M u s i c i a n s
MELVIN KAPLAN, founder/artistic director of the New York Chamber Soloists and the Festival Winds, has been for more than 40 years one of America’s most influential forces in chamber music, both as a renowned performer and as manager, teacher, lecturer and writer. As a soloist, he has premiered works by Vaughan Williams, Ezra Laderman, Hugh Aitken, Gunther Schuller, Mel Powell, Heitor Villa-Lobos and Jean Francaix. On the faculty of the Juilliard School for 30 years, Mr. Kaplan was also for many years featured regularly as a lecturer/performer at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. He founded and was Artistic Director of the Vermont Mozart Festival.
CURTIS MACOMBER (violin) is one of the most versatile soloists/chamber musicians before the public today, equally at home in repertoire from Bach to Babbitt. As member of the New World String Quartet from 1982-93, he performed in virtually all the important concert series in this country, as well as touring abroad. He is the violinist of Speculum Musicae and Da Capo, and a founding member of the Apollo Trio. His most recent recordings include a solo recording (“Casting Ecstatic”) on CRI, the complete Grieg Sonatas on Arabesque, an all-Steve Mackey record (“Interior Design”) on Bridge, and the complete Brahms Sonatas, also for Bridge. Mr. Macomber is presently a member of the chamber music faculty of the Juilliard School, where he earned B.M., M.M., and D.M.A. degrees as a student of Joseph Fuchs. He is also on the violin faculty of the Manhattan School of Music, and has taught at the Tanglewood, Taos, and Yellow Barn Music Festivals.
MIATIN ZHEZHA (violin) has been hailed by The Hartford Courant for his “expressive and warm sound, and faultless intonation,” Albanian-born Mialtin Zhezha is an accomplished violinist and violist. Since his solo debut with the National Orchestra at the age of 13 in Tirana, Albania, he has maintained a broad international performing career. His performances have taken him to three continents As a violin and viola pedagogue, Mr. Zhezha has been a visiting artist and has given public masterclasses at Western Michigan University and the International Academy of the Arts in Tirana, Albania. Mr. Zhezha holds his Post Graduate Degree and Masters Degree (Pinchas Zukerman Performance program) from Manhattan School of Music. His mentors include, Pinchas Zukerman, Patinka Kopec, Lawrence Dutton, and Renata Knific.
EMILY POPHAM GILLINS (violin) has traveled throughout the United States, Europe, Korea, and Israel as a soloist and collaborative chamber musician. As first violinist of the Degas String Quartet and a member of the International Sejong Soloists, she has performed at the Library of Congress and the Kennedy Center. Other collaborations include concerts at the Prussia Cove International Musicians Seminar and the Aspen, Ravinia and Taos Music Festivals. Emily completed degrees from Indiana University, the Juilliard School and Manhattan School of Music studying with Miriam Fried, Robert Mann, and Sylvia Rosenberg. She has served as assistant concertmaster of the Sarasota Opera Orchestra and as a faculty member of the Summertrios Music Festival in Pennsylvania. She is currently a member of Ensemble ACJW and performs regularly at Carnegie’s Weill Hall. Emily joined the New York Chamber Soloists in 2008.
APRIL JOHNSON (violin) received her Bachelor of Music from Oberlin; Advanced studies at Brooklyn College Conservatory. She has studied with Kaplan, Kawasaki, Gabora, Clapp. And has performed for Perlman, Rosenberg, Buswell. She was the former Concertmaster of the Jupiter Symphony, Canton Ohio Symphony, Galatea Ensemble, Queens Oratorio. Associate Concertmaster: Norwalk Symphony. Recordings: Dorian, Lyrichord.
YNEZ LYNCH (viola), an original member of the New York Chamber Soloists, has been viola soloist with the Musica Aeterna Orchestra and the Festival Orchestra of New York at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center. She has also performed with the Festival Winds and appeared as guest artist with the American and Emerson String Quartets and the Paris Piano Trio. She has performed in the chamber orchestra and as viola soloist at the Casals Festival in Prades, France, and in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Ms Lynch toured the United States and Europe as a member of the original cast of New York Pro Musica’s production of The Play of Daniel, which was recorded by Decca. She has also recorded for CRI and Nonesuch, and has made many radio and television appearances in North America and Europe.
ADAM GRABOIS (cello) has a varied career as chamber musician, soloist, teacher, and recording artist, and is the founder of the record label Reflex Editions. About his first recording The Philadelphia Inquirer wrote, “Sometimes, the way he plays with the sound of a single note has enough emotional sustenance in it to launch a half-dozen distinct feelings in quick succession.” A second disc, DUOS: Martinu, Ravel, Kodaly, was released to critical acclaim in 2008. Recent appearances include the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Morgan Library in New York City, the National Gallery in Washington, and the Getty Center in Los Angeles. He is also the cellist of the Lile Piano Trio and a member of the Finckel Cello Quartet. Past collaborations have included performances with Menahem Pressler and Mikhail Baryshnikov. Educated at Swarthmore College, he studied with David Finckel and has taught as his assistant. He is on the faculty of the Kinhaven Music School in Vermont and the Weston Music Center in Connecticut. His cello was made by Samuel Zygmuntowicz in Brooklyn in 1998 and his bows were made by Ole Kanestrøm in 2004 and 2008.
