and national competitions, Takamori is a graduate of The Tokyo University of Arts with the top score and the Acanthus Music Prize for such outstanding academic achievements. During his college years he was selected numerous times as a soloist with the university symphony orchestras, and play under baton of such conductors, as Prof. Kazuki Sawa, Prof Douglas Bostock, and Prof. Ken Takaseki. He studied with Prof. Eduard Schmieder in his international class Artist Diploma program at the Boyer College of Music at Temple University in Philadelphia as a recipient of the scholarship. Currently he is in the doctoral degree program in Tokyo, working with Prof. Takashi Shimizu and Prof. Sung Yang. In 2014 he was selected as a soloist of the Musical Activity Supporting System by YAMAHA Music Foundation, and has been invited to many concerts, and music festivals in Europe.
Xuan Shirley Yao
Xuan Shirley Yao
Violinist/ChinaXuan Yao began to learn violin at age four, studying from 2004-2010 with Weijian Tang in the middle school of the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing. While in Beijing, Xuan was actively performing as soloist, in string quartet, piano trio and was an assistant concertmaster of Chinese Youth Symphony Orchestra. In 2010, Xuan was accepted to Temple University in Philadelphia on a full scholarship to study with Professor Eduard Schmieder in his select international violin class at Boyer College in the Center of Performing Arts, receiving Bachelor degree in 2015 and Master degree in 2017. A recipient of the Garrigues Scholarship, Xuan currently is DMA student at Temple University, where she is a teaching assistant in Prof. Schmieder studio. While in Philadelphia, she performs actively as a chamber musician and in Symphony in C. Xuan is a prize-winner of national competitions in her native China including First Prize of Hunan Province Soloist Competition in 2002, First Prize of Chinese Junior New Artist competition, and Grand Prize of Changsha Soloist competition (2003). In USA, she received 2nd prize in Pi Kappa Lambda Competition in 2017 and was a First Prize winner of Young Talents World Festival of Performing Arts in 2018. Xuan performs in numerous international music festivals, including Mozarteum Salzburg and Summit Music Festival in New York. This is her first season with iPalpiti.
Violinist-violist/TurkmenistanAhmed Mamedov started to play violin at the age of seven and graduated from the Sobinov Saratov State Conservatory in 2005, actively performing in solo, chamber ensembles, and string quartet concerts. Among his awards are the Grand Prize in the Fourth Regional Goldenberg Violin Competition, stipend from the “Russian Performing Art” foundation, Diploma at the 5th Demidov International Violin Competition, and an award from the VI “Golden Talent.” In 2006 Akhmed was selected to join “Youth Symphonic Orchestra of CIS Countries” and through 2009 toured the cities of CIS, Europe, and USA, under such conductors as Yury Simonov, M. Gorenshtein, Vladimir Spivakov. In 2010 Akhmed was accepted into Artist Diploma Program at Temple University in Philadelphia, completed his Master of Music degree in violin performance (2014) in the class of Professor Schmieder, and MM as a second major in viola (2017). He plays both as violinist and violist at Symphony in C, New Jersey Capital Philharmonic Orchestra,Vox Ama Deus Orchestra, Wayne Presbyterian Oratorio Society, and Bach Festival Orchestra of Bethlehem. Ahmed Mamedov is a co-founder and active performer of the Blue Line Quartet. Since 2018, he enjoys teaching at the Perkins Center for the Arts Conservatory in New Jersey. Ahmed is a member of iPalpiti since 2013.
Violist/JapanMidori started playing violin at the age of four and has studied at the Tokyo college of Music from 2004-2010 with Prof. Takashi Shimizu and Saiko Azuma. During these years she attended many master classes in Japan, Portugal, Italy, and Austria. In 2008 she won the third prize at the Japan Players Competition and also began to study the viola and play a lot of chamber music. She won the 2nd prize at the Osaka International Competition and received a Special award at the Japan Ensemble Competition with quartet. Midori continued her studies as a violist at Scuola di musica di Fiesole in Italy with Antonello Farulli and Felice Cusano as a scholarship student in Corso di Perfezionamento, and participated in master class of Jürgen Kussmaul and in summer course of Jurij Bashmet at the Accademia Chigiana in Siena. Midori is a recipient of numerous awards: the "Grand Prix d'Honneu" at the Concours International de Musique Léopold Bellan in Paris, France with piano quintet (2011), First Prize as a soloist at the 4th Concorso Musicale Europea Città di Filadelfia and 10th International Music Competition Premio Vittoria Caffa Righetti (2012), First Prize at Concorso Internazione di Musica “Euterpe” di Corato and VII Concorso Internazionale di Musica da Camera Città di Chieti as member of duo (2013). As Mozarteum Summerakademie "praistreger", Midori performed in prestigious concert halls in Salzburg Festspiele in 2012 and the same season was selected to join iPalpiti. A leading violist at The Hyogo Performing Arts Center Orchestra, Japan since 2014, in 2017 Midori accepted principal position at the Kyoto Symphony.
