Gau Can

Widely recognized as one of the most talented violinists of his generation, Mr. GAO Can enjoys an international career during which he has appeared with major orchestras and at prestigious venues and festivals throughout the world.The orchestras he has collaborated with include the Berlin Symphony Orchestra, Houston Symphony Orchestra, Rostock Philharmonic Orchestra, Johannesburg Philharmonic Orchestra, Teatro di San Carlo Orchestra, China Philharmonic Orchestra, China National Symphony Orchestra, China Central Oprea Symphony Orchestra, Guangzhou Symphony Orchestra, Beijing Symphony Orchestra among others.He has also performed at notable music festivals such as the Verbier Festival, Beethoven Festival in Bonn, the Salzburg Festival, Attersee Festival, Korea Tongyeong International Festival, and the Festival Internacional de Jazz de Getxo. He has performed at such prestigious venues as Berliner Philharmonie, Hamberg Concert Hall, Salzburger Festspiele, Teatro Comunale di Bologna, Hong Kong Cultural Center, and the National Centre for the Performing Arts in Beijing. The musicians he performed with include Mischa Maisky, Yuri Bashmet, Charles Dutoit, just to name a few.In recent years Mr. GAO has dedicated a great deal of his time and effort to mentoring thIn recent years Mr. GAO has dedicated a great deal of his time and effort to mentoring the next generation of violinists through teaching, lecturing and giving masterclasses. He was the youngest-ever Associate Professor at Beijing’s Central Conservatory of Music; from 2007 to 2012, he was also the youngest professor granted foreign-guest teaching status on Cincinnati University’s music faculty. He has held lectures, seminars and workshops at the National Centre for the Performing Arts in Beijing, the University of Northern Colorado, Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shanghai Orchestra Academy, The Hong Kong Institute of Education, the University of Macau, The Xinghai Conservatory of Music Guangzhou, the University of Taipei and so on. At Beijing’s National Center for the Performing Arts alone, he has given more than 60 events including concerts, seminars and masterclasses.Mr. GAO also serves as the Music Director of the Poly WeDo Music Education Programme established by the Poly Cultural Group, nurturing violinists of the next generation. Mr. GAO’s achievement in violin performance and pedagogy has been recognized by numerous institutions. He was appointed the ambassador of the Verbier Festival Orchestra and has become the only official ambassador of Chinese nationality. In 2015 he was elected the new committee member of the Violin Society of the Chinese Musicians Association. As one of the very symbols of Chinese young musicians, he was included in the “Impression China” series of the China Post Office, which published a set of personal stamp and postcards entitled “Chinese Cultural Artists”.In March 2015, Mr. GAO was invited to the closing ceremony at the Boao Forum for Asia (BFA) to perform in front of 17 national leaders and thousands of political and business leaders from all over the world. He is also the committee member of the Violin Society of the Chinese Musicians Association. The China Recording Arts Association (CRA) has released a number of albums for him.The latest ones released in 2017 include Beethoven’s and Brahms’s Violin Concertos and the Beethoven Sonata cycle. Mr. Gao’s teachers include the late Prof. LIN Yaoji, Prof. Kurt Sassmannshaus and Prof. Zakhar Bron. He plays the 1617 ‘Lobkowicz’ Amati sponsored by the Bein & Fushi-Stradivary Society.

Tessa Lark

Violinist Tessa Lark is one of the most captivating artistic voices of our time, consistently praised by critics and audiences for her astounding range of sounds, technical agility, and musical elegance. In 2020 she was nominated for a Grammy in the Best Classical Instrumental Solo category, and she is also a highly acclaimed fiddler in the tradition of her native Kentucky.

Highlights of Lark’s 2023-24 season include the world premiere of Carlos Izcaray’s Violin Concerto – written for her – under the composer’s baton; and concerts with the Stuttgarter Philharmoniker that mark her European orchestral debut. She reprises Michael Torke’s violin concerto, Sky – also written for her, and the 2020 recording of which earned her a Grammy nomination – with Oklahoma’s Signature Symphony and the Sarasota Orchestra; returns to South Carolina’s Greenville Symphony, the Virginia Symphony, the Buffalo Philharmonic and England’s City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra; and performs as a chamber musician in duos with double bassist Michael Thurber and jazz guitarist Frank Vignola.

