About the Performers (2011-2012)

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

Fusion of the Worlds

cristina patoCristina 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.

TatianaStepanovaTatiana Stepanova is a pianist, accompanist and vocal coach. For her work in opera, Ms. Stepanova was named an Honored Artist of Russia. She received the Best Accompanist award at the Mussorgsky Competition in Russia and the Belvedere, in Vienna. She has participated in many festivals in Germany, France, Belgium and Hungary, and served as coach, assisting Mstislav Rostropovich, in a production of Shostokovitch’s Lady Macbeth of Mtsinsk at the Teatro Real in Madrid, Spain. She served as rehearsal pianist and coach for Baltimore Opera’s production of the same opera in 2003.

RobertoPrestigiacomoRoberto Prestigiacomo a theater-maker whose creative work includes the development of community-based theatre through improvisation and storytelling techniques, and the creation of original physical theater pieces (TransPerformance). He has directed Julius Caesar, King Lear, Much Ado About Nothing, Romeo and Juliet, The Triumph of Love, A Moon for the Misbegotten, Marisol, How I Learned to Drive, One for the Road, Fat Pig, Guys and Dolls, Back of the Throat, and Dog Sees God. Roberto is Associate Professor and the Director of Theatre at Trinity University.

Songs of India

SujataVenkateswarSujata Venkateswar, an Indian classical vocalist, is a versatile artist, adept at performing classical, semi-classical and popular Indian music. Since 2002, Sujata Venkateswar has produced and stage managed the annual Diwali show sponsored by the India Association of San Antonio. In 2009, this show staged 29 items with 130 participants. Sujata regularly coordinates a monthly program at the Hindu Temple of San Antonio that promotes local, as well as international Indian musicians. She is the Program Coordinator for the San Antonio Sangeet Utsav, to be held on Saturday, November 19, 2011.

GregHinojosaGreg Hinojosa is a graduate from Southeastern Oklahoma State University. He holds a B.A. in Theatre Arts and Speech Communication. He has worked professionally across the United States as a company member with Santa Fe Stages and The Springer Opera House, the State Theatre of Georgia and the Repertory Theatre of America. He has worked as an actor, scenic designer, costume designer, director and make-up artist throughout the country. Greg has been honored with Alamo Theatre Arts Awards for his work as actor and director in I Am My Own Wife, Little Shop of Horrors, Santos y Santos, Once Upon a Mattress, Of Mice and Men, Chicago, and Scrooge, the Musical.

SitaJayanthSita Jayanth comes from a family of music lovers. First her grandmother, and later her father played the violin before she got inducted into it at a very early age. Her initial training and guidance came from her own father Sri. B.R. Manickam. Later, Sita moved to Chennai to be under the able tutelage of Late Sri Kandadevi Alagiri Swami. Her guru Sri Alagiri Swami has widely accompanied the legendary Late Smt. M.S. Subbalakshmi in most of her concerts around the world. Learning is a continuing journey, as she also got the opportunity to polish her violin techniques from Vidwan Sri T.S. Krishnamurthy from Bangalore. Sita has performed in several dance arangetrams, vocal concerts, nadopasanas and other cultural events in the DFW area and around the USA.

SreenivasPonnappanSreenivas Ponnappan commenced his Mridhangam career at the young age of seven, under his guru Vidwan Chandrasekharan. Sreenivas has now over two decades of skillful accompaniment for various senior vocal and instrumental artists and dance arangetrams on Mridhangam and a variety of other percussion instruments including Kanjira and Ghatam. Sreenivas is currently pursuing advanced training in Indian percussion under Vidwan V. Suresh in India, who is a direct disciple of Sri T.V.Gopalakrishnan, a multi-talented musical legend.

GaneshDevarajanGanesh Devarajan received his Mridangam training from Thiruvananthapuram Shri Krishna Iyengar, Madurai Shri Venkatakrishnan and Bangalore Shri Keshavan – thus all his training has been from southern India. Ganesh moved to USA in 1991 and since then been teaching Mridangam, in the DFW metroplex. He has been accompanying several local and visiting professional artists from India. Ganesh is presently working as a manager in an electronics firm in Dallas, and lives in Plano with his wife Uma and daughter Sungita.

IndrajithBanerjeeSitarist Indrajit Banerjee is one of the leading exponents of the Maihar Gharana. He was born in a musical family. Some of these family members include his guru, Pandit Kartick Kumar (Sitar). He got inspiration from his sitarist mother, Manju Banerjee, and afterwards, Santosh Banerjee. Indrajit’s training began with his maternal grandfather, Bankim Kumar Pal, who was the disciple of Inayat Khan, and Birendra Kishore Roy Chowdhuri (Kochi Babu). He then took training under Pandit Manilal Nag of Bishnupur Gharana. Later on, he took intensive training from his uncle, Pandit Kartick Kumar, who is a senior disciple of Pandit Ravi Shankar. All of this training developed a strong foundation for Indrajit’s music, and creative individuality. Indrajit has a special touch on Sitar combined with technical virtuosity and sensitivity.

