Meet the Artists
STATE SOLOIST OF ROMANIA • iPalpiti alumnus
STATE SOLOIST OF ROMANIA • iPalpiti alumnuswww.alexandrutomescu.com
"Alexandru Tomescu is a great artist, an ambassador of Romanian culture. Together with his violin he went throughout Europe and America and changed people's views of Romania"-Kansan Uutiset, Helsinki, Finland
Alexandru Tomescu returns to iPalpiti and Disney Hall after establishing himself as an international "violin superstar" (Berliner Morgenpost). A former student of Eduard Schmieder and Tibor Varga, Tomescu was an iPalpiti soloist early in his career, in iPalpiti's first festival in 1998. Since then, he has gone on to perform in the world's leading concert halls, including Carnegie Hall, the Concertgebouw, Tokyo's Metropolitan Arts Center, collaborating with conductors such as Valery Gergiev, Kurt Masur, Maxim Vengerov and Christoph Eschenbach. The winner of no fewer than 27 international competitions, he was presented in 2007 with the Stradivarius Elder-Voicu violin, which makes its Los Angeles debut in this festival.
Since returning to his native Romania, he has made it his mission to demonstrate that classical music is a world open to everyone, and one that fosters harmony across national and cultural borders. As a kind of Romanian musical ambassador, he and the Stradivarius he performs on have visited many of the world's capitals, uniting the sound of an extraordinary instrument to Tomescu's deep musical sensibility.
Tomescu has brought both conventional and unconventional means to his mission, deftly combining innovation and tradition. He played in a subway station to demonstrate the continuing appeal of classical music, not just to the cognoscenti, but to all. He has performed to raise funds for the Romanian Association for the Blind, and to fund hearing aids for children.
His efforts are not limited to performing; he is also a sought-after musical commentator in the press and on radio and television, addressing what it means to be an artist in the 21st century, how musical inspiration is developed, and why classical music continues to be a critical cultural force.
His powerful musical style may be best summarized by a quote about a single exemplary concert: "Alexandru Tomescu makes uncommon music out of Paganini's Caprices, playing up contrasts, letting each phrase live and breathe. I expected an evening of champagne bubbles. Tomescu serves up whiskey" (David Larsen-Metro Magazine, New Zealand).
Peter Rainer, Concertmaster
Peter Rainer, Concertmaster
Peter has been iPalpiti’s Concertmaster since 1994. In his native Germany, he is concertmaster and a founder of the Kammerakademie Potsdam, and leads an active career as a chamber musician, soloist, and teacher. 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 member of the Max Brod piano trio for two years. Since 2007, Peter has been on the faculty of the “Universitat der Kunste” (University of the Arts) in Berlin and of the “Stern Institute” for young talented students. He 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 15 years, such as Till Eulenspiegel, Ferdinand the Bull, The Horse on the Violin to mention a few. In 2010 he appeared at the “Musikfest Schloss Wonfurt” together with “iPalpiti” alumni Tibi Cziger, Caroline v. Bismarck and Eliah E. Sakakushev, and continues to collaborate with iPalpiti alumni 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.
Davide de Ascaniis *
Davide de Ascaniis
"Exquisite control." —Baltimore Sun
"His dazzling finger work, musicality, pizzicato and incredible cadenzas evoked the wizardry of Paganini." —Brooklyn Eagle
One of the few violinists in the world who performs the entire set of the 24 Paganini Caprices in a single recital, in 2010 Davide made his solo debut in Taiwan performing at the Taipei Arena for an audience of 15,000 and received rave reviews from the press. Last season, his solo performances included concerts in New York, Philadelphia and Los Angeles, as well as recital and chamber concerts in Baltimore and throughout Italy. He has performed in Disney Hall in Los Angeles as an iPalpiti artist, at the Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Merkin Concert Hall at the Kaufman Music Center in New York. Born in Italy in 1991 to a family of pianists, Davide's first professional engagement was in 2000 in France, performing the Bruch concerto with orchestra. Since then he has embarked on an international career: early highlights including solo concerts in Rome/Auditorium Parco della Musica, Venice/Teatro La Fenice, Milan/Teatro dal Verme, and Tokyo/Suntory Hall. After earning a Master's Degree cum laude from the Conservatorio in Vicenza at the age of 16, he was awarded a Diploma at the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia in Rome, and studied in New York with Albert Markov. Winner of prestigious awards in Italy and abroad, Davide de Ascaniis has performed at many festivals throughout the world, both as soloist and chamber musician. These have included Orford, Chelsea, iPalpiti, Parnassos, Mozarteum, Dino Ciani, Bologna, Bled, Asahikawa and Nippon Foundation festivals.
— I fell in love with the violin in Israel while my parents and I were strolling down a cobble-stoned street corner. We stopped in front of a street violinist and listened to his music. I was enthralled. My world shrank to include only the violinist and his music. Even after he stopped playing, I didn't want to leave. Though I was only two and a half years old, I knew then and there that I wanted to play the violin. I began playing the violin at the age of 6 and by the time I was 13, I knew I wanted a career as a violinist.