Lark’s newest album, The Stradgrass Sessions, features a mix of original compositions by the violinist and her collaborators – double bassist Edgar Meyer, pianist Jon Batiste, mandolinist Sierra Hull and fiddler Michael Cleveland – with a sonata by Eugène Ysaÿe, Bartók violin duets arranged for violin and mandolin and the world premiere recording of John Corigliano’s STOMP. Her debut commercial recording was the Grammy-nominated SKY, and her discography also includes Fantasy on First Hand Records; Invention, marking the debut album for the violin-bass duo made up of Lark and her fiancé, Michael Thurber; and a live performance recording of Astor Piazzolla’s Four Seasons of Buenos Aires with the Buffalo Philharmonic.

The violinist has performed with orchestras, recital venues and festivals around the world. She is a recipient of the Hunt Family Award, one of Lincoln Center’s prestigious Emerging Artist Awards, as well as a 2018 Borletti-Buitoni Trust Fellowship and a 2016 Avery Fisher Career Grant.

In addition to her performance schedule, Lark champions young aspiring artists and supports the next generation of musicians through her work as Co-host/Creative of NPR’s From the Top. She also serves as Mentor and board member of the Irving M. Klein International Strings Competition.

Lark is a graduate of New England Conservatory and completed her Artist Diploma at The Juilliard School. She plays a ca. 1600 G.P. Maggini violin on loan from an anonymous donor through the Stradivari Society of Chicago.

Kala Ramnath

Maestro Kala Ramnath stands among the world’s finest, most inspirational instrumentalists. Her playing has been featured on the Grammy-nominated Miles from India project, and compositions of hers have appeared on the Grammy-winning album In 27 Pieces and the Kronos Quartet’s 50 For The Future. The UK-based Songlines magazine hailed Kala Ramnath as one of the 50 world’s best instrumentalists and selected her album, Kala, as one of its 50 best recordings.

Kala was the first Indian violinist ever to be featured in the prestigious violin periodical, The Strad, and was the subject of a solo essay in the third edition of the encyclopedia, Rough Guide to World Music. Her musical contributions have been featured in Hollywood soundtracks like the Oscar-nominated Blood Diamond and more. During her mentorship under legendary vocalist Pandit Jasraj, Kala began formulating a unique voice which came to be dubbed the ‘Singing Violin’.

Kala has been bestowed the ‘A Top’ grade by India’s Radio and Television and is one of the youngest artists to have achieved this honor. She is the recipient of many awards – notable among them are the ‘Rashtriya Kumar Gandharva Sanman’, ‘Pandit Jasraj Gaurav Puraskar’ and the ‘Sur Ratna’. But recently and most notably of all, the Sangeet Natak Academy Puraskar.

Kala has performed at the most prestigious music festivals in India and appeared on world stages including the Sydney Opera House, Paris’ Théâtre de la Ville, London’s Queen Elizabeth Hall, San Francisco’s Palace of Fine Arts, Singapore’s Esplanade, New York’s Carnegie Hall, the Rudolstadt Festival in Germany, and the Edinburgh Music Festival in Scotland.

She has worked with such orchestras as the London Symphony and London Philharmonic and world music legends like George Brooks, Kai Eckhart, Bela Fleck, Terry Bozzio, Giovanni Hidalgo Ustad Zakir Hussain, Abbos Kossimov, Ray Manzarek of the Doors, Edgar Meyer and Airto Moreira to name but a few. In partnership with fellow world music artists, Kala has founded the bands Raga Afrika, Global Conversation, and Yashila.

Despite her busy performing and composing schedules, she continues to teach, lecture, and conduct workshops all around the world. Recent appearances include the Rotterdam Conservatory of Music in Netherlands, University of Giessen in Germany, and the Weill Institute in association with the Carnegie Hall in New York. She is also keen to enrich the lives of under-privileged and sick children through music in the form of her foundation, ‘Kalashree’.

