2017 SPECIAL GUEST ARTISTS
Ayano Ninomiya – Violin
Praised by The New York Times as “deeply communicative and engrossing,” violinist Ayano Ninomiya is committed to creating invigorating live performance experiences from concert stages to private homes and public schools. The Boston Globe wrote this season that, “A note from her was never just a note…Whatever project she takes on next, it is sure to be worth a listen.”
Winner of numerous prizes including the Walter Naumburg International Competition, Tibor Varga International Competition, Astral Artists National Auditions, Young Performers Career Advancement, and Lili Boulanger awards, Ayano has performed with orchestras across the U.S., Switzerland, Bulgaria, and most recently in Carnegie Hall. She has been featured on Musicians from Marlboro Festival tours in the U.S. and France, and gave a TEDx talk at the University of Tokyo. She was first violinist of the Ying Quartet and was Associate Professor at the Eastman School of Music from 2010-2015. Last season she joined the violin faculty of the New England Conservatory of Music. As a recipient of the Beebe Fellowship, Ayano studied in Budapest at the Liszt Academy after graduating from Harvard University and The Juilliard School.
Paul Sharpe – Double Bass
Paul Sharpe is the Artist-Teacher of Double Bass at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts, and is active internationally as an orchestral and chamber musician and as a soloist. Recent performances and engagements have taken him all over the world, including recitals and masterclasses at Orfeo Music Festival in Vipiteno/Sterzing, Italy, the Paris Conservatory, Institutes of Music in Curitiba and Porto Allegre in Brazil, the University of Iowa, Cleveland Institute of Music, World Bass Convention (Wroclaw, Poland), University of North Texas, University of Michigan, Interlochen Arts Academy, and two of Brazil’s International Double Bass Encounters in Pirenopolis, Brazil. Solo engagements with orchestra have included appearances with the Winston-Salem Symphony Orchestra, Boise Philharmonic, Anchorage Symphony Orchestra, Orquestra de Camara Theatro Sao Pedro (Porto Allegre, Brazil), Lubbock Symphony Orchestra, the Dallas Chamber Orchestra, and Fairbanks Summer Arts Festival Orchestra, and Aspen Young Artists Orchestra. He has been a guest artist at MusicFest (Arizona), Orfeo (Vipiteno, Italy), Green Mountain Music Festival (Vermont), Pine Mountain Music Festival (Michigan), the Anchorage Festival of Music, the Festival of Two Worlds (Spoleto, Italy), and 20th Century Unlimited (Santa Fe, NM). In addition to his duties as professor at UNCSA he is Principal Bass of the Winston-Salem Symphony Orchestra and Piedmont Opera.
Christine Harada Li – Violin
Violinist Christine Harada Li, devoted to inspiring audiences through artistic excellence, has performed across the U.S.A., Canada, Japan, Germany, Italy, Austria, Spain, and Israel, and is a founding member of the award winning Koinonia Trio, which recently won 1st Prize in the Briggs Chamber Music Competition. In addition to performing, Christine takes leadership in various art organizations and serves as Co-Education Director at the Innsbrook Institute, Artistic Director and founder of the Anchorage Chamber Music Festival, and Vice President of the Anchorage Fine Arts Society. Christine graduated summa cum laude from University of Michigan School of Music, Theater and Dance and completed her Master of Music degree at the Hochschule für Musik in Hannover, Germany. Her principal teachers here were Yehonatan Berick, Elisabeth Kufferath, Anne Röhrig (baroque), and Arthur Greene (piano). Currently she is a Doctorate student studying with David Halen at the University of Michigan.
Nathaniel Pierce – Cello
Nathaniel Pierce, cellist and tenor, is a highly active and versatile musician. He is a founding member and Co-Artistic Director of the Anchorage Chamber Music festival, and Co-Education Director at the Innsbrook Institute. Mr. Pierce is a founding member of the Koinonia Piano Trio which has toured in Europe and in the States. He performed as a soloist at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. and has also been a featured soloist with the Toledo, Dexter, Dearborn, Albany, Ann Arbor and Birmingham-Bloomfield Symphonies, as well as the University of Michigan and Indiana University symphonies.
Alan Tilley – Violin
Alan Tilley attended high school at Interlochen Arts Academy and received his Bachelor of Music at the University of Michigan. During his four years there, Alan studied with professors Stephen Shipps and Yehonatan Berick for violin and Professor Yizhak Schotten for viola. Alan received his Master of Music at the Jacobs School of Music of Indiana University, studying with professors Mimi Zweig, Alex Kerr, and coaching with the Pacifica Quartet and Jorja Fleezanis. Recently, Alan was awarded the Roman Totenberg Fellowship to attend Boston University, was a featured performer on a national broadcast of NPR’s ‘Says You!’ radio program, toured extensively in New England as co-concertmaster of Palaver Strings (a Boston-based string chamber orchestra), and taught at the Interlochen Arts Camp Violin Institute. Now, Alan is a doctoral candidate at the University of Maryland and teaching assistant to Professor Irina Muresanu.