Golden Fingers & Golden Toes

KunikovaElena Kunikova is a renowned choreographer, teacher and coach whose productions are performed all over the world to great acclaim by critics and audiences. She enjoys a reputation as one of the leading authorities on Russian classical style. Elena is a graduate of Vaganova Ballet Academy (the Kirov Ballet School),and was a ballerina with Maly Theater Ballet in St. Petersburg, Russia, where she danced a diverse repertoire of classical and contemporary ballets. Most recently Elena’s choreography for Les Ballet Trockadero helped them to win a prestigious “Best Classical Repertoire” award from London Critics’ Circle. Interviews with Elena appear in many professional publications, documentaries, and TV programs. As a dance writer, she is contributing to Dance Magazine, Pointe and The Wall Street Journal Europe.

EmanuelBorokEmanuel 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.

ElenaAmirbekyanElena Amirbekyan, pianist, holds master degree in piano performance from the prestigious Gnessin Russian Music Academy in Moscow. A world-renowned collaborative artist, Elena is a frequent guest at prestigious music festivals in Russia and Europe. She concertized all over the world with famous Russian folk ensemble under the direction of Dimitry Pakrovski. From 1987 to 2001, she took a full time position at the Russian Academy of Music a collaborative pianist at the conducting faculty. Currently she is Music Director and professor at the Russian Academy of Theater Arts in Moscow.

AlinaGorinaAlena 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.

BayaKakouberiBaya Kakouberi, pianist, 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. 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 four CD set recording of the complete Beethoven Sonatas for Piano and Violin for the Classical Music Recording Foundation.

MichaelSchneiderCritics 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.

VladaVassilievaMexican pianist of Russian descent, Vlada Vassilieva, has performed in Mexico, United States, Czech Republic, Austria, Italy, France, The Netherlands, China and Canada. Winner of the Nadia Reisenberg Piano Award in New York; winner at the Claudio Herrera National Piano Competition in Mexico, Angelica Morales – Yamaha National Piano Competition in Mexico, Ludmila Knezkova-Hussey International Piano Competition in Canada; at the International Competition for Young Musicians (the Netherlands) and IBLA Grand Prize (Italy). Vlada studied in Mannes College for Music in New York City as a Fulbright Garcia–Robles grantee. She is a member of the Music Department of the University of Colima in Mexico.

AnatolyZatinWinner of international music competitions in Russia, Korea, Italy and Hungary, Anatoly Zatin, has been awarded the UNICEF Medal of Honor for his activities as pianist and conductor. He has toured Sweden, Norway, Deutschland, Finland, England, France, Italy, Russia, Ukraine, Japan, China, Korea, United States, and Mexico. He has recorded for Melodia in Russia, Azzura Music in Italy, and Aurora Records in Japan. He was awarded a prize for the best interpretation of J. S. Bach, for his live recording with the Japanese flutist Shigeyuki Takano. Graduated as Doctor of Musical Arts at the St. Petersburg’s Conservatory of Music, at the present time he is Chairman of the Music Department of the Fine Arts Institute of the University of Colima, Mexico.

britfranklinBrittany Franklin was born in Grapevine, TX, and began her dance training at the age of five with Madame Solange Binda-MacLean, in northern Virginia. In the fall of 2007 Ms. Franklin re-located to New York City where she was a scholarship student at Steps on Broadway until 2009. She advanced her training under dance masters such as Elena Kunikova, Deborah Wingert, Daniel Ulbricht and Wilhelm Burmann. In 2009 she was a featured guest artist with Albano Ballet for The Nutcracker as well as ballet soloist for New York Fashion Week, closing Malan Breton’s 2010 Spring line runway show. As the Fall of 2010 was approaching, Ms. Franklin was invited to dance for Fashion Week along with New York City Ballet dancer Zachary Catazaro. Featured for a third time at Fashion Week, Ms. Franklin danced the role of Dying Swan, re-staged for the runway in a critically acclaimed opening for Malan Breton’s Spring 2012 line, hosted at Lincoln Center.

Beethoven in the Style of Jazz

ValeriGrohovskiValeri Grohovski is that rarest of musician-always playing with perfect taste.”-Tatiana Petrovna, President of the Gnessin Music College, Moscow. A virtuoso classical pianist equally known for his jazz improvisational talent, Valeri Grohovski is in a class of his own. In addition to his busy concert and recording schedule he composes, arranges and performs music in a wide range of styles for theatre and cinema. Born and raised in the former USSR, Valeri Grohovski received his doctorate in music in Moscow, before traveling to compete abroad, where he won numerous competitions in both Europe and the United States. Although he lived for a decade in the United States, he now divides his time between homes in Russia, France and Costa Rica.

MarkChekheitViolinist 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

borisandrianovBoris 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.

GregNorrisBassist Greg Norris is a much sought-after performer and studio musician proficient in acoustic, electric and fretless bass. He studied composition and big band arrangement at the University of North Texas College of Music. His career spans 30 years of studio sessions, television appearances, and jazz festivals, and he has performed and played internationally. His collaborations include appearances on Grammy nominated recordings with guitar duo Lara & Reyes, and he has shared the stage with legends such as Stanley Clarke, Larry Carlton, Julio Iglesias, Strunz & Farah, Dr. John, and R&B giant Ray Charles.

