Meet the Artists 2016
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 from 2012. 2016 the piano trio released a CD of compositions by Robert Kahn, a wonderful discovery of romantic music in style of Johannes Brahms. 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. 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 20 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
Violinist/Italy"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.
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.
Born 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 and is a presenter of master classes in Canada, the United States, and Asia.
Annelle is a Laureate of the 2013 Stradivarius International Violin Competition and the 2016 National Sphinx Competition as well as 1st prize winner of the 2016 American Protégé International Concerto Competition and Gold Medalist of the 2012 National NAACP ACT-SO competition. In 2010, as part of a national tour, she performed at Carnegie Hall as a 1st violinist of the Sphinx Virtuosi and recorded with the ensemble on their debut album, “Sphinx Virtuosi: Live in Concert.” In 2014, Gregory released a CD with pianist Alexander Sinchuk, “Annelle K. Gregory & Alexander Sinchuk: Grieg, Mozart, Szymanowski” and in 2015 recorded with organist Carol Williams on her CD, "Just Carol - Compositions." Winner of numerous 1st prizes in state and local competitions, Annelle appeared as a soloist with San Diego Symphony, California Chamber Orchestra, and many other orchestras. She was awarded the 2014 Glenn Dicterow Music Scholarship, has received scholarships from the League of Allied Arts and the Musical Merit Foundation, and has been supported in part by a Sphinx MPower Artist Grant. From 2012-2015, Gregory was concertmaster and a featured soloist for the California International Music Festival Orchestra and served as Asst. Concertmaster for the 2013 World Youth Chamber Orchestra tour. She has been featured on BBC Radio, American Public Media radio, KUSC radio, German Television, Detroit Public Television, and XLNC1 radio and has performed at numerous venues abroad including in Russia, Germany, and Portugal, as well as throughout the United States. Gregory currently studies under former New York Philharmonic concertmaster Glenn Dicterow. Her previous teachers include Michael and Irina Tseitlin. She also performs on viola and has played piano since age 4. She has played drumset, guitar, and bass guitar and composes music in a variety of styles from classical to rock. Gregory has studied and performed tap, jazz, flamenco, and Japanese classical dance. In her spare time, she enjoys reading Russian classics.
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. 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. Currently Nora lives in Germany and is playing in the Academy of the Staatskapelle Berlin, this season touring Japan and China under Daniel Barenboim.
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.
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, Oulu Symphony and Vaasa City Orchestra in Finland. During this season she was guest concertmaster of London BBC Symphony Orchestra, Arctic Symphony Orchestra and iPalpiti Orchestra. 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, Oulu Music Festival, Riihimäki Summer Concerts, Rauma Festivo, PianoEspoo and the Helsinki Festival in Finland, the Riga New Music Festival and the Classica NordicBaltic Conference in Latvia, the Ecuentro de Musica de Santander in Spain, Festival International De Musique De Chambre En Charente and the Music Alp Music Weeks in France, the iPalpiti Festival of International Laureates in Los Angeles, the Gumi International Music Festival in Korea, 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.
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.
Haoyue was born in Guiyang, Guizhou Province, China. In 2002 she was admitted to Central China University with the first high honor prize where she studied from Prof. Pen Shuzhi. From 2004-2008, she continued with Prof. Maighread Maccrann, first concertmaster from Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra, at Graz Music University, Austria. After receiving Bachelor Degree, Haoyue enrolled in chamber music master program in Graz and in the Violin Solo performance at Salzburg Mozateum at the same time, receiving Master’s Degree from both schools ( 2011 and 2013 respectively). During the years of studies she has consecutively won four annual scholarships of Graz Music University and the annual scholarship of Salzburg Music University with honor, and performed as soloist and chamber musician in many countries such as the United States, Israel, Germany, France, the Czech Republic, Slovenia, Cyprus, Italy and Austria, etc. In 2007 TRENTA FORUM sponsored by Vienna Philharmonic for outstanding young musiciansshe had her first solo performance at the famous Golden Hall of Vienna, and in 2008 -2009 was invited again by Vienna Philharmonic to perform in well-known Salzburg Music Festival. Haoyue has performed with many orchestras as a soloist and first violinist in Austria, Spain, Germany, and Czech Republic, including 2011 - 2013 featured soloist with Wien Klang Sinfonietta, touring more than 10 cities in China. She has been awarded the “Mature/excellent musician” by the Italian IBLA Foundation, 2nd prize of Young Talents in Italian IMPERIA, and the Audience Prize for “the best presentation of performance” at the MORITZBURG music festival in Dresden. Since 2013 Haoyue holds principal send violin position at Guiyang symphony China, and performed as soloist in “the Paste and the Voice” violin and piano concerto. “Music is life”- is her constant power on the road of pursuit of music. Her musical goal is to convey the most natural sound to all of people by the violin, “the queen of instrumental kingdom”.