Elizabeth Dickenson – Violin
Elizabeth Dickenson received her Bachelor of Music degree from the Eastman School of Music in 2010, where she studied with Lynn Blakeslee, Mikhail Kopelman, and the Ying Quartet. In 2013 she received an Artist Diploma and Suzuki Certification from the Lamont School of Music at the University of Denver, studying with Linda Wang. While at Lamont, she had the privilege of performing in Showcase Lamont! both as a soloist and as a Chamber Competition winner as part of Syncopa Quartet. In the spring of 2012, she received a Recital of Distinction award for the first of her three solo degree recitals. During her time in Denver, Ms. Dickenson freelanced with many different musical organizations, playing all styles of music, while building a private teaching studio and sat as concertmaster with the Lakewood Symphony Orchestra for three concert seasons.
Ms. Dickenson now resides in Los Angeles, performing in numerous projects throughout the year. She is on faculty at SOL-LA Music Academy in Santa Monica. This fall she will begin as a teaching artist with another LA based program, Harmony Project.
Dainis Medjaniks – Violin
Dainis Medjaniks, a rising star of his age, was “The most prominent student of violin” at the Spaincellenve Masterclass in 2013. He has performed internationally, recently in Jakarta, Indonesia, China, Spain, London, Copenhagen, Estonia, Latvia and Germany. He has won many top awards and scholarships, a few of which are the Grand Prix Prize at the Copenhagen Summer Festival, 1st prize of the “Gundlach Musikpreis”, and 2nd Prizes in the International August Dombrovski Competition and the String Instrument Chamber Music Competition. Dainis received his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees at the Hochschule für Musik, Theater und Medien in Hannover, Germany where he studied with Krzysztof Wegrzyn.
Andrew Francois – Viola
Hailing from Kankakee, IL, Andrew Francois is a third year viola fellow with the New World Symphony Orchestra. As a chamber musician and soloist, Mr. Francois has given recitals throughout the United States and Europe, as well as performing with such esteemed artists as, Joshua Bell, Alexander Kerr, Jorja Fleezanis, Eric Kim, and Stephen Wyrczynski.
Mr. Francois has received Artistic Excellence Fellowships from the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University as well Illinois State University. Mr. Francois has traveled to Medellin, Colombia to teach masterclasses and lessons at the local schools and college programs. While an undergraduate student, he was a Teaching Assistant and private instructor at Illinois State University in their String Project program. As a graduate of the Jacobs School of music Mr. Francois held the title of Graduate and Teaching Assistant for the string department. He was also on the board of the Jacobs School of Music as a Graduate Representative.
Mack Holmberg – Cello
Mack Holmberg began his studies of the cello under the instruction of Art Braendel and Linda Ottum. He was principal cellist of the Anchorage Youth Symphony during their concert seasons as well as their international tours to China and Australia where they played venues in Beijing, Hong Kong, and Sydney.
He earned his Bachelors in Music Performance at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music where he was awarded the Premiere Young Artist scholarship with Faculty Award. During his four years, he studied under cellists Sharon Robinson, Eric Kim, and Susan Moses. Towards the end of his time at Jacobs, he had a substantial studio with the prestigious IU String Academy while learning the nuances of pedagogy from Susan Moses, Mimi Zweig, and Brenda Brenner. He has played in and observed masterclassses with great cellists Janos Starker, Richard Aaron, Arie Lipsky, Anthony Elliot, and Mark Kosower.
Justin Bartlett – Piano
Justin Bartlett has performed in the United States, South America, and France. He completed his BM at Oberlin Conservatory under the guidance of Robert Shannon where he was granted the Dean’s Talent Scholarship. He recently completed his Doctorate degree at the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University, where he also received his MM. For his exceptional ability he was granted the Jacobs School Fellowship—the highest academic honor and financial award awarded at this institution. His principal teacher since 2010 has been Arnaldo Cohen.
Among his other musical passions have been conducting, with two years of study under Bridgette Reischl, and more recently, extensive harpsichord study with Elisabeth Wright, herself a student of Gustave Leonhardt. For five years he was an Associate Instructor of piano at the Jacobs School, and he was sent by Oberlin Conservatory to Ecuador to teach as guest artist and faculty at the Franz Liszt Conservatory of Quito.