About the Artists
Jessica Powell Eig is a freelance musician based in Washington, DC., specializing in double bass, violone and viola da gamba. Recently, she has appeared with The Bach Sinfonia, Musica Angelica Baroque Orchestra, National Cathedral Baroque Orchestra, Washington Bach Consort, and the New Orchestra of Washington. Jessica has presented recitals throughout the United States, most recently at the June 2013 International Society of Double Bassists conference in Rochester, NY.
In addition to her work as a performer, Jessica is active as a teaching artist and clinician. She is the director of the Viola da Gamba Society of America Young Players Workshop and her writing on classroom outreach has appeared in Early Music America. She maintains an active private studio, and has received grants to support her music education projects from Early Music America, the Viola da Gamba Society of America, and the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council.
Clarinetist Jeremy Eig’s musical interests run the gamut from solo performing to chamber music, teaching, commissioning new music and arranging/editing works for clarinet ensemble. As a recitalist, he has been presented around the country, and will give his debut at the Arts Club of Washington in 2015. With his wife, Jessica Powell Eig, he co-directs the Neighborhood Concert Series, which presents free chamber music performances around Washington, DC. He also performs with and serves as orchestra librarian with the New Orchestra of Washington.
An active orchestral musician, he has performed with the Cleveland Orchestra and Kansas City Symphony and in such halls as Carnegie Hall, Seoul Arts Center, Shanghai Grand Theatre, and the National Center for the Performing Arts in Beijing. He has served in the US Navy Band since July 2012, and holds the rank of Musician 1st Class.
Current Guest Artists
Comprising violinists Mason Yu and Erica Tursi, violist Jinsun Hong, and cellist Alex Cox, the Omer Quartet is a leader among today’s young string quartets. The quartet most recently won first prize in the 2017 Young Concert Artists International Auditions. Top prizewinners of the Trondheim International Competition, XI Premio Paolo Borciani Competition in Italy, Bordeaux International Competition in France, and the Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition, Omer Quartet has been praised for playing with a “sense of discovery and adventure, but also with considerable finesse.” They are currently the Doctoral Fellowship String Quartet in residence at the University of Maryland.
The quartet has performed with internationally renowned artists such as Kim Kashkashian, Clive Greensmith, Eugene Drucker, Cho-Liang Lin, the Assad Brothers, the Borromeo String Quartet, and collaborated with composers such as Sean Shepherd and Perry Goldstein. They were invited to Yellow Barn, the Great Lakes Chamber Music Festival, McGill International String Quartet Academy, the Ravinia Steans Institute, and the Perlman Music Program. While completing their graduate residency at the New England Conservatory they served as faculty of the Preparatory Program.
Committed to community engagement, the quartet devotes time to creating original and interactive programs. The Boston Foundation awarded the quartet a grant which led them to perform in venues such as homeless shelters and drug rehabilitation centers in areas of Boston. They completed a fellowship with Music for Food, a musician-led initiative directed by Kim Kashkashian for local hunger relief. Hoping to spread the organization’s mission, they are inaugurating a Music for Food concert series in the Washington, D.C. area with the help of grant funds awarded from Tarisio Auction House.
The quartet’s current mentors are David Salness and Katherine Murdock and has worked closely with Paul Katz, Donald Weilerstein, Kim Kashkashian, and Soovin Kim.
Originally from Kansas, Luke Wedge is an active chamber musician and frequently requested concertmaster in the Washington DC area. He is a founding member of the West Garden Trio, the resident piano trio at the National Gallery of Art. He was a participant in the prestigious Juilliard Quartet seminar, and has given master classes at the Eastern Music Festival and Gettysburg College. An experienced orchestral musician, he has performed with the National Symphony, Ravinia Festival Orchestra, and the Chicago Philharmonic Orchestra, among many others, and has shared the stage with such greats as Ray Charles, Jay-Z, Josh Groban, Mary J. Blige, and the Aaron Neville. Since 2003, he has been a member of the United States Air Force Strings, and has given performances at the Whte House, Vice President’s Residence, State Department, the Grand Ole Opry, and has been featured on several nationally televised programs and various recordings. Mr. Wedge began violin studies at age five, and holds degrees from the University of Kansas and Northwestern University.