Violist/TurkeyBorn in 1987 in Ankara, Turkey, Can is a member of the Eskisehir Greater Municipality Symphony Orchestra. His M.A.in Viola is from the Lausanne Conservatory (Bruno Pasquier’s class) and his B.M. in Viola is from the Bilkent University Faculty of Music and Performing Arts, where he was awarded a full scholarship. He also attended master classes of James Creitz, Rusen Gunes, and Tatiana Masurenko at the Ayvalik International Music Academy. Can joined the Bilkent Youth Symphony Orchestra in 2001 and was its Principal Viola from 2005 to 2008. Other leading positions were at Bilkent Youth Virtuosos (2006-2008), touring Turkey and Germany as Co-Principal with the World Youth Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Damiano Guiranna (2007), and as Principal Viola in the Greek-Turkish Youth Orchestra, conducted by Vladimir Ashkenazy (Summer 2008). In 2009, he became a member of the Camerata de Lausanne under the leadership of Pierre Amoyal. He has performed in many chamber music and solo concerts all over the world including Turkey, Switzerland, France, Russia, Singapore, Greece, Germany, and Cyprus and has participated in festivals such as the Cannes Festival, the Montebello Festival, the Saint-Riquier Festival, the International Students Chamber Music Festival in Stuttgart, the Youth Composers and Youth Performers, World Music Day, the Festival of Castle of Ankara, and VEKAM Art Festival. He has also performed at television and radio broadcasts on Mezzo, Radio Suisse Romande (La Tribune des Jeunes Musiciens) and Turkish National Television and Radio. Member of iPalpiti since 2011.
Violist/PolandAgnieszka was born in Łódź in 1994. She started her violin education at the age of seven and since, has been awarded First Prizes at numerous national and international violin, viola and chamber music competitions, including ARD International Music Competition in Munich (2018), Michał Spisak XI International Music Competition (2017), Intercollegiate Viola Competition (2017), II Baltic Competition for String Duos (2016), II Chamber Music Competition in students category (2015), XX International Johannes Brahms Viola Competition (2012, semifinal); IV Tadeusz Wrooski Young Solo Violin Competition (2012, distinction). She was awarded the “Polish Ministry of Culture and National Heritage” scholarship and continues her studies at the Frederik Chopin University of Music in violin and viola with professors Jan Stanienda and Piotr Reichert. Agnieszka has been a participant in many festivals as violinist, violist, chamber musician and orchestral player, including International Summer Academy of the University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna, Musethica International Chamber Music Festival in Spain, Sweden and Germany, International Chamber Music Festival in Wałbrzych, International Chamber Music Festival “Quarto Mondi” in Poznan, Warsaw Festival, Summer Academy of Music from Berliner Philharmoniker, and in master classes worked with Tabea Zimmerman, Jerzy Kosamala, Stefan Kamasa, Wolfgang Boettcher, Peter Riegelbauer, Jose Gallardo, and many others. Agnieszka has performed extensively as a soloist, chamber and orchestral musician in her native Poland in as well as in different countries of Europe, Japan, South Korea, United States. She was a member of Sinfonia Varsovia Academy as a violist. This year she became a member of European Union Youth Orchestra. This is Agnieszka’s first season with iPalpiti, recommended by iPalpiti alumni Maria Machowska (2004-2009) who is a Concertmistress of the Warsaw Philharmonic [Filhamonia Narodowa/Sinfonia Varsovia] since 2008.
