The City of San Antonio boasts an array of Texas's most diverse artistic sensibilities, religious beliefs, and ethnicities. Anya Grokhovski, our Artistic Director, scours the planet to find musicians whose exceptional talent communicates the uniting spirit of all of our sensibilities, across the expanses of time and world geography.
Yes, our concerts present some noted, "world-renowned" artists. But what makes for fame in today's mass media is not necessarily a skilled performer on an instrument or voice—flash, glitz, even outrage is what attracts attention. The sizzle.
So you have probably never heard of many of these musicians. Read on to find out who they are, how talented they are. We guarantee they are the best. The steak. The salt. The portobello. The olive. The breakfast taco.
At Musical Bridges events, you will be hearing these musicians play their hearts out, sending messages about the finest we humans can be. You will be feeling that sensibility reflected back from your heart, as you participate in a community of curious, engaged, and delighted listeners.
Musical Bridges Around the World is all of us. Together.
Performers in Main Stage 15th Season
Cristina Pato has already opened historical new paths for the gaita. In 1998, Cristina Pato became the first female gaita player to release a solo album, and since then she has collaborated with world music, jazz, classical and experimental artists (including Osvaldo Golijov, the Chicago Symphony, Yo-Yo Ma, The Chieftains, Arturo O'Farril, World Symphony Orchestra, and Paquito D'Rivera).
Ms. Pato's unique and powerful style, full of passion, has been acclaimed by the New York Times as “a virtuosic burst of energy;" the BBC has called her “the Galician bagpipe diva.” Ms. Pato fuses the influences of Latin music, jazz, pop and contemporary music, and uses her artistry and unprecedented virtuosic skill to bring her musical vision to life. Ms. Pato is a member of Yo-Yo Ma’s Silk Road Ensemble.
Internationally acclaimed as a gaita master and classical pianist, Cristina Pato enjoys an active professional career devoted to both Galician popular and classical music. Her dual careers have led to performances on major stages throughout the world, including in the U.S. (Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center), India (Kamani Auditorium), Jerusalem (Jerusalem Festival), Angola, China, Korea, Portugal (Festa do Avante), Brazil (Liszt Festival), U.K. (Celtic Connections), France, Italy (Etnofestival), Germany, Mexico (Palacio de Bellas Artes), and her native Spain. Ms. Pato holds a Doctorate of Musical Arts in Collaborative Piano from the Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University (New Jersey, U.S.), where she studied with a fellowship from Fundacion Barrie de la Maza.
Kathryn Lockwood has been hailed as a violist of exceptional talents in reviews around the country. The Cleveland Plain Dealer proclaimed, "...Lockwood played the vociferous viola cadenza with mahogany beauty and vivid character." Kathryn moved from her homeland of Australia to the United States in 1991 only to capture some of the most sought-after awards in the country, including the Naumburg Chamber Music Award. Grand Price at the Coleman Chamber Music Competition, Concert Artists Guild Management Award, and awards at solo competitions such as the Primrose Competition, Washington International Competition, and the Pasadena Instrumental Competition. Ms. Lockwood has performed at Carnegie Hall, Alice Tully Hall, Ravinia's Bennet Gordon Hall, Corcoran Gallery, St Lawrence Center, and University of hessaloniki/Greece, and has been heard live on NPR's Performance Today. In 2005 Kathryn released a solo recital CD of Viola Music by Inessa Zaretsky, Fireoptics, about which Strad declared "Lockwood is absolutely inside the music's idiom finding appropriate tonal shadings." Ms. Lockwood is currently on faculty at University of Massachusetts-Amherst. Ms. Lockwood earned her Master's degree with Donald McInnes at the University of Southern California.