Niv, based in Los Angeles, has made several Carnegie Hall appearances, and has performed in Europe, the Middle East, and across the United States. Mr. Ashkenazi has also been asked to perform at the Kennedy Center as part of the 50th Anniversary of President Kennedy’s Inauguration, and for the 2011 International Day of Persons with Disability. He is the winner of numerous competitions, including the 2010 American Protégé International Piano and Strings Competition and the 2007 VSA International Young Soloist Award. He is an active member of the Perlman Music Program’s Chamber Music Workshop and Fall Residency in Stowe, and has been featured in chamber recitals at the Music Academy of the West. Recent chamber music collaborations include concerts with Los Angeles Philharmonic concertmaster Martin Chalifour, Nathan Cole, Roger Tapping, and Merry Peckham.
Niv has organized concerts for recent head trauma patients at Bellevue Hospital in New York City, and was a founding member of the trio, Ensemble Eclectico, which performed contemporary repertoire for audiences with limited or no access to live music. He has an ongoing collaboration with the dance company TranscenDance as part of a multimedia performance telling the true story of a family’s struggle to stay hidden during the Holocaust and their life after the war. Mr. Ashkenazi holds both a B.M. and M.M. from The Juilliard School, where he was a student of Itzhak Perlman and Glenn Dicterow. He serves on the board of the Los Angeles Youth Orchestra (LAYO) and works as a coach with several other local youth ensembles. In addition to his career as a performer, he keeps a small teaching studio in the Los Angeles area.
Boris began playing the violin at the age of seven in the class of Chantal Crenne 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. Over the years, he has participated in the master classes of Vadim Repin, Joel Smirnoff, Krzystof Wegrzyn, Kyung-Wha Chung, Ivry Gitlis, and other prominent musicians. Boris is a winner of numerous competitions including 2nd prize at the International Foundation "Parnassus" in Paris (2008), Prizewinner and the "Jascha Heifetz" Special Mention at the IBLA foundation of New York International Competition in Italy (2011), Prizewinner of the American Fine Arts of New York City (2013).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 Ton Koopman and Myung-Whun Chung. Boris performs internationally as a soloist, recitalist, chamber musicians, and in festivals at important venues such halls as Radio France, Cite de la Musique, Salle Cortot, Salle Gaveau, Notre-Dame de Paris Cathedral – France; Carnegie Hall, New York City; Haydn Festival in Eisenstadt – Austria; National Theatre Podgorica – Montenegro; Concert Hall of Macao and Shanghai – China; Hualien – Taiwan; Festival of Essaouira and Casablanca – Morocco; Verona, Italy and Ragusa, Sicily; Korean National University of Arts in Seoul (KNUA), Busan Art Center and Alpensia Pyeonchang Hall, South Korea; Geneva Theater-Switzerland. Beginning 2015 season, Boris will be an artist in residence at Queen Elisabeth Chapel with his piano trio "Zadig."
Azer 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.
ANNA AGAFIA, 19, was born and raised in Copenhagen, Denmark and speaks four languages fluently: Danish, Russian, French and English. She began to play the violin at the age of five. The winner of two American Protégé international competitions, she made her debut at Carnegie Hall, New York in 2014. Anna has won numerous Danish and Nordic awards such as Jacob Gades Violinkonkurrence, Nordisk Solistkonkurrence, Øresunds Solist, Berlingske Tidendes Musikkonkurrence and Danish Televisions "Spil for Livet" competition. Currently studying with Alexandre Zapolski at the Royal Danish Academy of Music, she has participated in masterclasses with violinists and pedagogues such as Alexander Sitkovetsky, Natalia Boyarsky and Levon Ambartsumian. Anna frequently performs in Denmark and abroad both in recitals and as a concerto soloist, appearing recently with the Danish Radio Symphony Orchestra, Bergen Philharmonic and Malmö Symphony Orchestra. Most recent festival performances included Sweden’s Båstad kammermusikfestival, and Røros Festival as a soloist with musicians from Berlin Philharmonic. Anna plays on a Gagliano from 1763, which is on loan to her from the Augustinus Foundation.
Born in 1986, Nora began playing violin at the age of six in her home town Baia Mare, and completed her musical education in Bucharest (Romania) and Cologne (Germany) where she received the “Erasmus” award at the Musikhochschule Köln with Prof. Mihaela Martin.
Currently Nora lives in Germany and is playing in the Academy of the Staatskapelle Berlin. She is also a member of the International Mahler Orchestra both as an orchestra player, as well as a regular member of their chamber music concert series. Nora has won many awards in national and international competitions, including the second Grand Prize at the “Remember Enescu” International Competition in 2003.. As a result she was invited to participate in that year's edition of iPalpiti Festival in Los Angeles, and has been an iPalpiti member since then, touring the USA, Slovenia, Austria and Israel, and performing at the Mozarteum Grosse Hall in Salzburg, Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles, and Carnegie Hall in New York.
