Admired for her vivid musical intensity and the beauty of her sound, violinist and artistic director, LAURIE SMUKLER is an artist who is active as soloist, recitalist and chamber musician. She began her studies at the Cleveland Institute of Music with Margaret Randall. She received a Bachelor of Music degree from The Juilliard School where she studied with Ivan Galamian. Other teachers who have had a powerful influence on her development have been Josef Gingold, Donald Weilerstein and Robert Mann. As the original and founding first violinist of the Mendelssohn String Quartet, she spent eight years with that group, traveling and performing internationally. She also performed and toured as the first violinist of two school-affiliated string quartets: the Bard Festival String Quartet and the Purchase Faculty String Quartet. She has performed and toured with the Lincoln Center Chamber Music Society and Music From Marlboro. With her husband, violist Ira Weller, she directed and performed in the respected series “The Collection in Concert,” at the Pierpont Morgan Library for over ten years. She plays regularly at the chamber series, Da Camera of Houston. Laurie Smukler is a dedicated and passionate teacher. In addition to her new appointment to the faculty of The Juilliard School, she is a respected member of the faculties of the Manhattan School of Music, Mannes College of Music and the Conservatory of Music at Bard College. She also spent 18 years as a Professor of Violin and Chamber Music at Purchase College Conservatory of Music; ten as Head of the String Department. She has been on the Kneisel Hall faculty since 1997. Laurie Smukler also has a particular interest in contemporary music and has premiered works by many composers including Ned Rorem, Morton Subotnik, Steven Paulus, Shulamit Ran and Bruce Adolphe. Ms. Smukler plays a Petrus Guarnerius violin made in Venice in 1738 and has recorded for Music Masters. She will be on campus the entire season.
June 26 – August 14


Violinist DAVID BOWLIN’s solo and chamber performances of a wide-ranging repertoire both old and new have brought him across North America, Europe and Asia. Among these are dozens of premieres, including the world premiere at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Hall of Mahagoni, a concerto written for him by Austrian composer Alexandra Hermentin. Bowlin is a founding member of the acclaimed International Contemporary Ensemble, member of the Oberlin Trio and a former member of the Naumburg award-winning Da Capo Chamber Players. Recordings include solo and chamber music by over a dozen composers for the Bridge, Naxos, New Focus, Arsis and Mode labels. His latest solo release features concerti by Luciano Berio and Huang Ruo, and an upcoming release with the Oberlin Trio will include chamber works by Dvorak, Shostakovich and Joan Tower. Honors include first prize at the 2003 Washington International Competition, and a 2010 NPR Top 5 American Classical Albums award for his work with the Da Capo Chamber Players. Bowlin is currently on the violin faculty of the Oberlin Conservatory of Music and artistic director of Chamber Music Quad Cities, which brings chamber music performances to the Midwestern region where he is a native. He is a graduate of the Oberlin Conservatory, The Juilliard School and Stony Brook University, and major teachers include Roland and Almita Vamos, Ronald Copes, Pamela Frank, Ani Kavafian, Philip Setzer and Stephen and Kimberly Sims.

June 26- July 25

RONALD COPES, a member of the Juilliard String Quartet since 1997, has toured extensively throughout Europe, Asia and North America, and serves on the violin and chamber music faculties of The Juilliard School in New York City. A graduate of the Oberlin Conservatory and the University of Michigan, he toured widely with Music From Marlboro ensembles and the Los Angeles and Dunsmuir Piano Quartets. Mr. Copes has received prizes in several competitions including the Merriweather Post and the Concours International d’Execution Musical in Geneva, and has recorded for CRI, Orion, New World, ECM, Klavier and Sony. He served on the faculty of the University of California at Santa Barbara from 1977 – 1997, and has been on the faculty at Kneisel Hall since 1987.

June 26 – July 25

mrliBorn into a family of well-known musicians in Shanghai, Weigang Li began studying the violin with his parents when he was 5 and went on to attend the Shanghai Conservatory at age 14. Three years later, in 1981, he was selected to go to study for one year at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music through the first cultural exchange program between the sister cities of Shanghai and San Francisco.  In 1985, upon graduating from the Shanghai Conservatory, Weigang Li left China again to continue his studies at Northern Illinois University and later studied and taught at the Juilliard School as teaching assistant to the Juilliard Quartet. His teachers have included Shmuel Ashkenasi, Isadore Tinkleman, and Tan Shu-Chen. Mr. Li was featured in the 1980 Oscar winning documentary film From Mao to Mozart: Isaac Stern in China. He made his solo debut at 17 with the BBC Symphony Orchestra and has appeared as soloist with Shanghai Symphony, China Philharmonic, BBC Scottish Symphony, Asian Youth Orchestra. Weigang Li is a founding member and first violinist of the Shanghai Quartet since 1983. In its 31th season, the Shanghai Quartet has performed well over 2000 concerts in 30 countries; recorded 34 CD albums, including 7-discs cycle of complete Beethoven string quartets on Camerata label. Weigang Li is a violin professor at Montclair State University in New Jersey and Bard College Conservatory of Music in New York. He also holds the title of guest concert-master of Shanghai Symphony Orchestra and guest professor at Shanghai Conservatory and Central Conservatory in Beijing. Mr. Li plays on the 1600 Giovanni Paolo Maggini violin (ex-Burmester), which is on a generous loan from Mr. Rin Kei Mei.

