Violinist Xiao Wang’s great talents have been recognized with many awards and prizes. As the first prizewinner of the 2012 Szigeti International Violin Competition, he performed with the Kodaly Philharmonic Orchestra during its Budapest Spring Festival as well as with the Gewandhaus Academisches Orchester in the Gewandhaus, Leipzig, Germany. Mr. Wang was also awarded first prize at the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Young Artists Competition, resulting in a solo performance with the Texas Music Festival Orchestra and Maestro Lavard Skou Larsen. He has appeared under the baton of Maestro Andreas Ligeti in Hungary’s Bela Bartok National Concert Hall as well as in New York as part of the Young Music Forum Series, and been featured in live performances on Houston Public Radio’s “Front Row” series. A passionate chamber musician, he has collaborated with Phillip Entremont, the American String Quartet, and members of the Mendelssohn String Quartet and the New York Philharmonic.
Mr. Wang began playing the violin at age five, and at the age of ten entered the Central Conservatory in Beijing with Professor Wei-dong Tong. He later studied at the Curtis Institute of Music with Joseph Silverstein, and is currently completing his Master of Music degree at the Manhattan School of Music under the guidance of Lucie Robert. He has played in master classes for Claude Frank, Midori, Cho-Liang Lin, Arnold Steinhardt and Pamela Frank.
A recipient of an Avery Fisher Career Grant, cellist Sophie Shao was the winner of top prizes at the Rostropovich and Tchaikovsky competitions. This season, she makes her Washington recital debut at the Phillips Collection in addition to recitals at Middlebury College, Bargemusic, Tuesday Musical Club (TX), and in other cities around the country. Ms. Shao also performs Beethoven’s A Major Sonata in What Makes it Great, on Lincoln Center’s Great Performers series; appears as soloist with the BBC Concert Orchestra and the Pacific Symphony; and leads a Sophie Shao and Friends tour with violinist Frank Huang and pianist Gilles Vonsattel, among many other appearances. Last season’s highlights included a twelve-city tour with Keith Lockhart and the BBC Concert Orchestra in performances of the Elgar and Haydn C Major concerti, recitals across the country, touring performances with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, and participation in a play/discussion of the Prelude from Bach’s C Major Suite, as part of Lincoln Center’s White Light Festival.
Ms. Shao has collaborated with members of the Brentano, Emerson, Guarneri, Juilliard and Orion quartets, and with artists such as Alessio Bax, Jonathan Biss, Jeremy Denk, Gil Shaham, David Shifrin, Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg, and Andre Watts, among many others. She has also performed as a guest with the Formosa and Shanghai quartets and the Trio Cavatina, and is a frequent guest at many leading festivals including Chamber Music Northwest, Bravo! Vail Valley Music Festival, Music from Angel Fire, the Bard Festival, and Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival.
Dedicated to the music of our time, Ms. Shao has recently premiered concertos by Richard Wilson and Howard Shore, and has recorded the music of Wilson, George Tsontakis, Anna Weesner and Barbara White. She has collaborated with Cho-Liang Lin on Tan Dun’s dynamic Ghost Opera in Indianapolis, and last summer premiered a work by Lowell Liebermann for mezzo-soprano and ensemble at Chamber Music Northwest. In addition to the aforementioned recordings, Ms. Shao can be heard on EMI Classics, Bridge Records (for the Marlboro Music Festival’s 50th Anniversary recording), and Howe Records. This season, she releases a double-CD set of Bach Cello Suites through the support of the Classical Recording Foundation.
A native of Houston, Texas, Sophie Shao began playing the cello at age six, and was a student of Shirley Trepel, former principal cellist of the Houston Symphony. At age thirteen she enrolled at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, studying cello with David Soyer. After graduating from the Curtis Institute, she continued her cello studies with Aldo Parisot at Yale University, receiving a B.A. in Religious Studies from Yale College and an M.M. from the Yale School of Music, where she was enrolled as a Paul and Daisy Soros Fellow. She is on the faculty of Vassar College and the Bard Conservatory of Music, and plays a cello made by Honoré Derazey in 1860, once owned by Pablo Casals.
