Recorder: Martin Bernstein
Martin Bernstein is a rising young specialist of early music on recorder. His playing has been heard with numerous ensembles across the world, in venues ranging from 17th-century Roman palazzos to modern art museums in Reykjavik to the concert halls of New York City.
Mr. Bernstein began playing the recorder at age five, and studied first with Charles Sibirsky before beginning lessons with recorder virtuoso Nina Stern. After graduating from Hunter College High School, he studied at the Royal Conservatoire of The Hague with Reine-Marie Verhagen, where he also worked extensively with Han Tol. Mr. Bernstein’s honors and awards include: first prize in Piffaro’s 2013 Young Performers Competition; first prize in the under-22 category at the 2014 Internationele Prijs MvW Leuven, Belgium; finalist in the ERPS International Competition, Graz, Austria (he was unable to attend); an appearance on U.S. National Public Radio’s “From The Top” program for young classical musicians; and a 2016 National YoungArts scholarship. An active educator, Mr. Bernstein teaches privately and has taught in New York City’s public schools, as well as serving on the faculty of the Amherst Early Music Festival and the jury of recorder competitions. He currently studies at Harvard University.
Cello: Roberta Cooper
Roberta Cooper, cellist, won the Artists International Competition which sponsored her Carnegie Hall debut. She is a member of the Walsh-Drucker-Cooper Trio, which has performed extensively on major series in Washington, D.C., New Orleans and New York City and they recently made their European debut . Ms Cooper is the assistant principal cellist of the American Symphony Orchestra, the American Composers Orchestra and the Westchester Philharmonic. She has performed in the Berlin Philharmonic, the Brooklyn Philharmonic, the New York City Opera and the ballet orchestras of both the NYC Ballet and American Ballet Theatre. Ms. Cooper has been a cellist with harpsichordist Kenneth Cooper and the Berkshire Bach Society for many years. She has been a guest cellist with the Emerson Quartet in concerts in the US and Europe. A favorite project was as featured soloist on pop singer Linda Ronstadt’s recording of jazz standards, titled “Hummin’ to Myself”. This group, filled with jazz legends performed for a A&E TV special and at Jazz@ Lincoln Center.
Ms. Cooper was a scholarship student of Lorne Munroe and Harvey Shapiro at the Juilliard School, where she received her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees and the William Henderson Prize for outstanding achievement.
Violin: Qianru Elaine He
Qianru Elaine He, a current violin student at the Juilliard School under the tutelage of Lewis Kaplan. She has been privileged to work with remarkable conductors such as Gustavo Dudamel, David Robertson, Marin Alsop and Stéphane Denève. Besides that, Elaine has been selected as a finalist at the New World Symphony. In the past summer, Elaine was serving as the concertmaster of Music Academy of the West Festival Orchestra under the baton of Nicholas McGegan. Earlier in 2018, she performed at Juilliard Chamber Fest. She was awarded 3rd prize at Pearl & Julius Young Music Competition in 2017. In 2016, she won the annual instrument loan competition held by Doublestop Foundation. She was also named as honorable winner in National YoungArts Foundation Competition.
Violin: Flora Hollifield
Flora Hollifield is a freelance violinist currently working towards a Masters of Music at New York University, studying with Gregory Fulkerson. As a student of the Steinhardt School of Music, Flora has served as concertmistress to the NYUO1 Orchestra under the direction of Adam Glaser as well as concertmistress of the newly formed NYU Broadway Orchestra working with Ted Sperling and John Miller.
Flora received a Bachelors of Music from Oberlin Conservatory where she studied with David Bowlin, as well as a Bachelors of Arts in Comparative Literature. At Oberlin, she performed with the Oberlin Orchestra conducted by Raphael Jimenez, the Oberlin Contemporary Ensemble conducted by Tim Weiss, and the Oberlin Opera Orchestra. Along with three of her classmates, she founded the Allencroft Quartet which performed regularly in the area at events such as Classical Revolution Cleveland.