DarrenKuperDarren Kuper, drums, has been playing music for over 20 years. Together with pianist Barry Brake, he spearheaded a new jazz group in 1990, naming it the Jazz Protagonists. In 2003 Modern Drummer magazine singled out his performances on “Bar Codes,” an album by Mike Brannon’s progressive-jazz group Synergy. Here’s what they said: “The listener is greeted with a seductive laid-back slink with the song ‘Prowl.’ This is the work of Darren Kuper, whose tasteful skills command keen attention on Synergy Quartet’s lite jazz/fusion…It’s a joy to hear a talented drummer lay it down.” He and pianist Barry Brake also co-host a weekly one-hour jazz radio show “The Protagonists Jazz Party” on Trinity University’s KRTU 91.7FM.

Musical Bridges Jazz Concert: Geri Allen

GERIALLENGeri Allen is an internationally known composer and pianist. Her recordings include: The Nurturer, Eyes in the Back of Your Head, Maroon and Timeless Portraits and Dreams. She was the first artist to receive the Lady Of Soul Award in Jazz, and the first woman to receive the Danish Jazzpar Prize. Her compositions have won her commissions from Jazz at Lincoln Center, Music Theatre Group, American Music Theatre Festival, Stanford University, The Walt Whitman Arts Center and Meet the Composer who commissioned For the Healing of the Nations, a Sacred Jazz Work, composed in tribute to the victims and survivors of the 9/11 tragedy. Currently she is working on an Opera for Trilogy: An Opera Company. Geri Allen continues to concertize all over the world.

KENNYDAVISKenny Davis, acoustic bass, is a native of Chicago, Illinois. He studied at Northeastern Illinois University, where he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Music Education. Upon entering Northeastern University, he discovered jazz music and he quickly became part of the Chicago jazz scene, playing with Von Freedman, Ari Brown and Fred Anderson. He moved to New York in 1986, where he played with Out of the Blue (OTB). Throughout the 90’s, Davis toured with such notable jazz artists as Herbie Hancock, Dianne Reeves and Art Farmer. Davis was the bassist of The Tonight Show Band from September 1999 thru March 2002. He received his Masters in Music (MA) from Rutgers University. In May 2006 Kenny received his Master of Music from Rutgers University.

KASSAOVERALLKassa Overall, percussionist, composer, producer, and educator, is a rising star on today’s music scene. Encompassing all styles and traditions of music, he works with artists ranging from jazz to hip-hop, indie-pop to avant-garde. As a drummer, Overall has been an integral part of Geri Allen’s Timeline band which has toured extensively throughout the U.S. and Europe for the past two years. He has toured extensively with his own band, fusing his jazz and instrumental training with his contemporary electronic passion. Overall received his Bachelor’s of Music from the Oberlin Conservatory of Music. Overall has performed or recorded with Vijay Iyer, Ravi Coltrane, Gary Bartz and many more. With a passion for growth, development and persistence, Kassa Overall is definitely one to watch as the music evolves.

JD AllenAs a young man, J.D. Allen, tenor saxophonist, was influenced by the great musicians who stayed in Detroit, but upon his arrival in New York City his real apprenticeship began, as he worked with such notables as George Cables, Betty Carter, and Ron Carter. His contemporary collaborators include Winard Harper, Eric Revis, Duane Eubanks, and the Red Records All-Stars. Allen’s debut recording, In Search Of… for the Criss Cross label, won him an award for Best New Artist in Italy in 1999. That same year he began touring and recording with drummer Cindy Blackman’s ensemble. His second Criss Cross date, Pharoah’s Children, was a Jazziz magazine critics pick as a Top Ten Album of the Year in 2002. Allen was subsequently signed to the Sunnyside label, offering the CDs I Am I Am in 2008 and Shine! in 2009.

Caribbean Express

The final show of the 14th season will feature dancers from Puerto Rico and the Caribbean Islands, presenting a program of festive Caribbean folk dances. We will take a virtual tour of the islands, as we experience their diverse musical heritage. The award-winning accompanying group of Puerto Rican musicians will wow audiences with their virtuosity.

Eric Gonzâ? lez

During his years as a student at the University of Puerto Rico, Eric M. González-Morales was a member of Teatreros Ambulantes, a group of actors which made
dramatic representations in parks, schools, and underserved communities. He wrote most of the plays, the principal subjects being social problems like drugs, violence, and adolescent pregnancy. In 1973, Eric was invited to be part of a new dance company inspired by the island’s culture and folklore, and in 1978 he became the Assistant Artistic Director. From 1985 to 1997 he served as Artistic Director, and since 1997 he has been the Executive Director of Gíbaro de Puerto Rico. Eric has choreographed more than 20 traditional dances which are representative of the traditional life of Puerto Rico. In addition, he has written more than 10 plays which have been presented in theaters both in and out of Puerto Rico, and has won different awards for best production, best director, best choreographer, and best costumes. González holds a Doctorate of Medicine from Universidad Central del Caribe.

CarlosMoralesCebollero_webCarlos Morales holds a Bachelor’s degree in Communication from the Sacred Heart University in Puerto Rico and a minor in Accounting from the Puerto Rico Junior College. At the University of Puerto Rico, he attended formal dance classes and workshops. Carlos has been part of the folkloric and theater group Gíbaro de Puerto Rico since September 1979. Today, he is the lead folk dancer and Deputy Director of of the folkloric troupe. Carlos has participated in more than 15 plays, and his performance has been favorably reviewed by the dance community and Performing Arts critics.