Equally at home with both orchestral and vocal genres, Teresa Cheung is in frequent demand for symphonic, choral, and operatic productions in the US and Canada. Her recent conducting appearances include the Amarillo Symphony, American Symphony Orchestra, Bakersfield Symphony, Fort Wayne Philharmonic, Mobile Symphony, New Amsterdam Symphony Orchestra, Pennsylvania Centre Orchestra, the Phoenix Symphony, the Portland Symphony, Regina Opera, Stamford Symphony, Western Michigan Symphony Orchestra, and the Woodstock Chamber Orchestra. Besides maintaining an active schedule with professional orchestras, Cheung often appears as conductor for colleges and universities, with All State/All County orchestra festivals, and has served as a conducting clinician for Lincoln Center’s “Meet The Artist” program.
The 2016-2017 season marks Cheung’s ninth season as the Music Director and Conductor of the Altoona Symphony Orchestra in Pennsylvania. Recently Cheung made her conducting debut with the New York City Ballet, and is delighted to be making her first appearances with the Hong Kong Sinfonietta this season. A resident in New York City, Cheung was Resident Conductor for the American Symphony Orchestra. While she was Assistant Conductor for the Bard Music Festival and SummerScape she was rehearsal/offstage conductor for a number of rarely performed operatic masterworks. Some of the most outstanding examples include the 2010’s highly acclaimed US premiere of Franz Schreker’s Der ferne Klang, the first US fully-staged production of Robert Schumann’s Genoveva in 2006, and the 2004 production of Mark Blitzstein’s Regina.
Known for her creative concert programming, collaborative projects and outreach programs, Cheung is a passionate advocate for music education for all ages. Since the beginning of her tenure with the Altoona Symphony, Cheung has created numerous programs that engaged area children and high school musicians and choristers. The orchestra also performed in numerous occasions with university ensembles such as the ones from Penn State University, Indiana University of Pennsylvania, and Juniata College on works such as Silvestre Revueltas’ La Noche de los Mayas, Gustav Holst’s The Planets, and Beethoven’s monumental Symphony No. 9. Cheung’s vision of taking Altoona Symphony beyond Central Pennsylvania has led to a collaborative project with Pennsylvania Council for the Arts’ Commonwealth Speaker Karl Middleman in “Dvorak’s New World”, a Humanities on the Road program that was broadcasted throughout the state of Pennsylvania in December, 2011.
Cheung began her career as Resident Conductor for the Evansville Philharmonic Orchestra, where she was also conductor of the Evansville Philharmonic Youth Orchestra and Evansville Philharmonic Chorus. Amongst her many initiatives, she led the Evansville Philharmonic Youth Orchestra on its first international concert tour to Japan in 2002. A native of Hong Kong, Cheung received her Masters Degree in Conducting from the Eastman School of Music. She is a recipient of the JoAnn Falletta Conducting Award for the most promising female conductors.
Violinist Yaegy Park was born in Houston, Texas, and has immediately been recognized as a rising young violinist when she joined the Houston Young Artists as age 4, the foundation’s youngest member in history.
She was able to find her passion as she grew up performing within this foundation- to inspire others with her music, no matter what the venue. For years, she performed in local hospitals, nursing homes, and even museums with the HYAC until in 2008, under the mentorship of Kyung Sun Lee, Yaegy was named a Jack Kent Cooke Artist and performed on the NPR show From the Top, her first venture outside of Texas. She then went ahead further and went to Germany in 2009 for her first ever competition and won 3rd place in the Louis Spohr International Competition, and soon after won 1st place in the International Russian Rotary Children’s Music Competition and American Protégé International Competition.
