2023 Summer Festival Program
Amy Advocat, clarinet
Sought out for her “dazzling” (Boston Globe) performances with “extreme control and beauty” (The Clarinet Journal), Amy Advocat, clarinetist, is an avid performer of new music having performed with Boston Modern Orchestra Project, Alarm Will Sound, Sound Icon, Guerilla Opera, Firebird Ensemble, Callithumpian Consort, Collage New Music, and Dinosaur Annex. Recent appearances include performances at Beethovenfest Bonn, Vienna Summer Music Festival, Monadnock Music, New Hampshire Music Festival, and the White Mountain Music Festival.
Amy is a founding member of the bass clarinet and marimba duo, Transient Canvas, with whom she has commissioned and premiered hundreds of new works and released three albums to critical acclaim. Transient Canvas regularly tours across the United States and Europe, including featured performances at New Music Gathering (San Francisco/Boston), SoundNOW Festival (Atlanta), Alba Music Festival (Italy), Music on the Edge (Pittsburgh), Outpost Concert Series (Los Angeles), and more. Their debut album, Sift, was released in August 2017 on New Focus Recordings to rave reviews. KLANG New Music called it "one of the more refreshing things I've heard in recent years." Their second album, Wired, was named a top local album of 2018 by The Boston Globe with I Care If You Listen raving “Transient Canvas is a tour de force and this record is a must-add to any new music lover’s library.”
Amy Advocat is a proud endorsing artist with Conn-Selmer and Henri Selmer Paris Clarinets.
Eliko Akahori, piano
Eliko Akahori has appeared as a recitalist, chamber musician, and collaborative pianist in the United States, Europe, and Asia. Recent performances include recitals with Mai Motobuchi, violist of the Borromeo Quartet, and Karl-Heinz Schütz , principal flutist of the Vienna Philharmonic. Collaboration with Karl-Heinz Schütz included the recording and release of two CDs. Ms. Akahori has also appeared in concerts with A Far Cry, Winsor Music, Community MusicWorks, Cantata Singers, and Music at Eden’s Edge.
Eliko received the first prize, Coleman-Barstow Award, in the 57th Coleman Chamber Ensemble Competition. Past collaborators in recitals, chamber music concerts, recordings, and radio and television broadcasts have included members of the Berlin Philharmonic and the Chicago, Montreal, Boston and San Francisco Symphony Orchestras, among others. Ms. Akahori has performed in many festivals including the Banff Centre in Canada, IMAI in Maine, and the Pacific Music Festival in Japan.
Ms. Akahori holds a Doctorate of Music in Collaborative Piano and Master’s degree in Music Theory, both from the New England Conservatory of Music. She is currently senior performance faculty and director of the music performance program at Wellesley College.
Yelena Beriyeva, piano
Hailed as “the paragon of the concert pianist” by LA Examiner and “a standout performer” by The Boston Musical Intelligencer, Georgian-born American pianist Yelena Beriyeva continues to hold esteem as one of the finest artists of her generation.
Ms. Beriyeva made her solo debut at the age of 5 with the Tbilisi State Symphony Orchestra. Since then, she has performed extensively as a recitalist, chamber musician, and orchestral soloist in Rep. of Georgia, Armenia, Russia, Ukraine, Venezuela, Canada, Mexico, and the United States. While pursuing her Master’s Degree at the New England Conservatory, she was no stranger to prestigious Jordan Hall where audiences could hear and watch her perform works by Mozart, Beethoven, Mendelssohn, Schubert, Chopin, Barber, Bartok, Berg, Stravinsky, and others.
Ms. Beriyeva has been featured as a guest artist at the prestigious Great Romantics Festival of Canada in collaboration with Celebrity Concert Series at the McMaster University, on "Sundays with Liz Walker" at WBZ TV Channel 4, as a guest artist in "Sundays Live" of Los Angeles series of concerts in collaboration with LACMA and KCSN 88.5 FM while being broadcasted live online worldwide, as well as on Boston’s WGBH radio while being aired with pianist Alexander Korsantia as piano duo partners. Ms. Beriyeva has also been featured as a guest artist at a prestigious Georgian International Festival "From Easter to Ascension" that takes place in Tbilisi, Rep. of Georgia every year. Most recently, she performed Rachmaninov’s 1st, 2nd and 3rd Piano Concertos with the orchestras in Mexico, as well as the State of Arizona. Ms. Beriyeva has been appointed by the Clark University of Worcester, MA and is currently serving as a Director of Chamber Ensembles and a Distinguished Artist in Piano.
Ms. Beriyeva has earned countless awards at local and international Piano competitions some of which include San Marino International Piano Competition of Italy and the Hilton Head International Piano Competition of the USA to name a couple. She has appeared as soloist under the batons of such renowned conductors as Ludovic Morlot and Philippe Entremont.
Ms. Beriyeva holds degrees in piano performance from the New England Conservatory (M.M. and G.D.), the University of Arizona (B.M.), and the Tbilisi State Conservatory (B.M.) as well as Diploma from Tbilisi’s Special Gymnasium for Gifted Children. Her primary teachers were Alexander Korsantia, Nicholas Zumbro, Tengiz Amirejibi, Alexander Garber, Lali Sanikidze, Karlo Begiev and Svetlana Arakelova.
Charles Blandy, tenor
Charles Blandy has been praised as “unfailingly, tirelessly lyrical” (Boston Globe); “fearless” (New York Times); “a versatile tenor with agility, endless breath, and vigorous high notes" (Goldberg Early Music Magazine); and for his “clear, focused, gorgeous tenor voice” (Worcester Telegram and Gazette).
He makes his Boston Symphony Orchestra/Carnegie Hall debut in 2024 in Shostakovich’s Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk. He is a core member of Emmanuel Music, and regularly appears in their ongoing Bach Cantata series. With Emmanuel he has sung the Evangelist in Bach’s St. John and St. Matthew Passions; and the roles of Tom Rakewell in Stravinsky’s The Rake’s Progress, Belmonte in Mozart’s Abduction from the Seraglio and Tamino in The Magic Flute, and Lurcanio in Handel’s Ariodante, and in John Harbison’s The Great Gatsby.