Chloé Tardif

It is no secret that the staff and faculty at Orange County School of the Arts (OCSA) includes many alumni. In every corner of the campus, you can find them working to provide memorable and valuable experiences for students. Chloe Tardif (IM, ‘12) is one of those amazing alumni, who now serves as an Instrumental Music Conservatory instructor within the Strings & Orchestra Program and is working to provide her students with a great music education.

As an OCSA student, Ms. Tardif said she was happy to be around other artists on a daily basis and every new piece of music she learned became her favorite. She also used to brag to grade-school friends that PE at OCSA meant learning new skills in tap dance and ballet.

Ms. Tardif studied with former OCSA Symphony Orchestra Conductor Christopher Russell before making her way to Chapman University, where she began learning from William Fitzpatrick, a professor at the university who encouraged her to continue pursuing her music career.

She said she felt lucky that she was able to learn from inspiring mentors who truly cared about her growth as an artist and felt it would be a privilege to be able to provide that support to someone else. As soon as she completed her master’s program at Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music, she was welcomed back to OCSA as an instructor.

“As a teacher, I get to experience a completely different side of what makes OCSA special. The teachers here work so hard to make OCSA the fun and safe environment that it has been for generations of kids, and that is hard work. I appreciate my mentors more every day, because now I find myself responsible for the next generation,” she said

Ms. Tardif said she has enjoyed watching her students grow to become professional musicians. She has had glimpses of their futures in the classroom and in collaborative performances. She recently had the opportunity to perform alongside her students and her fellow alumni at OCSA’s 35th anniversary concert, Symphony of Dreams.

“There were a few moments in rehearsal (for the Symphony of Dreams concert) when a number of my students in the violins whispered toward my stand-partner, ‘did you tell Ms. Tardif about that? Make sure she knows about the change!’ They were so sweet, I really feel that concerts give them the best opportunities to learn and show professionalism; I remember feeling the same sense of duty and excitement when a performance was coming up,” she said.

In addition to her teaching at OCSA, Ms. Tardif also works as a private violin instructor at Chapman University, and is Principal Violin of the Long Beach Symphony. She will also take the stage once again for OCSA at this weekend’s exciting 2022 Gala, “Night of a Million Dreams.”

Reina Inui

Violinist Reina Inui is a graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music. She is from Los Angeles, where she studied with Robert Lipsett and Sheryl Staples at the Colburn School. Miss Inui has previously held positions with the Buffalo and Virginia Symphony Orchestras. Last season she was invited to tour China with Pinchas Zukerman and the Pacific Symphony. She has also performed with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia, Philly POPS, among others. Performance highlights in Philadelphia include Opera Philadelphia’s gala concert to commemorate the premiere of Kevin Puts’ 2012 Pulitzer Prize-winning opera, Silent Night, a collaboration with the BalletX on their sold-out Fall Series, and a trio composed by Nico Muhly for the Los Angeles Dance Project presented at the Kimmel Center of Performing Arts. On a slightly different note, Miss Inui has played in concert with the late Frank Sinatra, Jr., Johnny Mathis, Il Divo, Gloria Gaynor, Vanessa Williams, Aref Arefkia, Jackie Evancho, and Seth MacFarlane.

Miss Inui won Grand Prize at the Los Angeles Music Center Spotlight Awards and Second Prize at the Los Angeles Philharmonic Bronislaw Kaper Awards. She was a finalist at both Schadt and Julius Stulberg International String Competitions. She has participated in music festivals around the world including Verbier, Tanglewood, Aspen, Sarasota, Villa-Lobos, Saito Kinen, ORFORD, Mozarteum, Princeton, Sunset, Ishikawa Music Academy, Kneisel Hall, ARTOSPHERE, and ENCORE. She was appointed Principal Second Violin of the Curtis Symphony Orchestra during their residency in Verbier, Switzerland. Furthermore, she has worked extensively with Seiji Ozawa and his opera project in Japan.

In her spare time, she enjoys running along the beach and studying French. Her favorite color is hot pink which reminds her of the beautiful bougainvillea in Southern California. For more, please follow reinalaviolinista on Instagram.