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. Alexandr received his Master’s from Temple University’ Center of the Arts, where he studied with Professor Schmieder (2012-2016), and served as a concertmaster of the Temple University Symphony Orchestra. He performs in chamber and solo music recitals in the Philadelphia area. His interests include photography and he is also a certified personal trainer.
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. Together with a iPalpiti alumnus cellist Yoni Draiblate, he has founded MUSIC TRANSFORMS concert series in Philadelphia.
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.
As a member of the elite ensemble, Aldeburgh Strings, Julia performs concerts regularly in London and Snape England, with a most recent recording released on Signum Classics. Julia has served as principal violist in numerous international orchestras and has performed frequently in Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall with The New York String Orchestra Seminar, the Yale Philharmonia among other groups. As a soloist, Julia has performed with the Cleveland Institute of Music orchestra as a winner of the concerto competition, and other ensembles. In 2014, Julia held solo viola chair of Krzysztof Penderecki’s festival orchestra, working closely with the composer/conductor and toured Germany and Poland. Other engagements as principal violist have included the Britten-Pears Orchestra, Yale Philharmonia, Sarasota Festival Orchestra, Citymusic Cleveland, Moritzburg Festival orchestra, and Lorin Maazel’s Castleton Orchestra. Julia began playing viola in her hometown, Shoreham NY, and continued at Juilliard Pre-College with Heidi Castleman. Equally committed to academics, Julia pursued a B.A. in Medical Anthropology from Case Western Reserve University, graduating Magna Cum Laude, while simultaneously working toward B.M. at the Cleveland Institute of Music where she studied with Jeffrey Irvine and Robert Vernon. Currently, she is a graduate fellowship student of Ettore Causa at Yale University. Her 2015 engagements included the Perlman Music Program, the Britten-Pears Orchestra once again as principal violist, the Norfolk Chamber Music Festival, the Menuhin Academy in Gstaad Switzerland, and in the Aldeburgh Classical-Contemporary Connections Chamber Music Festival. She will be performing in the New York Philharmonic’s 2016 Biennial of New Music in May.
Graduate of The Buchmann-Mehta School of music at the Tel-Aviv University, the Hochschule für Musik in Köln, and the Mozarteum University, Salzburg, working, among others, with Professors Hillel Zori and Clemens Hagen, Ofer received regular guidance from his mentor Professor Uzi Wiesel. Ofer performed as a soloist with many orchestras around the world such as the Deutsche Kammerakademie Neuss, the Jeaner Philharmonie, Georgische Kammerorchester Ingolstadt, Moscow Chamber Orchestra, and the Haifa Symphony. His Debut Recital in the Carnegie Hall New York took place in February 2010. Ofer is regularly invited to teach and perform in many concerts, recitals and festivals around Europe and Israel, where he had the opportunities to collaborate with numerous appreciated musicians such as Howard Klug, Rudolf Koelman, Ida Bieler, Ludwig Mueller, Tomer Lev, James Maddox, Vladimir Ivanov, Boris Giltburg and many others. In 2015 Ofer joined the "Aviv" quartet for concert tours around Israel and Europe including concerts in the "Gaia Festival" Switzerland and the Wigmore Hall in London. Prize winner of the “Bucchi” International Competition for Cello playing in the 20th-21st centuries, Rome, 2011. the "Enerico Mainardi Competition," Salzburg 2012, the Buchman-Mehta school of music competitions in the Solo instrument and Chamber music categories as well as special prizes in the "Allegro Vivo" festival in Austria, and the "Paul Ben-Haim" competition in Israel, Ofer is a Winner with Excellence of the American-Israel Cultural Foundation. A founding member of the "Testore Quartet" and the "Testore Ensemble," this ensembles won several prizes and have had the opportunities to perform in many festivals and concert venues such as the Arnold Schoenberg Center, Vienna and the ORF RadioKulturhaus, Vienna, the "35th Musical evenings of Piran," the "Tartini Festival" in Slovenia, and in the 2nd "Salzburg Chamber Music Festival". In 2014 Ofer was one of the principal cellists of the Jenaer Philharmonie, Germany; since 2010, Ofer is a Principal Cellist of the "Salzburg Chamber Soloists". As part of his artistic values Ofer puts emphasis on performing and recording Israeli compositions such as the full Cello repertoire by Paul Ben-Haim, "Kaddish" by M. Kopytman and "Confession" by N. Sheriff.
