Welcome to our 2019 Seminar students! Here’s their schedule of public performances:
Nicolas Adler is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Music in Cello Performance at the Frost School of Music at the University of Miami where he is studying under Professor Ross T. Harbaugh. His former teacher was Wells Cunningham, known for his “Impossible Duet” video which can be viewed on YouTube. Nicolas has performed several times with the New World Symphony during their Side-by-Side concerts under the direction of Michael Tilson Thomas. He attended the Eastern Music Festival in 2016 and 2017 where he studied under Neal Cary, Principal Cellist of the Richmond Symphony. He also attended the Aspen Music Festival and School in 2018 where he studied under Professor Michael Mermagen, cellist of the Aspen String Trio for over 18 seasons. He will return to the Frost School of Music at the University of Miami in the fall where he will continue to study under Dr. Harbaugh as well as his concert performances conducted by maestro Gerard Schwartz
Chris Beroes-Haigis is a graduate of the Bard College Conservatory of Music where some of his mentors included the well-renowned Peter Wiley, Joan Tower and Luis Garcia Renart. Currently, Chris is a student of cellist Zuill Bailey at the University of Texas in El Paso, where he is a Graduate Teaching Assistant and a core member of the Center for Arts Entrepreneurship under the direction of Felipa Solis. A passionate believer in how music can shape and enhance communities, Chris has performed numerous times as part of El Paso Pro Musica, making chamber music accessible to the entire region through concerts in places such as schools and hospitals.
As a composer and arranger of both chamber and orchestral music, he has collaborated with the Da Capo Chamber Players, The Orchestra Now conducted by Leon Botstein, and appeared as part of “Music Alive!”, a concert series curated by Joan Tower and Blair McMillen. In 2018, he received a commission to compose and perform a chamber piece for the 2018 Albany Symphony American Music Festival, where he performed with Joan Tower and the Jasper String Quartet. Last year, he was invited by composer Andrew Waggoner to Weekend of Chamber Music in upstate New York as part of their Immersion Fellowship Program in both composition and performance categories. Upcoming projects will include a multimedia collaboration with the 2020 American Music Festival in Troy, New York.
Ivana Biliskov, the 22 year old native of Croatia, made her international debut at the 2017 Chamber competition “MOZART=SALZBURG” held in Tokyo, Japan where she won the “Grand prix” in a piano trio. As a result of winning this competition, Ivana had a concert tour in Austria in June, 2018, performing in world renowned halls such as the Esterhazy Palace and Mozarthaus in Vienna. Following this success, Ivana was also the winner of the 2017 University of North Texas Concerto Competition and has performed the Dvorak Cello Concerto with the UNT Symphony Orchestra in March, 2018. Ivana has performed numerous concerts in various countries, including Italy, Slovakia, Germany, Japan, Croatia, as well as in various states across the US.
Ivana started her cello education at the age of 9 in Kastela, Croatia. She began her studies with prof. Bernarda Cavar, but decided to move from home to the capital city of Zagreb at the age of 14 to study with prof. Dobrila Berkovic Magdalenic. Ivana made her debut recital at the age of 15 in Croatia. She has competed in domestic and international competitions and won 10 first prizes as a solo musician, chamber musician, as well as the principal of the National school orchestra. Ivana has attended masterclasses with several acclaimed musicians such as Dora Schwarzberg, Heidi Litschauer, Hans Jorgen Jensen, and many more. Ivana received her Bachelor of Music Cello Performance degree with prof. Nikola Ruzevic at the University of North Texas where she was awarded the “Best Undergraduate in Strings” award in 2017. She served as the principal of the University of North Texas Symphony orchestra. Ivana is currently pursuing her Masters degree at the University of Texas at El Paso with Zuill Bailey where she was awarded a teaching assistantship.
Joseph Kunwoo Choi
Korean- Canadian cellist Joseph Kunwoo Choi began playing the cello at the age of 7. He studied with Paul Widner as a scholarship student at the Phil and Eli Taylor Performance Academy for Young Artists at the Royal Conservatory of Music.