Veronica Gan

As a soloist, chamber musician, and orchestra player, Veronica Gan (also known as Roni Gan) has performed in Canada, Israel, Asia, the US, and Europe.  A native of Arlington, Texas, Veronica began to study violin at the age of 10 and studied at the Suzuki Institute of Dallas under Paul Landefeld. Since then, Ms. Gan has performed at programs and music festivals including the Meadowmount School of Music, the Schlern Music Festival, the Chautauqua Institute, the Banff Centre, and the Music Academy of the West.  She completed her Undergraduate degree at the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston, Massachusetts under the guidance of Michele Auclair (New England Conservatory/ The École Normale de Musique de Paris) and then moved to Chicago to study and assist the famous violin/viola duo, Roland and Almita Vamos of Northwestern University.  She has also worked with Sally Thomas, Emanuel Borok, Mary Lou Speaker Churchill, Jan Sloman, Motoi Takeda, Lisa Kim (New York Philharmonic),  Angela Fuller, and Naoko Tanaka.

Ms. Gan has recently performed with groups such as Gladys Knight and the Pips, the Fifth Dimension, Queensryche, Clay Aiken, Kirk Franklin, Peter Gabriel, Il Divo, Josh Groban, and Stevie Wonder.  Ms. Gan has also recorded under Ropeadope Records (2009, 2012) which included recording for the two-time Grammy Award Winning group, Snarky Puppy in their album “Ground UP” in Brooklyn, New York.  She also is a collaborator with the up and coming group “The Colors” who recently began work with Warner Bros. in Los Angeles.  Ms. Gan has also collaborated on the recent single “Marvin Gaye” by artist Charlie Puth featuring Meghan Trainor under Atlantic Records.  She also recorded for Charlie Puth’s album for the song “Dangerously”.  In March of 2015, Veronica also appeared with Dierks Bentley at the Country Music Awards which was featured on National Television.

In November of 2012, Ms. Gan began to work with Cirque Musica to perform the Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto.  She has performed as soloist with many orchestras including the Fort Worth Symphony, Hollywood Bowl Orchestra, Seattle Symphony, Oregon Symphony, Charlotte Symphony, Colorado Symphony, Milwaukee Symphony, Vancouver Symphony, Spokane Symphony, Buffalo Philharmonic, Winnipeg Symphony, the Phoenix Symphony, Atlanta Symphony, Baltimore Symphony, San Diego Symphony, and many more.

Stefan Jackiw

Stefan Jackiw is one of America’s foremost violinists, captivating audiences with playing that combines poetry and purity with an impeccable technique. Hailed for playing of “uncommon musical substance” that is “striking for its intelligence and sensitivity” (Boston Globe), Jackiw has appeared as soloist with the Boston, Chicago, Cleveland, New York, Philadelphia, and San Francisco symphony orchestras, among others.

This season, highlights include performances of the Mendelssohn Concerto with the Dallas Symphony, under Juraj Valčuha, and the Minnesota Orchestra, under Ilyich Rivas. He also returns to the Utah, Omaha, and Kansas City Symphonies, and in Europe, tours with the Antwerp Symphony Orchestra, and performs with the Residentie Orkest, Copenhagen Philharmonic, and the Helsinki Philharmonic.  Further afield, he appears with the Singapore Symphony and Tasmanian Symphony and returns to Korea to perform with the KBS Symphony Orchestra.

In recital, Jackiw performs the complete Ives Violin Sonatas with Jeremy Denk at the Tanglewood Festival, ahead of their upcoming recording of the works for Nonesuch Records. He also joins the acclaimed pianist alongside Benjamin Beilman, and Pamela Frank, in performances of the Mozart Violin Sonatas both at Carnegie Hall and Philadelphia Chamber Music Society. Jackiw will also appear in recital with Conrad Tao playing works by Stravinsky, Lutoslawski, Saariaho, and Brahms.