Yaegy then auditioned for the Juilliard Precollege division, and moved to NYC to attend from grades 8 to 12, under the tutelage of Catherine Cho. During these 5 years, Yaegy won top prizes in competitions such as the International Virtuoso Competition, the YWCA New York Music Competition, LISMA International Competition, the NY Chamber Players Competition, the Blount-Slawson Young Artist Competition, and most recently the Stulberg International Competition in May, 2015. Yaegy is also an avid chamber musician and won competitions in the chamber division at the KRB NY International Music Competition and the Crescendo International Music Competition. She was recently named a Young Arts Winner of 2015, and was a semifinalist of the Presidential Scholars.
Yaegy just had her Carnegie debut in June, 2015, with the Foundation of the Revival of Classical Culture, in which she is an avid member. She will attend The Juilliard School this coming fall, under Catherine Cho.
In her spare time, Yaegy loves to learn about philosophy, psychology, and reading classic literature. She has also gone to NYC public schools to speak to younger children about music and the arts, and loves spreading her love for her craft.
A native of Mississippi, Stephanie Gregory made her debut as Magda in Puccini’s La Rondine with the Orchestra Giuseppe Verdi in Milan. She has sung the role of Tosca with Opera Theater of Connecticut, and the title role in Suor Angelica with the Mississippi Opera. She sang her first Mimi in La Bohème with Opera Ischia, a role she reprised with Mississippi Opera, and was featured in the roles of Micaëla in Missouri and South Carolina, as Musetta with the Opera Theater of Connecticut, and Violetta in South Carolina and with the New Opera Festival di Roma, in Rome Italy.
In 2004, she completed a concert tour of South America with the Yale Alumni Chorus as the soprano soloist in Rossini’s Stabat Mater. She made her debut in the Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires with the Orquesta Filarmônica de Buenos Aires. Other cities included were Rio de Janeiro and Salvador da Bahia, Brazil; Santiago, Chile; and La Plata, Argentina.
Other operatic roles for the 2001 ‘American Jenny Lind’ include Lucia in The Rape of Lucretia, Nannetta in Falstaff, Susanna in Le Nozze di Figaro, Adina in L’Elisir d’Amore, Ilia in Idomeneo and Konstanze in Die Entführung aus dem Serail. Opera engagements in 2008 and 2009 included Violetta in La Traviata, as well as reprising the title role of Suor Angelica for Opera Theater of Connecticut.
Her solo work includes Mendelssohn’s Elijah, Stravinsky’s Les Noces, Orff’s Carmina Burana, Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, Mozart’s Requiem and ‘Great’ Mass in C Minor, Samuel Adler’s Stars in the Dust, and Haydn’s Creation and Lord Nelson Mass.
Her first recording, Stars In The Dust, music by Meira Warsheaur, was recorded by the Slovak Radio Orchestra in Bratislava and was released by Albany Records.
Ms. Gregory received a master of music degree in opera performance as well as an artist’s diploma from Yale University. She also graduated from the University of Southern Mississippi with a bachelor of music education degree, specializing in piano and choral conducting.
Violinist Abraham Appleman was born in Yokohama, Japan. He began his studies on the violin and piano at the age of four, soon after his family moved to the Boston area. His continued studies there led to his debut, at age fifteen, performing Max Bruch’s G minor Violin Concerto with the Boston Symphony Orchestra.
Since then, Mr. Appleman has had a multifaceted career, performing in Asia, Europe, and the Americas as a soloist, concertmaster, and chamber musician. He is a founding member of the chamber ensemble Voce Intimae and has served as concertmaster of the Colorado Music Festival and the Atlantic Classical Orchestra in Florida.
In New York, Mr. Appleman performs regularly in the first violin section of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra. As one of the foremost violinists in the recording industry, he can be heard as a soloist on numerous CDs and motion picture soundtracks. During the summer season, Mr. Appleman is regularly invited to perform with the Boston Symphony Orchestra at the Tanglewood Music Festival.