Cellist/RussiaRussian-born cellist, Egor Antonenko has distinguished himself as a versatile soloist, chamber musician and orchestral player. Making his solo debut at the age of eight with the Kaliningrad Chamber Orchestra, he continued to perform with many of the prestigious Eastern European orchestras including the Moscow and Ryazan chamber orchestras, and the Petrozavodsk, Yaroslavi and Volograd Symphonies. Egor has made his American orchestral solo debut at the Longy School of Music performing the Dvorak Cello Concerto with Bard College Symphony, and most recently, performed Tchaikovsky's Rococo Variations with the Syracuse University Symphony Orchestra. As a soloist, Egor has performed under the baton of Marius Stravinsky, Leon Botstein, Miguel Etchegoncelay, Gil Rose, Benjamin Zander, Terry King amongst many others. A prize winner in numerous competitions including the International Competition of Moscow’s Young Musicians “Rising Stars”, the 18th “Citi di Barletta” Italian International Young Artist Competition, and “Gradus ad Parnassum” of Lithuania 2nd International competition, he has collaborated in performances with Shanghai and Hausmann String Quartets, William Preucil, the Newport and Lyrica chamber music festivals and the International Music Festival of St. Marks. Egor received diplomas from the Moscow State Conservatory and Central Music School as a student of Maria Zhuravleva, an undergraduate diploma in cello performance at Longy School of Music of Bard College as a student of Dr. Terry King and currently continues at the Setnor School of Music at Syracuse University as Teaching Assistant to his mentor Dr. King. In 2016, Egor toured more than 30 countries, performing over two hundred chamber music concerts through a partnership of the Lincoln Center Stage and the Holland America Line. He also participated in a live performance collaboration between BBC Earth and Holland America Line for a documentary series known as “Frozen Planet Live”. Currently, Egor is a member of the Boston Philharmonic Orchestra under maestro Benjamin Zander, as well as principal cellist of Lyrica Chamber Orchestra and has participated as acting principal cellist with Boston Modern Orchestra Project. This is his 2nd season with iPalpiti.
Cellist/FranceThe cellist Marc Girard Garcia captivates audiences with the depth, elegance and warmth of his performances. Born in 1990 in San Francisco, Marc began his cello studies at the Toulouse Conservatoire in France, and graduated with highest honors at age 16. He then obtained his Masters degree at the Paris Conservatoire under the tutelage of Marc Coppey in 2015. Over the years, Marc received numerous awards, including the International Competition of Contemporary Hungarian Music in Ballassagiarmat, the International Competition of Epernay, the International Competition of Vatelot-Rampal, and was also invited by the soloists of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra to perform chamber music at the Musikverein. Marc studied with cellists Gary Hoffman, Philippe Muller, Arto Noras, Roland Pidoux, Xavier Phillips, Jerome Pernoo and Robert Nagy, and participated in festivals like the Wiener Philharmoniker Musikforum Trenta, the Maurice Ravel Academy of Saint Jean-de-Luz and the Pablo Casals Academy at Prades. In 2014, together with the American pianist Ian Barber and his childhood friend Boris Borgolotto, Marc created the Zadig Trio. Since its foundation, the Trio has won 11 international prizes in France, the USA, Austria and Italy, and is regularly invited to play in great halls worldwide. The Zadig Trio is currently a resident of the Queen Elizabeth Music Chapel, under the tutelage of Artemis Quartet. It is also the first trio resident of ProQuartet in Paris, and is generously supported by the Banque Populaire Foundation. Marc Girard Garcia plays a Frank Ravatin cello, generously loaned to him by the El Pasito association.