After graduating, Flora moved to Vienna to pursue an Artist’s Diploma with Barbara Gorzynska at Prayner Konservatorium. While abroad, she performed with the Wiener Akademischer Philharmonie as well as the Prayner Konservatorium Orchester.
As a freelancer in New York City, Flora has performed with The Symphony of Westchester and in addition to her studies, she also teaches as an adjunct faculty member for the New York University Steinhardt School of Music.
Soprano: María Laetitia
First prize winner at the Metropolitan Opera National Council (MONC) auditions Florida District two years in a row (2013 and 2014), Puerto Rican soprano Maria Laetitia shows a bright and steady start as a lyric soprano in this new century. With “not only a beautiful voice like she demonstrated in La Petenera in the zarzuela La Marchenera” … “but also an enchanted grace and perfect slyness for a character like Luisa in Las Carceleras from the zarzuela Las Hijas de Zebedeo…the way she handled the gypsy melisma’s was exceptional”… acclaim in El Nuevo Día (Puerto Rico).
María Laetitia’s operatic soloist work includes Pamina (2010) in Die Zauberflöte by Mozart, Zerlina (2011) in Don Giovanni by Mozart sharing the stage with Operalia winner Joel Prieto, Despina (2011) in Così fan Tutte by Mozart, Lia (2011) in L’enfant prodigue by Debussy, and Rosa Gonzalez (2010) in Summer and Smoke by Lee Hoiby. María Laetitia received a review from NY Times calling her a “Standout” in Manhattan School of Music (New York) productions. She also performed Laetitia (2013) in The Old Maid and the Thief by Menotti, Annina (2014) in La Traviata by Verdi, Barbarina (2015) in Le nozze di Figaro by Mozart, and Kate Pinkerton and cover of Cio Cio San (2015) in Madama Butterfly by Puccini sharing the stage with renowned soprano Ana María Martínez and tenor Rafy Dávila. Also under her belt she has performed Mimi (2016) in La Bohème by Puccini, The spy (2016) in Candide by Bernstein, Gianetta (2017) in Elisir d’amore by Donizetti, Paige (2017) in Stop Bully by J. Heald, First Lady (2017) in the Magic Flute by Mozart and Rapaccini (2017) in La hija de Rapaccini by Catán.
With countless solo concert performances with the Philharmonic Orchestra of Puerto Rico Arturo Somohano, the Symphonic Orchestra of Puerto Rico, Orlando Philharmonic Opera, Orlando Opera, Lyric Unlimited (Lyric Opera Chicago)/ PRAA (Puerto Rican Arts Alliance) and Middlebury College; Maria Laetitia can gracefully immerse herself with great aplomb in Opera, Zarzuela, Broadway and Latin American Music (Boleros) repertoire. She also has participated in two great recordings. One is an opera recording of Summer and Smoke by Lee Hoiby, that was picked by Opera News as one of Top 10 Opera CD releases of the year (2012). She had the wonderful opportunity to also record in the year 2013 with the tenor Rafael Dávila “Ode to Joy” in the musical project Música en Tiempos by Banco Popular in Puerto Rico. Recently she added to her repertoire Messiah by G.F Handel (2018).
Maria Laetitia has a Master degree in voice performance from Manhattan School of Music, an Artist Diploma from the Conservatory of Music of Puerto Rico, and a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Puerto Rico. Her musical abilities have taken her to perform in Israel, France, Italy, Germany and USA. Maria Laetitia will be performing with the Symphonic Orchestra of Puerto Rico in the role of Salud from La vida breve by M. De Falla next March, making her soloist debut in the acclaimed Festival Casals.
“But it’s Maria Laetitia who drives this endeavor. Eyes flashing as Laetitia, she schemes and dreams with gusto, breaking into a million-watt smile and hitting high notes with equal aplomb… Hernandez’s determination is so infectious, you can’t help but root for her. That’s just human nature.”