He has performed Bach’s B minor mass with Orchestra Iowa; the Apollo Chorus of Chicago; and the American Classical Orchestra (NYC) at Lincoln Center; Handel’s Messiah with Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra; Monteverdi's Il Ritorno d’Ulisse, Vespers of 1610, L’Orfeo, and assorted madrigals with Boston Early Music Festival; Messiah and St. Matthew Passion with the American Bach Soloists (SF, CA). He has appeared with the Bach Choir of Bethlehem, Handel and Haydn Society, Boston Baroque, Music of the Baroque (Chicago), Rhode Island Philharmonic, and Charlotte Symphony.
He gave the US premiere of Gerald Barry’s Canada at the Tanglewood Festival of Contemporary Music. With Boston Modern Orchestra Project he has appeared in and recorded Wuorinen’s Haroun and the Sea of Stories; and in Virgil Thomson’s Four Saints in Three Acts. With Collage New Music he recorded Rodney Lister’s chamber song cycle Friendly Fire, and gave the US premiere of Rautavaara’s song cycle Die Liebenden.
A recitalist of wide repertoire, he has performed Schubert’s Schwanengesang at the Token Creek Festival (WI) and at Tufts University; Winterreise at Tufts; Auf dem Strom and Brahms songs with Boston Chamber Music Society; and songs of Finzi and Janacek’s Diary of One Who Disappeared at Monadnock Music (NH). He gave recitals of contemporary American song in New York, Boston, London and Manchester UK, with Rodney Lister at the piano.
Charles Blandy is a member of Beyond Artists, a coalition that supports good causes through their work. He studied at Oberlin College, Indiana University, and Tanglewood Music Center. He is the product of a strong public school arts program in Troy NY. charlesblandy.com
Rachel Braude, piccolo
Grammy-award winning flutist and piccoloist, Rachel Braude, has been a prominent member of the Boston music scene for many years. She is on the faculties of Dartmouth College and Northeastern University. Rachel is the former piccoloist of the St. Louis Symphony and currently holds positions with the Portland Symphony, Rhode Island Philharmonic, Boston Philharmonic, Boston Modern Orchestra Project, and Odyssey Opera. She is also a frequent performer with the Boston Ballet Orchestra, and is an occasional guest with the Boston Pops Esplanade, the Boston Pops Orchestra, and the Boston Symphony Orchestra. She regularly performs in every role in the flute section, from principal to piccolo, and has appeared as a soloist as both a piccoloist and flutist with several orchestras including the Portland Symphony. Rachel is a long-time member of the prestigious Arizona Music Fest and in the summers can be found performing with the Landmarks Orchestra, at the New Hampshire Music Festival, and teaching at the Greenwood Music Camp (Junior Division). She is also a frequent performer at several area chamber music festivals including Monadnock Music, the Easton Chamber Music Festival, and the Sevenars Festival. Rachel is married to the violinist and Concertmaster, Charles Dimmick. Their daughter Chloe, aged 12, is an accomplished violinist and lover of cats. Visit RachelBraude.com for more information.
Carrie Cheron, mezzo-soprano
With a career of repertoire that spans the musical sphere, mezzo-soprano and multi-genre contemporary vocalist Carrie Cheron has been hailed as having the “voice of an angel” with “unfeigned expression,” and has graced stages as a highly sought-after classical performer and crossover artist. Carrie performs regularly as a soloist and ensemble member of Skylark Vocal Ensemble, Emmanuel Music, Boston Baroque, Lorelei Ensemble, and folk/baroque collective Floyd’s Row, among others.
Some of the 2022-2023 season’s exciting solo performances and collaborations included the east-coast premiere of Caroline Shaw’s The Listeners; Reema Esmail’s This Love Between Us, Bach’s Christmas Oratorio and many cantatas with Boston’s own Emmanuel Music; a revival of Francine Trester’s chamber opera about the life of Florence Price, Florence Comes Home, a world-premiere performance of Trester’s song cycle, The Azure World, written for Ms. Cheron, using the poetry of Tennyson, and her first performance with Monadnock Music!
Previous seasons have included performances with Boston Landmarks Orchestra at Boston’s Hatch Shell; a solo appearance with Boston Baroque in Vivaldi’s Gloria; Vivaldi’s Stabat Mater with the Portland Bach Experience; Bach’s B Minor Mass, Christmas Oratorio, St. John Passion, Wolf’s Spanisches Liederbuch, Britten’s A Charm of Lullabies, and countless Bach cantatas with Emmanuel Music; an international solo debut with Skylark Ensemble at the Holy Week Festival at St. John’s, Smith Square in London, accompanied with a live on-air performance on BBC Radio 3’s program, “In Tune”; Haydn’s Lord Nelson Mass, Mozart’s Requiem and Vesperae solennes de Dominica, Handel’s Israel in Egypt and Messiah, Vivaldi’s Dixit Dominus, and Rachmaninoff’s All-Night Vigil; and much more.
On the operatic stage, Carrie recently performed the roles of Amore and Valletto with Boston Baroque in Monteverdi’s L’incoronazione di Poppea; Doctor/Loki in Guerilla Opera’s world premiere presentation of Per Bloland’s opera Pedr Solis; and Vicki in Francine Trester’s chamber opera Florence Comes Home.
A champion of contemporary classical composition, Ms. Cheron recently joined New Gallery Concert Series for the world premiere of “weavery,” by composer Marti Epstein, written specifically for Ms. Cheron’s voice. She also recorded the song cycle Alice, by composer Thomas Oboe Lee; and recently performed Boston composer Christopher Montgomery’s song cycle Ascent; and Francine Trester’s song cycle The Azure World.