Hailed by the New York Times for his "dazzling improvisations," Yousif Sheronick appears internationally as a soloist and chamber musician with world-renowned groups and artists such as Philip Glass, Ethos Percussion and others. Sheronick's unique style encompasses traditions and instruments from the Middle East, North and West Africa, Brazil, India, and Europe. Critics say Yousif "is capable of creating hypnotic atmospheres (Mundoclasico) where he "transports the listener to another dimension" (Ritmic). Sheronick has performed at prestigious venus such as Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Royal Festival Hall (London) and Wigmore Hall (London), and has collaborated with distinguished musicians, including Yo-Yo Ma, Brandford Marsalis, Pandit Samir Chatterjee, and others. Sheronick recently released his critically acclaimed solo CD titled Silk Thread which Modern Drummer Magazine calls "a testimony to his genius." He also released a Riq Instructional DVD which Rhythm Magazine (UK) says "is a must to uncover the mysteries of this ancient instrument." He has appeared throughout the U.S., Europe, Middle East, Asia, and Australia with festival appearances including the JVC and Newport Jazz Festivals, Jazztel (Madrid), Renaissance Festival (Rethymno, Greece), Early Music Festival (Regensburg, Germany), and Jerusalem Festival (Palestine). Mr Sheronick is artist in residence with Ethos Percusssion Group at Lehman College (Bronx, NY) and serves on the faculty of Concordia Conservatory. Mr Sheronick holds degrees from Yale University and the University of Iowa.
Victor Prieto is a native of Galicia, Spain born in the town of Orense in 1975. At the age of nine Victor was encouraged by his mother to study the accordion-an instrument deeply ingrained in Galician folklore. In 1998 Victor received a scholarship from Berklee College of Music where he majored in performance under the direction of Joanne Brackeen. In 2002 Victor moved to New York where he quickly established himself as one of the most prolific and versatile accordionists on the music and Jazz scenes. As a leader Victor has performed at many prestigious venues and events such as Berklee Performance Center, Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola at Jazz at Lincoln Center, Blue Note NY, New Jersey Performance Art Center, Three Rivers Musical Festival, Williamsburg Jazz Festival, Mary D’Angelo Performing Arts Center. Victor has performed and recorded with Yo-Yo Ma (Songs of Joy and Peace, Sony BMG Masterworks. "2010 Grammy Winning Album"), Arturo O'Farrill Latin Jazz Orchestra, Billy Hart, Jeff Ballard, Paquito D’Rivera, Matt Wilson, Donny McCaslin, Lionel Louke among others and is involved in projects such as The Maria Schneider Orchestra and Emilio Solla’s Jazz Tango conspiracy. He has recently introduced his third recording, "Chris Cheek and V. Prieto. Rollo-Coaster.", Cheekus Music.
Percussionist John Hadfield’s dedication to bending genres has taken him from the jungles of Indonesia to concert halls and clubs across the world. At home in New York, Time Out New York has recently pointed out “John Hadfield’s percussion is so impeccable.” Hadfield has released two records of his own compositions, mainly written for percussion instruments and electronics but also including guitar, harp, violin and cello –The Eye of Gordon (2008) and Displaced (2010). He is currently on the Jazz faculty of New York University, where he teaches drum set and the World Percussion Ensemble. Bringing together distinct domains of expertise and traditions –including, but not limited to classical percussion, Hindustani and Carnatic music, jazz, rock, and electronic music, John has developed unique ways of performing with multiple percussion instruments simultaneously. He has been exploring the sonic and kinetic possibilities resulting from the combination of multiple instruments and electronics (such as Ableton Live). His compositions typically involve a wide range of sounds –from the most traditional such as the drum set to the classical Indian Kanjira or Ghatam to found objects such as bicycle wheels, pieces of metal and ventilation tubes.
Rez Abbasi migrated to the US from Pakistan, at age four. Since an early age he has immersed himself in both western and eastern music, studying and performing with a variety of Indian classical musicians as well as jazz musicians. His compositions and playing reflect his individuality and create an ideal hybrid of modern jazz and world inflections.
For over a decade, Abbasi has been blazing a new trail along with cohorts, Rudresh Mahanthappa and Vijay Iyer, as a leading figure in South Asian - American cutting edge jazz. His work spans far and wide, performing in award winning groups as Mahanthappa’s Indo- Pak Coalition and Indian vocalist, Kiran Ahluwalia’s group along with many other projects. Abbasi was recently voted #2 Rising Star Guitarist in Down Beat magazine's prestigious, Critic's Poll.