Cellist/Armenia-BelgiumArmenian cellist Sevak Avanesyan was the youngest graduate of the Royal Conservatory of Brussels, graduating at age 19 with the highest distinction. Since, he has held position of the solo cellist of the National Orchestra of Belgium and was a winner of numerous international competitions, among which are First Prizes at the “Young Soloists” competition in Luxembourg, “Lions Club” European competition, “Golden Label” of the Belgian music press association, and “Belgische Stichting Roeping.” He continued his studies with the renowned cellist Claudio Bohorquez at the Hans Eissler Musikhochschule in Berlin, and took master classes from world famous artists such as Janos Starker, Bernard Greenhouse, Steven Isserlis, Mischa Maisky, Maria Kliegel, Liuis Claret, Garry Hofman, Wolfgang Boettcher, Igor Oistrakh, and Artemis Quartet. A regular guest at leading venues such as the Salle Gaveau and Palais des Beaux-Arts in Brussels, Sevak played at the grand opening of Queen Elizabeth Hall in Antwerpen in 2017. He appears as a soloist with many orchestras including Sinfonia Varsovia, National Orchestra of Belgium, Slovenia Symphony Orchestra, Indian Symphony Orchestra, La Chapelle Sauvage, and has collaborated with great conductors such as Hanns Graf, Hugh Wolf, Andrei Boreyko. The most recent world premiere of “DNA 15a15” by A. Irandian at Palais des Beaux Arts in Brussels was described as the “best concert of the season” by Belgian TV critics. Sevak has participated at notable international festivals where he performed in chamber ensembles with Augustin Dumay, Philippe Graffin, Pascal Devoyon, Pavel Gililov, Maxime Vengerov, Yuri Bashmet, Gidon Kremer. He also serves as a regular jury member of Ysaye, Triomphe de l'Art and AGBU music competitions. In 2016, the “Rhythm & Intervals” documentary by Gomes Schahbazyan about the life of Sevak Avanesyan in Berlin during the period of his studies was premiered on ARTR TV. Sevak plays on “The King” Mateo Gofriller cello from 1689, which is the very first Gofriller cello known, kindly given to him by Mischa Maisky. This is Sevak’s first season with iPalpiti.
Cellist/Ecuador“Vila brought out the fervour and vitality…consummate projection.” — The Strad Magazine, April 2012 Ecuadorian cellist Francisco Vila began playing the cello at age 8 and had his solo debut with orchestra at 14. Concert activities have taken him throughout Europe, North and South America. Vila was granted a Presidential Scholarship to the Boston Conservatory for his Bachelor studies, after which he received a Performance Diploma from Indiana University where he was a student of Janos Starker and Sharon Robinson. In 2012, he was selected to the inaugural cello class at the prestigious Queen Elisabeth Music Chapel in Belgium, where he earned an Artist Diploma under the famed cellist Gary Hoffman. Performing collaborations have included those with artists such as Nobuko Imai, Maria João Pires, Gary Hoffman, Wolfram Christ, Martin Chalifour, members of the Juilliard String Quartet, violist Kim Kashkashian and others. Mr. Vila has appeared as a soloist with the Houston Symphony, Liège Royal Philharmonic, Royal Chamber Orchestra of Wallonia, Santander Festival Orchestra, Aalborg Symphony, Indiana University Philharmonic, the Central Florida Orchestra, and all principal orchestras of his native Ecuador. He has been a participant at the Ravinia Steans Institute and guest artist at the Beaumaris, Santander, and Stavelot music festivals among others; as a member of the iPalpiti Festival of International Laureates performed in such venues as the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Zankel Hall at Carnegie Hall, Philadelphia’s Kimmel Center, Los Angeles’ Disney Hall, Mozarteum Salzburg, and on international tours. Vila views teaching as an important aspect in music-making. In March of 2015, supported by a grant from iPalpiti Artists International, Mr. Vila founded the International Music Festival of Esmeraldas (Ecuador) in his hometown. This project that unites gifted young artists from Central and South America for two weeks of masterclasses with international artists, providing all concerts free of charge to the public. Principal cellist of the Aalborg Symphony in Denmark since 2016 - a happy collaboration with iPalpiti alumni concertmaster Vesselin Demirev and Principal 2nd Alexander Dzyubinsky - he performs on a fine 1790 Vincenzo Panormo cello on generous loan from the Saul B. and Naomi R. Cohen Foundation. iPalpiti artist since 2009, this season Francisco joined iPalpiti Artists International as a Fellow of the New Leadership Initiative.