Kreeta-Julia Heikkilä *
Violinist/FinlandKreeta-Julia Heikkilä’s Website
“Kreeta-Julia Heikkilä, through means of her technical ability and passionate playing, proved why she is one of the most interesting Finnish violinists of our time.” (HBL 6/2014)
Kreeta-Julia Heikkilä served as a concertmaster of the Danish National Chamber Orchestra and Vaasa City Orchestra in Finland. During this season she was guest concertmaster and a leader of London BBC Symphony Orchestra and Copenhagen Philharmonic Orchestra. Beginning in August 2015, Ms. Heikkila will assume the concertmaster post of the Oulu Symphony Orchestra in Finland, which includes Jan Sibelius in its historical roster of conductors. As a soloist, Heikkilä has played with orchestras and given concerts as a soloist and chamber musician across Europe, South-Korea, USA and Russia. In recent years, she has performed at many leading festivals: the Kuhmo Chamber Music Festival, KuruFest, the Helsinki Festival, the Riga New Music Festival, the Classica NordicBaltic Conference in Latvia, the Ecuentro de Musica de Santander in Spain, the iPalpiti Festival of International Laureates in Los Angeles, the Gumi International Music Festival in Korea, the Music Alp Music Weeks in France, the Harmos Festival in Portugal and the Lake District Summer Music Festival in the UK. She has been a prizewinner at numerous national and international competitions as well as winner of numerous awards, including the prestigious Pro Musica and Nordea Awards. Kreeta-Julia is also an artistic director, founder and a violinist in TEOS - Finnish Chamber Music Series in Helsinki and is currently a violinist in the Copenhagen-based Trio Nord (Jacob Shaw, cello and Kristoffer Nyholm Hyldig, piano). With the Finnish pianist Roope Gröndahl (Duo Teos) she has played concerts in Finland and abroad, concentrating in the repertoire of Finnish chamber music for violin and piano. Kreeta-Julia graduated with distinction from the London Royal College of Music in 2012 and from the Sibelius Academy in 2015, where she studied under Jan Repko, Tuomas Haapanen, Mi-Kuyng Lee and Päivyt Meller. Heikkilä plays an Andrea Guarneri (1680), kindly on loan from The Finnish Cultural Foundation.
Pablo Rapado Jambrina
Pablo Rapado Jambrina
The Spanish violinist was born in Zamora, Spain in a musical family. He began his violin studies at age six, with Jesus Ramos at Zamora Music Conservatory. At 14 years of age, and with many solo apperances done, he performed the Mendelssohn Violin Concerto with the Conservatory orchestra. Pablo continued at the Oviedo Superior Conservatory of Music, also studying baroque music with Zeljko Haliti, performing regularly as a soloist. During his musical studies, he performed with numerous Spanish and French orchestras, and took part in numerous violin and chamber music master classes with eminent violinists, more recently with Albert and Alexander Markov. In 2006, he was awarded First Prize with honours in Paris, and in 2008 received Cum Laude Bachelor degree from the Maastricht National Conservatory of Music, Holland with teacher Robert Szreder.
Double-laureate of the Sarasate International Violin Competition, Pablo performed as a soloist in the Berlin Konzerthaus with the JOSPA orchestra, in chamber ensembles with Albert and Alexander Markov at the Cordes et Pics Festival (France), and made his recital debuts in Paris in 2008 with pianist Christie Julien. In New York Pablo performed at Merkin Hall (Lincoln Center), WPM Concert Hall, Bargemusic, etc. Pablo began to teach in Spain in 2004, and from 2006 in France, also invited as a teacher at the Cordes et Pics Festival. In orchestral experiences from 2004-2011, Pablo has played at Navarra Symphony, Granada Symphony, Orchestra Les Arts (Valencia) under maestri Zubin Metha, Lorin Maazel, Lopez Cobos, among others. Nowadays he leads Premium Symphony Orchestra in Spain, also keeping residency in Brussels, Belgium, and touring. In 2014 Pablo has won first violin leading position in the WDR Rundfunkorchester Köln.