Celebrated for his versatility, charisma, and directness of communication, Scandinavian cellist Carl-Oscar Østerlind enjoys a career as a soloist and chamber musician. Praised for his “incredible presence” in the Danish newspaper Politiken, Carl-Oscar Østerlind’s qualities have been recognized with many awards. First Prize winner of the Danish String Soloist Competition and a top prizewinner in Sweden's prestigious Ljunggrenska Competition, Carl-Oscar Østerlind appeared as a soloist and chamber musician at festivals such as Ravinia Festival’s Steans Music Institute, Piatigorsky Cello Festival, Verbier Festival, Prussia Cove Open Chamber Music, Copenhagen Chamber Music Festival and Bergen Festspillene. As a soloist he performed with orchestras in Denmark, Sweden, USA and Mexico. Since his early achievements of winning the Jury´s Special Prize in the Danish-Swedish Øresund Soloist Competition, Carl-Oscar Østerlind received many prizes and awards in Sweden, Norway, and Netherlands. As a chamber musician, he won the Danish Broadcasting Chamber Music Competition, The Netherlands Charles Hennen Competition and Trondheim String Quartet Competition in Norway. For the recordings of the complete String Quartets by Carl Nielsen for DACAPO, Mr. Østerlind co-received a Danish Music Award. Mr. Østerlind is a member of Ensemble Mutatis, Northern Lights Ensemble and the Sheridan Piano Trio. He worked as a solo cellist in the Danish Chamber Players, Esbjerg Ensemble and Ensemble MidtVest, and as a principal cellist in Copenhagen Philharmonic, Helsingborg Symphony Orchestras. Mr. Østerlind studied at University of Southern California in Los Angeles with Ralph Kirshbaum, Royal Academy/Edsberg Institute in Stockholm with Torleif Thedeen, and at the Royal Danish Academy of Music in Copenhagen with Morten Zeuthen. Furthermore, he received guidance from Frans Helmerson in Piteå and Hans-Jørgen Jensen in Chicago. Mr. Østerlind currently plays a 1703 Giovanni Grancino cello, on generous loan from the Augustinus Foundation.
Cellist/Georgia-Germany"... 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.
Graduate of the famed Moscow Tchaikovsky State Conservatory in May 2012, Georgy moved to Italy to study with Giovanni Sollima and earned a diploma of “Master of Cello” at Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia in December 2015. He performs at major festivals and venues worldwide along/and with such world-renowned musicians and actors such as Natalia Gutman, Giovanni Sollima, Enrico Dindo, Rocco Filippini, Monika Leskovar, Boris Andrianov, Eliso Virsaladze, Elsa Lila, Moni Ovadia and others. As a composer, among his recent projects there is a series of compositions for cello solo named The Traveler’s Diary (originally Breviario per Nomadi) that has been used as a background for various shows by the Italian national television RAI and a few films. His first solo (as a cellist and composer) album Cello Drive was sponsored by Thomastik-Infeld and will be released by UK label North2North in June 2016. Besides performing and writing music Georgy founded Association of young musicians “Creative Laboratory GOSH Projects” which is actively promoting the cultural exchange between Russian and Italian musicians organizing Italo-Russian master classes, lectures and workshops in Rome and in Moscow. He is a founder of the International Music Festival “Masters of Music” held each year in Moscow since 2013. In Los Angeles, Georgy had the chance to work with two Grammy Awards winner composer Walter Afanasieff. He plays a cello by Ernst Liebich (Breslau, 1890) . “…amazed by his talent, creativity and technique as well as his ability to passionately connect with and communicate through his Cello. We decided to take him on board as one of our endorsers for our new Versum Cello Strings" - Zdenka Infeld CEO Thomastik-Infeld Vienna. After two years of successful collaboration with the organization NAMM show, in 2016 Georgy was chosen as an official artist who represents NAMM show in Classical section.