Abbasi has released several albums as a leader, from acoustic guitar driving quartet music, to electrified organ trio featuring Indian vocals. His ultra - modern group Invocation, pulls all aspects of his persona into a cohesive, distinctive voice, rarely paralleled in today’s jazz. Including band mates, Mahanthappa, Vijay Iyer, Dan Weiss, Johannes Weidenmueller and Kiran Ahluwalia, Invocation’s debut release, Things To Come (2009) was included in Downbeat magazine’s ‘best albums of the decade’. That year Abbasi also received the prestigious Chamber Music America New Works grant for composition. For their second release, Suno, Suno (Enja 2011) and Abbasi’s eighth recording, the compositions focus on a musical form from Pakistan called, Qawwali. With hard-driving grooves and sophisticated melodies, Suno Suno ended the year on many critics ‘best of’ lists.
In Fall of 2012, Rez released his ninth album, Continuous Beat (Enja Records) and his first ever trio, with John Hébert on bass and Satoshi Takeishi on drums. www.reztone.com
Grammy-nominated composer-pianist Vijay Iyer was described by Pitchfork as "one of the most interesting and vital young pianists in jazz today," and by The New Yorker as one of "today's most important pianists… extravagantly gifted… brilliantly eclectic." His most recent honors include an unprecedented “quintuple crown” in the Down Beat International Critics Poll (winning Jazz Artist of the Year, Pianist of the Year, Jazz Album of the Year, Jazz Group of the Year, and Rising Star Composer categories), as well as the $275,000 Doris Duke Performing Artist Award and the $30,000 Greenfield Prize, all awarded in 2012. He was named one of the “50 Most Influential Global Indians” by GQ India.
Iyer has released sixteen albums as a leader; his most recent, Accelerando (2012), an “early front-runner for jazz album of the year” (The New York Times), is an intense, visceral, and widely acclaimed follow-up to the multiple award-winning Historicity (2009), both featuring the Vijay Iyer Trio (Iyer, piano; Marcus Gilmore, drums; Stephan Crump, bass).
Iyer’s many collaborators include his generation’s fellow forward-thinkers Rudresh Mahanthappa, Rez Abbasi, Craig Taborn, Ambrose Akinmusire, Liberty Ellman, Steve Lehman and Tyshawn Sorey; elder creative musicpioneers such as Steve Coleman, Roscoe Mitchell, Wadada Leo Smith, Butch Morris, George Lewis, and Amina Claudine Myers; new-music experimenters Miya Masaoka, Pamela Z, and John Zorn; hip-hop innovators Dead Prez, Das Racist, DJ Spooky, and High Priest of Antipop Consortium and many others.
A polymath whose career has spanned the sciences, the humanities and the arts, Iyer received an interdisciplinary Ph.D. in the cognitive science of music from the University of California, Berkeley. He has published articles in Journal of Consciousness Studies, Wire, Music Perception, JazzTimes, and The Best Writing on Mathematics: 2010.
Acclaimed as a considerable and highly individual compositional talent, saxophonist David Binney is one of the most prolific young jazz musicians on the scene today. Winning praise from critics and colleagues alike, David was recently singled out by Jazz Times as one of a handful of "young players who have created an alternative jazzscene... all of whom are playing adventurous, original music."
Known for his performances with such prestigious groups as the big bands of Gil Evans and Maria Schneider, as well as with Jim Hall, Bobby Previte and the Cecil McBee quintet. David was also a co-founder of the hard-edged quintet "Lost Tribe" and the open-form collective quartet "Lan Xang." With these groups and on his own, he has recorded a dozen albums as leader or co-leader.
David's distinctive saxophone sound and innovative compositions have been heard from basement clubs in New York to jazz festivals in Europe. In addition to David's extensive work as a leader, he has been sought after as a sideman, appearing on record with Medeski, Martin & Wood and Uri Caine's Mahler Project. He has also appeared on stage with Aretha Franklin, at Carnegie Hall, and with Maceo Parker, to name a few. He has produced all of his own albums, in addition to two of the Lost Tribe releases. David started his record label, Mythology Records, in 1998.
Bassist Johannes Weidenmueller has been a first call performer with a long list of jazz greats since settling in New York City 16 years ago He has been a member of the Hank Jones trio, Ray Barretto’s New World Spirit, the Carl Allen-Vincent Herring quintet, the John Abercrombie quartet, the Joe Lovano trio and the Kenny Werner trio. Other associations include Brad Mehldau, George Benson, John Scofield, Dewey Redman, Randy Brecker, Kenny Wheeler, Toots Thielemans, Wynton Marsalis, Joshua Redman, Gary Bartz, Jonny Coles, Clifford Jordan, Joe Chambers, and many others.