A native of Armenia, Arminé Graham is a prize winner of the Izabel Violin, Tuesday Musical, and the Maia Chamber Music competitions. She earned her Doctorate of Musical Arts in Violin from the Catholic University of America, a master’s degree from the University of Iowa, and bachelor’s from Komitas State Conservatory in Yerevan, Armenia. Throughout her career, Arminé has worked with world renowned artists such as Gidon Kremer, Christoph Eschenbach, Nigel Kennedy, Lorin Maazel and Kurt Masur. Her musical career has brought her around the world including Spain, France, Germany, the Czech Republic, Russia, and Canada. She has participated in Castleton Festival, Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival, and Kent Blossom Music Festival where she received the Josef Gingold Award for her distinguished accomplishments in chamber music. In 2012, Arminé won a position with the National Philharmonic Orchestra, and now serves as an assistant principal second violin. She also frequently plays with the National Symphony Orchestra and the Washington National Opera Orchestra.
Violist Sarah Hart, a native of St. Louis, Missouri, is an active performer and educator in the Washington, D.C. area. Dr. Hart has performed at the White House with “The President’s Own” U.S. Marine Chamber Orchestra and at the Kennedy Center with the National Symphony Orchestra, as well as abroad in Japan with the Pacific Music Festival and in Europe with the Orchestra Giovanile Italiana. She currently serves as Principal Violist of the Annapolis Symphony Orchestra.
After receiving her Bachelor of Arts degree in Biology, Dr. Hart pursued graduate studies in music. She received her Master of Music degree in Viola from the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music where she studied with Atar Arad. Most recently she studied with Daniel Foster at the University of Maryland in College Park where she earned her Doctor of Musical Arts in 2015 with a dissertation project “The Violist as Composer.” In October 2016 she presented a lecture-recital on the topic at the International Viola Congress in Cremona, Italy.
An active string educator, Dr. Hart maintains a private violin and viola studio in Capitol Hill East, where she resides with her husband, Nicholas Hart.
Kathryn Hufnagle enjoys an active career as a performer and educator in the Washington, D.C. area. Ms. Hufnagle is a member of the National Philharmonic and has also performed with the Amadeus Orchestra, Alexandria Symphony, American Pops Orchestra and Inscape Chamber Orchestra, to name a few. She has served as principal cellist of the McLean Orchestra and Sioux City (IA) Symphony.
Kathryn is currently a Senior Teaching Artist at the Potomac Arts Academy in Fairfax, VA. She has also served on faculty of the Ovations Music Academy at George Mason University and at Augustana University in Sioux Falls, SD.
Ms. Hufnagle has been a fellowship recipient at the Aspen Music Festival and Tanglewood Music Center where she received the Samuel Mays Memorial Cello Award for musical excellence.
Kathryn earned her B.M. from the New England Conservatory and her M.M. from the Cleveland Institute of Music. Principal teachers include Stephen Geber, Peter Stumpf and David Wells. Previously, Kathryn has played with the Omaha Symphony, New World Symphony, Canton Symphony, Boston Philharmonic and the South Dakota Symphony.
Born into a musical family in Northern Virginia, Kathryn began Suzuki cello studies with Alice Vierra. She has a young son and currently resides with her family in Alexandria, VA.