Hailing from Brooklyn, New York, Levi Jones holds a Bachelor of Music from Juilliard School and a Master’s Degree from the Yale School of Music. His principal teachers were Albert Laszlo, Homer Mensch, and Donald Palma. Levi participated and performed in many festivals, including Britten Pears in UK, L’Academie Domaine Forget in Canada, and Aspen in the USA. An enthusiastic player of new music, he has worked with such living composers as Georg Friedrich Haas, Anthony Cheung, Morton Subotnick, and Charles Wuorinen, most recently recording Wuorinen’s cantata It Happens Like This for Nonesuch Records. Levi has been a part of the New York Philharmonic Biennial, the Guggenheim’s Works and Process Series, the Helsinki Festival (Finland), and Alice Tully Hall’s White Lights Festival, and has performed in the Axiom and the New Juilliard Ensembles. As an orchestral musician, Levi has performed at the Aspen Music Festival as a fellowship recipient, the Aldeburgh Festival (UK), with the New World Symphony, and with both the Juilliard Orchestra and Juilliard Chamber Orchestra, performing under such conductors as Valery Gergiev and Robert Spano. While at Juilliard, Levi was a Teaching Fellow for the Music Advancement Program, and at Yale, he was Teaching Assistant for Music Since 1900. Levi’s love for jazz has led to performances at Dizzy’s Club Coca Cola, the Visions Festival, and the Nancy Jazz Festival (France).
Jacopo has performed at major festival and venues throughout the U.S. and Europe including the Music Academy of the West in Santa Barbara, Pianofest in the Hamptons, Harmos Festival in Oporto, Accademia Chigiana in Siena (IT), and the Mozarteum in Salzburg. In 2011, Jacopo formed the “Mephisto Piano Duo” with Sergio Baietta, and performed throughout Italy; he also has been performing regularly in duos with violinist Anastasiya Petryshak and clarinetist Alessandro Beverari. Winner of numerous international competitions including the International Piano Competition San Dona` di Piave, Premio Crescendo in Florence, International Liszt Competition in Los Angeles and Beverly Hills National Auditions, Jacopo has performed recitals throughout Europe and the United States. He has also taught at the Conservatory of Verona “E.E. Dall’ Abaco” from 2012 to 2014, and in 2010 Mr. Giacopuzzi worked as collaborative pianist at the Royal Conservatoire of Brussels. Jacopo has been invited to serve on competition juries and to give presentations and concerts throughout California. Jacopo studied in Weimar at the Liszt Hochschule, earned his first Master`s Degree in Piano performance in 2009 under the guidance of Virginio Pavarana, Master`s in Sound Design (with Mauro Graziani) at the Conservatory of Verona in 2012, and in 2014 obtained his diploma at the International Piano Academy of Imola “Incontri col Maestro” with Leonid Margarius. Jacopo is a graduate in Piano Performance from University of Southern California (2016). This season he is selected as an iPalpiti artist to participate in 2016 iPalpiti Festival of international laureates in Los Angeles.
The twin brothers Daniel and Alexander Gurfinkel, duo clarinetists, have established themselves among today's important artists in their country. Born in 1992, they began their musical education in the year 2000 and by age 12, they were invited by Zubin Mehta to appear as soloists in the annual concert for young musicians with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra. In recent seasons, Duo Gurfinkel were re-engaged with Mehta and the Israel Philharmonic, and performed abroad with the Zagreb Philharmonic, Belgrade Philharmonic, Vienna Tonkünstler Orchestra, Moscow Virtuosi, with Yuri Bashmet and the Moscow Soloists at the Tchaikovsky Hall, with Capella Istopolitana, Berliner Camerata, as well as on tour in France with the Orchestre National des Pays de la Loire. In March 2013, the duo won the 3rd prize at the 18th International Chamber Music Competition in Illzach, France, and during that year the duo performed at Gewandhaus with Leipziger Symphony Orchester, Grand Hall in Moscow with Heilbronn Chamber Orchestra, in Rome and Vatikan. The DUO have appeared in USA (Detroit, New York, Chicago), in Hong Kong, Slovenia, Italy, Russia, Germany, Azerbaijan, Slovakia, Croatia, Austria, and South Africa with performances across Europe in international music festivals. Daniel and Alexander Gurfinkel preserve a rich family tradition of three generations. Their grandfather Arkady Gurfinkel was a well-known clarinet player, teacher, and arranger, while their father, Michael Gurfinkel, is among the leading clarinet players in Israel as principal of the Israel Symphony Orchestra and Israeli Opera, as well as in chamber music both in Israel and abroad. Among forthcoming engagements of Duo Gurfinkel there are a series of concerts in Germany with Brandenburger Symphoniker Orchestra, concerts across Russia with La Primavera String Orchestra and Voronezh Academic Symphonic Orchestra, and in Estonia with Glasperlenspiel Sinfonietta.
*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