Violin: Tina Lee
Tina Clara Lee is a NYC-based violinist and violist. Tina began her musical studies at Longy School of Music and the New England Conservatory preparatory division. She went on to earn a BA where she studied violin and viola with Philipp Naegele and Janet Hill, and spent summers at the Aspen Music Festival and School. She then went on to earn a MM from the Yale University School of Music where she studied with Jesse Levine.
Tina is an active orchestral and chamber musician, performing equally on both instruments. She has performed in NYC venues including Stern Auditorium at Carnegie Hall, Weil Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, David Geffen Hall, the DiMenna Center for Classical Music, and Bargemusic. She is also the regular concertmaster at New Westchester Symphony Orchestra. In addition to classical repertoire, she is versatile in a variety of genres. Her quartet, Spellbound Strings, performs anime, movie, and video game music at anime conventions and other private events. Her quartet was also accepted into the prestigious Music Under New York program. Tina also performed as an orchestral member on “Mozart in the Jungle.”
English horn and oboe d’amore: Erin Lensing
Erin Lensing is a New York based oboist and educator. She has performed with a diverse range of ensembles including the Charleston Symphony, Spoleto Festival USA, Klangspuren Ensemble Modern Academy,Ensemble Signal, Ensemble Mise-En, Slee Sinfonietta, Contemporaneous, Double Entendre Music Ensemble, and as a sub on Broadway. Erin teaches oboe, English horn, and piano in New York City, and taught oboe to undergraduates from the University of Rochester as a Graduate Teaching Assistant while at the Eastman School of Music. Erin received her BM from the University of North Texas, and her MM with an Arts Leadership Certificate from the Eastman School of Music. Her principal teachers include Richard Killmer, James Ryon, and Charles Veazey.
Viola: Eddy Malave
Eddy Malave is an active freelance violist based in New York City. A native of Long Island, he received both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in viola performance from The Juilliard School, where he studied under acclaimed violist William Lincer and received the William Gluck fellowship. His past instructors have also included Irene Stitt, Patinka Kopec, and Margaret Pardee.
Mr. Malave’s work as a freelancer has carried him around the world, performing in prestigious concert halls throughout Europe, Asia, the Middle East, the South Pacific, and the Americas. He’s performed alongside a diverse array of artists, including Sir Elton John, Patti LuPone, Andrea Bocelli, and Dmitri Rostropovich, and has also collaborated with artists such as DJ Victor Calderone, composer and producer A. R. Rahman, and others.
In New York City, Mr. Malave is a sought-after performer who plays in a variety of ensembles. In the past he’s performed with the Sejong Soloists and currently plays with the Orchestra of St. Luke’s, the New York City Ballet, the New York City Opera and the Grace Church Choral Society. He also performs in a number of Broadway productions.
In addition to his work as a freelancer, Mr. Malave is an AmSAT-certified teacher of the Alexander Technique. He’s presented the technique in countries around the world, including Austria, Italy, Jordan, Argentina and Canada, and at many institutions in the United States, such as the Juilliard School and New York University. He teaches privately in New York City.
Mr. Malave is also a certified Suzuki instructor for both viola and violin. In addition to his private studio, he’s a faculty member at both New York City’s Third Street Music Settlement and New York University’s Department of Music and Performing Arts in the Steinhardt School of Culture, Education and Human Development.
Countertenor: Jeffrey Mandelbaum
Jeffrey Mandelbaum made his debut at the Metropolitan Opera in The Enchanted Island singing the role of Ferdinand in a series of performances alongside Joyce DiDonato and Plácido Domingo, under the baton of William Christie. He has been hailed as a “first-class countertenor” by the Washington Post, and is fast becoming known for his powerful, elegant voice, and dynamic stage presence. He returned to the Metropolitan Opera for Thomas Ades’ The Tempest, starring Simon Keenlyside and Isabel Leonard, led by the composer, and directed by Robert Lepage, and is back for this season’s revival of The Enchanted Island. He made a double Alice Tully Hall debut, singing Bach’s Magnificat with the American Classical Orchestra, as well as Bach’s Christmas Oratorio with the Riverside Choral Society, and returns with ACO this fall. He will also be soloist in Bernstein’s Chichester Psalms and Missa Brevis with Amor Artis, Bach’s St. John Passion with the Canterbury Choral Society, and Bach’s St. Matthew Passion with the Canticum Novum Singers.
