Maia Cabeza, violin 

Twenty-two-year old violinist Maia Cabeza recently came to international attention as 1st prize (Mozart prize) winner of the 2013 Leopold Mozart International Violin Competition Augsburg, where she also received other special prizes including the prize for best performance of a contemporary piece. Since her debut as a soloist at age 10, she has gone on to perform with several orchestras in North America, South America and Europe. Recent performances include solos with the St. Petersburg State Symphony Orchestra, Munich Radio Orchestra, Deutsche Staatsphilharmonie Rheinland-Pfalz, Philadelphia Orchestra, Edmonton Symphony, Reno Philharmonic, and the Detroit Symphony. In addition, Maia has performed with Orquesta Academica del Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires, Danville Symphony, Chapel Hill Philharmonia, and Sphinx Chamber Orchestra in gala concerts at Carnegie Hall.

A dedicated and passionate chamber musician, Maia performs frequently with various ensembles and pianists in recital. She has been invited to several prestigious music festivals, including the Marlboro Music Festival, Ravinia’s Steans Institute and Verbier Festival Academy. In the summers of 2011 and 2012 she was a featured young artist at Music from Angel Fire, and she has also attended Schlewsig-Holstein, Yellowbarn, Aspen and Prussia Cove International Music Seminar and Open Chamber Music in Cornwall, England. She has had the opportunity to collaborate with distinguished artists such as Nobuko Imai, Ida Kavafian, Dénes Várjon and several members of the Cleveland, Guarneri, Juilliard, Orion and Vermeer String Quartets. In summer 2014, Maia took part in Kronberg Academy’s “Chamber Music Connects the World” where she performed alongside Kim Kashkashian, Gidon Kremer and Christian Tetzlaff.

In 2004, she was loaned an 1892 Gragnani violin by the Stradivari Society of Chicago, and in 2005, she was awarded a $25,000 fellowship from the Davidson Institute for Talent Development towards advancing musical studies. A finalist in the 2009 Philadelphia Orchestra Competition and a semi-finalist in the Michael Hill and Buenos Aires International Violin Competitions, Maia was the 2nd place laureate of the Sphinx Competition and winner of the North Carolina Symphony Competition.

Born in Japan in 1992 of Argentinian heritage, she commenced violin studies in Canada at the age of 4. Accepted at age 13 to the Curtis Institute of Music, she recently received her Bachelor of Music where she studied with Ida Kavafian and Joseph Silverstein. During the 2011-2012 season, Maia served as concertmaster of the Curtis Symphony, Chamber and Opera Orchestras as well as leading the Curtis “20/21” contemporary ensemble. Between 2012 – 2014, she was a member of the Berlin Philharmonic “Karajan” Orchestra Academy which included regular performances in the orchestra as well as chamber music concerts in the Philharmonie. Currently, she is furthering her studies with Antje Weithaas at the Hochschule für Musik “Hanns Eisler” Berlin.

Francesco Camuglia, flute

Francesco Camuglia, from Las Vegas, is currently a member of the Orchestra Academy of the Berlin Philharmonic, through which he regularly performs with the orchestra and studies with Andreas Blau and Jelka Weber. With the support of a Fulbright grant and a scholarship from the DAAD (German Academic Exchange Service), he completed his Master of Music degree at the Academy of Music “Hanns Eisler” Berlin under the tutelage of Benoit Fromanger. A member of the Verbier Festival Orchestra, he has also performed as guest principal flutist with the NDR-Sinfonieorchester, Rotterdam Philharmonic, Seattle Symphony and the Norwegian Radio Orchestra.

In 2012, Francesco completed his Bachelor of Music degree with Jim Walker at The Colburn School in Los Angeles. During his studies, he also held a one-year position with the Boise Philharmonic and was principal flutist of both the 2013 Britten-Pears Orchestra and 2011 New York String Orchestra Seminar at Carnegie Hall. During the summers, he also performed at music festivals such as the Tanglewood Music Center, Music Academy of the West in Santa Barbara, Aspen Music Festival and Sarasota Music Festival.

After winning the 2012 U.S. Army Band “Pershing’s Own” National Collegiate Solo Competition, he performed with the ensemble outside the U.S. Capitol Building. The winner of their respective young artist competitions, he has also performed as a concerto soloist with the Downey Symphony Orchestra, Sarasota Music Festival Orchestra and Las Vegas Philharmonic.