While being busy performing over 200 concerts a year around the world, Johannes is also a committed educator. He has been on the faculty of the New School’s jazz and contemporary music program since 1997 where he teaches bass and ensemble and ear-training. He also is in demand as a clinician, teaching workshops and clinics at the Banff Center for the Arts, NYU, New England Conservatory, U of Green Bay, the Amsterdam Conservatory, U of West Virginia, U of N.C Chapel Hill and many others. In addition he is also the author of a book on metric modulation to be published by Mel Bay in 2007.
Over the last twenty years, drummer Michael Sarin has been at the center of New York City’s genre bending jazz and improvisation community. His versatility and musical wit helped forge long associations with forward-looking artists Thomas Chapin, Dave Douglas, Myra Melford, Ben Allison, and David Krakauer.
Since moving to New York in 1989, Michael’s unique style and approach to the drum set has been highly sought after by NYC and European musicians looking to expand the definitions of jazz and improvised music. He has contributed to recordings by the aforementioned artists as well as those of Frank Carlberg, Anthony Coleman, Mark Dresser, Marty Ehrlich, Mark Helias, Denman Maroney, Simon Nabatov, Mario Pavone, and Ned Rothenberg--recordings found on numerous music critics’ Top Ten CD year-end lists.
Michael has performed all over the world--in major and minor festivals; concert halls famous and infamous, big and small. He is currently doing this, as well as recording with Ben Allison, Frank Carlberg, Erik Friedlander, and David Krakauer/Fred Wesley’s Abraham Inc.
Aleksey Igudesman is known as a violinist, but has also established himself as a composer, conductor and actor. He was born in St. Petersburg, Russia and at the age of 12 he was accepted to the prestigious „Yehudi Menuhin School“ in England. He then studied violin with Boris Kuschnir at the Vienna Conservatory. Aleksey’s music, published by UNIVERSAL EDITION and his compositions have been performed worldwide by soloists, ensembles and orchestras, often with him as a solo violinist and conductor.
Together with the internationally acclaimed pianist Richard Hyung-ki Joo, he appears as IGUDESMAN & JOO. Their show "A Little Nightmare Music" has received much acclaim by critics and audiences alike and been watched on YouTube over 20 million times, to date. They often perform with Gidon Kremer, Julian Rachlin, Janine Jansen, Viktoria Mullova, Emanuel Ax among many others. In 2009 IGUDESMAN & JOO toured Germany, Holland and Belgium as part of the "Night of the Proms", appearing in front of half a million people. They also have a show with symphony and chamber orchestras, called “A BIG Nightmare Music”.
Hyung-ki Joo was born. He is British, but looks Korean, or the other way around, or both. He showed his first signs of a sense of comedy whilst nappy-changing and shortly thereafter, showed his love for music when his parents would find him at the record store listening for hours to everything from Mozart to Bee Gees. (Although the two are never to be confused, Hyung-ki is often heard singing “Don Giovanni” in the style of Barry Gibb from the Bee Gees).
He started piano lessons at the age of eight and a half and two years later won a place at the Yehudi Menuhin School. There, he discovered that he was among geniuses and child prodigies and was convinced he would be kicked out of school, year after year. In fact, he was not kicked “out” but kicked “around” by teachers and fellow students, such as Aleksey Igudesman. After these painful experiences, Joo invented a new type of piano playing known as “Karate Piano”. No matter how difficult his years at the school may have been, it only strengthened his love of music, and he also realised that the world of classical music had little to do with the spirit in which the music was created and so began dreaming of a way to bring this great music to a wider and newer audience– a dream which has been realised through his show: “IGUDESMAN&JOO: A Little Nightmare Music”.
Hyung-ki has small hands, (but only hands small), and therefore finds some piano repertoire quite difficult to play, such as the music of Rachmaninov, who had Big Hands. Anyway, even with this small hindrance, he happily performs chamber music, recitals, concertos, his own compositions, and anything else that includes a piano part. Besides composing, performing, laughing, brushing his teeth at breakneck speed, and writing comedy, Joo’s passion for teaching has led him to develop his own personal style of workshops.