Noco Kawamura was born in Morioka, Japan. She started playing violin at the age of four, and received a Winner’s Medal at the Children’s Competition of Japan at ten. Noco studied at the famous Toho Gakuen School of Music from 1998 to 2001 with Professor Kyoko Suzuki and continued at Toho Gakuen University in Tokyo where she received her Bachelor's degree in 2005. She was selected as a soloist for the Graduation Concert, named Yomiuri New Young Artist in Tokyo and awarded Meiji Yasuda Quality of Life Scholarship. During her studies at the Toho, she had numerous chamber music classes with the Tokyo Quartet. After the graduation, Noco worked as a first violin player in the professional orchestras: New Japan Phiharmonic Orchestra and Tokyo Philharmony Orchestra, performing in concerts under eminent conductors such as Lorin Maazel and Myung-whun Chung. In 2007 she performed as a soloist with orchestras across Japan. In her participation of Mozarteum Summerakademie in Salzburg, she met Professor Eduard Schmieder, and moved to USA to study with him at the SMU’ Meadows School of Arts in Dallas in the Artist Certificate Program, and followed him to Temple University in Philadelphia where she received her Master's degree. As a soloist and chamber musician Nobuko has performed in Switzerland, France, Germany, and Japan, including music festivals such as Figeac Chamber Music Festival in France, Kusatsu and Hakuba in Japan, Lenk in Switzerland, Baden-Baden in Germany, and Lake George Music Festival.
She was invited to join iPalpiti in 2008, and has been playing in its Los Angeles festivals and east coast. As a member of iPalpiti orchestral ensemble of international laureates she performed in prestigious concert halls including Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles and Carnegie Hall in New York. She formed piano "Primavera Trio" in 2011 and since, has been touring throughout Japan; its 2013 concert was broadcast and received great attention from the media. The trio released debut CD album "Chapel Concert" in 2014, and in May 2015 was invited to perform in the largest music festival in Japan "La Folle Journee au Japon - Area Concert". Noco actively performs in solo recitals and ensembles in Japan and USA, including Philadelphia Virtuosi Chamber Orchestra.
Born in Omsk, Russia in a family of musicians, Alexandr began to play the violin at the age of five with professor Muralev, an Honored Artist of the Russian Federation and the concertmaster of the Omsk Symphony Orchestra. Winner of a number of national and international competitions, including First Prize at the Jyvaskyla International Competition 2011 in Finland, and numerous awards from prestigious Russian organizations, he concertized throughout Russia as a soloist with chamber and symphony orchestras. In 2009, Alexandr toured Finland as a member of a Novosibirsk “Bright Bows” ensemble, and was assistant concertmaster of the International Symphony Orchestra that took part in an International Forum Russia-Asia in Indonesia in 2011 and in Thailand in 2012. That same year he graduated cum laude from Novosibirsk Conservatory (under Professor Marina Kuzina-Koifman) where he was a concertmaster of the Symphony Orchestra from 2009. He participated and performed at the summer festivals, including Mozarteum International Summer Academy in Salzburg.
Prior to his arrival to the United States, he was a leader of a string quartet which premiered compositions of contemporary Russian composers. Currently, Alexander attending Temple University’ Center of the Arts, continuing his violin studies with Professor Schmieder. Alexander is a concertmaster of the Temple University Symphony Orchestra, and performs in chamber and solo music recitals in the Philadelphia area.
Akhmed 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 currently works toward his MM as a second major in viola. He plays at Symphony in C and New Jersey Capital Philharmonic Orchestra.
Yury Revich *
Violinist/AustriaYury Revich's website
Young Artist of the Year 2015 by the International Classical Music Awards, at only 23 years of age, Yury Revich already is a very mature and serious artist. He is one of the most expressive musicians of his generation and is based in Vienna, Austria.
Whenever he is not at performances in all corners of the world – in 2009, he played his debut at Carnegie Hall and in 2013 at La Scala, Milan, he has performed at the Berlin Konzerthaus, Vienna Musikverein, Vienna Konzerthaus, Laeiszhalle in Hamburg, Metropolitan Art Space Tokyo, Tchaikovsky Concert Hall, Cadogan Hall London as well as the Preston Bradley Hall in Chicago and many others, and can be heard at many international festivals – Yury tries to use his music for charitable events.
Together with the European-Russian Society for International Cooperation, where Yury functions as Artistic Director, he organized a concert in Vienna in 2011 for the victims of the tsunami in Japan. Additionally, he collaborates with the organisation „Kleine Herzen“ that helps Russian and Ukranian children.
He records for Sony Classical, ARS, Odradek and OnePointFM , WDR, BR, Radio France, among many other European and American radio and television networks.
Irakli has been Concertmaster of the Georgian Chamber Orchestra since 2013. Georgian Chamber Orchestra has been calling Ingolstadt home since 1990 when Audi and the city of Ingolstadt teamed up to offer the Tbilisi musicians a new home in the heart of Bavaria. The company and orchestra have been inextricably linked ever since.
Born into a musical family in Tbilisi, Georgia, Irakli’s first music training started with Tamaz Batiaschwili and Konstantin Vardeli – both members of the Georgian State Quartet. Since the age of eight he received regular lessons with Galina Turchaninova in Moscow and Germany, who also was the first teacher of Maxim Vengerov.