Last season, following their performance of Korngold with the Cleveland Orchestra, Jackiw reunited with Valčuha for performances with the Detroit Symphony and Luxembourg Philharmonic. He also made his debut with the National Symphony in Washington, DC, performing Bruch’s Violin Concerto with Marek Janowski. In recital, he appeared on tour throughout the US, with performances in Baltimore, Houston, Philadelphia, and with the Boston Celebrity Series. Abroad, Stefan appeared on tour performing the Tchaikovsky Concerto with l’Orchestre National d’Île-de-France in Europe and Asia, which included his debut at the Philharmonie de Paris. He also returned to the Bournemouth Symphony playing Korngold with Andrew Litton, and Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw, performing Tchaikovsky with Residentie Orkest.

Highlights of recent seasons include a performance of Prokofiev’s Second Violin Concerto at Carnegie Hall with Mikhail Pletnev, as part of a multi-city tour with the Russian National Orchestra; as well as performances with the St. Louis Symphony under Nicholas McGegan, the Rotterdam Philharmonic under Yannick Nézet-Séguin, the Indianapolis Symphony under Krzysztof Urbanski, and the Pittsburgh Symphony under Valčuha. Other highlights in Europe included his performances Netherland Radio Symphony and Ludovic Morlot at the Concertgebouw. In Asia, Stefan recently appeared for the first time with the Tokyo Symphony at Suntory Hall under the direction of Krzysztof Urbanski and returned to the Seoul Philharmonic under Venzago. He also toured Korea, playing chamber music with Gidon Kremer and Kremerata Baltica. In Australia, Stefan toured with the Australian Chamber Orchestra play-directing Mendelssohn. He also gave the world premiere of American composer David Fulmer’s Violin Concerto No 2 “Jubilant Arcs”, written for him and commissioned by the Heidelberg Festival with the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie under Matthias Pintscher. Recitals included his performance of the complete Brahms violin sonatas at the Aspen Festival, which he has recorded for Sony. He also recorded the Beethoven Triple with Inon Barnatan, Alisa Weilerstein, Alan Gilbert and Academy St. Martin in the Fields.

Jackiw is also an active recitalist and chamber musician. He has performed in numerous important festivals and concert series, including the Aspen Music Festival, Ravinia Festival, and Caramoor International Music Festival, the Celebrity Series of Boston, New York’s Mostly Mozart Festival, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Washington Performing Arts Society and the Louvre Recital Series in Paris. As a chamber musician, Jackiw has collaborated with such artists as Jeremy Denk, Steven Isserlis, Yo-Yo Ma, and Gil Shaham, and forms a trio with Jay Campbell and Conrad Tao. At the opening night of Carnegie Hall’s Zankel Hall in New York, Jackiw was the only young artist invited to perform, playing alongside such artists as Emanuel Ax, Renée Fleming, Evgeny Kissin, and James Levine.

Born to physicist parents of Korean and German descent, Stefan Jackiw began playing the violin at the age of four. His teachers have included Zinaida Gilels, Michèle Auclair, and Donald Weilerstein. He holds a Bachelor of Arts from Harvard University, as well as an Artist Diploma from the New England Conservatory, and is the recipient of a prestigious Avery Fisher Career Grant. He lives in New York City.

Paul Huang

Recipient of the​​​​ prestigious 2015 Avery Fisher Career Grant and the 2017 Lincoln Center Award for Emerging Artists, violinist Paul Huang is ​quickly​ gaining attention for his eloquent music making, distinctive sound, and effortless virtuosity. The Washington Post proclaimed Mr. Huang as “an artist with the goods for a significant career” following his recital debut at the Kennedy Center.

His recent and forthcoming engagements include his recital debut at the Lucerne Festival in Switzerland as well as solo appearances with the Mariinsky Orchestra under Valery Gergiev (St. Petersburg’s White Nights Festival), Berliner Symphoniker with Lior Shambadal (Philharmonie Berlin debut), Detroit Symphony with Leonard Slatkin, Houston Symphony with Andres Orozco-Estrada, Orchestra of St. Luke’s with Carlos Miguel Prieto, Seoul Philharmonic with Markus Stenz, and Taipei Symphony with Gilbert Varga (both in Taipei and on a U.S. tour). This season, he will also be making his Chicago orchestral debut at the Grant Park Music Festival, as well as appearances with the Buffalo Philharmonic and with the Long Beach, Baltimore, Alabama, Pacific, Santa Barbara, Charlotte, and Taiwan’s National Symphony Orchestras.