Compact in physical size and lacking the long fingers usually expected of a virtuoso pianist, Lilya Zilberstein nonetheless has made a powerful impression with connoisseurs of fine piano performance. By the age of 30, she had already become one of the world's finest pianists. Born in Russia and trained in the tradition of her great predecessors, Zilberstein relocated to Germany and pursues an active career in the West, performing throughout Europe and North America. Several recording made for Deutsche Grammophon have drawn enthusiastic reviews, advancing her reputation and preserving some memorable interpretations.
Zilberstein received extensive schooling at the Gnesin Special Music School, training with Ada Traub from 1971 to 1983, thereafter moving on to work with Alexander Satz at the same institution and continuing under his tutelage until 1990. In Russia, she took first prize in numerous piano competitions. Winning first prize at the Busoni Competition in 1987 resulted in Zilberstein's German debut at a 1988 concert in Munich and a handsome contract with Deutsche Grammophon. Concerts elsewhere followed in quick succession, including solo appearances with the Berlin Philharmonic, the Dresden Staatskapelle, London Symphony, Czech Philharmonic, RAI Symphony of Turin, the NHK Symphony in Tokyo, the Danish National Radio Orchestra, the MDR Orchestra of Leipzig, the Montreal Symphony, Buffalo Philharmonic, Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, St. Louis Symphony, Colorado Symphony, and the Chicago Symphony under James Levine. She has also become a favorite at the Peninsula Music Festival, having been engaged for multiple performances with music director Viktor Yampolsky over the course of three seasons.
Among Zilberstein's several excellent recordings are her imaginative reading of Mussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition, a bravura coupling of Rachmaninoff's Second and Third piano concertos with the Berlin Philharmonic conducted by Claudio Abbado, and a technically strong yet lyrically inflected Grieg Piano Concerto with Neeme Järvi and the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra.
Performers in Musical Evenings at San Fernando Cathedral
Oleg Polianski was born in Kiev, Ukraine, in 1968. He is the prize winner of many international competitions, including the Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow, Russia (1998), The International Duo Competition in Memoriam of Christian Ferras and Pierre Barbìzet in Marseille, France (1997), the World Piano Competition in Cincinnati, Ohio (1999), the Citta di Cantu in Italy (1998 and 2003), along with others in Tokyo, Japan (1986) and Montreal, Canada (1988).
Mr. Polianski began studying piano at the Lysenko Music School in Kiev, where his teachers were Natalia Gridneva and Natalia Tolpygo. He studied violoncello simultaneously from 1st through 8th grade at the same school with Galina Grishenko. Later his teachers included well-known personalities Alexandr Alexandrov (The Gnessin Institute in Moscow), Sergei Dorensky (The Moscow Conservatory) and Pavel Gililov (The Hochschule für Musik Köln).
In the course of his career, Mr. Polianski has appeared with, and as a soloist for many highly-regarded orchestras, including The Moscow Soloists, The Moscow Symphony Orchestra, The National Symphony of Ukraine, The Novosibirsk Symphony Orchestra, The Ural Philharmonic Orchestra, The Budapest Strings, The Neue Philharmonie Westfalen, Sinfonietta Hungarica, The Junge Philharmonie Köln, The National Orchestra of Malta and The KBS National Radio Orchestra of Korea.
Mr. Polianski is a prolific chamber musician and has appeared with many famous artists such as Pavel Gililov, Henry Sigfridsson, Pierre Amoyal and Mayuko Kamio. He has produced numerous recordings for Russian and German broadcasting companies and has recorded a CD with cellist Lazslo Fenyo for Aulos Records. He has resided in Köln since 1993 and has held the academic position of Associate Professor for Major Piano at the Hochschule für Musik Köln since 2007.
Born in France in 1968, Hugues Leclère perfected his playing with Catherine Collard before entering first nominated the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique de Paris, from which he graduated with high honors in piano, music theory, and chamber music.