July 25 – August 14

smJoel Smirnoff, conductor and violinist, is President of the Cleveland Institute of Music. He is a native of New York City and former chair of the violin department at The Juilliard School. He has been a member of the Juilliard String Quartet since 1986, and the ensemble’s leader since 1997. The Quartet, founded in 1947, has become a living American legend and won four GRAMMY Awards. Formerly the group’s second violinist, Mr. Smirnoff attended the University of Chicago and The Juilliard School and was a member of the Boston Symphony Orchestra for six years. Second Prize-winner in the International American Music Competition in 1983, he made his New York recital debut in 1985 at Carnegie’s Weill Recital Hall as part of the Emerging Artists series and at Town Hall as part of the Midtown Masters series. In 1997, he was featured violin soloist at Tanglewood in a concert dedicated to the memory of violinist Louis Krasner, performing the Berg Violin Concerto under the direction of Bernard Haitink. Mr. Smirnoff has participated in the world premiere of numerous contemporary works, many of which were composed for him. Mr. Smirnoff is a Sony recording artist and has solo recordings on GM, CRI and Northeastern Records. Mr. Smirnoff has served as Chair of the Violin Department at The Juilliard School since 1993 and served as Head of String Studies at the Tanglewood Music Center during the late 1990s. Mr. Smirnoff has been on the faculty of Tanglewood since 1983. He has served on the juries of the Naumburg and Indianapolis Violin Competitions. He also pursues an active career as a conductor, both in the U.S. and abroad. In the summer of 2000, Mr. Smirnoff made his official American conducting debut with the San Francisco Symphony, conducting an all-Tchaikovsky program. He has also been a frequent guest with the New World Symphony and the Tanglewood Music Center Orchestra. In May 2004, he received rave reviews for his debut with the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, replacing Peter Oundjian, who had fallen ill. In Europe, Mr. Smirnoff has conducted the Norwegian Chamber Orchestra and a European tour with the Basel Sinfonietta and Charles Rosen as soloist in the Elliott Carter Piano Concerto. Mr. Smirnoff has led both the Juilliard Symphony and the Juilliard Orchestra in concert. He has also appeared in concert with the Louisiana Philharmonic, the Phoenix Symphony, the Chicago Philharmonic, the Western New York Chamber Orchestra and the Texas Music Festival Orchestra. Mr. Smirnoff also plays jazz, performing frequently as improvising soloist with Tony Bennett. His solos were featured on the GRAMMY Award-winning CD Tony Bennett Sings Ellington Hot and Cool. He has also been guest soloist with Gunther Schuller and the American Jazz Orchestra, as well as the Billy Taylor Trio. Mr. Smirnoff was born into an eminent New York musical family. His mother sang with the Jack Teagarden Band under the stage name of Judy Marshall and his father, Zelly Smirnoff, played in the NBC Symphony under Toscanini and was second violinist of the Stuyvesant String Quartet. Mr. Smirnoff has been president of CIM since 2008.

July 25 – August 14



A graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music, violist DORIS LEDERER has performed and toured with the Marlboro Music Festival and has appeared as soloist with numerous orchestras including the Seattle Symphony and the Czech Philharmonic Chamber Orchestra. Released by Centaur Records, Ms. Lederer’s four CD albums of viola music featuring 20th century British composers such as Arnold Bax, Arthur Bliss, Frank Bridge and York Bowen have received widely published international critical acclaim. Currently professor of viola and director of chamber music at Shenandoah Conservatory in Winchester, VA, Ms. Lederer also serves on the faculty of the University of Maryland. Ms. Lederer has presented viola and chamber music Master Classes at the Cleveland Institute of Music, Oberlin Conservatory, Indiana University, the Yale School of Music, the Eastman School of Music, the Kansas City Conservatory of Music, Kneisel Hall, the Chautauqua Institution, Idyllwild Arts, the Marrowstone Music Festival and the Beijing and Shanghai Conservatories. Ms. Lederer represented the United States as a jury member at the Eighth Banff International String Quartet Competition in Canada and the Coleman Chamber Music Competition in Pasadena, California. As the violist of the Audubon Quartet since 1976, Ms. Lederer has performed throughout the world and has recorded extensively on the RCA, Telarc, Centaur and Opus One labels.