During the 2018-19 season, Mr. Huang will make debuts at the Hong Kong Bear’s Premiere Music Festival, Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, and return to the Palm Beach Chamber Music Society with the Emerson String Quartet and pianist Gilles Vonsattel for a performance of the Chausson Concerto for Violin, Piano, and String Quartet. In addition, Mr. Huang continues his association with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center and Camerata Pacifica where he will present all three violin sonatas by Johannes Brahms.

Mr. Huang’s recent recital engagements included Lincoln Center’s “Great Performers” series and return engagement at the Kennedy Center where he premiered Conrad Tao’s “Threads of Contact” for Violin and Piano during his recital evening with pianist Orion Weiss. He also stepped in for Midori with Leonard Slatkin and the Detroit Symphony to critical acclaim. Mr. Huang has also made debuts at the Wigmore Hall, Seoul Arts Center, and the Louvre in Paris.

His first solo CD, Intimate Inspiration, is a collection of favorite virtuoso and romantic encore pieces released on the CHIMEI label. In association with Camerata Pacifica, he recorded “Four Songs of Solitude” for solo violin on their album of John Harbison works. The album was released on the Harmonia Mundi label in fall 2014.

A frequent guest artist at music festivals worldwide, he has performed at the Seattle, Music@Menlo, Caramoor, Bridgehampton, La Jolla, Moritzburg, Kissinger Sommer, Sion, Orford Musique, and the Great Mountains Music Festival in Korea. His collaborators have included Gil Shaham, Cho-Liang Lin, Nobuko Imai, Lawrence Power, Maxim Rysanov, Mischa Maisky, Jian Wang, Frans Helmerson, Lynn Harrell, Yefim Bronfman, and Marc-Andre Hamelin.

Winner of the 2011 Young Concert Artists International Auditions, Mr. Huang made critically acclaimed recital debuts in New York and in Washington, D.C. at the Kennedy Center. Other honors include First Prize at the 2009 International Violin Competition Sion-Valais (Tibor Varga) in Switzerland, the 2009 Chi-Mei Cultural Foundation Arts Award for Taiwan’s Most Promising Young Artists, the 2013 Salon de Virtuosi Career Grant, and the 2014 Classical Recording Foundation Young Artist Award.

Born in Taiwan, Mr. Huang began violin lessons at the age of seven. He is a proud recipient of the inaugural Kovner Fellowship at The Juilliard School, where he earned his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees under Hyo Kang and I-Hao Lee. He plays on the 1742 ex-Wieniawski Guarneri del Gesù on loan through the generous efforts of the Stradivari Society of Chicago.

Lucia Micarelli

Born in Queens, New York, Lucia was immersed in the arts by the age of three, diligently practicing dance, piano, and violin. It didn’t take long for Lucia to discover her passion and greatest talent was the violin, which quickly became her main focus. After moving to Hawaii at the age of five, she continued to refine her skills on the violin with teachers Kathryn Lucktenberg and Sheryl Shohet, and just a year later at the age of six, Lucia made her debut as a soloist with the Honolulu Symphony Orchestra. Soon after, she began frequently appearing on local television shows and concertizing throughout the Islands.

At age eleven, Lucia was accepted into the prestigious Juilliard School of Music’s Pre-College Division.  She studied with the renowned violin pedagogue Dorothy DeLay, and also took lessons with Itzhak Perlman, Cho-Liang Lin, and Won-Bin Yim. Within a year, playing against some of the world’s most gifted prodigies, she won the Pre-College Concerto Competition and settled into a routine that would combine instruction with concert appearances at the Hollywood Bowl, Lincoln Center, and other prominent international venues. She spent her summers at the Aspen Music Festival, regularly performing with the orchestra, and won the Violin Concerto Competition in 2000, resulting in a performance of the Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto with the Festival Orchestra.

At seventeen, Lucia left Juilliard to attend the Manhattan School of Music, where she studied with celebrated international violinist Pinchas Zukerman. It was during this time that Lucia began to develop a growing interest in non-classical music. She started moonlighting with local jazz and rock bands in New York clubs, and by the following year, she had accepted an offer to tour with the Trans-Siberian Orchestra as a featured violinist and concertmaster.