A featured soloist on all three of Skylark Ensemble’s Grammy-nominated recordings, Carrie performed a solo, a cappella track of “Wayfaring Stranger” on Skylark’s most recent Grammy-nominated album, It’s a Long Way. This season, Skylark Ensemble released its tenth album which, again, featured Carrie as a soloist, this time performing the much beloved “La Vie en Rose,” the title track of the album. November 2021 saw the release of Skylark’s album, A Christmas Carol, which includes a devastating arrangement of “Coventry Carol,” by Benedict Sheehan, featuring Carrie as soloist. Carrie will also be performing the opening track on Skylark’s forthcoming release of Poulenc’s Figure Humaine, interspersed with songs of the Civil War. Additionally, she can be heard as a soloist on Lorelei Ensemble’s most recent recording, Love Fail, and is featured on their upcoming recording of Jessica Meyer’s I Long and Seek After.
Ms. Cheron is particularly proud to perform with Shelter Music Boston, which presents classical chamber music concerts of the highest artistic standards, in homeless shelters and other sheltering environments in and around the Boston area. She is also a founding and core member of Eudaimonia, a conductorless period orchestra that uses musical performance to support the social and humanitarian work of partner organizations. In 2017, Eudaimonia collaborated with the students of Longy School of Music to present a fully-staged production of Vivaldi’s Juditha triumphans, in which Ms. Cheron performed the title role.
As a nationally recognized performing singer-songwriter, Ms. Cheron’s original compositions and singing have been celebrated by the John Lennon Songwriting Contest, Great Waters Folk Festival, Rocky Mountain Folks Fest, and the Connecticut Folk Festival Songwriting Contest. She has shared the stage with such acclaimed artists as Sweet Honey In The Rock, Anais Mitchell, The Barra MacNeils, Northern Lights, David Jacobs-Strain, and Edie Carey.
A dedicated educator, Carrie is an Associate Professor of Voice at Berklee College of Music, where she teaches healthy vocal technique of all genres. Please visit her online at www.carriecheron.com.
Gabriela Diaz - violin
Georgia native Gabriela Diaz began her musical training at the age of five, studying piano with her mother, and the next year, violin with her father.
As a childhood cancer survivor, Gabriela is committed to supporting cancer research and treatment in her capacity as a musician. In 2004, Gabriela was a recipient of a grant from the Albert Schweitzer Foundation, an award that enabled Gabriela to create and direct the Boston Hope Ensemble. This program is now part of Winsor Music. A firm believer in the healing properties of music, Gabriela and her colleagues have performed in cancer units in Boston hospitals and presented benefit concerts for cancer research organizations in numerous venues throughout the United States.
A fierce champion of contemporary music, Gabriela has been fortunate to work closely with many significant composers on their own compositions, namely Pierre Boulez, Magnus Lindberg, Frederic Rzewski, Alvin Lucier, Unsuk Chin, John Zorn, Joan Tower, Jessie Montgomery, Roger Reynolds, Chaya Czernowin, Steve Reich, Tania León, Brian Ferneyhough, and Helmut Lachenmann. Gabriela is a member of several Boston-area contemporary music groups, including Sound Icon, Ludovico Ensemble, BMOP, Dinosaur Annex, Boston Musica Viva, and Callithumpian Consort. She plays regularly with Winsor Music, Castle of our Skins, Radius Ensemble, and Emmanuel Music and is a member of the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICEensemble), and A Far Cry.
In 2012 Gabriela joined the violin faculty of Wellesley College. She also teaches at the Longy School of Music at Bard College. Gabriela is co-artistic director of the much beloved Boston-based chamber music and outreach organization Winsor Music. Please visit winsormusic.org for more information!
Gabriela's recording of Lou Harrison's Suite for Violin and American Gamelan was highlighted in the New York Times Article "5 Minutes That Will Make You Love Classical Music."
Critics have acclaimed Gabriela as “a young violin master,” and “one of Boston’s most valuable players.” Lloyd Schwartz of the Boston Phoenix noted, “…Gabriela Diaz in a bewitching performance of Pierre Boulez’s 1991 Anthèmes. The come-hither meow of Diaz’s upward slides and her sustained pianissimo fade-out were miracles of color, texture, and feeling.” Others have remarked on her "indefatigably expressive" playing, “polished technique,” and “vivid and elegant playing.”
Gabriela can be heard on New World, Centaur, BMOPSound, Mode, Naxos, and Tzadik records.
Gabriela is proud to be a core member of the team that created Boston Hope Music, bringing music to patients and frontline workers during the pandemic. More info can be found at bostonhopemusic.org
Michael Dell’Orto - narrator
Michael G. Dell’Orto is a professional actor, director and writer who lives in Wilton Center NH with his family. He is a volunteer with the Wilton Historical Society; a Lector and Eucharistic Minister at his parish, Divine Mercy, in Peterborough; and for twelve years served as the volunteer Area Liaison in New England for Actors’ Equity Association, the Union of Actors and Stage Managers. He is a proud member of both Actors’ Equity (since 1977) and SAG-AFTRA (since 1983). He is very pleased to serve Monadnock Music as a member of its Board, and is committed to the organization’s mission of bringing the highest caliber of professional musical performance to the towns and villages of the Monadnock region.
Charles Dimmick - violin
Praised by the Boston Globe for his “cool clarity of expression,” violinist Charles Dimmick enjoys a varied and distinguished career as concertmaster, soloist, and chamber musician. As one of New England’s most sought after orchestral musicians, he is concertmaster of the Rhode Island Philharmonic, the Portland Symphony, the New Hampshire Music Festival, and co-concertmaster of the Boston Pops Esplanade Orchestra. A frequent soloist throughout New England and beyond, Charles has garnered praise, packed houses, and received standing ovations for what the Portland Press Herald has called his “luxurious and stellar performances” and his “technical and artistic virtuosity.” Recent solo engagements have included performances with the Memphis Symphony, Boston Pops Esplanade Orchestra, Portland Symphony, Winston-Salem Symphony, Boston Modern Orchestra Project, Arizona Musicfest, Chamber Orchestra of Boston, and the Boston Civic Symphony. A resident of Melrose, MA, he is currently living out the pandemic in Lisbon, NH with his wife, RIPO flutist Rachel Braude, and their daughter Chloe. Charles performs on a 1784 Joseph & Antonio Gagliano violin.
