Young American conductor Brandon Keith Brown is quickly garnering international attention. As the 3rd Prize Winner of the 2012 Sir Georg Solti Competition for Conductors, his final performance found him “…the stand-out audience favorite…”(Norman Lebrecht) leading the Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra in a performance characterized in klassik.com as an “… exciting affair.” Selected by the Vienna Philharmonic as winner of 2011 Ansbacher Fellowship, he was in residence at The Salzburg Festival, and conducted Vienna Philharmonic members in the opera camps for youth. In February, he made his New York debut with the Manhattan School of Music Symphony Orchestra.
Orchestras conducted in concert include the Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra, members of the Vienna Philharmonic, Manhattan School of Music Symphony Orchestra, Yakima Chamber Orchestra, the Macon Sinfonia, the Astoria Symphony and the Orchestra Society of Philadelphia. Other conducted orchestras include the Tonhalle-Orchestra Zurich, the Danish National Symphony Orchestra, the Croatian Radio and Television Orchestra, the Fort Worth Symphony, the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, Baltimore Symphony, and the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Symphony Orchestra.
Brown conducted at The 2010 Castleton Festival in Virginia USA under the direction of Lorin Maazel and at the 2009 American Academy of Conducting at Aspen, with David Zinman. Solely representing the United States, he competed in Zagreb Croatia at the 2011 Matacic International Competition for Young Conductors and second round of the 2012 Malko International Conducting Competition in Copenhagen.
Versatile in opera, Brown has been music director for Mozart’s Cosi Fan Tutte, Suor Angelica, assistant for Britten’s Albert Herring and studied Puccini’s Il Trittico with Lorin Maazel. Previously, he served as cover conductor for the Baltimore Symphony, Assistant Conductor at the Peabody Institute, and assistant conductor/fellow of the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Symphony Orchestra.
Winner of the Peabody Career Grant, Mr. Brown holds a Master’s of Music in Orchestral Conducting from the Peabody Institute of Johns Hopkins University. Initially trained as a violinist, he is a pupil of Roland and Almita Vamos. Primary conducting mentors and teachers include David Zinman, Lorin Maazel and Gustav Meier.
Brandon Patrick George has appeared as a solo ﬂutist and chamber artist throughout France, Italy, North and South America. As a concerto soloist, recent appearances include the Mozart ﬂute concerti with the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra, and Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach with the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra Institute. He has also transcribed and performed the violin concerti of Le Chevalier de Saint-George.
Brandon has performed as a recitalist at the Kennedy Center (DC), Cité de la Musique (Paris), Bargemusic (NYC), and has appeared at Carnegie Hall. As a chamber collaborator, Brandon has performed with the members of Ensemble InterContemporain in Paris, Eighth Blackbird, the New York Philharmonic and the Jasper String Quartet. He has performed as guest flutist in the International Contemporary Ensemble and with the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra, and can be heard on the orchestra’s recent recording of works by Richard Strauss and Igor Stravinsky. Known for the breadth and depth of his programming, Brandon has curated and hosted programs for WQXR, the classical music station of New York City, and WNYC.
Brandon entered the Oberlin Conservatory of Music as a student of Michel Debost, and later studied with Kathleen Chastain, earning the bachelor of music degree. A Bonnie Lake Flute Scholar at Oberlin, and recipient of the Dean’s Award, he studied abroad at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique in Paris. He also holds the master of music degree from the Manhattan School of Music where he was winner of the Concerto Competition.
He lives in New York City.
Oboist Jacqueline Leclair resides in New York City and Montréal Québec and is a member of Signal and Sequitur. She can frequently be heard performing with other New York City ensembles. As of August 2012, Dr. Leclair is Assistant Professor of Oboe at McGill University’s Schulich School of Music. From 2007-2012, she was Assistant Professor of Oboe at Bowling Green State University (Ohio). 2010-2012, she also served as BGSU’s MidAmerican Center for Contemporary Music’s Director.
Luciano Berio’s Sequenza VIIa Supplementary Edition by Jacqueline Leclair is published by Universal Edition, Vienna, and Dr. Leclair’s recording of the piece is on Mode Record’s collection of all the Berio Sequenzi and other solo works.
Summer festivals for which Dr. Leclair has served as faculty and/or performer include the Lincoln Center Festival (NYC), Chamber Music Conference at Bennington College (VT), June In Buffalo (NY), Chamber Music Festival of Aguascalientes (Mexico), East/West Festival (Kazan, Tatarstan) and the Sebago Music Festival (ME) among others.
In addition to performing a variety of classical and other musics, Dr. Leclair specializes in the study and performance of new music. She has premiered many works, and she regularly presents classes in contemporary music and its techniques at schools such as UCLA, the Eastman School of Music, Brigham Young University, The North Carolina School for the Arts and University of California San Diego.