Joseph was a member of the Toronto Symphony Youth Orchestra. He was selected to perform side by side with the TSO touring at Ottawa’s National Arts Centre, Montreal’s National Arts Centre and at Roy Thomson Hall premiering a TSO commission called Eruption by Edward Top. He also performed at the Toronto Performing Arts Center.
Joseph was accepted with a merit scholarship into the 2014 String Academy at the Jacobs School of Music, Indiana University, and studied with Susan Moses and Csaba Onczay.
Joseph attended the 2016 Heifetz International Music Institute as a scholarship student. He has Collaborated with the Institution to produce a music video. He studied with Steven Doane, Wolfram Koessel, Amit Peled, and Matt Haimovitz during his time.
Joseph was part of the Claude Watson Program for the Arts as a Cello Major for four years, acting as a principal cellist of the Earl Haig Symphony Orchestra, Chamber Orchestra, and was the lead representative cellist for the Earl Haig String Quartet. He won numerous awards at music competitions in Toronto, such as Kiwanis Music Festival and the Ontario Music Festival. Joseph had multiple composition projects with the Gryphon Trio, the Amici Ensemble, and the Esprit Orchestra.
Joseph had masterclasses with Brian Epperson, Andres Diaz, Joseph Johnson, Dennis Brott, and Thomas Wiebe.
Joseph is 19 years old, and is currently pursuing his Bachelor of Music with Emilio Colon at the Jacobs School of Music, Indiana University.
A native of Buffalo, New York, Alexander Cousins began his musical studies at the age of 10 as a Double Bassist but switched to the cello when he was 14 years old. Since then, He has performed as a soloist with The Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, The Four Centuries Chamber Orchestra and The Peabody Conservatory Symphony Orchestra. He has also performed as a Principal Cellist for The Peabody Conservatory Symphony Orchestras, The SUNY Fredonia Orchestras and many other regional orchestras in the Western New York area.
Alexander is currently a pursuing a Master’s of Music in Cello Performance at The Peabody Conservatory of Music with Alan Stepansky(formerly of The New York Philharmonic). Prior to attending Peabody, Alexander earned his Bachelor’s Degree and Performer’s Certificate at The State University of New York at Fredonia under Dr. Natasha Farny. He has also studied privately with Roman Mekinulov(Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra) and Bruce Cramer.
Alexander has played in Masterclasses for notable artists and cellists such as Zuill Bailey, Leon Fleisher, The Jupiter String Quartet, Mark Kosower, Julian Schwarz, The Shanghai String Quartet and many others. In his free time, Alexander enjoys jet skiing around Buffalo waterways during the summer months and continually pursuing a greater understanding of the world around him.
Cellist James Hettinga, age 19 from the USA, currently studies with Dr. Melissa Kraut at the Cleveland Institute of Music (CIM). Studying since he was 4, he finds great joy in performing alone and with his 7 siblings, all of whom play strings.
An avid chamber musician, James’s quartet, (the Razumovsky Quartet) of the CIM Young Artist Program took the Silver Medal in the Junior Division at the 2018 Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition. James performed on the national radio show, From the Top, performing the Mendelssohn Octet.
James has won solo competitions such as the Cleveland Cello Society Competition both Junior and Senior divisions. Most recently he won the 2019 Tennessee Cello Workshop Competition, Cleveland Institute of Music Concerto Competition, and placed 2nd in the 2019 Mondavi Center National Young Artists Competition.
In 2016, James made his concerto debut in Severance Hall. He has had the privilege of performing with prestigious musicians including Jinjoo Cho, Matthew Allen, members of the Cavani and Ariel String Quartets, and cellists of The Cleveland Orchestra. Additionally, he has performed in masterclasses for Paul Katz, Hans Jensen, Clive Greensmith, Ralph Kirshbaum, and the Jupiter and Brentano Quartets.