Violist William Frampton has been praised by critics for his “beautifully executed” performances (The Arts Fuse) and “a glowing amber tone” (Boston Globe). Having made his New York debut in 2009 at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall, he has also appeared numerous times as soloist in Boston’s Jordan Hall in performances including Berlioz’s “Harold in Italy” with conductor Joseph Silverstein. An enthusiastic performer of new music, he has worked with composers such as Gyorgy Kurtag and Malcolm Peyton. 2013-14 season highlights include performances of Schoenberg’s “Verklarte Nacht” with the Johannes Quartet, a performance of Mozart’s Sinfonia Concertante with violinist Sean Lee and the Philharmonic of Southern New Jersey, appearances as guest principal viola of the American Symphony Orchestra, and tours to Japan and Myanmar with a string quartet led by Midori Goto and presented by her foundation Music Sharing.
William’s festival appearances have included Verbier Festival Academy, Amelia Island Chamber Music Festival, Buck Hill-Skytop Music Festival Richmond Festival, Kneisel Hall, Sarasota Music Festival, The Perlman Music Program, and is the Artistic Director of Music at Bunker Hill, a chamber music series in Southern New Jersey. He has collaborated with such artists as Paul Katz, Peter Wiley, Roberto Diaz, Andres Diaz, John Dalley, Daniel Phillips, James Dunham, and Roger Tapping. He holds degrees from New England Conservatory and the Juilliard School, and studied with Kim Kashkashian, Samuel Rhodes, Choong-Jin Chang, and Byrnina Socolofsky. He teaches viola and chamber music at Queens College, CUNY, and is currently pursuing a DMA at The Graduate Center, CUNY.
In his spare time, William swims, runs, cycles, and writes a blog on some of his other interests: coffee, food and travel.
Laura Winslow has been passionate about music since birth, and has a particular affinity for music of the Baroque era. She has performed as a soloist with the NJ Masterwork Chorus, Choral Art Society of NJ, Princeton Pro Musica and Harmonium Choral Society, with whom she recently toured Greece and Turkey.
Laura graduated with honors from Westminster Choir College, where she earned a Bachelor of Music degree in Education. A Massachusetts native, she has taught piano and voice lessons in New Jersey for eight years and has worked with singers aged 5 through 85 in church, school and community settings. She currently teaches vocal and instrumental music in Marlboro, NJ.
Carl Erik Fisher obtained a bachelor’s degree in vocal performance from the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill, where he won several state and regional singing competitions. He briefly sang in the Kim Cha Kyung Opera Company in Seoul, South Korea, before going to Columbia University to pursue medical training. He is now a psychiatrist at Columbia, where he studies ethical and legal issues related to neuroscience and mental health.
He sings regularly with NYC’s Occasional Opera Company (most recently Pizarro in Fidelio) and in occasional recitals (most recently Winterreise). He also recently appeared as a zombie in a reading of the new opera, Night of the Living Dead by Todd Goodman, with the Center for Contemporary Opera.
Hailed for her “beautiful vocal timbre” and versatility, (Classical Singer Magazine 2013 competition) Corrine Byrne has been singing all over the country on the opera and concert stage, singing cross-over repertoire and premiering new music.
She holds a masters from Manhattan School of Music and is currently a doctoral candidate at Stony Brook University. Her most recent opera roles include Gilda (Rigoletto), and Gretel (Hansel and Gretel) with Stony Brook Opera, and Ensemble/Almira (cover) in the North American stage premiere of Handel’s Almira with Boston Early Music Festival. Corrine is a founding member of Ensemble Musica Humana, an international ensemble which seeks to shed new light on music from volatile times in human history.
Corrine is also the soprano in award-winning jazz quintet West Side 5, and is the co-founder/co-artistic director of the Tempus Continuum Ensemble. Corrine made her NYC orchestral debut in January 2013 with One World Symphony singing the world premiere arrangement of the Strauss Ophelia Lieder. She is a volunteer with Musicians On Call, where she accompanies herself on guitar bringing live bedside music to patients in hospitals in New York City. She was a finalist for the 2012 Career Bridges Grant Awards, and a national online round winner in the 2013 Classical Singer Magazine Competition.
The Carmen Suites are two suites of orchestral music drawn from the music of Georges Bizet’s 1875 opera Carmen and compiled posthumously by his friend Ernest Guiraud. They adhere very closely to Bizet’s orchestration.