Regarding his debut at Virginia Opera in Agrippina, Tim Smith states in Opera News, “Jeffrey Mandelbaum, with a sweet sound, was highly satisfying… [and] brought considerable flair to his singing and characterization.” He was engaged by New York City Opera for Flavio, Ulisse, and Hansel and Gretel, and performed Giulio Cesare in two productions with Opera Theater of Connecticut, singing Tolomeo, as well as with One World Symphony, in the title role. He triumphed as Farnace in the New York premiere of Mitridate with Little Opera Theater of New York. Allan Kozinn states in the New York Times, “Jeffrey Mandelbaum gave an appealingly sensitive portrayal of Ottone,” in Opera Omnia’s Poppea. He reprised Ottone this summer with Dell’Arte Opera, earning further praise in the Times and other media.
A sought after concert performer, he has sung with Orchestra of Saint Luke’s, American Classical Orchestra, Riverside Choral Society, Amor Artis, Westchester Oratorio Society, Norwalk Symphony, Greater Bridgeport Symphony, Connecticut Master Chorale, Mendelssohn Choir of Connecticut, Vermont Mozart Festival, Canterbury Choral Society, and others. He is in demand as a soloist for the oratorios of Handel and the choral works of Bach. He has made calling cards of the “tenor” solo in Orff’s Carmina Burana and the “boy” solo in Bernstein’s Chichester Psalms.
In addition to performing baroque repertoire, he is also an experienced interpreter of contemporary opera, including DeChiera’s Cyrano De Bergerac with Opera Pacific; Monk’s Quarry with Spoleto Festival USA, Glass’s Galileo Galilei at Brooklyn Academy of Music, Hause’s Man: Biology Of A Fall at Kumble Theater [NYC], and two productions of Quincey’s Home And The River with Encompass New Opera Theatre, with whom he also premiered Quincey’s Tale Of A Tell-Tale Heart, the leading role of which was written specifically for him.
Mr. Mandelbaum is a winner of the 2003 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, New York Districts, and has sung numerous recitals in venues throughout NYC and Tuscany. He received a B.A. with Honors in Interdisciplinary Performance from Oberlin College, and a Master of Music degree in Historical Performance-Voice from the Mannes College of Music. He coached in baroque style with Drew Minter and Julianne Baird, and studies vocal technique and artistry with Linda Monssen.
Recorder: Daphna Mor
Daphna Mor has performed throughout Europe and the United States as both a soloist and ensemble player. Mor’s “astonishing virtuosity” (Chicago Tribune) has been heard in solo recitals in the United States, Croatia, Germany and Switzerland. She has performed as a soloist with the New York Collegium, the New York Early Music Ensemble and Little Orchestra Society, and as a member of the orchestra with the New York Philharmonic, New York City Opera and Orchestra of St. Luke’s. Mor was awarded First Prize in the Settimane Musicali di Lugano Solo Competition and the Boston Conservatory Concerto Competition, and has appeared in a duo with Joyce DiDonato on the singer’s promotional tour for the album In War and Peace. Devoted to new music, Mor has recorded on John Zorn’s Tzadik label, and has performed the world premiere of David Bruce’s Tears, Puffes, Jumps, and Galliard with the Metropolis Ensemble. Also active in the world music community, Mor has performed in festivals and on stages worldwide, including New York’s Summer Stage and Munich’s Gasteig. She can also be heard on Sting’s album If On A Winter’s Night for Deutsche Grammophon. Mor serves as the Music Director of Beineinu, a New York initiative dedicated to the modern cultivation of Jewish culture, and is a performer and teacher of liturgical music of the Jewish diaspora. She leads programs for the Education Department of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Viola: Rosemary Nelis
Rosemary Nelis, violist, is currently a first-year Master of Music student at The Juilliard School where she studies with Misha Amory and Roger Tapping. Beginning at age five, she attended the Special Music School in New York City, later moving on to Bard High School Early College where she graduated in 2012 with an Associate of Arts. In addition to performing alongside artists such as Daniel Phillips, Laurie Smukler, and Peter Wiley, Rosemary has participated in festivals such as Bard Music Festival, Bowdoin International Music Festival, Kneisel Hall and Music@Menlo. In 2017 Rosemary received her Bachelor of Music from Bard College Conservatory of Music, where she studied with Steve Tenenbom, in addition to her Bachelor of Arts in Chinese Language and Literature.