He performs in more than 50 concerts a season, in France, such as Cité de la musique, Ile-de-France festival, Présences festival of Radio France, Piano in Riom, Comminges festival, Chopin festival in Nohant, Vézère festival … and abroad : in the USA (University of Illinois, Bloomington, western Michigan, north Texas), in far East countries (Japan, China), and in most of European countries : Netherlands (Concertgebouw and opera in Amsterdam), Deutschland (Musikhalle in Hambourg), Russia, Italy, Spain (Madrid), Portugal (Coimbra Festival)… He is invited by many orchestras (Berliner Philharmoniker Camerata, Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra, Lorraine National Orchestra, Auvergne National Orchestra, Sate of Mexico Symphony Orchestra, Nancy Symphony and Opera Orchestra, Minsk orchestra, Samara National Orchestra, , Timisoara Orchestra, Itinéraire ensemble...), conducted by Jacques Mercier, Jean-Pierre Wallez, Arie Van Beek, Mikhail Shcerbakov, Ondrej Lenard, Sebastian Lang-Lessing.
Carolyn Sproule, a native of Montreal, Canada, earned her master's degree at Rice University. Performances with the Rice's Shepherd School of Music Opera Department include Dorabella in Così fan tutte, Ottavia in The Coronation of Poppea, and Mrs. Gibbs in Ned Rorem's Our Town. She has also sung the roles of Jo in Mark Adamo's Little Women at The Banff Centre and Meg Page in Falstaff at the Aspen Music Festival. In concert, she was the alto soloist in Handel's Messiah with the Tucson Symphony Orchestra and in Mahler's Symphony No. 3 with the Shepherd School Symphony Orchestra. She holds a bachelor's degree from The Juilliard School. Recently, she sang a recital at the Kennedy Center as part of The Conservatory Project and performed A Lady with a Hat Box in Dominick Argento's Postcard from Morocco with the Merola Opera Program at San Francisco Opera.
Elena Lacheva recently completed her studies with Martin Katz at the University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre, and Dance. Her summer 2012 activities include serving as an apprentice coach in the Merola Program at the San Francisco Opera Center, working on Dominic Argento's Postcard from Morocco and a program of opera scenes for the Schwabacher Summer Concerts. During the past year, she was a repetiteur and coach for Falstaff at the University of Michigan School of Music, was a Fellow of the Tanglewood Music Center, and performed in a chamber music recital at the Listasafni Sigurjóns in Reykjavík, Iceland, with violinist Gunnhildur Daðadóttir. She has also collaborated in Stravinsky's Renard for the Mark Morris Dance Group and Ravel'sThe Spanish Hour during Operafest at the Chicago College of Performing Arts. She performed Rachmaninov's Second Piano Concerto with the Plovdiv Philharmonic Orchestra shortly after she turned nineteen years old; other appearances include the Steinway Recital Series (Tanglewood Music Center), the "Iditarod" at the Summer Institute for Contemporary Performance Practice (New England Conservatory), and a performance at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. This season at HGO she will coach La bohème, Show Boat, and Il trovatore, and will perform with the Studio singers in recitals and other performances.
Jeryn Crabb is a Junior Vocal Performance Major studying under Brigitte Bellini-Mungo at Texas State University in San Marcos, Texas. During the summer of 2012 she was a soloist at the Interharmony International Music Festival in Arcidisso, Italy. Jeryn has played the roles of "Miss Pinkerton" in Menotti's Old Maid and the Thief, "Aunt Sue" in Carlisle Floyd's Slow Dusk, and "Rona Lisa Perretti" in The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. She is also a member of the Texas State University Chorale.
Alena Gorina, pianist, holds a doctoral degree in Piano Performance from the University of Texas at Austin. Native of Belorussia, Ms. Gorina taught at the College of Music, the Belarusian Academy of Music, and the National Music School. In 2001, the Bahrain Music Institute invited Alena Gorina to lead their piano department. Among American achievements, Ms. Gorina has been live broadcast as a soloist on WGTE FM 91 in Toledo, Ohio, and recorded a Naxos recording of Lucas Foss’s “Psalms” with the University of Texas Chamber Singers. Alena is currently a lecturer at Texas State University at San Marcos.