Noriko Futagami - viola
Violist Noriko Futagami performs with some of the area’s most celebrated ensembles. She is a member of the Radius Ensemble, voted “Boston’s Best Classical Ensemble of 2016” by the Improper Bostonian, as well as working with the Boston Musica Viva, Emmanuel Music, Cantata Singers and Winsor Music on a regular basis. She is principal violist for Boston Philharmonic Orchestra and section violist with Rhode Island Philharmonic. As principal violist for Albany Symphony, she has participated in several Grammy nominated recordings, winning in 2014 John Crigliano’s Conjurer/Vocalise.
Since moving to Boston in 2011, she has become a fixture of the freelance scene, performing regularly with the Boston Modern Orchestra Project, Odyssey Opera Orchestra and Monadnock Festival Orchestra, as well the Boston Pops, Boston Ballet and Boston Landmarks Orchestras. She is a faculty member at Brown University.
Rohan Gregory - violin
Rohan Gregory is a violinist that has cultivated a wide-ranging expertise in world music, changer music and new music. Rohan played with the Sophia Bilides Greek Folk ensemble for eight years, touring the U.S. and playing extensively throughout New England. His other world music endeavors have taken him to Europe with the Klezmatics, to Thailand with multi-ethnic flute player Abbie Rabinowitz, and to India with the Indo-jazz group Natraj. Recently he has played nationally and internationally with the flamenco guitarist Juanito Pascual. He is a member of the Worcester Chamber Music Society and is presently a member of the Pedroia String Quarter. He spent ten years as a member of QX, a string quartet that has been in residence at Clark University, and he was also a founding member for ten years of the Arden String Quartet, performing new music concerts in New York, Boston, Amsterdam and St. Petersburg, Russia. Locally, Rohan is a member of the Lyric Opera Company and the Boston Modern Orchestra Project. He coaches chamber music for the Walnut Hill School, teaches at the College of the Holy Cross, and spends his summers coaching at the Apple Hill Center for Chamber music in New Hampshire, at Music at Port Milford in Ontario, Canada, and at the WCMS Summer Festival.
Omar Chen Guey - violin
Brazilian violinist Omar Chen Guey has performed internationally as a soloist with orchestras, in recitals and chamber concerts throughout Brazil as well as the United States, Europe, Qatar, Taiwan, Kenya and the Seychelles. He has been a featured soloist with the Brazilian, Campinas, Goiania, Minas Gerais, Claudio Santoro National Theater, Sao Paulo University, Sao Paulo Municipal, and the State of Sao Paulo Symphony Orchestras, as well as the Amazonas Philharmonic, Petrobras Pro-Musica, Experimental Repertoire, Qatar Philharmonic, Manhattan School of Music, Stony Brook University Symphony, Maidstone Symphony and the Seychelles International Music Festival Orchestras. Following a recital in Oslo, Norway, he had the honor of performing for the King of Norway, Harald V. He is a prizewinner at both Tibor Varga and Lipizer International Violin Competitions in Switzerland and Italy, respectively. In May 2023, he performed the Vivaldi Four Seasons with the Fribourg Youth Orchestra, having previously performed the Britten Violin Concerto with them.
He has been on the faculty of Dartmouth College since 2020. He’s been concertmaster of the Handel Society in Hanover, NH for multiple concerts in the past few years. He is the assistant concertmaster of the Rhode Island Philharmonic, a member of the Boston Ballet and the New England Camerata Trio, which performs several chamber concerts in Vermont and New Hampshire each season. He was a member of A Far Cry, a two time Grammy nominated self conducted chamber orchestra. Last season, he performed with the Boston Symphony Orchestra Chamber Players at Jordan Hall. He is a regular guest artist with various ensembles around Boston, including the Walden Chamber Players, Radius Ensemble, Dinosaur Annex, Boston Lyric Opera, Odyssey Opera, BMOP and the Monadnock Music Festival, among others.
Mr. Guey premiered the Violin Concerto by Jean-Charles Gandrille with the Qatar Philharmonic. This performance has been released on the French label Paraty. He released the Bach Concerto for Two Violins on the Paulinas Label with the Brazilian soloist Elisa Fukuda and the Camerata Fukuda, of which he was also concertmaster. He premiered and released a work for solo violin of renowned French Lebanese musician Marcel Khalife on Nagan records. He participated in the Isaac Stern Chamber Music Workshop and has collaborated with renowned musicians such as Lynn Harrell, Ani Kavafian, David Finckel, Lawrence Dutton, Kikuei Ikeda and Colin Carr.
Mr. Guey’s principal teachers were Philip Setzer, Ani Kavafian and Pamela Frank, Robert Mann, Sylvia Rosenberg and Elisa Fukuda. He was awarded a full scholarship from the Brazilian government, the Juilliard School and the Aspen Music Festival Fellowship. He was assistant concertmaster of the Orquesta de la Comunidad Valenciana, in Valencia, Spain, under the direction of Lorin Maazel. He has served as concertmaster of the Jerusalem International Symphony Orchestra in Israel, and guest assistant concertmaster with the Mahler Chamber Orchestra and the Norwegian National Opera and Ballet.
Yoko Hagino - piano
Yoko Hagino was born and raised in Japan. As a child, she performed her own compositions, which took her to Europe and the U.S. Yoko Hagino won top prizes in various competitions, such as in the All Japan Mozart Competition and in the Steinway Society Piano Competition.
She received her Bachelor's Degree and her Master's Degree with honors from Tokyo National University. She also earned an Artist Diploma from the Longy School of Music, where she studied with Victor Rosenbaum, as well as the Performance Diploma at Boston Conservatory, where she was a student of Michael Lewin. She also studied with Seymour Lipkin privately.