At 13, Irakli was accepted as a student at the Munich Conservatory, where he also attended the master classes of Alexander Brussilovsky, Boris Garlitzky, Felix Andrievsky and Victor Tretjakov. In 2002 he continued his studies with Professor Victor Tretjakov at the “Hochschule für Musik Köln” (Cologne). First Prize winner at the music competition “Jugend musiziert” in Germany, he received diplomas in the Louis-Spohr International Violin Competition in Weimar (1999) and at the Paganini International Competition in Moscow (2006), and the 2nd prize at the International Violin Competition Valsesia Musica in Italy (2008). Irakli was awarded with a Giovanni Paolo Maggini violin of the 17th century as a competition winner in the instrumental foundation of the “Hochschule für Musik Köln” that gives young musicians an opportunity to perform on high quality instruments.
In 2007 he recorded a CD of Four Seasons by Astor Piazolla released by Sony BMG, performing as a soloist with “Kölner Klassik Ensemble.” Irakli is performing as a soloist and in chamber music with eminent musicians and conductors. His concert performances of Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto, Introduction and Rondo Capriccioso by Saint-Saëns, Zigeunerweisen by Sarasate and the Four Seasons by Astor Piazolla were recorded for Radio and Television and broadcast on ARD, SWR, BR (Bayerischer Rundfunk), and in Tbilisi, Georgia. He was selected to join iPalpiti in 2010. In 2012, he was a selected Prizewinner among ten from 1003 participants at the Mozarteum Summer Academy Salzburg, and concluded the finale concert of the Salzburg Festspiele.
Born in Oakland, California, Joseph began his violin studies at the age of 5. 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.
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 out to only one exceptional student. Winner of the 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 the Wayne Pennsylvania, a suburb of Philadelphia. As a chamber musician – both violinist and violist - Kauffman was featured live on the classical radio in Los Angeles and Philadelphia. In 2008, Kauffman was accepted into the international class of Prof. Eduard Schmieder in master’s degree program at Temple University, which he completed in 2011 with the distinction, and 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. He has performed on major concert stages including Disney Hall, Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, the Kimmel Center, and the Kennedy Center, amongst 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.
Midori Maruyama *
Midori Maruyama 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.
Since 2010 Midori continues her studies at Scuola di musica di Fiesole in Italy with Antonello Farulli and Felice Cusano as a scholarship student in Corso di Perfezionamento. In 2011, she was awarded the “Grand Prix d’Honneu” at the Concours International de Musique Léopold Bellan in Paris, France, with piano quintet, followed with the invitation to perform at the “Julita Music Festival” in Sweden. As a soloist, Midori received First Prize at the 4th Concorso Musicale Europea Città di Filadelfia and 10th International Music Competition Premio Vittoria Caffa Righetti in 2012.
In 2013, as a member of chamber music ensemble in duo, Midori received First Prize at Concorso Internazione di Musica “Euterpe” di Corato and VII Concorso Internazionale di Musica da Camera Città di Chieti. She participated in master class of Jürgen Kussmaul and in summer course of Jurij Bashmet at the Accademia Chigiana in Siena. As Mozarteum Summerakademie "praistreger", Midori performed in prestigious concert halls in Salzburg Festspiele. Beginning 2014 season, she is a leading violist at The Hyogo Performing Arts Center Orchestra,Japan.
Born in 1987, Ankara, Turkey, is a member of Eskisehir Greater Municipality Symphony Orchestra. His M.A.in Viola is from Lausanne Conservatory (Bruno Pasquier’s class) and B.M. in Viola from Bilkent University Faculty of Music and Performing Arts, where he has been awarded with 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 2005- 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 in summer 2008, as the Principal Viola in the Greek-Turkish Youth Orchestra, conducted by Vladimir Ashkenazy.
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, Cyprus and 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.
A prizewinning violist, Adelya’s numerous awards include First Prizes at the Andrey Korsakov International Music Competition, Eugen Coca International Music Competition, All Russian International competition, and a First Prize and special prize for the best performance of a commissioned work at the International J.S. Bach Competition. Named Fellow of the Art Ministry of Russia and Russian Performing Art Foundation (2003-2006), Adelya has performed in Moscow, Saint Petersburg, Sochi, her native Kazan, and throughout other large cities in Russia. Selected as a principal violist of numerous youth international orchestras under direction of prominent conductors, Adelya has been working professionally in the Kazan State Chamber Orchestra “La Primavera” and the Kazan State Symphony Orchestra. Adelya was selected to join iPalpiti for its east coast residency in 2009, and has since performed as an orchestra member and soloist in concerts throughout America, including the Kimmel Center in Philadelphia, Carnegie Hall in New York, and Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles.
A graduate of the Kazan State Conservatoire, she has been studying in the United States since 2009 in the international studio of Professor Eduard Schmieder of Temple University’s Boyer College of Music, where she received an Artist Diploma, Bachelor’s, and Master's degrees. In 2014, Adelya received her DMA from Temple University where she worked with Professor Daniel Avshalomov, violist of the eminent American String Quartet. She is a member of the Philadelphia Chamber Orchestra and Philadelphia Virtuosi.