Maxim Conrad, clarinet

The clarinettist Maxim Conrad was born in Würzburg in 1990. He began playing his instrument at an early age and gathered first experiences in orchestra-playing with the Bavarian Youth Orchestra and, being of both German and French origin, the Young German-French Philharmonics. In the course of his work with these orchestras, he came to play concerts in – among others – France, Italy, the Czech Republic, the Munich Gasteig and the Berlin Philharmony. After graduating from school, he prepared for his studies intensively, for instance participating in Thomas Lindhorst’s master class at the European Academy for Music and Performing Arts in Montepulciano. In 2011, he began his studies at the „Franz Liszt“ School of Music Weimar, currently continuing them at the „Hanns Eisler“ School of Music Berlin in the class of Martin Spangenberg. Since the beginning of his studies, he played with conductors such as Christian Thielemann and Marek Janowski.

Karolina Errera, viola

Копия Errera, Karolina_6701

Born in Moscow, Russian-Dominican violist Karolina Errera has established herself as one of the most promising violists of her generation. Already in her early childhood she expressed her interest in art and music, and at the age of six she was accepted to the Moscow Central Music School where she studied with Mariya Sitkovskaya. In 2007 she became a recipient of Vladimir Spivakov Foundation Scholarship which led to her debut at the International House of Music in Moscow. After graduation Karolina Errera entered Berlin University of Arts where she currently studies with Wilfried Strehle.

The recipient of a number of awards and prizes, Karolina has won a special prize at the 2013 Internatioanl Bashmet Competition(Moscow) and the 1st prize at the International Rakovsky Competition (Poland). She has appeared  in such prestigious concert halls as the Great Hall of the Moscow Tchaikovsky Conservatory, Konzerthaus Berlin, and Victoria Hall in Geneva.

Karolina is a frequent guest artist at international festivals such as the Verbier Festival, the Heidelberg Spring, Kronberg Academy, Seiji Ozawa Academy, Pablo Casals, and Krzyzowa Music. She has collaborated with such distinguished musicians as Steven Isserlis, Nobuko Imai, Yury Bashmet, Veronika Eberle, Gidon Kremer, Christian Tetzlaff, István Várdai, Antoine Tamestit, Pamela Frank, the Artemis Quartet, and Lars Anders Tomter.

Since 2014 she plays a modern viola made by Haiko Seifert on loan from the Deutsche Stiftung Musikleben.

In October 2015 she won a position as the academist of the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra.

Vashti Hunter, cello

In May 2012, Vashti Hunter became the first British cellist ever to be awarded a prize at the International Cello Competition ‘Prague Spring’ in its 65 year history. She won her Laureate title playing the Dvorak cello concerto, conducted by Koji Kawamoto with the Pilsen Philharmonic Orchestra in Dvorak Hall, Rudolfnium, Prague. Vashti has performed in other prestigious halls throughout Europe, including the Wigmore Hall, Barbican Hall and Royal Festival Hall, St.John’s Smith Square, London, Schoenbrunn Palace in Vienna, National House of Vinohrady in Prague and the Salle Moliere in Lyon. She has played concertos with, among others, the Pilsen Philharmonic in Czech Republic; Filharmonica Brasov, Bacau Philharmonic Orchestra, Dinu Lipatti Orchestra in Romania; the Göttingen Symphony Orchestra, the Braunschweig Dom Sinfonie Orchester, the Südwestdeutsches Kammerorchester Pforzheim in Germany; the London Schools Symphony Orchestra and the Southbank Sinfonia in England.

Vashti’s performances have been recorded for the BBC, SWR (German South West Radio) , NDR (North German Radio), ORF (Austrian Radio) and on KBS ‘Classical Odyssey’ (Korean radio and television). Much in demand as both soloist and chamber musician, she has been invited as soloist to festivals such as PODIUM festival Esslingen, DAVOS Festival Switzerland, Heidelberg Festival, Prussia Cove Open Chamber Music UK, Serbia Cello Fest, Amsterdam Cello Bienaale, Encuentro de Musica y Academia Santander and Aurora Festival Sweden.

An avid chamber music player, Vashti has collaborated with eminent artists such as the ‘Quartetto di Cremona’, members of the Szymanowski Quartet, Pekka Kuusisto, Susan Tomes, Erich Hörbarth, Terje Tonnesen, Antje Weithaas, Radovan Vladkovich, Alekander Madzar and Bengt Forsberg. As a founding member of Trio Gaspard, she studies with the renowned professor and previous member of the Alban Berg Quartet, Hatto Beyerle, who has called them ‘The best Piano Trio I have ever had or heard’. The ensemble has numerous prizes in international competitions. They won 1st prize at the 5thInternational Joseph Haydn Chamber Music Competition in Vienna in March 2012, 1st Prize and special prize at the 6th International ‘Joseph Joachim’ Chamber Music Competition in Weimar and 1st prize at the International Chamber Music Competition in Ilzach France. Vashti has benefitted from solo masterclasses with Natalia Gutman, Steven Isserlis, Anner Bylsma, Bernard Greenhouse, Gary Hoffman, Alexander Rudin, Arto Noras and Torleif Thedeen. She has also had the fortune to learn from Ferenc Rados, Petr Nagy, Johannes Meissl(Artis Quartet), Gerrit Zitterbart(Trio Abegg), Avedis Kouyoumdjian and Peter Cropper(Lindsay Quartet).