AidaEncarnaci_webAida Encarnación is a professional musician, actress, singer, composer and Music Director of Gíbaro de Puerto Rico. She is a vocal coach for the majority of the musical theaters in Puerto Rico. Aida studied Education and has been teaching Spanish at the Interamerican University in addition to Musical Theory and Musical Vocalization at Puerto Rico’s Conservatory of Music. She has more than 20 years of experience in the musical field, and she serves as both a singer and vocal coach in the musical theater community. Aida has given outstanding performances in such plays as Hairspray, Grease, Barrio Arriba Barrio Abajo, Rent, Fame, Footloose, Jonás y la Ballena, El Patito Feo, Puerto Rico Fuá, El Arca de Noé, La Peineta Colorada, Esto es Pa’ Ti, Martín el Cucarachito Boricua, and the Zarzuela, Cecilia Valdés.

RaeldeLaPaz_webBorn in Carolina, Puerto Rico, Raúl De La Paz has dedicated his artistic career to the constant creation of folkloric choreographies and to the promotion of musical theater. He has 23 years of experience as a dancer and has served 16 years as choreographer for Gíbaro de Puerto Rico. Some of his most outstanding works are Fusión, Objetivo Patria, and Barrio Arriba Barrio Abajo. In the field of the Puerto Rican musical theater, his most notable works include Puerto Rico Fuá, El Arca de Noé, La Llamarada, El Mago de Oz, and the Zarzuela, Cecilia Valdés. As the Artistic Director of Gíbaro de Puerto Rico, he has worked to enhance the contributions made by Gíbaro to the preservation of folklore of Puerto Rican culture.

MannyTrinidad_webAngel Manuel “Manny” Trinidad began taking cuatro classes at age eight. In 1987, he joined the performing arts school Escuela Libre de Musica Ernesto Ramos Antonini to pursue his middle and high school education, with the Puerto Rican cuatro as his principle instrument. He graduated in 1992, having received the Medal of Puerto Rican Cuatro. In 1997, he entered the prestigious Guay-ciba group, first as a bassist and later as cuatro player and music director. Manny has had the privilege of performing with such talented artists as Victoria Sanabria, Olga Tañon, Ivy Queen and Franco De Vita as well as the Puerto Rico State Band and the Puerto Rico Philharmonic Orchestra. Currently, when he isn’t playing in his father Miguel Trinidad’s group, Añoranzas Borinqueñas, Manny tours with Gíbaro de Puerto Rico.

RubonAmador_webRubén J. Amador started his career as a percussionist in the University of Puerto Rico High School band program and later in the Music Department of that same university. He received a scholarship to study at Berklee College of Music where he graduated Cum Laude with a major in Jazz Composition. While studying in Boston, he formed Yahuba, a group dedicated to the study and research of the Puerto Rican music and cultural traditions and its development throughout performances, recordings, clinics and workshops around the world. As a performer, composer, clinician and director, Rubén has worked with various jazz, classical, Latin, and folkloric groups like Segreles, Brenda Hopkins, Orfeón San Juan Bautista, and Ballet Folclórico Gíbaro among many others. In theater he has worked extensively as a composer, percussionist, drummer and conductor in such work as Fusión, Cecilia Valdés, Barrio Arriba, Barrio Abajo, and local productions of Broadway hits Footloose and Hairspray. Rubén is currently working toward his Masters degree in Puerto Rican studies, his thesis concentrating on the characteristics elements of Jíbaro music.

EdgardoRios_webEdgardo Ríos-Florán studied Physical Education at the Universidad Central de Bayamón. At the age seven, he started to play percussion in his church. He continued taking percussion clases with different instructors and has been participating as a musician with Gíbaro de Puerto Rico for the past 10 years. Edguardo has also participated as a musician in various musicals and with many music groups and singers. He plays different genres of music such as merengue, salsa, and bachata to name a few.

CarlosMusoz_webPuerto Rican hairdresser and makeup artist Carlos Munoz has transformed many great artists in his career. In Puerto Rico, he has worked with Luis Fonsi, Chayanne, and Gilberto Santarrosa. On the international stage, Carlos has worked with Daniela Romo, Pandora, Raul DiBlasio, and Ricardo Montaner to name a few. Carlos is a multifaceted artist, having been a dancer (his first love!) for Gíbaro de Puerto Rico for 12 years. Upon retiring from dancing, he became a singer, performing in several Gíbaro musicals and a state production of Cabaret. In 2009, Carlos had the pleasure of working as a makeup artist on the film The Rum Diaries with actor Johnny Depp, and just recently he completed shooting an upcoming Disney movie called Big Move.