Originally from Appleton, Wisconsin, LARS HOEFS is currently professor of cello and music history at Sao Paulo State University in Campinas (UNICAMP), consistently ranked the 2nd or 3rd best university in Latin America.
In Brazil Lars has performed as soloist with orchestras in Barra Mansa, Campinas, Campos do Jordao, Manaus, Rio de Janeiro, Salvador, and Sorocaba, and has been a frequent guest at the Rio International Cello Encounters and Festival Virtuosi in Recife. With pianist and Polish Music Center director Marek Zebrowski, Lars has concertized in New York, London, France, Italy, Prague, and across Poland and the Ukraine. As cellist of the Blue Rose Trio Lars performed in Jerusalem, Shanghai, and Hong Kong; and as a member of the California Quartet he collaborated in residencies with composers including William Bolcom and Michael Daugherty.
Lars has established himself as a leading expert on the cello repertoire of Brazilian composer Heitor Villa-Lobos. Formerly assistant principal cello of the Orquestra Sinfonica Brasileira in Rio de Janeiro, Lars was invited to perform the complete works for cello and piano of Villa-Lobos in 2012 for the 50th annual Festival Villa-Lobos at the Villa-Lobos Museum in Rio. Recently he was the first cellist ever to perform the complete works for cello and orchestra of Villa-Lobos together in one program. Currently, he is planning a Villa-Lobos festival for 2015 in conjunction with the University of California, Riverside.
He received his high school diploma from the North Carolina School of the Arts, a Bachelor of Music degree from Northwestern University studying with Hans Jorgen Jensen, and Master of Music and Doctorate of Musical Arts degrees from the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, studying with Piatigorsky Chair and former LA Philharmonic principal cellist Ronald Leonard. Lars joined 2011 joined iPalpiti orchestra on its tour to Israel, and performed in numerous concerts.
Francisco Vila *
Francisco Vila began playing the cello at age 8 and had his solo debut with orchestra at 14. Having concertized throughout Europe, North and South America, Vila has been described as “…an exceptionally talented young cellist and musician. He is heading for an important place in the world of music.” (Janos Starker, cellist)
As chamber musician Mr. Vila has collaborated with Nobuko Imai, Zakhar Bron, Gary Hoffman, Wolfram Christ, Martin Chalifour, Michel Arrignon, and others. As soloist he has appeared with the Liège Royal Philharmonic, Royal Chamber Orchestra of Wallonia, Bolivia Clásica Youth Orchestra, Santander Festival Orchestra, and Indiana University Philharmonic. He has been a guest artist at the Beaumaris International Music Festival, Santander Music Festival, Stavelot Music Festival among others, Carnegie Hall with the New York String Orchestra directed by Jaime Laredo, Japan's Phoenix Hall at the invitation of Nobuko Imai, and Weill Hall at Carnegie Hall with Apostolos Paraskevas in a performance of the composer/guitarist’s modern works.
As iPalpiti artist since 2010, he performed at Zankel Carnegie Hall, Philadelphia’s Kimmel Center, Walt Disney Concert Hall, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art in a radio broadcasted recital celebrating the bicentennial anniversary of F. Chopin.
Francisco’s principal teachers include Janos Starker, Sharon Robinson and Gary Hoffman, and chamber music with Menahem Pressler at Indiana University, where he was also the first-prize winner of the ’09 -’10 concerto competition.
He is a co-director of the International Music Festival of Esmeraldas (Ecuador) – supported by a grant from iPalpiti Artists International -- an initiative to bring high-level musical performances and masterclasses free of charge to the region. In its first season 2015, iPalpiti alumnus violinist Daniel Austrich was among international guest artists.
Upcoming engagements include concerts as soloist and in the chamber music setting in Boston, concerts in Havana (Cuba), Mexico, Colombia, and Ecuador with Macondo Chamber Players and recitals with pianist Maria João Pires. Vila performs on a fine 1790 Vincenzo Panormo cello on generous loan from the Saul B. and Naomi R. Cohen Foundation as well as the “ex-Janos Starker” E. Tubbs bow.
Cellist/UK-DenmarkJacob Shaw's website
Award winning British cellist Jacob Shaw (b.1988) has given acclaimed concerts across Europe, USA and Asia, establishing himself as one of the most prominent young soloists based in Scandinavia. "Music Ambassador" for Dulwich College International and highly dedicated to helping and promoting young talents in his own field, Jacob also supports the next generation of musicians.
Called as “the cellist to follow” (Resmusica, 2014) - his unique program ideas, original style, and enthusiasm have gained huge support and admiration as a performer from the public and professional colleagues alike. Exploring the boundaries of what is possible on his instrument, he often collaborates with folk, indie, electronic and jazz musicians. This season he had two debuts in New York that reflected his eclectic styles, in Carnegie Hall (classical recital with piano) and in the Apollo Theatre (electric cello with works of Nico Muhly and improvisation with traditional singers from Tahiti).