Besides numerous performances in Japan, Yoko Hagino performed at Jordan Hall in Boston, at the William Kapell Music Festival, at Steinway and Sons in Kamen, Germany, and appeared live on Suisse Romande Radio in Switzerland. As a devoted chamber musician and a passionate performer of contemporary music, she has performed in many concerts, such as Boston Symphony Chamber Music Community Concert Series, Fromm Players at Harvard, The Boston Conservatory New Music Festival, Goethe Institute Boston, Brandeis University New Music Festival, and the Summer Institute of Contemporary Performance Practice at the New England Conservatory. She often collaborates with a large number of composers, and has premiered hundreds of their works. Yoko frequently performs with Ensemble Sound Icon, Ludovico Ensemble, Storytime Quintet, and the Boston Modern Orchestra Project (BMOP). Her performances can be heard on Navona and Bridge labels.
Samuel Kelder - viola
Described as “dynamic and committed” by the Boston Globe, violist Dr. Samuel Kelder performs regularly with ensembles East Coast Contemporary Ensemble, A Far Cry, Boston Modern Orchestra Project, Guerilla Opera, Callithumpian Consort, Sound Icon, and is often a guest artist with many of the symphony orchestras in the New England area. An avidly sought after chamber musician and soloist, Sam and has performed with members of JACK, Muir, Ulysses, Argus, and Aizuri quartets; and faculty members of New England Conservatory, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Mannes the New School for Music, Boston University, Boston College, Longy at Bard, and Wellesley University.
Kelder joined the Boston based string trio Sound Energy in 2018, an ensemble dedicated to searching for ways to push the traditional violin-viola-cello combination to represent the bold and daring voices of 20th- & 21st-century composers. Their work includes many commissions for string trio, and a residency at Temple University in 2018/2019. Additionally, Sam is co-founder of viola duo Shizuka with Hannah Rose Nicholas, whose mission is to expand the repertoire for the alto pairing while pursuing opportunities to work with young composers and performers. They have given masterclasses and performances at Tufts University and Boston University, were awarded an artist residency at Mise En Place in New York City, presented at the American Viola Society, and have commissioned over a dozen new works.
Sam has also performed as the featured artist at Third Practice Electroacoustic Festival (VA) and as soloist at New York City Electroacoustic Music Festival. He has toured across Europe and Central America with the Lucerne Festival Alumni Ensemble, Penderecki Academy, Callithumpian Consort, and was guest artist with the Arctic Philharmonic of Norway.
Sam is a passionate educator, and has taught at Boston University Tanglewood Institute as viola coach and mentor, and at the Summer Institute for Contemporary Performance Practice. He teaches a large studio of viola and violin students of all ages, and loves to cook in his free time.
Frank Kelley - narrator
Frank Kelley sings a wide variety of music in Europe, Asia, the Middle East, and America. He has sung over one-hundred opera roles with companies including the San Francisco Opera Company, Opera Theater of St. Louis, The Cincinnati Opera (his debut in 1978), The New Israeli Opera, the Theatre de la Monnaie, The Frankfurt Opera, Wexford Festival, El Gran Teatre del Liceu, The Dallas Opera, Odyssey Opera, The Boston Lyric Opera, Opera Boston, Florentine Opera, Opera LaFayette, and the Opera de Monte Carlo. Some of these performances were of roles created by Mr. Kelley including The United Way in Death and the Powers by Tod Machover, Grandpa Joe in the Golden Ticket by Peter Ash, the Tanzmeister in Hans Zender’s Stephan Climax, and Eddie Fislinger in Robert Aldrich’s Elmer Gantry. The last of these has been an important work in Mr. Kelley’s career, beginning with his involvement in the 1994 Boston Lyric Opera workshop and continuing 23 years later in the world premiere at the Nashville Opera, then moving on to the new production at the Florentine Opera with its live recording produced by Sound Mirror and released on Naxos records (garnering two Grammy awards), and culminating in his directing debut at the Florentine Opera in the revival of 2015. Mr. Kelley was involved in several seminal productions directed by Peter Sellars including Cosi fan Tutte, Le Nozze di Figaro, Die Sieben Todsünden and Das Kleine Mahagonny. The Mozart operas were recorded by Decca and Austrian Public Television and were broadcast in the United States on the PBS channel’s “Great Performances” program. Mr. Kelley was involved in Florentine Opera’s recording of the complete operas of Carlisle Floyd, appearing in the two recordings to have come to fruition: Wuthering Heights and Prince of Players.
In concert performances Mr. Kelley has sung with the Boston Symphony Orchestra, the Cleveland Orchestra, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the National Symphony, the Dallas Symphony, the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, the Orquesta Simphonica Naçional, The Tapei Philharmonic, The New Jersey Symphony, The New World Symphony, and the Orchestra of St. Luke's. He has more than twenty recordings on the Naxos, Teldec, London, Erato, Telarc, and Harmonia Mundi labels. The recording of P.D.Q. Bach’s Oedipus Tex won a Grammy.
He has performed medieval and renaissance music with Sequentia, the Boston Camerata, and the Waverly Consort, and he performs baroque music with Sarasa, the Handel and Haydn Society, Boston Baroque, Emmanuel Music, Tafelmusik, The Bach Ensemble, Concert Royal, Music of the Baroque, Opera Lafayette, the Smithsonian Chamber Music Society, and Aston Magna. Mr. Kelley has participated in numerous festivals including the Blossom Festival, the Tanglewood Festival, Ravinia Festival, Marlboro Music Festival, Pepsico Summerfare, the New England Bach Festival, Next Wave Festival, Wexford Festival Opera, and the Boston Early Music Festival.
Mr. Kelley has directed operas for the Florentine Opera (Elmer Gantry), Odyssey Opera (Patience and La Belle Helene) and Aston Magna (l’Histoire du Soldat, Orfeo, La Serva Padrona).
Frank Kelley is the voice teacher of the Ferris Fellows of Memorial Church at Harvard University. He has held teaching positions at Boston University and Brandeis University, and currently teaches at the School of Jewish Music at Hebrew College and at the Boston Conservatory where he has been an associate professor since 2018.