Past Guest Artists
Amy Domingues, viola da gamba and baroque cello, received her MM in Early Music from Peabody Conservatory. She performs with many early music ensembles including the Washington Bach Consort, The Folger Consort, Arco Voce, The Bach Sinfonia, the viol consort Sonnambula (NYC) and is a founding member of Corda Nova, a baroque ensemble with Edmond Chan, baroque violin and Anthony Harvey, theorbo. Amy has been a featured soloist with the Peabody Consort, the Baltimore Baroque band, and the Peabody Renaissance Ensemble. She performed in masterclasses for Paolo Pandolfo, Wieland Kuijken, and Philippe Pierlot. In August 2014 Ms. Domingues traveled to Venice, Italy at the invitation of the Venice Opera Project to play continuo in their inaugural program. Amy is a multiple recipient of the Peabody Career Development Grant, the Young Artist’s Grant-in-Aid (from the Viola da Gamba Society) and is an active cellist, composer, and teacher in the DC area. In addition to her early music activities, she has released three cello-oriented rock albums under the name Garland of Hours, and appears as a recording artist on over fifty rock, pop, and classical albums.
Pianist, teacher, and coach Joel Ayau enjoys an astonishingly diverse musical career. He is a recent graduate of the Domingo-Cafritz Young Artist Program of the Washington National Opera as a pianist and opera coach. From 2011-2014, he served as pianist for the United States Army Chorus, performing for foreign dignitaries and audiences around the country. Highlights from his army career include performing for the funeral services of Betty Ford, acting as a Mandarin Chinese translator and announcer for the US Army Band’s visit to China, and accompanying luminaries including Frederica von Stade, George Shirley, and Ian Bousfield.
As a pianist, Dr. Ayau has excelled in the fields of both instrumental and vocal accompanying. He has performed instrumental recitals with luminaries including David Halen, Charles Neidich and the Michigan Opera Theatre Chamber Players. His work accompanying singers has taken him to Stern Auditorium in Carnegie Hall, Coolidge Auditorium at the Library of Congress, and National Concert Hall in Taipei, Taiwan. He has a passion for new music and has had the opportunity to work with Pierre Boulez, William Bolcom, Jake Heggie, Andre Previn, and Bright Sheng on their works.
Dr. Ayau is also developing a career in musical preparation. As a coach and répétiteur, he has worked with companies including the Washington National Opera, Toledo Opera, Aspen Opera Theater Center, and Music Academy of the West. He is currently on the music staff of the Castleton Festival as a chorus master and opera scenes coach. He has played under the batons of luminaries such as George Manahan, James Gaffigan, Christopher Larkin, and Rafael Payarre.
Dr. Ayau holds the Doctorate in Musical Arts from the University of Michigan in Collaborative Piano, having studied under renowned pedagogue Martin Katz. He earned a Masters in Collaborative Piano from The Juilliard School, and bachelors degrees from New York University in Computer Science and Piano Performance, studying under Dr. Grant Wenaus. He is currently an Adjunct Assistant Professor at Shenandoah Conservatory, and a regular guest professor at several universities in Taiwan.
Jennifer Kim is a versatile violinist who performs throughout the United States and the world. She is a member of National Symphony Orchestra and has previously served as a member of the Kennedy Center Opera House Orchestra/Washington National Opera Orchestra and a substitute for the New York Philharmonic. In addition to her orchestral career, she has performed chamber music at Weill Hall at Carnegie Hall, ennedy Center Millennium Stage, Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center and Music Center at Strathmore. She has performed with New World Symphony (Miami, FL), Pacific Music Festival Orchestra (Japan), Verbier Festival Orchestra (Switzerland), and participated in master classes at Mozarteum (Austria) and Great Mountains Music Festival (Kore). Also active as a studio musician, she has recorded on the soundtracks of major motion pictures such as Noah, Doubt, Julie/Julia, True Grit, Tower Heist, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, and The Secret Life of Walter Mitty. Her Broadway show credits include concertmaster appearances at A Little Night Music and the first and second national tour of The Book of Mormon. She has also collaborated with artists such as Sting, Michael Buble, Peter Gabriel, and DJ Spooky.