During his studies in London, Paris, Augsburg and Copenhagen, Jacob became a laureate of numerous national and international competitions, and since has performed in some of the world’s prestigious stages such as Carnegie Hall, Guangzhou Opera House, Oslo Concert House, Salle Cortot, Copenhagen Radio House, etc. He has premiered pieces by composers such as Sofia Gubaidulina, Sir John Taverner, Frangis Ali-Sade and Haflidi Hallgrimsson.
A passionate chamber musician, he regularly plays in esteemed festivals such as Lockenhaus Festival, Gstaad, Sommets-du-Classique, iPalpiti and is the co-founder and artistic director of the Festival International de Musique de Chambre en Charente (www.chalaismusique.com
His debut 2 CD album will be released this summer by GPR records and he can be heard regularly on radio throughout Europe, Asia and the USA. More information at www.jacobshaw.de or on social media @jacobshawcellist.
"... Exceptional musical expression and maturity..." —The Strad
Winner of important international competitions such as the Grand Prix Emanuel Feuermann at the Berlin Philharmonic (2006), Domnick Cello Prize International Competition (2001), Georges Prêtre International Competition in Douai (2003), Giorgi also was awarded Third Prizes and Special Prize at the Pablo Casals International Competition in Germany (2004) and the Rostropovich Competition in 2005.
Born into a musical family in 1984 in Tbilisi (Georgia), Giorgi Kharadze began playing the cello at the age of six and was admitted to the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique in Paris at the age of fifteen, where he was tutored by Roland Pidoux and Xavier Phillips, graduating with distinction in 2003. A winner of the Natexis Foundation in France, the Concertante Foundation in Italy, and of the Langraf von Hessen-Prize awarded by the Kronberg Academy in Germany, where he received instruction from Frans Helmerson, Giorgi can regularly be heard on radio and television programmes in those countries.
Giorgi Kharadze now plays on stages such as the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, the Hague Theatre in the Netherlands, the Czech Philharmonic in Prague, the Slovak Philharmonic in Bratislava, the Estonia Theatre in Tallinn, the Lithuanian Philharmonic in Vilnius, the Riga Philharmonic, the Hôtel National des Invalides in Paris and others. He has played with ensembles such as the Orchestra of the Republican Guard, the Frankfurt Sinfonietta, the Potsdam Kammerakademie, where the press gave a rapturous reception to his performance of Variations on a Rococo Theme by Tchaikovsky.
Recent performances included solo with Gidon Kremer’s Kremerata Chamber Orchestra in Poland and Germany, with upcoming solo engagements with the Staatskapelle Weimar, the Beethovenorchester Bonn, the Orchestra Ensemble Kanazawa, the KBS Symphony Orchestra and more. He will also appear at the Périgord Noir Festival and in the Auditorium du Louvre. Chamber music is a passion that he shares with luminaries such as Yuri Bashmet, Gidon Kremer, Menahem Pressler and Roland Pidoux, and with young artists such as Fanny Clamagirand, Julien Gernay. His current discography includes a recording of Pezzo Capriccioso, op. 62 by Tchaikovsky and Cello Concerto by Vasha Azarashvili with the Kremerata Chamber Orchestra on the “Kronberg Academy – the Vision” label.
Republic of South Africa
Bassist/Republic of South Africa
South African bassist Mariechen Meyer was born in Bloemfontein, South Africa in 1989. She started her double bass studies with Peter Guy in Bloemfontein, and graduated Cum Laude from the University of Stellenbosch in 2011 on the string scholarship under the Dutch pedagogue and performer, Roxane Steffen. From a young age she was appointed principal bassist of several orchestras such as the National Youth Symphony Orchestra of South Africa, the World Youth Symphony Orchestra in USA, and the University of North Texas Symphony Orchestra. Mariechen has been invited to numerous international chamber festivals, among which are the International Chamber Festival in Stellenbosch (South Africa), MUSICA MUNDI International Chamber Music Course and Festival for Young Musicians in Belgium, the Stift Festival in The Netherlands, and the Interlochen Summer Camp in Michigan, USA, where she worked with Leon Bosch, Lawrence Hurst, Jack Budrow and Zoran Markovic. As a soloist Mariechen has performed with the Johannesburg Symphony Orchestra (2004) and the Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra (2008).
Currently, Mariechen pursuing her Doctoral Degree at the University of North Texas in Denton, where she also completed her Master’s Degree, studying with the world-renown double bass pedagogue and soloist Jeff Bradetich. In 2013 she was a winner of the University of North Texas Concerto Competition, second prize winner of the Mid-Texas Symphony Solo Competition and a semi-finalist in the prestigious solo competition if the International Society of Bassists. She plays on a modern Rumano Solano bass, owned by Gudrun Raschen. This is her third season with iPalpiti.