Rafael Popper-Keizer - cello
Hailed by The New York Times as “imaginative and eloquent” and dubbed “a local hero” with “silken tone and subtle attention to each note” by the Boston Globe, cellist Rafael Popper-Keizer maintains a vibrant and diverse career as one of Boston’s most celebrated artists. He is principal cellist of the Boston Modern Orchestra Project, Emmanuel Music, and the Boston Philharmonic Orchestra, and a core member of many notable chamber music organizations throughout New England, including the Chameleon Arts Ensemble and Winsor Music. His 2003 performance with the Boston Philharmonic of the Saint-Saëns Concerto in A minor was praised by the Globe for “melodic phrasing of melting tenderness” and “dazzling dispatch of every bravura challenge;” more recent solo appearances include Strauss’ Don Quixote with the Boston Philharmonic, Beethoven’s Triple Concerto with Emmanuel Music; and the North American premiere of Roger Reynolds’ Thoughts, Places, Dreams with sound/icon.
Mr. Popper-Keizer is a member of nationally acclaimed conductorless string ensemble A Far Cry, which has won recognition for both artistic excellence and its democratic model of collective decision-making at every level. In 2017, A Far Cry commissioned, premiered, and recorded a new piano concerto by Philip Glass, with soloist Simone Dinnerstein. The release of this recording was followed up a few months later by the group’s album Visions and Variations, which received two Grammy nominations. A Far Cry’s recent and upcoming performance schedule includes tours of California and Colorado, regular appearances at the Rockport Music Festival and Central Park in NYC, and a concert at the Kennedy Center in DC featuring the Tchaikovsky Serenade played from memory.
In 2019, Mr. Popper-Keizer was appointed Artistic Director of Monadnock Music, where he has been in residence every summer since 2002. Based in Peterborough, New Hampshire, the central mission of Monadnock Music is to bring free concerts featuring world-class artists to the villages and towns of the region. Over the course of the festival’s more than fifty-year history, Monadnock Music has worked closely with composers including Aaron Copland, Elliott Carter, Roger Sessions, and (in more recent years) Richard Danielpour, Dalit Warshaw, and Jing Wang.
Mr. Popper-Keizer has been featured on over two dozen recordings, including the premieres of Robert Erickson’s Fantasy for Cello and Orchestra, Thomas Oboe Lee’s cello concerto Eurydice, Yehudi Wyner’s De Novo for cello and small chamber ensemble, and Malcolm Peyton’s unaccompanied Cello Piece. His most recent solo recording, on Musica Omnia, is a disc pairing two monumental works for unaccompanied cello: Zoltan Kodaly’s notoriously virtuosic Sonata for Solo Cello and Ralf Gawlick’s At the still point of the turning world, a powerful exploration of sonority and silence written for and dedicated to Popper-Keizer.
As an alumnus of the New England Conservatory (A.D. 1999, M.M. with honors 1997), Mr. Popper-Keizer studied with master pedagogue and Piatigorsky protégé Laurence Lesser; at the Tanglewood Music Center he was privileged to work with Mstislav Rostropovich, and was Yo-Yo Ma’s understudy for Strauss’ Don Quixote under the direction of Seiji Ozawa. His prior teachers include Stephen Harrison of Stanford University, and Karen Andrie at the University of California in Santa Cruz. At the age of ten he began undergraduate coursework in mathematics at UCSC, where he was accepted as a full-time student two years later.
Mr. Popper-Keizer is currently on faculty at Gordon College in Wenham, MA, and has previously taught at Philips Exeter Academy, Brandeis University, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. With A Far Cry, he has participated in college and university residencies nationwide, including guest lectures and presentations at Baldwin Wallace University and Connecticut College, and masterclasses at Yale University.
Will Prapestis - baritone
Possessing a “resonant, beautiful” sound and heralded for his “expressive, florid" and “subtle and refined” singing, “grand-manner” Baritone Will Prapestis performs frequently as a soloist and ensemble member in the U.S. and Europe. He has had the pleasure of singing as a soloist and chorister with Emmanuel Music, Renaissance Men — of which he is a founding member — Boston Baroque, Carmel Bach Festival, the Orpheus Singers, Upper Valley Baroque, Exsultemus, BEMF, Labyrinth Choir, Cantata Singers, Sound Icon, Monadnock Music Festival, Augmented, Copley Singers, Cappella Clausura, and the Fredonia College Choir. He was a Virginia Best Adams Fellow at the 2019 Carmel Bach Festival and was also the 2019-2020 Lorraine Hunt Lieberson Fellow. Will is also a very busy bass player, thoroughly active in the Boston and New York City Pop Music scenes, performing with as many as five bands as a bass guitarist, vocalist, writer, and arranger. He is also a highly-sought session artist. Will is a native of Elmira, NY, and he earned his Bachelor of Music in Performance at SUNY Fredonia. www.renmenmusic.com
Mary Kay Robinson - flute
Internationally acclaimed flautist Mary Kay Robinson has risen to prominence as a versatile musician, balancing roles as soloist, orchestral and chamber musician, teacher, coach, artistic and executive leadership in the arts. “…dazzling virtuosity…a hugely talented and exciting soloist” critics heralded of her New York solo debut, where she performed two concerti on two different instruments on the same program. She has been a featured soloist at Severance Hall with the Cleveland Pops Orchestra, the Southern Tier Symphony (NY), the Akron Symphony, the Cleveland Jazz Orchestra, the New Hampshire Music Festival and a frequent guest artist with the symphony orchestras of Chicago, St. Louis, Pittsburgh, Portland, Vermont, Detroit, Kansas City, Rhode Island, Cleveland and Boston. As a chamber musician, she has performed with musicians from Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, Music from Angel Fire, ChamberFest Cleveland, New Hampshire Music Festival, Grand Teton Festival, Odenwald Festpiele, Cleveland Orchestra and the Amici and Dog Cove Quartets.