Trumpet: Louis Ranger
Like his sister, oboist Nancy Ranger, Louis Ranger began his musical studies in a small
elementary school band program in Syracuse, NY. Brooklyn-born Anthony DeAngelis, educator and superb woodwind performer inspired a program that continues to the present, turning out many professional musicians through the decades. In his high school, Louis performed at every opportunity, ultimately wining a scholarship to study at Tanglewood with Armando Ghitalla, Principal Trumpet of the Boston Symphony. He later attended Boston University to continue working with Ghitalla, simultaneously beginning a career as a free-lance performer. Still in his teens, he worked as a substitute trumpeter in the Boston Symphony and other musical organizations. At Ghitalla’s urging, he successfully auditioned for a position with the American Brass Quintet. Moving to New York, the group became the core of his work and a primary influence in his musical development, with performances in Europe and the Americas. The ABQ became a resident ensemble at the annual summer festival in Aspen, Colorado. Louis remained a teacher and performer in Aspen for 42 seasons. In the early 1970’s Louis was invited to join the American Symphony, still conducted at that point by its founder, Leopold Stokowski. Work in a great assortment of other orchestras and chamber music ensembles followed. He performed with such diverse groups as the Prague Chamber Orchestra, the Detroit Symphony, the Berlin Philharmonic, the Brooklyn Philharmonic, the Masterworks Orchestra, the Musica Aeterna Orchestra, The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, and Orpheus. Simultaneously, he completed his Bachelor of Music degree at The Juilliard School, where he studied with William Vacchiano, legendary Principal Trumpet of the NY Philharmonic.
With the American Brass Quintet he took part in commissioning and performing many new works. He also performed with Speculum Musicae and The Contemporary Chamber Ensemble. During the years of Pierre Boulez’s tenure with the NY Philharmonic, Louis played in the Philharmonic’s small ensemble series that Boulez conducted at the Cooper Union. He also began playing in the Orchestra at Lincoln Center, eventually serving as Co-Principal Trumpet. In the early years as a faculty member in Aspen, Louis found teaching increasingly rewarding, particularly when balanced with performing opportunities. When offered a position at the University of Victoria School of Music in Victoria, British Columbia, the decision to leave New York was made. He became a tenured professor in Victoria, remaining on the faculty for 37 years. His wife, violinist Kathryn Appleby Ranger, and their two daughters are citizens of the U.S. Canada. Lou and Kathryn have one grandson, with a second likely arriving very close to the date of this February’s Baroquelyn performance.
Oboe and oboe d’amore: Nancy Ranger
Oboist Nancy Ranger is a chamber musician, soloist, orchestral player and teacher and is active in the New York freelance community. As a touring artist she performed with the Gershwin Centennial Tour of Porgy and Bess in Japan, with Phantom of the Opera in Scandinavia and with Roberta Flack in the Caribbean. Her Broadway credits include Phantom of the Opera, Les Miserables, Fiddler on the Roof, Oklahoma, Jekyll & Hyde and Aspects of Love. In the New York area, Ms. Ranger has performed with New York City Opera, The Brooklyn Philharmonic, The American Symphony, The New Jersey Symphony, The Greenwich Symphony, The Kool Jazz Festival, and the New York Gilbert & Sullivan Players, among others. In addition to performing with the Anchorage Opera Company for several seasons she has played oboe and english horn with the Utah Festival Opera Company since 2002. Nancy has recorded on the Albany Record label with Double Entendre Music Ensemble. An active educator, she has taught at the Packer Collegiate Institute, The Special Music School and she maintains a private studio.