Dr. Leclair has recorded for labels such as Nonesuch, CRI, Koch, Neuma, and CBS Masterworks, receiving critical acclaim in particular for her premiere recording of Roger Reynolds’ Summer Island.
Dr. Leclair studied with Richard Killmer and Ronald Roseman at the Eastman School of Music of the University of Rochester and SUNY Stony Brook, earning a Bachelor of Music, Performer’s Certificate, Masters Degree and Doctorate of Musical Arts.
The New York Times has reviewed Dr. Leclair’s performances as “astonishing” and as having “electrifying agility”; and the New Yorker has referred to her as “lively” and “wonderful.”
Laura Koepke has performed with many of New York’s finest orchestras, including numerous concerts with the world-renowned Orpheus Chamber
Orchestra, on European and US tours, and at home in Carnegie Hall and Avery Fisher Hall. She has also performed with the Orchestra of St. Luke’s, American Composers Orchestra, New York Pops, American Symphony Orchestra, Brooklyn Philharmonic, New York City Opera, and the Westchester Philharmonic.
In addition to performing in New York City, Ms. Koepke is the newly appointed principal bassoonist of the Erie Phiharmonic, and is the principal bassoonist of “CityMusic Cleveland,” a celebrated and innovative chamber orchestra based in Cleveland, Ohio.
From 1998 to 2009 Ms. Koepke was a member of the internationally acclaimed woodwind quintet, “Quintet of the Americas.” Three recordings with the quintet include “Dancing in Columbia” (MSR Classics,) “Karel Husa-Recollections” (New World Records,) and “Sounds of Brazil” (MSR Classics.) Ms. Koepke has performed as a guest artist with Zephyros Winds, North Country Chamber Players, Sequitur, and the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center. Ms. Koepke has performed at the Bard Festival, Bang on a Can, and Festival of the Hamptons. Other festival appearances include the Lincoln Center Festival, Bar Harbor Music Festival, Maverick Concerts, and the Weekend of Chamber Music Festival.
Ms. Koepke joined the music faculty at the State University of York at
Fredonia in 2007. Previous teaching positions include New York University, Manhattan School of Music Pre-college, Aaron Copland School of music at Queens College, and Western Connecticut State University.
She graduated from Baldwin-Wallace College and holds a Masters Degree and Artist Diploma from Yale University School of Music, where she studied with Stephen Maxym and Frank Morelli.
Yevgenia Strenger joined the New York City Opera orchestra in 1979 and became the concertmaster of the NYCO in 2001. She is also a member of the New York City Ballet and has been a frequent player with the New York Philharmonic for many years. Ms. Strenger made her debut with the Lvov Symphony (Ukraine) when she was thirteen, performing concertos by Conus and Sibelius. Upon graduating with honors from the Moscow State Conservatory she toured the Soviet Union as a member of the Kalinin String Quartet. Ms. Strenger, in addition to orchestral playing, has appeared on television, radio and in recitals and chamber music concerts in USA, Russia and Belarus.
David Oei was a soloist with the Hong Kong Philharmonic at the age of nine and has since performed with major orchestras including the New York Philharmonic, Pittsburgh, and Baltimore Symphonies. Mr. Oei is the winner of five Interlochen Concerto Competitions and the Concert Artists Guild, WQXR Young Artists, Young Musicians Foundation and Paul Ulanowsky Chamber Pianists Awards. A perennial fixture on the New York City chamber music scene he has made guest appearances with the Audubon Quartet, Strathmere Ensemble, Claring Chamber Players, Friends of Mozart, Da Capo Chamber Players, New York Philharmonic Ensembles, St. Luke’s and Orpheus Chamber Ensembles and the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center. In 2012 he performed the Mozart Concerto K.466 and the Brahms Concerto No. 1 with the Strathmere Festival Orchestra.
Founding director of the Salon Chamber Soloists and a founding member of the Aspen Soloists, Festival Chamber Music and the Intimate P.D.Q. Bach he is also currently a member of the Elysium Chamber Ensemble, LED Trio and the HD Duo with pianist Helene Jeanney besides enjoying a longtime collaboration with violinist Chin Kim. A former regular artist at Bargemusic and Chamber Music Northwest he has performed at various festivals including Caramoor, Sitka, Bard, Gretna, Seattle, Washington Square and Kuhmo (Finland). Mr. Oei is an Affiliate Artist of Innovative Music Programs, a company that develops and implements creative ideas with people in the visual and performing arts the world over.