Latvian cellist Kristiana Ignatjeva is a scholar studying for her Artist Diploma at the Royal College of Music, London with professor Melissa Phelps. She is currently Ian Evans Lombe Scholar. Kristiana has obtained degrees with distinction in Master of Performance and Bachelor of Music. In 2010 Kristiana joined the Purcell School of Music where she studied with professor Robert Cohen.
Kristiana has worked with many prominent musicians including Vladimir Ashkenazy, Gianandrea Noseda, Vladimir Jurowski, Alan Gilbert, Jukka-Pekka Saraste, Pinchas Zukerman, Nicola Benedetti, Sasha Rozhdestvensky, Zuill Bailey. Last season she gave performances of Elgar concerto with Nottingham Symphony Orchestra, Haydn C major concerto with the London Mozart Players, Dvorak concerto with Essex Symphony Orchestra and Tchaikovsky Rococo Variations in the UK.
Kristiana has won many international and national competitions, recently being awarded the Muriel Taylor Scholarship (2016) and the First Prize and Unaccompanied Bach Prize at the Violoncello competition at the Royal College of Music, London (2018, 2017 and 2015). She has participated in many masterclasses with professors such as Jérôme Pernoo, Torleif Thedéen, Christoph Richter, Hans-Jørgen Jensen, Franz Bartolomey, Melissa Kraut, Raphael Wallfisch, Hillel Zori, Natalie Clein, Johannes Goritzki and Denis Brott.
Kristiana has given recitals across Europe and North America in major concert halls including the Wigmore Hall, Royal Festival Hall, Royal Albert Hall, Cadogan Hall. She enjoys playing chamber music and regularly takes part in chamber music festivals across Europe. This season Kristiana is also one of the few musicians to be selected for the Countess of Munster Recital Scheme. She has also taken part in London Symphony Orchestra string experience scheme and English National Opera scheme.
Kristiana plays on an Italian cello by Matteo Goffriller kindly loaned by the Royal College of Music, London.
Madelyn Kowalski grew up on a small island in Washington State, and is now pursuing her bachelor’s degree in cello performance at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland (RCS), where she studies with Alison Wells. She has attended festival and masterclass programs in both the UK and the USA, including the International Musicians Seminar at Prussia Cove, the Hellensmusic Masterclass Program, and the Kneisel Hall and Green Mountain chamber music festivals. Madelyn was recently awarded the Fothergill Prize for Strings at the RCS and is a recipient of a Hattori Foundation for Music & the Arts award. She took 2nd place in the 2018 Concours International de Violoncelle ‘Tremplin’ in France. An avid chamber musician, she plays regularly with her duo, which was awarded the Louis Carus Duo Ensemble Prize at the RCS this year. Her duo also collaborates in a trio and this year won 2nd place in the Cavatina Intercollegiate Chamber Music Competition in London. Madelyn has been the winner of various young artist competitions and has performed with the Cascade and Spokane symphonies. She has participated in masterclasses with cellists including Ralph Kirshbaum, Bruno Delepelaire, Antônio Meneses, Raphael Wallfisch, David Geringas, and Jean-Guihen Queyras, and has performed side-by-side with the Brodsky Quartet, the Scottish Opera, and the Royal Scottish National Orchestra. Earlier this year, she had the honor to perform in a small ensemble for HRH Prince Charles, premiering a work written and conducted by Sir James MacMillan in honor of the prince’s 70th birthday. Madelyn also loves to paint and draw – and especially loves doing portraits of her beautiful German Shepherd named Treu, who patiently waits for her back at home. She hopes to someday incorporate writing and illustrating children’s books into her music career. Madelyn plays on a cello generously loaned to her by the Carlsen Cello Foundation.
Sarah Miller is originally from Long Island, NY, and is currently finishing her Master’s degree at the Cleveland Institute of Music studying under Dr. Melissa Kraut. As a soloist, Sarah has won first prize in the Tennessee Cello Workshop Competition and in the 2019 “Getting To Carnegie” competition, where she not only had the opportunity to perform in Carnegie Hall, but also won a trip to the US Virgin Islands to give a concert tour. Sarah has also won prizes in the New York Music Competition, the Tuesday Musical Scholarship Competition, the Cleveland Cello Society Concerto Competition, and the Island Symphony Orchestra Young Artist Competition among others, and has been selected as a semifinalist in the 2018 Ann and Charles Eisemann International Young Artist’s Competition and the 2019 Mondavi Young Artists Competition.