Guitar: Tali Roth
Tali Roth has been hailed by Classical Guitar magazine as “an extraordinary solo and chamber musician” by The NY Times as “a marvelous classical Guitarist”. Since her Carnegie Hall debut with the Juilliard Orchestra, she has performed as a soloist throughout the United States, Europe, Latin America, and her native Israel, appearing in such venues as Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall (with violinist Midori), the Caramoor Center, the Aspen Music Festival, the Tel Aviv Henry Crown Hall, Teatro Solis ,Uruguay with glamourtango, Hayuza teatre ,Tokyo with Kumatubara and Silvia Duran dance companies and Teatro Presidente in San Salvador with the El Salvador National Symphony Orchestra.
In addition to her solo recitals, Ms. Roth has performed in a variety of settings — as an ensemble player with tali roth trio, on live television and radio in the U.S. and abroad, on stage in the New York Off-Broadway musical production of Nobel Laureate Derek Walcott’s The Odyssey, by invitation for the U.N. in Washington, and for dignitaries such as former Prime Minister Shimon Peres, Prime Minister Ehud Barak, and General Colin Powell.
Among her prizes and awards are Top Prize in all categories at the Twenty-Third Masterplayers Music and Conductors Competition in Switzerland, First Prize in the Israeli National Guitarist Competition, and the New York Artist International Competition Award.
Ms. Roth studied with Joseph Urshalmi at the Jerusalem Rubin Academy and subsequently with Sharon Isbin at the Juilliard School, where she earned her Master of Music degree. She has also trained at the Academia Chigiana in Sienna, Italy and the Cologne Academy in Germany, studying under Oscar Ghiglia and Hubert Käppel, respectively.
Tali Roth heads the guitar program on the faculty of the Juilliard School’s Pre College Division. She is also an adjunct professor at NYU. In addition, she has presented master classes throughout the United States Japan and Latin America and has taught at The Aspen Music Festival.
Double Bass: Evan Runyon
Noted for his “thunderous” (New York Music Daily) and “mighty” (Arizona Daily Star) playing, Evan Runyon is a bassist, composer, arranger and producer of diverse interests based in Brooklyn, New York .
Director of antiphonal rock band Real Loud, Evan is also principal double bass of Urban Playground Chamber Orchestra and a regular guest with groups such as The Knights, Metropolis Ensemble, Talea Ensemble, Contemporaneous and American Composers Orchestra. He has performed & recorded with Wye Oak and Emily Wells as well as members of Eighth Blackbird and the Bang on a Can All-Stars. Some of the composers with whom Evan has been privileged to work directly include Julia Wolfe, William Britelle, Rebecca Saunders, Louis Andriessen and George Lewis.
Evan studied with Robert Black and performs principally on an instrument by Arnold Schnitzer and French bow by Roy G. Quade. As an electric bassist he specializes in fretless and extended-range instruments, and regularly performs on various historical string basses.
A native of Tucson, Arizona, Evan is fond of esoteric drink, b-horror films and small animals. He lives in Greenpoint with his partner, artist LeeAna Benson, and their cats Jupiter and Eva.
Oboe and oboe d’amore: Jason Smoller
Jason Smoller (oboe, oboe d’amore, English horn) maintains an active freelance performance career in New York City, where he plays regularly with the Handel Festival Orchestra, The Chelsea Symphony, the Greenwich Village Orchestra, Apotheosis Opera, and The Dream Unfinished. In 2017, he gave the New York Premiere of the English Horn Concerto by Peteris Vasks with the Chelsea Symphony. In addition to concerts in many of New York’s most iconic venues, including Carnegie Hall and the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, he has appeared with orchestras around the United States and in China, France, and the Dominican Republic. He has performed alongside Joshua Bell, Philippe Entremont, and Itamar Zorman and under the batons of Kurt Masur, Lorin Maazel, Valery Gergiev, and Daniel Barenboim. He holds an MM degree in Orchestral Performance from the Manhattan School of Music, where he studied oboe with Stephen Taylor and Robert Botti and English horn with Tom Stacy, and a BA in French and music from Brown University. Jason plays a 2015 Laubin oboe and a 1969 Laubin English horn. By day, he is the Executive Director of the Greenwich Village Orchestra and the Associate Director of External Affairs for The New York Pops orchestra.
