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: Alon Bisk
Alon Bisk is a freelance musician working in and around the New York metropolitan area. Alon was an orchestra member for the first national tour of Spring Awakening, Les Miserables (25th Anniversary Tour), American Idiot (First National Tour), The Last Goodbye (Williamstown Theater Festival) and Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812 (Off-Broadway). Alon has also worked on NBC’s show Smash(Season 2) as well as promotion for HBO’s Game of Thrones (Season 3). Most recently he was a sub for Rocky (Broadway) and can currently be seen in the Atlantic Theater Company’s production of Found, a new musical.
Alon holds a Bachelor of Music degree and a Master of Music in Orchestral Performance degree from the Manhattan School of Music (under the guidance of NY Philharmonic’s associate principal cellist, Alan Stepansky). Alon’s main objective is to focus on proper technique, musicality, formidable sight reading and building a strong ear.
Trumpet: Andrew Kemp
After 10 years in Sarasota, Florida, Andrew has recently returned to NYC and is active in the NYC freelance scene. Since returning to NYC, Andrew has performed with the New York Philharmonic, American Ballet Theatre, as well as the American Symphony Orchestra. Other
engagements have included playing with the Israel Philharmonic, Radio City Christmas Show, as well as Broadway. Originally from Syosset, NY, Andrew has performed as Principal Trumpet of the Sarasota Opera Orchestra from 2003 – 2015. During that time he also performed extensively with the Sarasota Orchestra, and served as Co-Principal Trumpet for several years.
Andrew earned his degrees at the Manhattan School of Music, where he studied with William Vacchiano, former Principal Trumpet of the New York Philharmonic, and Robert Sullivan, current trumpet professor at Northwestern University. Andrew was also extremely active in the Manhattan School of Music jazz program, splitting performance time between both the jazz and orchestral programs. Upon graduating, Andrew went on to play with the New World Symphony in Miami Beach. Other engagements have included the Charleston Symphony, Boston Ballet, and Orchesta Sinfonica de Tenerife. In addition, he has performed with jazz artists Wynton Marsalis, Arturo Sandoval, and Harry Connick Jr, among others.
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.
Oboe: 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.
Oboe: Christa Robinson
Oboist and music educator Christa Robinson has been working and living in NYC for the past 10 years. In that time, she has become an auditioned member of the new music group Alarm Will Sound, Ensemble Signal, and was the Music Director and singing oboist for Broadway’s King Charles III. Christa has performed with St. Luke’s Chamber Orchestra, the Westchester Philharmonic, the Harrisburg Symphony, and has sat in as a substitute oboist in many Broadway productions. She has recorded for pop artists Jonsi, Five for Fighting, Of Montreal and Okkervil River. Before moving to New York City, Christa graduated from the Eastman School of Music, and was the principal oboe of the Saskatoon Symphony Orchestra in Canada.
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.
Bassoon: Sara Schoenbeck
Sara Schoenbeck is a bassoonist who dedicates herself to expanding the sound and role of the bassoon in the worlds of classical, contemporary notated and improvised music. The Wire magazine places her in the “tiny club of bassoon pioneers” at work in contemporary music today and the New York Times has called her performances “galvanizing” and “riveting, mixing textural experiments with a big, confident sound.”
Originally from California, Sara spent her time on the west coast freelancing in various orchestral bassoon sections and touring as a member of creative music ensembles Gravitas Quartet and Anthony Braxton’s 12+1(tet). Sara also recorded for various sound and film projects including the Matrix 2 and 3, Dahmer and Spanglish. She now calls Brooklyn home and performs regularly with chamber ensembles, new music orchestras and creative improvisation ensembles in New York and beyond. She has performed at major venues and festivals including Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center Out of Doors, the Kennedy Center, Newport Jazz Festival, Berlin Jazz Festival and the Vancouver International Jazz Festival to name a few.
Sara received her BFA from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and MFA from the California Institute of the Arts where she has given master classes on improvisation for bassoonists and classically trained musicians. She is currently on faculty at Brooklyn Conservatory of Music and Packer Collegiate Institute.
Violin: Mioi Takeda
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.
Trumpet: Thomas Verchot
Thomas Verchot is a New York-based free-lance trumpeter. He has performed in New York with New York City Opera, Brooklyn Philharmonic, Musica Sacra, the Oratorio Society of New York, the Orchestra of St. Ignatius Loyola, the Orchestra of St. John the Divine, the Orchestra of St. Patrick’s, Philharmonia Virtuosi, New York City Symphony, Di Capo Opera, and the Amor Artis Orchestra. He has worked as a substitute on numerous Broadway productions. In the New York region, he has been a member of the New Philharmonic of New Jersey, the New Jersey Ballet Orchesrtra, and has played with many groups such as the New Jersey Symphony, Springfield (MA) Symphony, Greenwich (CT) Symphony, Greater Bridgeport (CT) Symphony, the Ridgefield (CT) Symphony and the Spoleto Festival Orchestra (Charleston, SC).
Internationally, Thomas has been a member of the Orquestra Filaromonica del Bajio in Guanajuato, Mexico, and was principal trumpet for the Spoleto Festival Orchestra in Spoleto, Italy for 6 seasons. Mr. Verchot has played for many years with the Orchestra of the S.E.M. Ensemble, and has been principal trumpet since 2008. He has been a member of Ostravska Banda since 2008.