An avid educator, she teaches for two groups of which she is an alumna, the National Symphony Orchestra Youth Fellowship Program and contributes as a sectional coach for American Youth Philharmonic. Recognizing the importance of arts education in public schools, she also performs actively in Washington, D.C. area public schools as a founding member of King Street Quartet, in addition to having taught at New York City Public School 1 as a Morse Fellow from The Juilliard School. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in economics from Columbia University and a Master of Music in Violin Performance at The Juilliard School. Her teachers include Ricardo Cyncynates, Naoko Tanaka, Lisa Kim and Hyo Kang.
Robert Schroyer is currently enrolled in the Doctorate of Musical Arts program at the University of Maryland, and has an active performing and teaching career in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area. Robert holds a Master of Music degree in Percussion Performance from the University of Maryland and a Bachelor of Music Education degree, summa cum laude, from Stetson University. At Stetson, he was awarded the 2014 Presser Scholarship Award. His primary teachers include Lee Hinkle, Jauvon Gilliam, Marja Kerney, and Kevin Garry. In 2015, Robert won the University of Maryland Symphony Orchestra Concerto Competition, first prize in the ENKOR International Winds, Brass, and Percussion Solo Competition, and performed with the American Institute of Musical Studies in Graz, Austria. He frequently appears with the Washington Chamber Orchestra and the New Orchestra of Washington; recording premier chamber works extensively with both.
Cellist Sean Neidlinger enjoys an active career as a recitalist, chamber musician, orchestral musician, and teacher. After receiving a Bachelor of Music degree from the Cleveland Institute of Music under the tutelage o Richard Aaron, he pursued further studies at New England Conservatory with Paul Katz. Described as “fiery” and “impassioned” by the Washington Post, Sean’s playing has garnered top prizes at several orchestra concerto competitions. He has been featured as a soloist and chamber musician at the Korean, German, French, and Austrian embassies, the Phillips Collection, the Kennedy Center Millennium Stage and Terrace Theatre, the Washington Metropolitan Philharmonic and the Friday Morning Music Club orchestras. He also has performed with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, the Kennedy Center Opera House Orchestra, the Eclipse Chamber Orchestra, and has served as principal cellist of the American Pops, Amadeus, Winchester, McLean Orchestras. Sean has toured Europe as a chamber musician and as a soloist for the world premiere of the Rodriguez Elegy and Rondo for cello and wind ensemble. This past Spring, Sean also embarked on a four nation tour throughout the Carbbean on a program of cultural outreach sponsored by the United States Department of State. As an artist always intrigued by mixed art forms, Sean won a grant to create a performance installation alongside the Warhol exhibition at the National Gallery of Art
Tina Chancey is a founding member and director of HESPERUS. She plays medieval fiddles, viola da gamba and renaissance, Old Time and Irish violin on roots music from Sephardic and blues to early music and contras. Her particular specialty is the five-stringed pardessus de viole; she was awarded grants by the National Endowment for the Arts to present debut concerts on the pardessus at Carnegie Recital Hall and Kennedy Center, and has recorded for Dorian and Golden Apple. A member of Toss the Feathers and Trio Sefardi, she is a former member of the Folger Consort, the rock band Blackmore’s Night and the multi-media music theater ensemble QUOG. She teaches, produces recordings, writes articles and directs the SoundCatcher workshops teaching musicians how to play by ear and improvise. The Versatile Viol is her series of three CDs featuring the viol in Scots-Irish music, in French baroque music, and in American traditional music. Dr. Chancey has been given an Special Education Achievement Award by Early Music America and three Wammies for best classical instrumentalist by the Washington Area Music Association. For more information, please visit www.tinachancey.com.