Violin: Georgy Valtchev
Georgy Valtchev has performed on some of the world’s most prestigious stages. In the United States he has appeared as soloist and chamber musician at Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall, New York’s Carnegie Hall, Kennedy Center in Washington DC, the 92nd Street Y, and Chicago’s Cultural Institute. His artistic projects in Europe include performances in venues, such as Wigmore Hall and the Barbican Centre in London, La Cité de la Musique in Paris, Amsterdam’s Royal Carré Theatre, Teatro Arcimboldi in Milan, and Bulgaria Hall in Sofia. He has toured Asia, Australia and Israel with performances in Beijing Cultural Arts Center, Guangzhou Opera House, Sydney Opera House, Tel Aviv Opera House, Taipei Cultural Center Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Suntory Hall in Tokyo.
A dedicated collaborative musician, Mr. Valtchev enjoys frequent performances with distinguished international artists and ensembles in the United States and Europe. As principal member of the Mark Morris Dance Group musicians, he frequently travels around the world. He has also taken part in dynamic performances with Mihail Barishnikov and the Silk Road Ensemble, Yo-Yo Ma’s arts collective, dedicated to the advancement of global understanding through the arts. In the fall of 2017, Georgy will take part in the Lincoln Center’s White Lights festival where he will perform in Lila and Majnun, a collaboration between Mark Morris, the Silk Road Ensemble with British painter Howard Hodgkin and Azerbaijani musicians Alim and Farghana Khasimov, mugham singers.
As guest concertmaster, Mr. Valtchev has been honored to lead several major symphony orchestras, most notably the London Philharmonic and the Royal Symphony Orchestra of Madrid under the batons of world renowned maestros Kurt Masur, Stanislaw Skrowaczewski and Osmo Vanska.
Born in the ancient city of Plovdiv in Southern Bulgaria, Georgy began his violin studies at age 6 and received his basic music education from the State Music Schools in Plovdiv and Sofia. He achieved his first international success at age sixteen when he won the Grand Prize of the “Kocian” International Violin Competition in then Czechoslovakia. After a short study at the State Music Academy in Sofia, he was accepted as student of the renowned violin professor Ms. Dorothy Delay at the Juilliard School in New York where he was awarded full scholarships for the duration of his studies for the Bachelor and Master of Music degrees. He has been honored with a number of awards, among them the First Prize of the Ducrest International Competition and the Special Prize of the Tibor Varga International Violin Competition.
Bassoon: Dirk Wels
Dirk Wels, a native of Weimar, Germany, enjoys a diverse performing career on flute, bassoon and recorder. Before relocating to New York City, he was principal bassoon of the Orchestre de Chambre
de Luxembourg for four years. Dirk has played with baroque, classical and contempary music ensembles such as Baroquelyn, Camerata New York, Contemporaneous, Distinguished Concerts
International NY Orchestra, Delaware Symphony, Empire Chamber Orchestra, Experiential Orchestra, Friends of MATA, Garden State Philharmonic, Metamorphosis Chamber Orchestra, Metro Chamber Orchestra, New England Symphonic Ensemble, and Washington Square Festival Orchestra. He can be heard as flutist in recordings of music by Rob Kapilow and Glen Roven, and as a bassoonist in an album featuring American music for double reed ensemble. Dirk has been featured as a soloist on both flute and bassoon with The Chelsea Symphony in works by Carl Reinecke and Carl Maria von Weber. This past season, he performed the flute part in Brandenburg Concerto No.5 with Baroquelyn and the recorder part in Telemann’s Double Concerto for recorder and transverse flute with Bacchanalia Baroque.