PETER SEIDENBERG (cello) has played in major halls throughout the US, Europe, and Asia. He made his solo debut with the Chicago Symphony, and has since appeared as soloist with many orchestras including Century Orchestra of Osaka, New American Chamber Orchestra, De Paul Chamber Orchestra, and the Eastman-Rochester Philharmonic. For four years he served as principal cellist with the Century Orchestra of Osaka. He was founding member of the critically acclaimed Elements Quartet which created groundbreaking commissioning projects involving over 30 composers. He has collaborated with members of the Cleveland, Tokyo, Juilliard and Emerson Quartets and has participated in the Marlboro, Aspen, Caramoor, Casals and Norfolk festivals. His numerous recordings can be found on the Pantheon, RCA, EMF, CRI, Albany, and Lyrichord labels. He has been featured on PBS, NBC, NHK, New Zealand Public TV, Air Espania and European Broadcast Union (EBU) broadcasts.
TOMOYA AOMORI (double bass) is internationally renowned as a multi-talented musician who is a highly experienced Cellist, Percussionist, Bassist, and a Composer. Through his vast knowledge and experience of both Jazz and Classical music, Tomoya strives to integrate the two aspects in a unique innovative approach, in hopes to break the boundaries of musical genres. He is a graduate of The Juilliard School, where he completed both his Undergraduate and Graduate degrees as a double major on Percussion and Double Bass. Upon graduating, he received the William Schuman Prize for Outstanding Achievement and Leadership in Music.
JENNIFER GRIM (flute) Hailed by The New York Times as “a deft, smooth flute soloist,” Jennifer Grim has performed across the United States as an active solo and chamber musician of both the classic literature and contemporary music. She is a member of the Zéphyros Winds, New York Chamber Soloists, and the Proteus Ensemble. She has also performed with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, St. Luke’s Chamber Ensemble, Speculum Musicae, and ensemble 21. As a soloist, she has performed all of the flute concerti of Mozart with the Vermont Mozart Festival. Currently principal flute of the Vermont Mozart Festival, Ms. Grim has performed at the Aspen Music Festival and the Norfolk Chamber Music Festival. A native of California, Ms. Grim received her bachelor’s degree from Stanford University, and her Masters and Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the Yale School of Music. Ms. Grim is currently Assistant Professor at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.
RANDALL ELLIS attended the North Carolina School of the Arts and the State University of New York at Stony Brook where he studied with Ronald Roseman. He served as principal oboist of Lincoln Center’s Mostly Mozart Festival Orchestra from 1988 until 2016. He is principal oboist of the Little Orchestra Society and the Mozart Orchestra of New York and is solo English horn in the New York Pops Orchestra. He is a member of Windscape Woodwind Quintet, artists in residence at the Manhattan School of Music. Randall is a member of the Emmy award-winning All-Star Orchestra under the music directorship of Gerard Schwarz. Mr. Ellis is principal oboist and faculty member of the Eastern Music Festival. He was principal oboist of the New York Chamber Symphony and received two Grammy nominations, including one for his recording of Howard Hanson’s Pastorale. He has performed with the New York Philharmonic, Seattle Symphony, San Diego Symphony, Florida Orchestra, and the American Symphony Orchestra. He teaches oboe and chamber music at Skidmore College and coaches in the graduate orchestral performance program at the Manhattan School of Music.
ALLEN BLUSTINE (clarinet) is a member of the New York Chamber Soloists and the award-winning new music ensemble Speculum Musicae (of which he is currently the President and Director). An active proponent of new music for the clarinet, he has premiered over 100 solo and chamber works including Milton Babbitt’s “My Ends are My Beginnings,” Donald Martino’s “Triple Concerto,” Elliott Carter’s “GRA (New York premiere),” Pulitzer Prize-winner Wayne Peterson’s “Peregrinations” for solo clarinet and, most recently, Pulitzer Prize-winner Mario Davidovsky’s “Synchronisms No. 12 for clarinet and electronic sounds.” He was principal clarinetist of the Japan Philharmonic in the early 1970s and the Musica Aeterna Orchestra at the Metropolitan Museum and has frequently performed with the New York Philharmonic. He is currently on the faculty of Columbia University and is a founding member of the North Country Chamber Players in New Hampshire and the associate director of the Institute and Festival for Contemporary Performance at Mannes College of Music in New York.
ROBERT WAGNER (bassoon) is principal bassoonist of the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra; a member of the American Wind Quintet; the Boehm Quintette; and has been a frequent performer with the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra and the Orchestra of St. Luke’s. He began his studies with Simon Kovar and Norman Herzberg in Los Angeles
and graduated from The Juilliard School, where he was a student of Stephen Maxym. Mr. Wagner teaches Princeton University. He has been a featured performer at the Salzburg Mozarteum and soloist in Richard Wilson’s Concerto for Bassoon and Chamber Orchestra on the CRI label. With the Boehm Quintette, Mr. Wagner can be heard on the
New World and Premiere labels, with Orpheus on Deutsche Grammophon, and with the New Jersey Symphony on Delos and New World.
SHARON MOE (horn) is a frequent soloist throughout the U.S. and has performed as a soloist in France, Spain, and South America. Ms. Moe was solo horn for the premiere of Leonard Bernstein’s Mass at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C., and for the premiere of Oliver Messaien’s From the Canyon to the Stars at Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall. Her compositions have received several awards from ASCAP, and have been performed in Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Alice Tully Hall, and Merkin Hall, and at the Aspen, Spoleto, and Miami Festivals. Her work Windows was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize.
HELENE JEANNEY (piano), born in Paris, to an American mother and French father, started her musical studies at age 5 and later graduated from the Paris Conservatory at the age of 17. She then went on with a Fulbright Scholarship to study at Indiana University in Bloomington. She also holds a Professional Studies Degree from the Juilliard School.
She has been a soloist with the Paris Conservatory Orchestra, the Cleveland Orchestra, and the Indianapolis Symphony.