His television credits include “Leonard Bernstein’s Young People’s Concerts”, “CBS News Sunday Morning” and the “Today Show”. He has recorded a wide range of chamber works for Delos, ADDA, Vanguard, CRI, Pro Arte, Arabesque, Albany, Grenadilla, Festival Chamber Music and New World Records. Mr. Oei was the Music Director and Production Advisor for Music-Theatre Group’s productions of Stanley Silverman and Richard Foreman’s “Africanis Instructus” and “Love and Science”. He was also the Music Director for the Sundance Theater Workshop production of the Wallace/Foreman opera “Yiddisher Teddy Bears”. In the summer of ’07 he conducted the Washington Square Festival Chamber Orchestra in a Gershwin/Weill concert titled “Music as Political Statement” and has since recorded the Strauss and Rachmaninoff Sonatas for cello and piano with Ruth Sommers and “The Lay of Love and Death of the Cornet Christoph Rilke” by Viktor Ullmann for piano and speaker with Lutz Rath. His first duo CD with Eriko Sato titled “Five Not-So-Easy Pieces” has been release on their new label Prestissimo.
A former affiliated teacher at SUNY Purchase and the Volunteers Coordinator and Head Coach for Manhattan Special Olympics, Mr. Oei is a faculty member of Summertrios, Bennington Chamber Music Conference, Hoff-Barthelson Music School and the Mannes College Of Music. He is also a member of Alaria, Mannes Extension Division’s ensemble-in-residence, which has offered the Chamber Music At Mannes program and an annual Weill Recital Hall series for over two decades. Mr. Oei lives in NYC with his wife, violinist Eriko Sato, and their pit bull mix, Jazz.
Violinist Tzu-En Lee was born in Tainan, Taiwan, where she began studying violin when she was only five years of age. From ages seven to seventeen, she won numerous local and national competitions, foremost of which was the Taiwan National Violin Competition. At the local level, she won the Tainan County and City Competitions, the Kao-Hsiung County and City (2008) Competitions, the Kao-Hsiung City Gun-Du-Bae Competition (1998), and the Yunlin County Competition. She studied in the Music Department of the Tainan University of Technology, where she was the principal second violin in the school’s orchestra, conducted by Huei-Ming Twu.
Since coming to the United States, Tzu-En Lee has studied violin performance at Mannes College, The New School for Music, in Manhattan. She graduated with a diploma in the Spring of 2012 and is currently pursuing further studies in the graduate program at Mannes under the tutelage of violinist Yuri Vodovoz. She is a member of the Mannes Community Orchestra, playing first violin, second stand. In addition to her studies, Ms. Lee has enjoyed taking part in the musical life of NYC as a free-lance musician. Since the founding in 2009 of the Pocket Opera of New York, she has performed with its orchestra on two productions (Mozart’s “Cosi fan tutti” and Handel’s “Messiah”), under the artistic leadership of its conductor Wei-En Hsu. Violinist Tzu-En Lee has also sought out opportunities for performing music by contemporary composers. She has participated in the Second and Third Annual Social Networking Concerts, produced and curated by American composer Douglas Townsend at Saint Peter’s Church in Manhattan. (In the 2011 concert she was part of an ensemble led by pianist David Oei which performed a new piano reduction of Townsend’s triple violin concerto. In the 2012 concert she was part of a string quartet which included violinist Muneyoshi Takahashi and which world-premiered a work by Australian composer Houston Dunleavy. Both performances were audio podcast and videotaped for YouTube.)
Polish-born and New York City-based violinist Kinga Augustyn has been described as “an adventurous performer valuable to New York’s scene” (NY Concert Review), “a violinist for whom nothing seems too difficult” (Nowy Dziennik Polish Daily News), “stylish and vibrant” (The Strad Magazine).
She has performed as a soloist with orchestras in the United States and Europe. Among them are the Magdeburg Philharmonic Orchestra, the Chamber Orchestra Leopoldinum, the Wroclaw Philharmonic Orchestra, the American Academy of Conducting Orchestra at the Aspen Music Festival, the Empire State Sinfonia, the Gateway Classical Music Society Orchestra, the Broadway Bach Ensemble, the Glacier Symphony, and the Augusta Symphony Orchestra.
In addition to her many orchestra appearances, she maintains a busy concert schedule as a recitalist and chamber musician with appearances at Carnegie Hall (in both the Stern Auditorium and the Weill Recital Hall), Alice Tully Hall, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Merkin Hall, The Kosciuszko Foundation, 7 World Trade Center, Bargemusic, Polish and Hungarian Embassies in Washington, DC, The Aspen Music Festival, and the Ethical Society in Philadelphia. She has also performed as a featured artist at music festivals such as the Paderewski Festival, the Sevenars Music Festival, and the Chopin & Friends Festival.
Her recent prestigious collaborations include solo performances with The Jose Limon Dance Company at the Joyce Theater in NYC. Ms. Augustyn is also a member of pianist Jeffrey Biegel’s Trio 21 with cellist Robert deMaine. The ensemble has recently recorded Glen Roven’s Runaway Bunny CD for GPR Records, with Catherine Zeta- Jones as a narrator, as well as Kenneth Fuchs’ Falling Trio for Naxos. Ms. Augustyn’s Album of Polish music, was just released in June 2013 on Naxos.