Faculty appointments include the Cleveland Institute of Music, Case Western Reserve University, Ithaca College, Franklin Pierce University and the Univ. of Akron where she teaches Chamber Music and Applied Flute/Piccolo. Her students include many competition winners and highly distinguished performers, she is a frequent clinician and judge for competitions and has several publications to her credit including Small Ensemble Resource Guide (being used by Juilliard, Eastman, UT Austin, Dartmouth College, NE Suzuki Institute) B. Rubinstein Flute Sonata (Southern Music Co.) and JS Bach Concerto for Piccolo and String Orchestra/ Wind Ensemble, arranged by William Hebert.
Ms. Robinson founded the Greater Cleveland Flute Society and the prize-winning mixed chamber ensemble Panorámicos, whose three CDs have garnered international critical acclaim, “Top Pick of North America”, “Editor’s Choice”-Gramophone. Principal Flute of the Cleveland Pops Orchestra and Piccolo with Grammy Award Winning Cleveland Chamber Symphony, she has commissioned, premiered, and recorded many new works featuring the Flute, Piccolo and Alto Flute in solo and chamber capacities as well as mixed instrumentation chamber music with voice. She is the former Chair of the National Flute Association’s Piccolo Committee.
Amanda Romano Foreman - harp
Harpist Amanda Romano Foreman grew up in New York City and by the age of 15 had already made her debut at Alice Tully Hall and Weill Recital Hall in Carnegie Hall. Studying with former principal Boston Symphony Orchestra harpist Ann Hobson Pilot brought her to Boston where she maintains a busy musical career. As an orchestral player, Ms. Romano Foreman can be seen playing with the Boston Lyric Opera, Portland Symphony, Boston Modern Orchestra Project, Rhode Island Philharmonic, Springfield Symphony Orchestra, Coro Allegro, Boston Philharmonic Orchestra, Cape Cod Symphony, Boston Festival Orchestra, Landmarks Orchestra and A Far Cry Chamber Orchestra to name a few. She was a fellow at the Tanglewood Music Center and has participated in many other festivals such as the International Ensemble Moderne Academy in Austria, Summer Institute for Contemporary Performance Practice in New York City, Assisi Music Festival in Italy and International Festival of Contemporary Performance in Boston. Ms. Romano Foreman can be heard on more than 15 albums including the Grammy award winning 2020 best opera recording of “Fantastic Mr. Fox” with the Boston Modern Orchestra Project. She received her Masters degree at Boston University and Bachelors degree at the New England Conservatory both in harp performance. Aside from music, Ms. Romano Foreman loves to be outside and is usually found gardening with her two small children and husband or in the kitchen baking award winning pies and desserts which sometimes include harp shaped cookies for her students!
David William Ross - guitar
David William Ross is a guitarist with a wide range and unique approach to the instrument. Trained in both classical and jazz guitar, David works regularly in both genres and appears regularly throughout the United States and in Europe. An advocate of new music, he has worked closely with composers from around the world in creating new works for the guitar with premiers from Frank Wallace, Ferdinando DeSena, Peter Dayton, Pierre Schroeder, Jordan Chase, among many others. His playing appears frequently on the Ravello, Navona, and Naxos labels, his most recent album, a collection of new works by Swiss composer Georges Raillard, was released in 2022 by Navona.
David holds degrees in music theory, composition, and guitar and studied with Julian Gray, Manuel Barrueco, and Scott Tenant at the Peabody Conservatory and the University of Southern California. As an educator, he has taught courses at Fitchburg State University, Keene State College, and the Vermont Jazz Center in jazz improvisation, music theory, ear training, composition, and music history, as well as individual instruction in guitar and recording/mixing. He is currently the Assistant Director of Music at The Putney School in Vermont.
Sophie et Adam - voice and guitar
Sophie et Adam is a duo inspired by many singing traditions they have crossed paths with on their musical journey. Pub Songs from England, Cabaret chansons from 1940s Paris, 18th century Sacred Harp singing, Milongas from Argentina, Scottish Ballads, and Sing-Songwriter repertoire from Chile... Regardless of the origin or the time period, they share music that moves them with their audiences. Individually they collaborate musically with some of the most vibrant ensembles in New England: The Boston Symphony Orchestra, Boston Early Music Festival, The Lorelei Ensemble, A Far Cry, Blue Heron, Roomful of Teeth, etc. But as a duo, they create a warm and intimate moment in which time stops, and music from around the world speaks.
Praised for her “warm, colorful mezzo” (Opera News), Sophie Michaux has become one of the Northeast’s most versatile and compelling singers, at home in an eclectic span of repertoire ranging from grand opera to French cabaret songs. Sophie’s recent engagements include collaborations with the Boston Early Music Festival, Haymarket Opera Company, Blue Heron, the Lorelei Ensemble, Bach Collegium San Diego, Palaver Strings, Ruckus, and the Lowell Chamber Orchestra. She won the 2nd prize at the 2021 Handel Aria Competition in Madison WI, the William Grogan Award at the 2022 Lyndon Woodside Oratorio-Solo competition. She has sung under the baton of Marin Alsop, Andris Nelsons, Thomas Adès, Leonardo García Alarcón, and Lidiya Yankovskaya, among others. This season, she will premiere Her Story by Julia Wolfe with the Boston, Chicago, Nashville, and San Francisco Symphony Orchestras, with the Lorelei Ensemble.
Adam Jacob Simon is a composer, singer, arranger, string plucker, and ivory tickler based in New England. As a composer, he has enjoyed many recent performances and commissions from nationally acclaimed ensembles, including; A Far Cry, Cantus, Lorelei Ensemble, Ruckus, Conspirare, Seraphic Fire, Palaver Strings and WordSong Boston. He is an avid folk music singer as well, performing frequently with the world folk ensemble Culomba, and VT based vocal ensemble Northern Harmony, traveling throughout Europe, South Africa and the states. Adam has a Master’s degree in Composition from Tufts University in Medford MA and a UD in composition and piano performance at the Longy School of Music in Cambridge MA. Adam is Director of Music at Haydenville Congregational Church in Williamsburg, MA.