VictorMelondez_webVictor J. Melendez Torres began studying music at age seven, playing guitar in elementary school. By age nine, he was taking piano lessons in various musical institutions of the country with such noted instructors as Ms. Merida Ithiel. At the University of Puerto Rico, Victor studied Music and started working professionally throughout the ’90s with such bands as La Fuerza, Sonsoleil, Grupo Kaos, Jessica Cristina and others. He joined Gíbaro de Puerto Rico in 1999, performing with the Company’s various musical presentations such as Barrio Arriba, Barrio Abajo, Al Son de un Bolero, Fusión, and Aguinaldo Jíbaro among others. Victor performed in the musical Footloose in 2007, and two years later he became part of the renowned Broadway musical Hairspray which was repeated in 2010. Among his other credits: Puerto Rico Fuá, Jonah and the Whale, Hansel and Gretel and others. In 2011, Victor played piano for the acclaimed Broadway musical Cabaret. In addition to touring with Gíbaro and singers Ismael Miranda and Victoria Sanabria, Victor currently lends his musical talents to many recordings, musical works and the musical theater.

FraciscoLuisReyes_webFrancisco Luis Reyes Peguero started his musical journey at the age of six in the Escuela Elemental de la Universidad de Puerto Rico, instructed by Juan Correa Lago. At 10, he started playing the alto saxophone, and at 14 he switched to the baritone saxophone. He pursued a Bachelor’s degree in Jazz and Caribbean Music from the Conservatorio de Música de Puerto Rico, graduating Summa Cum Laude. In his short musical career, Francisco, has had the privilege to play with artists such as Eddie Gómez, David Sánchez, Jerry Medina, Andy Montañez, Luis Marín, Richard Dunscomb and Luis “Perico” Ortiz. Since 2011, Francisco has been working with Gíbaro de Puerto Rico in the productions of Cabaret and the holiday musical Asalto Navideño.

AnaMartaArraiza_webSinger Ana Marta Arraiza holds a bachelor degree in Music Education with a major in Voice from the Puerto Rico Conservatory of Music. She has worked as a vocal coach in several singing reality shows for the Univision television network, but most recently for the Prepatory School of the Puerto Rico Conservatory of Music. She has also served as vocal coach for several musicals in her native Puerto Rico, including: Cabaret, Hairspray, Fame, and Grease among others. In  2003, she was one the principal singers for a Walt Disney Company show in Puerto Rico. She continues to participate as a singer and actress in both plays and musicals. Ana Marta currently works as a songwriter for TV and radio jingles and composes for serveral well-known singers.

SaraJarque_webSara Jarque’s performances have earned her the Best Supporting Actress of the Year four times by the Critics Circle Theatre Awards of Puerto Rico. Her career as a dancer, singer, actress, producer and commercial announcer has spanned 27 years. She studied singing with  Rina de Toledo and Hilda Ramos, and dancing with instructors Zaida Varas, Rosita Palmer, Sophie Sanfiorenzo and Edwin Ballester. Sara earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Drama from the University of Puerto Rico, and she went on to perform as both a dancer and vocalist for such great artists as Chayanne, Emmanuel, Ricardo Montaner, Lissette, Lourdes Robles, Lunna and Alvaro Torres, an she has appeared on various TV programs and films. In theater she has worked in various genres including musicals, dramas, comedies, children’s theater, operetta and opera, having most recently appeared in Cabaret, Boeing Boeing, Dangerous Liasons, Nine, and Barrio Arriba, Barrio Abajo. Sara voice can be heard in commercials for Sears, Maybelline, First Mortgage and Jenny Craig.

GloriaDiazColon_webFrom an early age, Gloria Díaz Colón studied classic, Spanish and jazz dance. She also studied modeling and drama, and has appeared in both television commercials and newspaper advertisements. She was in Ballet Isleño de Puerto Rico for three years before joining Gíbaro de Puerto Rico where she has performed for 27 years. Gloria is proud to have represented the island of Puerto Rico, having toured with the Gíbaro Company to Spain, France, Italy, Greece, Japan, and Canada with numerous stops in the United States. She has appeared as a dancer and actress in such musical productions as Barrio Arrriba, Barrio Abajo, Al Son de un Bolero, Aguinaldo Jíbaro, Fusión, and La Llamarada. Gloria has worked for the Center of the Performing Arts of Puerto Rico for 27 years, and she currently serves as Director.

AidaCuevas_webDancer and actress Aída Cuevas studied Drama at the University of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras. During her school years, she enrolled in the Teatro Rodante and took part in many plays and International festivals. For 19 years, she has been successfully performing as an actress and dancer with the folkloric company Gíbaro de Puerto Rico, participating in various musical productions such as Al Son de un Bolero, Barrio Arriba, Barrio Abajo, Martin el Cucarachito Boricua, Aguinaldo Jíbaro and Fusión. Aída has also performed with Teatro del 60 with world renown singer Olga Tañón, and she has experience in radio locution.

BarbaraJimCnez_webAfter earning a degree in advertising, Bárbara Jiménez Santiago studied law in Puerto Rico and Belgium. She currently works as a legal advisor in the Court Administration Office, working in a program that assists minorities in gaining better to the legal system. At the age of three, Bárbara began taking classes in ballet, jazz and flamenco, followed by years of cheerleading in high school and college. During that time, she became interested in folklore and began dancing with Gíbaro de Puerto Rico, embracing the experience and discovering one of her passions in life: keep the folklore and culture of Puerto Rico alive! Now in her fourteenth year as a dancer, singer and actress for Gíbaro, Bárbara has participated such productions as Le lo la?, Al Son de un Bolero, Raíces, El Jíbaro, Aguinaldo Jíbaro, Barrio Arriba, Barrio Abajo and Martín el Cucarachito Borícua. She has found happiness in serving the people of Puerto Rico through promoting social justice and Puerto Rican culture and folklore.