Bassist/SerbiaDušan started piano lessons when he was seven. At twelve, he began to study double bass in Ćuprija with Prof. Aleksandar Blagojevic at the Special School for Musically Gifted Children, continuing at the Belgrade Music Academy in 2015 and the Academy of Arts in Novi Sad from 2016. He has also worked with iPalpiti alumni Roman Patkolo (soloist, Prof. at Basel Musik Akademie and principal of the Zurich National Opera) and Artem Chirkov (soloist and principal at the St. Petersburg State Philharmonic), and other leading principal bassists. Winner of numerous international competitions, including 2nd prize at the Dittersdorf International Competition, Slovakia (2014) and 1st prize in the Competition for Soloists with Belgrade Radio Symphony Orchestra (2018), Dušan has performed with many orchestras as a soloist with virtuoso repertoire such as Bottessini Grand Duo Concertante and Paganini’s Moses Variations. Dušan was a member and the soloist of the prestigious youth string ensemble LGT Young Soloists in Lichtenstein, and as principal with Ljubljana International Orchestra, Sistema Europe Youth Orchestra, Belgrade Symphony Orchestra, CEI European Youth Orchestra, Ćuprija Chamber Orchestra, Bolshoi Festival Orchestra, and Rome Chamber Orchestra, under eminent conductors such as Gustavo Dudamel and others. Dušan has performed in orchestras and as chamber musician in the top concert halls in Germany, Spain, Italy, France, Austria, United States of America, Switzerland, Slovenia, Lichtenstein, Croatia, Bosnia Herzegovina, Greece, Egypt, Singapore, Israel, Oman, Hong Kong, Jordan, Slovakia, United Arab Emirates, Czech Republic and Serbia. Currently, he is double bassist of the Gstaad Menuhin Festival Orchestra and Baltic Sea Philharmonic. 2019 marks Dušan’s first season with iPalpiti.
Pianist/FranceIan Barber started studying piano at age seven in Colorado with Patricia Chen, continuing with Larry Graham and Rodney Mobley in high school. He has also worked with several prestigious teachers including Jullian Martin and Yoheved Kaplinsky from the Juilliard School of Music, Emilio del Rosario from the Music Institute of Chicago and French pianists Jean-Yves Thibaudet and Jean-Claude Pennetier. Winner of several national competitions, he was twice chosen to serve a two-year term on the Young Musicians Foundation Roster. After winning Yamaha Piano Competition in 2004, he was selected to perform with the National Repertory Orchestra in the Breckenridge Music Festival, and the following year, as a winner of the Denver/Steinway Piano Competition, he was the soloist with the Colorado Symphony and reinvited to perform with the National Repertory Orchestra playing Rachmaninoff's 2nd piano concerto. In 2008 he won Indiana University's concerto competition and performed Brahms 2nd piano concerto with the University Symphony Orchestra. With French violinist and cellist Boris Borgolotto and Marc Girard Garcia, Ian founded the Zadig Trio. Since its creation in 2014, the Trio has won 11 international prizes in France, the USA, Austria and Italy, and is regularly invited to play in great halls worldwide. The Zadig Trio is currently a resident of the Queen Elisabeth Music Chapel, under the tutelage of Artemis Quartet. The Trio’s first album, called “Something in Between”, was released in March 2019. It features music by Leonard Bernstein, Benjamin Attahir and Maurice Ravel.
Percussionist/USAWinner of the Beverly Hills National Auditions as member of the SMOKE & MIRRORS Percussion Ensemble, Edward’s performances and compositions can be heard on Chandos and Yarlung records, and available on Amazon.com. Graduate of USC Thornton School of Music, Mr. Hong performed with iPalpiti last season in Mussorgsky’ Pictures at an Exhibition.
Folk percussion/IranBorn in Mashhad, Iran, Misaq began learning Tombak (Persian hand drum) with his father, master Dariush Eshaghi, from early ages. At the age of 9, he started learning Kamancheh and traveled through Iran to study with various masters. Being a Baha'i, he was not allowed to go to university in Iran, so at the age of 23 he immigrated to the United States to pursue his education in music. Misaq received his Bachelor Degree in Music Industry studies at CSUN and his Master's in Performance and Composition at CalArts. With his brother Matin Eshaghi, Misaq performed throughout the US and Australia as a Koobáng Ensemble. They have released 5 albums. Misaq resides in Los Angeles, working as a professional musician, teaching and performing percussion and Kamancheh.