During her school year, Sarah enjoys playing with the Akron Symphony Orchestra as assistant principal cello, serving as a member on the Board of Trustees at CIM, serving as the Cleveland Cello Society’s first ever “Collegiate Liaison”, and leading CIM’s Christian fellowship and bible study groups in addition to her cello studies. Over the summers, Sarah loves to travel, which is why she was eager to return to Sitka for her 3rd year. Sarah has also attended the Sarasota Music Festival, the Aspen Music Festival as a fellowship recipient, the Heifetz International Music Festival, the National Arts Centre YAP, and the Meadowmount School of Music. In the future, Sarah is excited to keep serving her communities and sharing the gift of music.
Aria Posner ﬁrst started cello at age ﬁve, studying with Bonnie Bull. Two years later she met Pamela Devenport and became her student for the next three years. When Ms. Devenport moved to New York state, Aria was introduced to Martha Gerschefski of Georgia State and studied with Ms. Gerschefski until her recent retirement to South Carolina. For the past nine months, Aria has studied with Alan Rafferty, professor at Cincinnati College Conservatory of Music via Skype and Danny Laufer of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. This fall, Aria will be joining Dr. Melissa Kraut’s studio at the Cleveland Institute of Music.
Aria is a very active orchestral and chamber player. This is Aria’s ﬁfth year with the Atlanta Symphony Youth Orchestra, having served as principal cellist for the past three seasons. She was also principal cellist for the Emory Junior Chamber Orchestra (2013-2015), for the Atlanta Junior Chamber Orchestra (2012-2013) and for MYSO Chamber Orchestra (2010-2012). This is Aria’s fourth year with Franklin Pond’s Fall into Spring Chamber Program, where she is a current member of the Lykos Cello Quartet. This spring, the Lykos Cello quartet placed third in the Franklin Pond Chamber Music Competition. Aria also enjoys playing with the CBH Strings, an intergenerational string ensemble at Congregation Bet Haverim. For the past few summers, Aria has traveled to several music festivals including Bowdoin International Music Festival, Green Mountain Chamber Music Festival, and Sewanee Summer Music Festival.
Aria ﬁrst soloed with orchestra at age 10 as a soloist with the MYSO chamber orchestra. She was also a soloist with the Atlanta Community Orchestra as the 1st place winner of the Ruth Kern Concerto Competition in 2013, and a soloist with the Augusta Symphony Orchestra as the winner of the SOA Concerto Competition in 2013. In 2014 Aria was a featured soloist with the EJCO at Lincoln Center. Most recently, in March of 2019, Aria was a winner of the Alpharetta Symphony Orchestra concerto competition and performed the ﬁrst movement of Dvorak Cello Concerto in B Minor. Other honors include master classes with Paul Watkins, Peter Oundijan and Steven Isserlis.
Aria especially enjoys using her love of music to give back to the community. She is an active participant of the CBH Strings fundraising concert series and in 2016 Aria founded the Concert to Cure performance series, a series of concerts that raise money to support the Ovarian Cancer Institute. In addition to music, Aria enjoys spending time with friends and family as well as knitting, coffee, and puns.
Hannah Shute is a cellist from Atlanta, Georgia. She has studied with Nick Curry, Mary Beth Bryant, and Roee Harran. She participated in GMEA All State Orchestra, played principal cello for the Emory Youth Symphony Orchestra, and achieved first runner up in the EYSO concerto competition. Hannah has performed in master classes with Richard Aaron, David Finckle & Wu Han, Avi Friedlander, Hans Jensen, Melissa Kraut, Alan Rafferty, and Joshua Roman. Hannah currently studies with Dr. Nick Curry, and is a senior at the University of North Florida.