CynthiaCruz_webUpon graduating from college, Cynthia Cruz has gone on to manage many beauty salons. Her talents also lie in dancing, and with 21 years of experience as a professional dancer, Cynthia has performed with many great artists and companies such as Leonor Contazo, Jarabe de Palo, Bailos and Guateque. Cynthia currently dances with the folkloric dance troupe Gíbaro de Puerto Rico, having represented Puerto Rico in various tours through Europe and the United States. All of these experiences have led her to become a successful businesswoman. Her business, Human Salon & Spa, just celebrated its fifth year of operation.

CarlaMojica_webCarla Michelle Mojica De Leon has over 20 years of experience in the field of Folklore. She is a doctrate candidate in Hispanic Linguistics, after having obtained two masters degrees: one in Hispanic Lexicography from the Spanish Royal Academy, and the other in General Linguistics. Coupled with dancing, Carla Michelle has combined her two passions with zeal: she joined Ballet Folklorico Guarionex in 1995, and since 2000 she has been an active member of Gíbaro de Puerto Rico. She has worked and collaborated on productions such as Fusión, Barrio Arriba, Barrio Abajo, Aguinaldo Jíbaro, Martin el Cucarachito Boricua, and La Llamarada among others. Carla Michelle has also represented Puerto Rico at folk festivals in Belgium, Italy, France, Spain, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Mexico and Macedonia. Academically speaking, she is a senior researcher in the Spanish language at the Puerto Rican Academy, and she is part of a research team working on a project called “Linguistic Identity and Attitudes in Spanish-speaking Latin America” through the University of Bergen in Norway.

CamilleFont_webCamille Font is currently studying for a Master’s degree in Industrial Organizational Psychology at the University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras. She started dancing in 2000 with the National Folkloric Ballet of Puerto Rico, Tony D’ Astro. She has been a dancer for the cuatrísta Manuel Alejandro, a 2011 Grammy Nominee for Folkloric and Instrumental categories for his disc Manos de Ángel. In 2002, Camille performed for the first time with Gíbaro de Puerto Rico in the theater piece Fusión. She went on to perform in numerous musical and theater productions such as Barrio Arriba, Barrio Abajo and Aguinaldo Jíbaro, Asi Somos, Objetivo Patria and Cecilia Valdés among others. Touring with the Company at folkloric festivals, she is proud to represent Puerto Rico in performances in México, Spain and Greece.

EdagarMiranda_webEdgar Allan Miranda was involved in the arts from an early age. He arrived at Gíbaro in 1991 and has been participating in various important musicals and plays in Puerto Rico. Miranda was part of the body of principal dancers of the advertising campaign “OYE” MoviStar in addition to being an official dancer of the Jaileen Cintrón Orchestra. His artistic talents are not only in dancing and acting; he is very versatile and has been part of the television and film industry, serving as stage manager and production staff. Last December, he wrote and produced the short film Radiological Anatomy. He continues an active role in the company Gíbaro of Puerto Rico.

CarlosReyes_webCarlos Reyes Rivera began his dance career with the Tony D’astro folkloric company. Later, he studied jazz and modern dance in Puerto Rico and the United States, performing in various companies. Carlos studied classical ballet with world renown ballet instructors and got the opportunity and privilege to perform for the three most prestigious ballet companies of Puerto Rico: Ballet de San Juan, Ballet Concierto and Ballet Teatro Municipal. He traveled to Hofftra University in Long Island, New York for the Eglevsky Ballet Summer Camp, taking master classes and performing in the summer company productions. For the past 12 years, Carlos has been part of Gíbaro de Puerto Rico as a folkloric dancer, and most recently as an actor in the musicals productions Aguinaldo Jíbaro and Martin el Cucarachito Boricua.

CruzRafaelCaraballo_webCruz Rafael Caraballo Cruz began his career as a dancer in 1991 with Ballet Folklórico Agu?eybaná. He then became the Assistant Director of the troupe, before joining Gíbaro de Puerto Rico in 2004. As a dancer and choreographer, his accomplishments include Certámenes de la Danza Puertorriqueña, winning first place several times; serving as choreographer for Miss Yauco High, Miss Fiestas Patronales Puerto Rico, Miss Maja Puerto Rico, Miss Teen Latina Puerto Rico and Miss Expoworld Puerto Rico; and dancer in such productions as Barrio Arriba, Barrio Abajo, Objetivo Patria, Aguinaldo Jíbaro and Fusión. Cruz studied Biology and Hispanic Studies at the University of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez.

AxelGonzalez_webAxel González always felt a calling for musical rhythms. At age 17, he distinguished himself as a professional dancer with the well known choreographer Cuca Casanova, studying jazz, funk and hip-hop. Axel joined Noelian Ortiz Enterprises where he had the opportunity of participating in diverse beauty shows like Miss Piel Canela and Miss Mundo, and he also traveled to the Dominican Republic with the modeling agency B Star. During his professional preparation in the University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras, Axel was a member of the dance team, gaining two championships in LAI. Axel joined Gíbaro de Puerto Rico in 2006 joined where he distinguished himself in rhythms like salsa, bomba and plena. He has participated in the musicals Barrio Ariba, Barrio Abajo, Fusión, Aguinaldo Gibaro, Objetivo Patria and the kids’ musical Martin El Cucarachito Boricua among others. Axel is proud have taken the Puerto Rican culture to folkloric festivals in Spain and Greece.