Todd Oxford is active internationally as a soloist and recording artist in Europe, Asia, Mexico, Canada, and in forty-six of the fifty United States. Recent engagements include two consecutive New York Debuts, European appearances at the 14th World Saxophone Congress, and a tour of Germany. Asian appearances include two tours of the People’s Republic of China, tours of Thailand and Indonesia. He has toured as a performing artist on the rosters of Columbia Artists Management, C & C Arts Management, the Texas Touring Artists of the Texas Commission on the Arts, and Arts Mid-West. He has a number of recordings on the market available internationally via iTunes, amazon, and numerous online retailers.
Mr. Oxford’s professional awards include two consecutive New York Debut Awards, Dallas Concerto Competition First Prize, Coleman Chamber Music Competition Finalist, San Antonio Express News’s Best of 2006-Classical Music, Who’s Who in America, Who’s Who in the World, and selection as an Outstanding Young Man of America. Formally educated at The University of Texas, he received the Doctor of Musical Arts Degree in 2001 and is currently Assistant Professor of Saxophone and Chamber Music at the Texas State University School of Music. He performs exclusively on Todd Oxford “Signature Series” saxophones.
Critics have hailed Michael Schneider as “a pianist with exceptional insight,” at venues including Carnegie’s Weill Recital Hall, the International Chopin Festival at the château of George Sand in France, the Music Festival in the Hamptons, and the 8th Annual Paderewski Festival in California. Michael recently performed at the Library of Congress in Washington, DC, Mexico and in the famed Liszt Museum in Budapest. Michael was a featured guest artist at the Bicentennial Chopin Festival in Nohant, France in July 2010. In the fall of 2010, Michael was a visiting adjunct professor of piano at the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor in Belton, TX. He holds a doctorate degree from University of Texas in Austin.
Carolyn Sproule (see bio above under "French Impressions")
Emanuel Borok, former Concertmaster of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra since 1985, has had a distinguished career as a soloist, chamber musician, and orchestral leader. Before coming to Dallas, Mr. Borok served for 11 seasons as Associate Concertmaster of the Boston Symphony Orchestra and Concertmaster of the Boston Pops Orchestra. Born and trained in the Soviet Union, Mr. Borok received his master degree from Gnessin Music Academy in Moscow. Among his chamber music partners are Itzhak Perlman, Pinchas Zukerman, Shlomo Mintz, Emanuel Ax, Yefim Bronfman, Joshua Bell, Sarah Chang and Paul Neubauer. Emanuel Borok was also featured in the Distinguished Artists Recital Series at the 92nd Street Y, in New York.
Violinist Mark Cheikhet earned his master and doctorate degrees in violin performance from Moscow Conservatory. His influential teachers included Maya Glezarova, Eduard Grach, and Sergei Girshenko. He is touring widely as a soloist and in chamber ensembles throughout Russia, Germany, Italy, France, Mexico, and the U.S. His recent performances incluye Brescia-Festa Internazionale Della Musica, a festival of Russian Art in Marseille, France, along with The Promenade festival in Oldenburger, Germany and RAMA in Boston, MA. Among his collaborative partners are: Valeri Grokhovski, Matthew Hinsley, Daniel Alberti, Michael Bourdoncle, Elena Nogaeva and Boris Adrianov.
Pianist Elena Portnaya is an alumna of the Moscow Tchaikovsky Conservatory, and laureate of numerous international piano competitions. Elena has performed solo and in chamber ensembles in Russia, Poland, England, Portugal, Argentina, Italy, Switzerland and the United States. She became a Doctor of Musical Arts in 2009, when she completed her doctorate at the University of Texas at Austin. She loves to work with singers and has therefore worked as a rehearsal pianist for four seasons at the Butler Opera Center at UT Austin. During 2010 and 2011, she was one of the Houston Grand Opera Studio artists, working on the preparation of Madame Butterfly, Dead Man Walking and Ariadne auf Naxos, under the baton of the maestro Patrick Summers. Elena is a permanent collaborator with her husband, violinist Mark Cheikhet, and they are raising two little daughters together.
Fantasia for Organ
Boris Andrianov is one of the most gifted Russian musicians of his generation. He won third prize in the 11th International Tchaikovsky Competition (Moscow, 1998) and first prize in the International Cello Antonio Janigro Competition (Zagreb, Croatia). In 1997, Boris was the first Russian cellist to become a laureate at the Sixth International Rostropovich competition in Paris. In 2002, DELOS Record Label released his CD with music for cello and guitar. This recording was at the preliminary list for a Grammy Award nomination. His recent appearances include concerts in Holland (Concertgebouw), Japan (Tokyo Opera City), Germany (Berliner Philharmonie), Austria (Wiener Konzerthaus), Switzerland, USA, Slovakia, Slovenia, Italy, France, South Africa and others. Since 2005, Boris has played a Montagnana cello from the Russian State Collection.