Since then, Lucia’s profile has continued to soar. She’s been a featured soloist in two of Josh Groban’s world tours, toured extensively with Chris Botti and was featured in his Live From Boston PBS special (from which the duet they performed together, “Emmanuel” has received over 7 million YouTube views), and was featured in Barbra Streisand’s 2013 international tour. She also released two solo albums, Music From A Farther Room and Interlude. But 2009 saw Lucia broadening her career even further when she was cast in the starring role of “Annie” in HBO’s critically acclaimed series, Treme, created by David Simon and Eric Overmeyer, which ran for four seasons and won a Peabody Award as well as a Primetime Emmy Award.

Currently, Lucia has just finished her first PBS concert special which has been airing throughout the US in 2018. This PBS event is an eclectic journey through her many musical influences – from classical to jazz to traditional fiddle music and Americana – all bound together by her trademark emotional vulnerability and technical wizardry.

Niv Ashkenazi

Virtuoso violinist Niv Ashkenazi has captivated audiences with his heartfelt musicianship and emotional performances. Praised for his “lush sound” and “passionate playing” (CASA Magazine) and “formidable technical powers” (Santa Barbara News-Press), he has made several Carnegie Hall and Kennedy Center appearances, and has performed in Europe, the Middle East, and across North America. His conviction that the impact of music serves people beyond the concert stage motivates him to collaborate on projects that create a strong emotional bond with his audience.

As a soloist, Niv gave a world premiere at the Kennedy Center Concert Hall as part of VSA’s 25/40 Anniversary Celebration. Concurrently, he was a featured artist in VSA’s Championing of the Arts Exhibit, where his portrait and personal reflections were displayed in the Kennedy Center Hall of States. He has appeared as a soloist with the Culver City Symphony Orchestra, Kaleidoscope Chamber Orchestra, the California State University, Northridge Orchestra, and the Los Angeles Doctors Symphony Orchestra. He has been a guest artist and given masterclasses at La Sierra University, California State University, Northridge, and Westmont College. Other recent performance highlights include recitals at the Granada Theatre in Santa Barbara, the Perlman Music Program Alumni Recital Series, and the Epiphany Music Guild Series.

He has worked with members of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Juilliard String Quartet, Cavani Quartet, and Ariel Quartet. He has been invited to perform at the Lake George Music Festival, Perlman Music Program’s Chamber Music Workshop, Music Academy of the West, Keshet Eilon Summer Mastercourse in Israel, and iPalpiti Festival of International Laureates. Dyad, his innovative violin and bassoon duo, has performed on many concert series on the West Coast, collaborated with dance companies, and frequently commissions and performs new works alongside traditional repertoire.

One of his most rewarding projects has been an ongoing involvement with Violins of Hope, an organization that uses its collection of instruments that survived World War II to educate and create awareness about the Holocaust. His work with Violins of Hope began with a residency in Sarasota, Florida through the Perlman Music Program and has since taken him to Ottawa, New Jersey, Connecticut, and Los Angeles for performances and educational engagements. He is currently involved with bringing Violins of Hope to Los Angeles in 2020.

Niv also performs for Street Symphony, an LA-based nonprofit which places social justice at the heart of music making and serves communities disenfranchised by homelessness and incarceration in Los Angeles County. Working with Street Symphony, he has connected with audiences on Skid Row, in jails, and in transitional housing and has explored using traditional western music, improvisation, and community engagement to create powerful experiences for members of these communities.

Niv is also in demand as a speaker who inspires and motivates diverse audiences. Recently he has spoken and performed at the Jewish Funders Network Conference, and at Secret Knock, one of America’s most exclusive networking events. He has been interviewed live on LA Talk Radio and has played live on classical radio station KMZT.

Niv holds both a B.M. and M.M. from The Juilliard School, where his teachers included Itzhak Perlman and Glenn Dicterow. He serves on the professional advisory board of Shane’s Inspiration, a global nonprofit organization dedicated to building inclusive playgrounds, and formerly served on the board of the Los Angeles Youth Orchestra.

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