Svetlana Smolina *
Piano/Russia-Belgium-USASvetlana Smolina's website
“Music is the most amazing gift a human being can have, and I pour all my feelings into each piece I perform.”
Svetlana, born in Nizhny Novgorod, Russia, has performed with orchestras and in recitals worldwide. Notable solo appearances with orchestras include Mariinsky Orchestra at Carnegie Hall, New York Philharmonic at Avery Fischer, St. Petersburg Philharmonic, Orchestra National de France, Pittsburgh Symphony, and many others.
A frequent guest at festivals worldwide, Ms. Smolina performances included Salzburg Festival, Hollywood Bowl Festival in Los Angeles, Ravinia Rising Stars Festival in Chicago, White Nights Festival in St. Petersburg, Maggio Musicale in Florence, Rotterdam Phillips Gergiev Festival in Holland, International Gilmore Keyboard Festival, Hennessy Artists Series at Hanoi Opera House, Vietnam.
As recitalist she appeared in prestigious halls such as Royal Covent Garden Opera, Mariinsky 3 Concert Hall, Tchaikovsky Moscow Conservatory Hall, Kravis Center in West Palm Beach, Lincoln Theater in Miami, Gulbenkian Foundation in Lisbon, Grand Artists Series in Tel-Aviv, Academia Santa Cecilia in Rome, Vienna’s Sacher Hall, and many others.
Recordings and broadcasts include Stravinsky’s Les Noces (Valery Gergiev, conductor on Decca/Phillips and on Mariinsky Label which received ICMA award for Best Choral Work in 2011), a recording of solo works for the Chopin Project, a recital with violinist Vadim Repin for Deutsche Grammophone in Berlin and broadcasts for NPR, BBC, PBS, RAI, Cultura TV and other networks.
Recipient of the “New Names” Scholarship program in Russia, Svetlana has been a prizewinner of many international piano competitions, as well as Murray Dranoff International Duo Piano Competition (with Maxim Mogilevsky) in Miami, a triumph which has been echoed many times in distinguished prizes and awards.
DMA graduate from the University of Michigan, Svetlana received her BM from the Oberlin Conservatory of Music, M.M. from the College of Musical Arts at Bowling Green State University. Her principal teachers include Alexander Toradze, Arthur Greene, Natalia Fisch, Evgeny Mogilevsky, Monique Duphil. In the summer of 2011 Svetlana joined iPalpiti Festival of International Laureates in Los Angeles, making her debut at Walt Disney Concert Hall with iPalpiti Orchestra (Eduard Schmieder, conductor) and since, has been returning to iPalpiti festivals in solo and chamber concerts, and playing series of recitals in San Diego, Los Angeles, and Orange Counties in California.
Svetlana Smolina was the Samuel Barber Artist -In-Residence at West Chester University of Pennsylvania's School of Music, and is a member of the piano faculty at Philadelphia International Summer Festival. Her current projects include recording a solo album at Cove City Sound Studios; the recording of Martin Matalon works for Naxos; the soundtrack for the upcoming film “You are Not You” starring Hilary Swank; and a tour of China with the Russian European Orchestra in 2014. This season she performed to critical acclaim in a duo with famed violinist Vadim Repin (iPalpiti’ Artistic Advisor) at Kroener Hall in Toronto.
Christopher Garcia is a critically acclaimed performing, improvising composer who has made a career in some of the most musically creative situations possible with over 1200 performances in 28 countries on 5 continents, either on Western drumset, percussion of North and South India, percussion of indigenous Mexico, Meso America or his own unique percussion configuration called EL MONSTRO which contains instruments from all of the above all within arms reach.
"Christopher Garcia is one of those musicians who always seems to be on stage when amazing things are happening."
—Long Beach Post
"a most uncommon percussionist...Christopher is an ace trap drum player and is known for precise execution of difficult time signatures at blazing tempos; and a hand percussionist with a deep background in Indian and Latin American music. No mere timekeeper, he always seems to elevate whatever musical situation he finds himself in."
He composes, records, and tours with several of his own imaginative groups - ANADIS MUSIC, CONTINUUM, IN FLUX ENSEMBLE, MA/GARCIA/MANRING, MEZCLA MUZIC, QUARTETO NUEVO, and TADIC/MANRING/GARCIA, and has received commissions from several different artists - woodwind quintet QUINTETO LATINO, harpist Tasha Smith Godinez, as well as collaborations with Jxel Rajchenberg, Jie Ma, Michael Manring and many more.
Christopher humbly and gratefully acknowledges his mentor John Bergamo from California Institute of the Arts, and his tabla teachers Pandit Taranath Rao, Leonice Shinemann, and Swapan Chaudhuri for teaching him the skills and tools needed to transcend his limitations...............
*iPalpiti Soloists in Encinitas
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