Ms. Augustyn is committed to increasing awareness of music by Polish composers, as well as promoting contemporary music. She has premiered Michael White’s Sonata for Violin and Piano and his Trio Sonata, which were composed especially for her. She has also recorded his Quartet for Piano and Strings. Ms. Augustyn’s new album of contemporary music is coming out very soon on GPR Records. Her former discography includes a CD of Niccolo Paganini 24 Caprices for Solo Violin.
Ms. Augustyn has won international awards, including First Prizes at the Alexander & Buono International String Competition (NYC), Artist International Presentations (NYC), J.S. Bach String Competition (Zielona Gora, Poland), and Ackerman Chamber Music Competition at Stony Brook, NY. Other top honors include prizes at the Kosciuszko Foundation Wieniawski Violin Competition (NYC), the Johannes Brahms International Competition (Poertschach, Austria), and the Kloster Schoental International Young Artist Competition (Kloster Scheontal, Germany).
Kinga Augustyn began her music studies at the age of seven in her native Poland. She eventually went on to study at The Juilliard School, where she worked with Dorothy DeLay, Cho-Liang Lin and Naoko Tanaka, and earned both the bachelor’s and the master’s degrees. She also holds a doctorate from the State University of New York at Stony Brook, where she took lessons from Phil Setzer and Pamela Frank.
As a teacher, Ms. Augustyn has served as a Violin Faculty for The Alexander & Buono Festival of Music. She has also conducted various violin and chamber music masterclasses and workshops in the United States and Poland.
Kinga Augustyn is thrilled to perform again with the Broadway Bach Ensemble!
Violinist Muneyoshi Takahashi is an active freelancer in New York area. He is currently a member of Albany Symphony Orchestra and Iris String Quartet. He has been concertmaster of Ensemble du Monde, Nova Philharmonic, One World Symphony, Toho Gakuen Orchestra Academy, and guest concertmaster of the Japan Philharmonic. He has also played with orchestras such as the American Symphony, Charleston Symphony, Izmir Symphony(Turkey), New Japan Philharmonic, NHK Symphony, and the Rochester Philharmonic.
A graduate of Eastman School and the top honor recipient from Toho Gakuen School of Music in Tokyo, he has studied violin with Koichiro Harada, founder of the Tokyo String Quartet and Mikhail Kopelman, former leader of the Borodin String Quartet. He was semi-finalist of Japan Music Competition and Grand-Prix winner of Toho Transcendental Technique Competition.
He had master classes with Thomas Brandis, Zakhar Bron, Vadim Gluzman, Rainer Küchl, Philippe Quint, Shinichi Suzuki and Zvi Zeitlin. He has participated in renowned festivals such as Pacific Music Festival, Takefu International Music Festival and Miyazaki International Music Festival, where he had opportunities to work with artists such as Charles Dutoit, Valery Gergiev, Bernard Haitink, and Toshio Hosokawa.
Mr. Takahashi is also devoted in education. He has been Director of Hamilton-Madison House Music School. He also coaches Trinity-Florentine Orchestra of Inter School Orchestras of New York.
One of Russia’s most gifted conductors, Leytush has directed orchestras in Europe and the United States to great acclaim. Critics as have described him as “a conductor in the Grand Russian Tradition” and his dynamic interpretations have made him an audience favourite. Leytush’s artistry is known throughout the former Soviet Union, but it was not until 1994 that he gained recognition in the United States when he, on a week’s notice, made a stunning debut with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, replacing Yuri Temirkanov.
Since 1980 Leytush has worked with a wide variety of Orchestras including Novosibirsk Academic Opera and Ballet Theatre (Russia), New World Symphony Orchestra, Detroit Symphony Orchestra, New York Chamber Symphony, Brooklyn Philharmonic Orchestra, Orquestra Filarmonic De Buenos Aires, Orquestra Nacional Do Porto, Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra, St. Petersburg Philharmonic Academic Symphony Orchestra, Plovdiv Philharmonic, Kremlin Orchestra, Varna and Sofia Philharmonic Orchestra. Mr. Leytush is Artistic Director/Conductor of The New Symphony Orchestra of Israel and Artistic Director/Conductor of Ridgewood Symphony Orchestra, Principal Guest Conductor of National Orchestra of Ukraine, Music Director of Interfaith Committee of Remembrance (Brooklyn Philharmonic)
Arkady Leytush made numerous transcriptions and orchestrations of music by composers such as Bach, Buxtehude, Mussorgsky, Rachmaninoff, Chopin, Albeniz, Sisler, Czerny, Guastavino, Shostakovich, Borodin, Liadov, Cui, Rimsky-Korsakov, Glazunov, Dargomyzhski, Artsibushev, Sokolov, Mayer.