Soprano ROSA LAMOREAUX is known for her flawless sense of style, and incandescent presence, as well as “a wonderfully rich timbre and an amazingly flexible voice” (Washington Post). She has performed as soloist with the Dallas, Atlanta and Cincinnati Symphony Orchestras, the Northwest Chamber Orchestra and the National Philharmonic Orchestra among others; at Carnegie Hall, Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, Kennedy Center, Royal Albert Hall (BBC Proms) and the Gewandhaus in Leipzig. She has sung virtually every vocal work of J.S. Bach, as well as the sacred and operatic works of Monteverdi, Mozart, Handel and Haydn. Rosa is the Artistic Director of the National Gallery of Art Vocal Ensemble, designing and performing concerts for specific exhibits at the museum. She is a frequent soloist with the Bethlehem Bach Festival, Folger Consort, Four Nations Ensemble, ArcoVoce, Opera Lafayette and Hesperus, and has toured with Music from Marlboro. www.rosasings.com.
JOHN MARK ROZENDAAL specializes in teaching and performing stringed instrument music from the Baroque and Renaissance eras. As founding Artistic Director of Chicago Baroque Ensemble, JMR led seven seasons of subscription concerts, educational programs, radio broadcasts, and recordings. Rozendaal served as principal ‘cellist of The City Musick, and Basically Bach, and has performed with the Newberry Consort, Orpheus Band, King’s Noyse, Boston Early Music Festival Orchestra, Brandywine Barorque, and Soli Deo Gloria’s Chicago Bach Project. He is a member of Trio Settecento with violinist Rachel Barton Pine and harpsichordist David Schrader, and Repast Baroque Ensemble. Rozendaal’s viola da gamba playing has been praised as “splendid” (Chicago Tribune), and “breathtaking” (Sun-Times). Recordings are available on the Cedille and Centaur labels.
Beth Wenstrom‘s performances have been described by The New Yorker as “elegant and sensual, stylishly wild.” Ms. Wenstrom is a founding member of Wayward Sisters, winner of the 2011 Early Music America/Naxos Competition. As a guest soloist and concertmaster, Ms. Wenstrom has performed with the Sebastian Chamber Players, Brooklyn Baroque, New York Baroque Incorporated, Quodlibet as well as William Christie’s Les Rencontres musicales en Vendée in Thiré, France. Ms. Wenstrom frequently enjoys playing in Trinity Wall Street Baroque Orchestra, Apollo’s Fire and the 17th-century band, ACRONYM.
Cellist Sarah Biber has played across the United States, Australia and China. In recent collaborations with dance, she has been featured with the Paul Taylor Dance Company performing solo Bach for the company’s first performance with period instruments; with Cherylyn Lavagnino Dance at the premiere of Treize en Jeu” an evocative 45 minute ballet for 13 dancers set to Franz Schubert’s Trio in E Flat Major. Sarah earned her doctorate from Stony Brook University after double-degree studies at Oberlin Conservatory and College. In Australia, Sarah performed in the Opera House with the Sydney Symphony under numerous conductors including Gianluigi Gelmetti and Vladmir Ashkenazy. Sarah has attended or been a fellow at numerous festivals, including Tanglewood, Mannes Beethoven Institute, and the International Baroque Institute at Longy and the Oberlin Baroque Performance Institute. As cellist of Kentucky’s premiere period ensemble, she collaborated in a performance of a Vivaldi Concerto, called “Passionate and insightful” and aired on NPR’s Performance Today. Immediately after receiving her doctorate, Sarah was appointed professor of cello at Montana State University. She relocated to the Capitol Hill neighborhood of DC where she teaches group classes with the support of the Capitol Hill Foundation and Classics for Kids, a Boston based non-profit.