Grace Takeda - viola
Grace Takeda’s musical endeavors have taken her into various different music genres including western classical music, jazz, baroque, contemporary, and free improvisation.
Currently based in Philadelphia, PA, she sustains a multifaceted career as a performer, educator, and arts advocate. Grace is the violist in the Vera Quartet and also plays with many different ensembles including the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, the Princeton Symphony and the Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia. Her participation in the Community Artist Program and Fellowship ‘20-22 at the Curtis Institute, she developed her passion project, MUSEical Tales, a program that combines music and literacy education. She also served as the ‘22-23 Director of Partnerships for a music education organization called, Practice. Party, where she built and maintained relationships with partner organizations around the nation.
Grace joined the Vera Quartet as their violist in 2021. In her time with the quartet, two works were commissioned: It Takes a Village by Alexis Lamb which is a piece for string quartet and community members and Milk Tooth by Elise Arancio for string quartet and toy percussion. Their mentors have been Peter Oundijian, Danish Quartet, Harumi Rhodes, and the Brentano Quartet. They have held residencies at the Colorado Music Festival, Music from Angel Fire, Music for Autism, and the Harpa International Music Academy US.
A native of North Vancouver, BC, Canada, Grace began her studies on the violin at the age of four after being awed and inspired by Sailor Neptune, a character from her favorite tv show as a child, Sailor Moon, playing Boccherini’s Minuet on the violin. At the age of six, she started taking piano lessons, following in her older sister’s footsteps, performing in provincial and national festivals on both instruments.
She seized an opportunity in the midst of her undergraduate degree as a violin major, to delve into viola playing whilst preparing W.A.Mozart’s Sinfonia Concertante with her best friend. Immediately, she realized her love of lower frequencies and has not turned back since….
She has played in several viola masterclasses with Tabea Zimmerman, Nobuko Imai, Kim Kashkashian, and Atar Arad. Her primary viola mentors have been; Misha Amory, Roberto Diaz, Edward Gazouleas, Hsin-Yun Huang, Andre Roy, Steve Tenenbom.
Matthew Vera - violin
Violinist and Violist Matthew Vera is known for his versatility as a soloist, chamber musician, and orchestral leader.
As an orchestral musician, Matthew can be heard all over the country. He has been a member of the Boston Philharmonic’s first violin section since 2010 and is occasionally a guest concertmaster. Matthew joined the El Paso Symphony in Texas as concertmaster in 2021 and frequents the stages of The Boston Ballet, The Portland Symphony, The Rhode Island Philharmonic, The Boston Modern Orchestra Project, Teatro Nuovo, The Albany Symphony, The Boston Landmarks Orchestra, and many others. Most recently Matthew served as concertmaster for the revival of Evita at the American Repertory Theatre.
An avid chamber musician, Matthew is the first violinist of the emerging Izarra String Quartet. Izarra explores fresh interpretations of the classic repertoire with a keen focus on amplifying compositional voices of the lgbtqia + bipoc communities. Matthew is a violinist with Castle of our Skins, a concert and educational series dedicated to celebrating Black artistry through music. He has also been heard with Radius Ensemble, Juventas New Music Ensemble, and Monadnock Music.
Matthew made his solo debut on the viola with the Tucson Philharmonia at age 14. He has appeared as soloist with the Buffalo Philharmonic, The Tucson Philharmonia, The Tucson Symphony, The World Youth Symphony Orchestra, and The New England Conservatory Symphony. He has attended numerous festivals including Tanglewood, The Heifetz Institute, Brevard Music Center, Green Mountain Chamber Music Festival, and more.
A native of Tucson, Arizona, Matthew’s early musical training was fostered through the Tucson Unified Public Schools and Tucson Junior Strings, a unique conductorless orchestra training program for young people. He is a graduate of The New England Conservatory where he studied with James Buswell, Lucy Chapman, and Donald Weilerstein. His mentors have included: The Borromeo String Quartet, Roger Tapping, Martha Katz, and John Heiss.
Esther Ning Yau - piano
Esther Ning Yau is an active and versatile pianist based in the New England region. Known for her work in chamber music, Esther’s expertise extends to the realms of solo piano, orchestral piano and even other keyboard instruments such as harpsichord and celesta. Esther has been featured in concerts at Jordan Hall, Emmanuel Music Chamber Series, Harvard Musical Association Concert Series, Harvard-Epworth Concert Series, Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum Concert Series, WCRB Live at Copley, Bar Harbor Music Festival and Newport Music Festival.
Esther has also appeared in numerous concert venues further afield, including Merkin Concert Hall in New York, Museum of Arts in Puerto Rico, Giovanni Arvedi Auditorium in Cremona, Esplanade Recital Studio in Singapore, National Concert Hall in Taipei and Government House in her hometown Hong Kong.
An adventurous musician, Esther has performed many young composers’ works (such as Garrett Byrnes’ Concerto for Piano and Chamber Orchestra and Derek Bermel’s Tied Shifts for Flute, Clarinet, Violin, Cello, Piano and Percussion), in addition to the standard repertoire. In recent years, Esther has been programming complete cycles of works. To date, she has successfully performed cycles of Beethoven’s piano trios, violin sonatas and cello sonatas. Schumann’s piano trios, violin sonatas and cello-piano works and Brahms’ complete chamber works with piano.
Esther is a faculty member of Longy School of Music of Bard College and New England Conservatory’s Preparatory and Continuing Education departments. She is the chair of the Bay State Piano Contest in Massachusetts and on the Board of the Massachusetts Music Teachers’ Association. In the summer, she also teaches at the Cremona International Music Academy in Italy. She holds a double Master’s Degree in Piano Performance and Collaborative Piano from New England Conservatory, where she studied with Patricia Zander and Irma Vallecillo. Honors received include fellowships from International Institute of Vocal Arts in Italy, UCLA Song Festival, Aspen Music Festival, Music Academy of the West and Yellow Barn Music Festival.