FrankGarcia_webFrank García began his artistic career at an early age, involved in everything related to the arts, especially dance. During high school he was part of Ballet Isleño, the most prestigious dance group of Puerto Rico’s Public Schools. For more than 10 years, García has been an active member of the national folkloric company Gíbaro de Puerto Rico, where he travels around the world representing Puerto Rican culture. He has participated in musicals Al Son de un Bolero, Barrio Arriba, Barrio Abajo, Aguinaldo Jíbaro and Fusión.

Performers in Musical Evenings at San Fernando Cathedral

French Impressions

hughes leclereBorn 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.

Brahms Continued

MarkChekheitViolinist 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

elenaportnayaPianist 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.

EmanuelBorokEmanuel 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.

Violin Virtuosos x 2

EugeneKalerAt age 5, Eugene Kaler, violinist, began to study piano, and in two years – violin, first at the Peabody Conservatory then at the Levine School of Music. He participated in several competitions and festivals, such as the Concerto Competition at J. Madison University (1st place) and String Solo Festival (1st place). Receiving a full scholarship to continue his education, Eugene moved to Chicago, and graduated with honors, receiving his BM in Violin Performance from DePaul University in 2009. In addition to performing in and around Chicago, Baltimore, New York and Washington, DC, Eugene has enjoyed performing in Spain, Italy, and France. Eugene Kaler currently is a Masters student at the Boston Conservatory.

ViolettaTodorovaOriginally from Saint Petersburg, Russia, Violetta Todorova started playing violin at the age of 5. Her intense study led her to the stage at a very young age, and she made her debut at the age of 11, performing Vivaldi’s Four Seasons with the chamber orchestra. Among her awards are diplomas at the International Competition for Young Violinists in Tallin, Estonia and All-Russian Competition for Young Violinists in Nijni-Novgorod, Russia. After completing her middle school at the St. Petersburg conservatory prep, she attended Interlaken Arts Academy in Michigan, which she graduated from in 2007. She is currently studying violin at DePaul University, in the studio of Ilya Kaler.

AlinaGorinaAlena 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.

Beethoven_logoCity-wide Beethoven Festival

Jan. 15, 2012: Beethoven Sonatas 7 and 8 for violin and piano

GaryLevinsonGary 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.

BayaKakouberiBaya 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.

Jan. 29, 2012: Beethoven Sonatas 1, 2, and 3 for violin and piano

EmanuelBorokEmanuel 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.

elenaportnayaPianist 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.

Feb. 5, 2012: Beethoven Sonatas 4, 5, and 6 for violin and piano

MarkChekheitViolinist 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.

helenabasilovaHelena Basilova, pianist, received her bachelor degree at the Conservatory of Amsterdam, in 2010 moved to New York City to study at NYU. Helena was finalist of several Dutch competitions and had been awarded her Debut series in March 2008. This series are specially reserved for the most talented young musicians and provided a concert-tour in the most important music halls of the country such as the Concertgebouw and Vredenburg. Besides Netherlands, Helena played concerts in Spain, Russia, Germany, Italy, Portugal, Iceland, Aruba and New York. As a chamber musician she plays together with the talented Dutch violinist Lisa Jacobs and is she a member of ‘Trio Lurra,’ together with flute and bass-clarinet, which performs contemporary repertoire.

April 1, 2012: Fantasia for Organ

Svetlana

Svetlana Berezhnaya – one of the top five Russian organists – is a flamboyant musician with an individual view of the organ’s possibilities that is totally unique to her. Many of the organist’s transcriptions are used by musicians from other countries as an example of stunning compositional adaptations of the works. Ms. Berezhnaya graduated from the Gnesins’ Academy of Music having studied the piano, and the Kazan State Conservatoire from which she received her Master’s degree. She also received training as an organist at the Brabant Conservatoire (the Netherlands). She received a diploma at the Northern Palmira International Festival in 1992, she won first prize at the All-Russian Organists’ Competition in 1996, and she was awarded the title of Honored Artist of Russia in 2000.

Ms. Berezhnaya has worked with leading conductors and soloists in Russia, Europe and the U.S., and she regularly performs with numerous acclaimed orchestras and choruses. She currently serves as General Director and organist at the State Philharmonic of the city of Mineral Waters in Caucuses, Russia. This season, her performing engagements include concerts in Holland, Germany, Belgium, France, Switzerland and the U.S.