An experienced and much sought-after orchestral player, she has been invited as guest principal cellist of the Olso Philharmonic Orchestra in Norway and the Scottish Chamber Orchestra in the UK. She is a member of Camerata Nordica, one of Scandanavia’s leading chamber orchestras, and has performed with London Symphony Orchestra, London Chamber Orchestra and the European Union Youth Orchestra in the UK and abroad. Vashti is currently on trial for a position in Kammerakadamie Potsdam, winners of the 2015 ECHO prize.

Vashti recently graduated with top marks on the prestigious ‘Konzertexamen’ solo course with Leonid Gorokhov at the Musikhochschule in Hannover, where she was supported by generous awards from the Leverhulme Trust and Deutsche Stiftung Musikleben. She is currently based in Berlin, where she is mentored by Wolfgang Emmanuel Schmidt.

Mari Lee, violin- project leader

Mari_Lee_Web-2 Praised as “an outstanding musician…with an artful, expressive power” by Zürichsee Zeitung, Mari Lee has performed extensively throughout the UK, Europe, and the United States in such prominent venues as the South Bank Centre, Wigmore Hall, Le Fesitival de Radio France Montpellier, Menuhin Festival Gstaad, Harvard Music Association, and Jordan Hall. She has appeared as a soloist with the London Mozart Players and Baden-Baden Philharmonic Orchestra under the baton of Pavel Baleff.

An avid chamber musician, Mari has been invited to internationally renowned festivals such as Ravinia Festival’s Steans Music Institute, Krzyzowa Music Festival, and the Marlboro Music Festival. Artists she has collaborated with include Kim Kashkashian, Denés Varjon, Nobuko Imai, Bruno Canino, and members of the Cleveland, Guarneri, and Juilliard String Quartets.

Her interest in musical community engagement has led her to participate in numerous outreach programs in the UK, as well as performing in benefit of BBC’s Children in Need, Prince’s Trust, Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children, and Music for Food in Boston.

Born in Japan in 1990, Mari entered the Yehudi Menuhin School at the age of 11 where she studied with Natasha Boyarsky. She completed her Bachelor’s degree at the New England Conservatory of Music with honors under the tutelage of Miriam Fried, where she was the recipient of Irene M. Stare Presidential Scholarship. She is currently pursuing her Master’s degree at the Universität der Künste Berlin with Nora Chastain. She is a holder of the DAAD scholarship and is a recipient of Tarisio Trust’s Young Artists Grants.

Mari plays on 1764 Carlo Ferdinando Landolphi kindly provided by Florian Leonhard Fine Violins.

Vicki Powell, viola

Praised by the New York Times for her “probing introspection”, and by the Philadelphia Inquirer as “a star“ with “a voluptuous tone,” violist Vicki Powell has appeared as soloist with the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Milwaukee Symphony, and the Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra, and has been a featured artist at the Verbier, Ravinia and Marlboro Music Festivals.

Ms. Powell is the recipient of a Gold Award in Music from the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts. Other awards include top prizes at the Primrose International Viola Competition, the Philadelphia Orchestra Greenfield Competition, the Johansen International Competition, and the Aspen Low Strings Competition.

An avid chamber musician, Ms. Powell performs as a member of Ensemble39, a contemporary wind and string quintet devoted to commissioning new music and pushing the boundaries of the concert experience.  Ms. Powell has also been invited on tours across the country with Musicians from Marlboro, Musicians from Ravinia’s Steans Institute, and Curtis on Tour. She has collaborated with prominent artists such as Mitsuko Uchida, Arnold Steinhardt, Ida Kavafian, Peter Wiley, Miriam Fried, Jonathan Biss, Joseph Lin, Carter Brey, Steven Tenenbom, and Joseph Silverstein.

As an orchestral musician, Ms. Powell has made Principal appearances with the San Diego Symphony, the Chicago Philharmonic, and the Amarillo Symphony, and currently serves as Principal of Symphony in C. She also performs frequently with the New York Philharmonic.

Ms. Powell is a graduate of the Juilliard School and the Curtis Institute of Music where she studied with Misha Amory and Roberto Diaz.