Karolina Syrovatkova began her professional music studies at the Prague Conservatory in the Czech Republic. Her success at home opened doors to further studies in the United States. She first achieved a Bachelor’s degree summa cum laude from the University of Maryland under the tutelage of Professors Sloan and Gowen and then Master’s degree with highest honors from the University of Texas at Austin in the studio of Prof. Anton Nel. Karolina just finished her first year in the Doctoral Program with Prof. Nel at the University of Texas in Austin where she holds a full teaching assistantship and coordinates as well as teaches classes for the University of Texas Piano Project. Recently, she won the Sidney M. Wright Endowed Presidential Scholarship Competition in Piano Accompanying, performed in several venues at the Aspen Music Festival and was featured on KMFA’s Pianoforte series with her all-Czech program.
Performers in Special Events
Hailed by the San Antonio Express-News as “a musician of rare authority,” Jeff Garza is principal horn of the San Antonio Symphony and is sought after throughout the United States as a teacher, chamber musician, and orchestral performer. During the summer season, Jeff is principal horn of the Britt Festival Orchestra in Jacksonville, Oregon and the Festival Mozaic Orchestra in San Luis Obispo, California. Jeff has previously held principal positions with the Houston Grand Opera, Utah Festival Opera and has served as guest principal horn of the Brevard Music Center Orchestra, North Carolina Symphony, Fort Worth Symphony and the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra. In January 2007, Jeff served as principal horn during the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra’s European tour, including performances in Berlin, Vienna, Warsaw and Budapest. Past engagements also include positions with the New World Symphony, Tanglewood Music Center, National Repertory Orchestra, Jerusalem International Symphony Orchestra and Houston Ballet Orchestra.
Jeff performs regularly with most of the leading chamber groups in South Texas including the Olmos Ensemble, Camerata San Antonio, SOLI Ensemble, and the Cactus Pear Music Festival. Jeff has appeared as a soloist with the San Antonio Symphony, the Britt Festival Orchestra and has been a guest artist at several music festivals, horn workshops and chamber music series, including Chamber Music International, Cape Cod Chamber Music Festival, the Southwest Horn Convention, and the Texas Music Festival.
Jeff earned a Bachelor of Music degree from Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music. He is also an alumnus of the Interlochen Center for the Arts where he was awarded an Emerson Scholarship and the Young Artist Certificate, Interlochen Arts Acamdemy’s highest artistic honor. Jeff is on the faculty of Trinity University and St. Mary’s University.
Baya Kakouberi was born in Tbilisi, Georgia and received degrees from the Moscow Conservatory of Music. She has appeared as piano soloist with orchestras in Europe and the United States, but is best known as a recitalist, chamber musician, teacher and recording artist residing in the Dallas area. Her career has brought her to China as well as Carnegie Hall. Ms. Kakouberi is founder and Artistic Director of the Blue Candlelight Chamber Music Series, and she on the faculty of the Elan International Music Festival. Ms. Kakouberi recently collaborated with violinist Gary Levinson for a 4 CD set recording of the complete Beethoven Sonatas for Piano and Violin, for the Classical Music Recording Foundation.
Gary Levinson joined the Dallas Symphony as the Senior Principal Associate Concertmaster in 2002. Chosen by Zubin Mehta to join the New York Philharmonic in 1987 at age 21, Mr. Levinson made his New York Philharmonic solo debut in 1991, the same year he earned his Master of Music degree at the Juilliard School. Mr. Levinson is currently involved in three major recording projects: Classical Music Recording Foundation recorded the 10 sonatas for piano and violin; Koch Records chamber music of George Tsontakis’ and a retrospective of the women composers from 19th century with Albany Records. Mr. Levinson has collaborated with renowned artists such as Yo-Yo Ma and Christopher O’Reilly. His performances have been featured on NPR’s Performance Today.