Svetlana Berezhnaya has recorded seven CDs with Pyotr Kondrashin Classical Recordings. In 2010, her first book went on sale – Tales of Sand Clocks, or I Just Continue to Play – which consists of essays, novellas and literary sketches illustrated by the author.

icysimpson_150dpiSoprano Icy Rene Simpson has been hailed as a passionate singer whose love for music flows through everyone that hears her. Ms. Simpson’s grace and talent has been conveyed through many roles including Susannah in Susannah, Gretel in Hansel and Gretel, and Catherine in The Butler Opera Center’s world premiere of A View from the Bridge by William Bolcom (the chamber orchestra version). Ms. Simpson attended the American Institute of Musical Studies in Graz, Austria during the summer of 2006. She won the state and regional National Association of Teachers of Singing Competitions (07-08), as well as the District Metropolitan Opera Auditions in 2007, 2008, and 2011. Ms. Simpson is also the winner of the 2008 Classical Singer Competition-University Division, and the winner of the “Peoples’ Choice” Award in the Dallas Opera Guild Competition for 2008. Ms. Simpson has accumulated many recent accomplishments, including achieving 2nd place in the National Association of Negro Business and Professional Women’s Clubs, Inc.

As of May 2011, Ms. Simpson has appeared as a solo artist with The South Arkansas Symphony Orchestra and The Louisiana Symphony Orchestra. In addition, she earned the distinction of being the first to graduate from the newly-instituted Artist Diploma Program from the University of Texas-Austin under the tutelage of Professor Darlene Wiley.

Performers in Musica Viva

Anuradha_NaimpallyAnuradha Naimpally, artistic director of Austin Dance India, has been dancing worldwide for over 35 years. Amongst her many honors, she is the only Indian dancer to win the prestigious Jacqueline LeMieux Prize from the Canada Council in 1989. In India, she was bestowed the title of “Sringara Mani” at the Kal-ke-Kalakar Festival in 1990. In Austin she was named Best Dancer by the Austin Area Critics’ Circle in 2001, and nominated numerous times, including 2011. Her recent production, Parampara, was awarded the coveted Best Dance Concert award for 2011 and was named by the Austin Chronicle as one of the top five performances of 2011. Anuradha is funded by the City of Austin Cultural Contract Division and is a selected artist on the Texas Commission on the Arts Touring Roster, Mid-America Arts Alliance. Anuradha is also passionate about arts in education. She conducts assembly performances on Indian dance and culture in Central Texas schools and libraries as well as ongoing movement classes based on academic curriculum. Through her organization, Austin Dance India, she also trains students from beginner to professional level.

amieAmie Maciszewski is an American sitarist who has devoted her adult life to studying, performing, teaching, and promoting North Indian classical music. Amie’s training in North Indian music includes both formal academic training in India (Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in sitar performance from Santiniketan) and the U.S. (Ph.D. in ethnomusicology) and ongoing traditional study with two leading gurus: Grammy-nominated sarode Maestro Aashish Khan and Hindustani vocal diva Padmabhushan Girija Devi. She has performed in several countries across the globe, to critical acclaim. Director of the Sangeet Millennium Ensemble, one of Austin’s Top Ten world music bands, she is a City of Austin Cultural Contractor and a selected artist on the Texas Commission on the Arts Touring Roster, Mid-America Arts Alliance, and India World Cultural Forum. In addition to having released four noted CDs, she has co-produced and directed four documentary films, the latest of which bagged the Best Documentary-Malvern award at the Toronto COMMFFEST, 2010.

zarishkhan_150 Zarish Khan has been playing tabla from young age and performed locally and nationally for many different genres and venues. He is a shagird (student) of the “Tabla Prince,” the great Ustad Tari Khansahib of Punjab. He enjoys playing all traditional aspects of Hindustani Classical Music including tabla solo, classical accompaniment for instrumentalist, dance (kathak and bharata natyam), ghazal, geet, and thumri styles. He is always trying to broaden his musical experience and has experimented in the past with a wide array of musical traditions such as drum circles, jazz, rock, new age, electronica, and anything that sounds like music. Zarish continues to study under his hero and guru, Ustad Tari Khansahib.

Soumya Ashok has studied Karnatic music for many years under the tutelage of Vidushi Smt. Padmavathy Ananthagopalan and Vidushi Dr. Jayanthi Kumaresh. She began her training Bharatanatyam in 2007 under the able guidance of Guru Smt. Anuradha Naimpally aht-mein Austin. She is currently pursuing advanced training in both music and dance under the same Gurus. A designer and developer by profession, Soumya works for a web services company based in Austin, besides taking on freelance design projects. She is actively involved in the artistic community of Austin and has been a part of many music, dance and theater productions.

RatanRatan Kumar initially learnt to sing Carnatic music from his mother, Smt. Karpagam Rangachari, a well-known vocalist of Carnatic music in India. Ratan started playing Carnatic Music on the instrument Veena when he was 8 years old. His guru, Sri V.S. Ananth Rao belongs to the Dwaaram School of music, and was a Veena artist of All India Radio, Hyderabad. Ratan has performed in numerous Carnatic music events in India, Hong Kong and the Austin-Central Texas area.

IMG_9031Sriram Vaideeswaran, started learning to play the mridangam at the age of 9 and has been trained in both the Palghat and Pudukottai Bhani or style. He is a recipient of the Best Student Percussionist Award for the year 1995 in Madras. He continued his advanced tutelage under Padma Bhushan TV Gopalakrishnan (fondly called TVG) and has performed for instrumentalists and carnatic vocalists. He likes to create mridangam designs with its strings made out of synthetics and not leather. The instrument he would use to perform in this concert is one of his new designs.