Harpsichord/USAArthur Omura is a specialist in historical keyboard instruments based in the San Francisco Bay Area. Graduate of the USC Thornton School of Music, Omura keeps an active performance schedule as an organist and harpsichord player. He has performed at the Boston and Berkeley Early Music festival numerous performances in Los Angeles and the Bay Area include MicroFest, wildUp, iPalpiti, Les Surprises Baroques, Musica Angelica, and the American Bach Soloists. Omura has collaborated on several recordings, most recently on "Kontrapunktus", a collection of new music by composer Mark Moya written in a Baroque idiom. His interest in instrument making and organology led him to work with harpsichord builder Curtis Berak, whom he has assisted in restoring several instruments, and with organ builder Manuel Rosales. Omura is the director of music at Grace Episcopal Church in Martinez, CA. www.arthuromura.com
Trio/FranceFounded in 2014, Trio Zadig gained critical praise for their impressive 11 international competition prizes, including First Prize at the Fnapec Competition and second prize at the Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition in the US. The Zadig Trio is currently a resident of the Queen Elisabeth Music Chapel alongside the Artemis Quartet. It is also the first trio resident of ProQuartet and is supported by the Banque Populaire Foundation. Friendship is at the core of the Zadig Trio’s strength and authenticity. Boris Borgolotto and Marc Girard Garcia are childhood friends who studied together at the Paris Conservatoire National de Musique and at the University of Music in Vienna. Upon their return to France, they crossed paths with Ian Barber, an American pianist from the renowned studio of André Watts at the University of Indiana. The chemistry between them is immediately apparent; in a strong desire to unite their talents, they found the Zadig Trio. The name comes from Voltaire’s eponymous character, Zadig (from the Hebrew for the ‘just’ and the Arabic for the ‘truthful’). Much like the music that the Trio performs, the story of Zadig is fantastically entertaining, while touching upon universal and uncompromising truths about the nature of reality. Trio has performed all over the world, from the USA to the Republic of Congo, as well as in prestigious halls like Wigmore Hall, Shanghai City Theater, Paris’ Philharmonic and the Salle Cortot. In parallel with this demanding schedule, the Trio has met with great artists who have contributed to the development of its musical expression, most notably Ivry Gitlis and Menahem Pressler. Due to its auspicious beginning, the Zadig Trio has been invited to several broadcast shows: “Génération Jeunes Interprètes” and “Le nouveau Rendez-Vous” on French Public Radio (France Musique) as well as “Puisque vous avez du talent” on Musiq’3 (RTBF) in Belgium. From Haydn to contemporary composers, the Zadig Trio’s audacity and freshness gives youth and vitality to the piano trio repertoire. The depth and sincerity of their interpretations, as well as their vivid, poetic sound, make them the creators of captivating performances. Their DC debut at the Phillips will include Ravel’s Piano Trio in A minor, Bernstein’s Fantasy on themes from West Side Story, and some works from Toulouse-born composer, Benjamin Attahir. Just like Voltaire’s hero, the Trio promises to have a long and adventurous life.
**Solo and Chamber ensembles concerts
Critics around the world say
“iPalpiti provides polish for talented young professional musicians from around the world.”
Los Angeles Times
“…a fitting name for the vibrant string orchestra from which the conductor Eduard Schmieder elicited a lively pulse…the ensemble was particularly noteworthy for its unity of purpose and blend. It was as if the musicians’ hearts were beating to the same buoyant rhythm…lustrous, polished tone and graceful phrasing.”
New York Times
“…rich sonorities [of iPalpiti] audibly took the audience’s breath away – especially whenever concertmaster Peter Rainer, whose technically immaculate tone throughout the night was sweet and thrilling, had a few bars to play – showed that iPalpiti had charms to soothe a hall well filled with music lovers of all ages.”
“This was an invigorating world-class performance by young players with technique to burn and a palpable desire to live every note.”
Los Angeles Times
“…the highlight of this astonishing musical odyssey was the sold-out performance at Disney Hall with elegant Maestro Eduard Schmieder at the helm, conducting this world-class group with a brilliant sense of balance, tension and phrasing.”
Beverly Hills Outlook
“…The musicians played with vivid unanimity and committment… The playing was masterly…”
Los Angeles Times
“iPalpiti played with striking unity and spirit and had an infectious way of making music…All [artists] clearly stimulated each other musically, showing mutual inspiration and respect.”
The Strad Magazine
“…cool display of virtuosity… unified to an often a startling degree…”
Los Angeles Times
“[iPalpiti] performance can be called righteously overwhelming…”
Noord Holland Dagblad
“Exhilaration, thrills, and awe conquer audiences…. These are the stock and trade of Young [iPalpiti] Artists International.”
Los Angeles Times
“When one hears these musicians play, one realizes there is a connection between the title and the musical outcome…when it comes to 24 very talented string players (some have independent successful careers) and a conductor who leads them with great musicality, the result is naturally captivating and exciting.”
Ora Binur, Ma’ariv Daily, Jerusalem
“…an astounding demonstration of seamless and beauteous string playing… memorable, luminous, deeply moving performance…”
Los Angeles Times