Violist Matthew Maffett is an active recitalist, chamber musician, and orchestral musician throughout the Washington DC metro area, where he is currently Section Violist with the United States Air Force String Ensemble. As a prizewinner in numerous competitions, Matthew has appeared at festivals throughout North America and Europe and performed as soloist with such orchestras as the Indianapolis Symphony, Il Camerata di Vocci, the Colorado Festival Orchestra, Aeloian Chamber Orchestra and the USAF Symphony. An avid chamber musician, he is a founding member of the Syrinx Trio and the Heiffler Piano Quartet, and has performed with members of the Tokyo String Quartet, Ani Kavafian, Benny and Eric Kim, and Paul Coletti. Matthew has degrees from the IU Jacobs School of Music and the prestigious Colburn School where his principal teachers were Csaba Erdelyi, Atar Arad, Mimi Zweig, and Paul Coletti.
Dr. Alejandro Hernandez-Valdez is an acclaimed solo and chamber pianist, orchestral and choral conductor, composer and arranger. He is the Artistic Director, Co-founder, and Conductor of the New Orchestra of Washington (NOW), in Washington, DC. He also serves as Director of Music at Westmoreland Congregational, UCC in Bethesda, Maryland where he leads and oversees a dynamic and widely respected music program.
In the past he has served as Associate Conductor and Pianist of the internationally acclaimed Choral Arts Society of Washington and was a faculty member of Shenandoah Conservatory and the Washington Conservatory of Music.
Alejandro has received numerous awards such as the Solidaridad Endowed Presidential Scholarship, E.D. Farmer Endowed International fellowships, the Aspen Music Festival’s Solo, Vocal Accompanying, and Orchestral Piano Fellowships, among others.
In 2011 Cantigas honored Alejandro, alongside Septime Weber and Placido Domingo, with the first-ever Award for Talent in celebration of their twentieth anniversary. To mark this occasion the Mayor of Washington, DC proclaimed April 28 Latinos in the Arts Day.
Alejandro has played under the baton of internationally acclaimed conductors David Zinman, Sir Neville Mariner, John Williams, Valery Gergiev, Christoph Eschenbach, Helmuth Rilling, Rafael Frübeck de Burgos, Robert Spano, James Conlon, Julius Rudel, James DePriest, Jeffery Kahane, Michael Stern, Murray Sidlin, James Ross, Robert Shafer, J. Reilly Lewis, and Norman Scribner and has performed in some of the most important halls in Mexico and the United States.
Alejandro is a native of Guadalajara, Mexico where he initiated his music studies under the tutelage of his father and his brother. Alejandro holds a Master and Doctor of Music degrees from the Sarah and Ernest Butler School of Music at the University of Texas at Austin.
Pianist Grace Cho is a prize Winner of the Chopin International Piano Competition in Corpus Christi, the University of Maryland Concerto Competition, and the Sidney M. Wright Collaborative Pianist Competition, Grace has built a versatile career covering solo piano, chamber music, instrumental, vocal, and choral accompanying, and instrumental and vocal coaching. She has performed in prestigious venues across the USA, Mexico, and South Korea and has collaborated with world-renowned instrumentalists Sarah Chang, Tamaki Kawakubo, Robert McDuffie, and Han-Na Chang. She often appears at the Residence of the South Korean Ambassador as a featured artist. In addition, Grace has played under international conductors Christoph Eschenbach, Lorin Maazel, Helmuth Rilling, David Zinmann, Leonard Slatkin, Norman Scribner, Julian Wachner, Robert Shafer and others.
Grace is a member of the piano faculty at the Levine School of Music where she also serves as Associate Chair of the Piano Department’s Special Events. In the past Grace served as the Vocal/Opera Coach at Shenandoah University in Winchester, Virginia and also as the Assistant Conductor of the Grammy-winning symphonic chorus, The Washington Chorus. Along with her husband, pianist and conductor Alejandro Hernandez-Valdez, Grace is a co-founder and the Executive Director of NOW, the New Orchestra of Washington, an innovative ensemble that makes music relevant to new generations of audiences through virtuosic performances that combine a diversity of genres with fresh interpretations of classic works.
Grace holds a bachelor’s degree from Seoul National University, a master’s degree from University of Texas at Austin, and a doctorate in music from the University of Maryland, College Park.