Yannick Rafalimanana, piano

French pianist Yannick Rafalimanana has developed an international concert career performing recitals and chamber music concerts regularly throughout Europe, the United States, South America, Africa and the Middle East. Winning the first prize in the 2012 Tufts/New England Conservatory Soloist Competition, he made his US debut in Symphony Hall in Boston, playing Schumann Concerto with the Boston Pops Orchestra under the baton of Keith Lockhart.
He recently performed in the Konzerthaus in Vienna, the Kennedy Center in Washington, live on Boston’s radio station WBGH, in Jordan Hall with the Borromeo String Quartet, in Boston with violists Kim Kashkashian and Tomas Reibl, cellist Narek Hakhnazaryan and in Shelter Island (NY) sharing the stage with violinist Itzhak Perlman. He also made his Brazil recital debut performing at the Mube Museum and his Israel debut performing at the Jerusalem Music Center.

Mr. Rafalimanana has won numerous awards and prizes in several competitions, including the Borromeo Quartet Guest Artist Award, the Bruxelles J-Musiciens Competition, the Brest Piano Competition, and the International Ravel Academy’s Rotary-Lions Competition.

As a soloist, he has performed regularly with the Orchestre CNR de Lille, Orchestre Impromptu, and the Ensemble Parisien. He recently founded and conducted the LFO – a chamber orchestra based out of Boston, involving NEC students, with whom he has also played as a soloist. Mr. Rafalimanana also performs frequently with the Trio La Plata, a group formed in Paris in 2006.

An advocate of new music, he has great experience as a collaborative pianist with orchestras, and it has led him to work under the batons of Peter Eotvos, Jean Deroyer, Thomoty Brock, Zolt Nagy and John Heiss and perform in such venues as La Cite de la Musique and Radio France in Paris, Jordan Hall and Harvard Music Association in Boston and at the “Poisson Rouge” in New York. He also works often with the Ensemble Le Balcon under Maxime Pascal in Paris.

Mr. Rafalimanana has participated in numerous summer festivals; among them are the Perlman Music Program, the Greatlakes Chamber Music Festival, the Brussels Chamber Music Festival. He has collaborated with some of most well known musicians, such as Itzhak Perlman, Donald Weilerstein, Joseph Kalichstein, Kim Kashkashian, Gary Hoffman, Paul Katz, Roger Tapping, Julian Arp, Frank Stadler,  and Alexei Moshkov.

Born in Lille, France, Mr. Rafalimanana began his musical studies at the Conservatory of Lille under the tutelage of Alain Raes. He later graduated with first prizes in both Piano Performance, and Chamber Music and Collaborative Piano Performance, from the ‘Conservatoire National Superieur de Musique et de Danse de Paris’. Among his teachers are Bruno Rigutto, Michael Levinas and Jean-Claude Pennetier. His chamber music and collaborative piano coaches include Francois Salque, Michel Moraguais, David Walter and Jean Koerner. Mr. Rafalimanana graduated from the New England Conservatory with a Graduate Diploma in Piano Performance and a Master of Music in Chamber Music under Vivian Weilerstein.

Tony Rymer, cello


Cellist Tony Rymer has performed major concerti to critical acclaim with the Atlanta Symphony, Boston Pops, Cleveland Orchestra, Detroit Symphony, and Pittsburgh Symphony, among others. He was the Second Prize Winner in the 2014 Enescu Competition, won first prize of the 2009 Sphinx Competition Senior Division and took 3rd place in the 2009 Stulberg International String Competition.

A native of Boston, Tony began playing cello at age five, attended the Walnut Hill Arts School, was a Project STEP scholarship student from 1996-2007, and was awarded the prestigious Kravitz scholarship in 2007. One of the first recipients of the Jack Kent Cooke Award on the NPR national radio show From the Top, he has also been heard as soloist on WGBH Boston, WCLV Cleveland, and NPR’s Performance Today. An avid chamber musician, Tony has collaborated in concert with artists such as violinists Ani Kavafian, Miriam Fried, Itzhak Perlman, oboist Peggy Pearson, violists Kim Kashkashian, Barbara Westphal, and cellist Paul Katz.

Tony has played privately for Yo-Yo Ma and performed in master classes for Anner Bylsma, Steven Isserlis, and Pieter Wispelwey. He completed his undergraduate at the New England Conservatory where he studied with Paul Katz and Laurence Lesser while holding the Laurence Lesser Presidential Scholarship. He is currently a Masters student of Frans Helmerson at the Hanns Eisler Hochschule für Musik. Highlights of this season include a tour of Japan playing string quartets with Midori and attending the Marlboro Festival in Vermont.

Tony plays on a cello made by John Betts in 1785 on loan from the Ravinia Festival’s Steans Music Institute.

Simon Lee, speaker


Simon is a historian of ideas. He studied philosophy at University College London. His current research is on the relationship between liberalism and Jewish politics.

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