June 16 – July 25

KATHERINE MURDOCK, violist, is recognized as a soloist, chamber musician and teacher. She has performed throughout the world with such groups as the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, the New York Philomusica and the Brandenburg Ensemble. For seven years, Ms. Murdock was a member of the Mendelssohn String Quartet. As a participant in the Marlboro Festival, she has toured with Music From Marlboro, and performed in their fortieth anniversary concerts. As soloist she has performed with the Fairfax Symphony, the Reading Symphony and the New England Chamber Orchestra, among others, and with the Boston Musica Viva on West German Radio and the BBC. Ms. Murdock received her musical training at Oberlin College and the Yale School of Music. She has studied with Karen Tuttle, Joseph Silverstein and William Primrose. Ms. Murdock is on the faculty of SUNY Stony Brook and the University of Maryland; during the summers she is also on the artist faculty of the Yellow Barn Festival. She is currently a member of the Los Angeles Piano Quartet and the Theater Chamber Players.

July 25 – August 14

A member of the acclaimed Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, IRA WELLER has a wide range of performing experience and is highly regarded as a chamber musician. He was the founding violist of Mendelssohn String and has been a guest artist at the Bard Music Festival. Mr. Weller has also been an invited artist with Bargemusic, DaCapo, the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, New York Chamber Soloists, Music From Marlboro, and Chamber Music Northwest. He has collaborated with many distinguished artists, including James Levine, Leon Fleischer, Dawn Upshaw, Lorraine Hunt Lieberson, Janos Starker, and Robert Mann. His vital interest in contemporary music has led to premieres of works by Rorem, Laderman, Dello Joio, Picker, Ran, and Zwilich. He has edited several works from the collection of music manuscripts in the Pierpont Morgan Library including a rare 18th-century original viola sonata by Felice Giardini and a newly discovered Scherzo from Mendelssohn’s A major string quintet. Mr. Weller is on the viola faculty of the Mannes College of Music and the Conservatory of Music at Bard College.

June 26 – August 14


JERRY GROSSMAN, principal cellist of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra since 1986, has appeared in recital and with symphony orchestras and chamber ensembles throughout the United States. He has appeared as soloist with the Met Orchestra under James Levine playing Don Quixote by Richard Strauss, which they have also recorded. He has had a long association with the Marlboro Music Festival, including numerous Music From Marlboro tours and recordings. He is a former member of Orpheus and Speculum Musicae, and has also appeared as a guest artist with the Guarneri, Vermeer and Emerson String Quartets. He was the founding cellist of both the Chicago String Quartet and the Chicago Chamber Musicians. Mr. Grossman was a member of the Chicago Symphony (1984 – 1986) and the New York Philharmonic (1974 – 1976). His teachers include Judith Davidoff, Joan Esch and Benjamin Zander. He attended the Curtis Institute of Music, where he studied cello with David Soyer, and chamber music with the other members of the Guarneri Quartet.

July 25 – August 14 

Cellist DMITRY KOUZOV, a versatile performer, has performed on five continents with orchestras, in solo and duo recitals, and in chamber music performances. He was awarded First Prize at the International Beethoven Competition in the Czech Republic and he is a two-time laureate of the International Festival-Competition “Virtuosi of the Year 2000” in Russia and is winner of the New York Cello Society Rising Star Award. His credits include numerous performances at many prominent concert venues throughout his native Russia. Mr. Kouzov made his New York orchestral debut at Alice Tully Hall in 2005, under the baton of Maestro Raymond Leppard. Since that time, he has also made recital appearances in New York at 92nd Street Y and Bargemusic. A consummate chamber musician, Mr. Kouzov has collaborated with Joshua Bell, Yuri Bashmet, Krzysztof Penderecki, Donald Weilerstein, Ilya Gringolts and Pacifica Quartet among others. Mr. Kouzov is a founding and active member of the Manhattan Piano Trio (with Kneisel Hall alumnus violinist Wayne Lee) with whom he has toured extensively throughout the United States and captured First Prizes at the Plowman and Yellow Springs National Chamber Music Competitions. In addition to his concert activities, Mr. Kouzov is a devoted teacher. Currently Mr. Kouzov is an Assistant Professor of Cello at the University of Illinois. Prior to this appointment he was on faculty at The Juilliard School and Oberlin Conservatory. Mr. Kouzov holds Bachelors and Masters of Music degrees from the Sibelius Academy, Helsinki and Artist Diploma from The Juilliard School in New York. His principal teachers have included Professors Mark Reizenshtock, Victoria Yagling, Joel Krosnick and Darrett Adkins.

June 26- July 25

JOEL KROSNICK, as cellist since 1974 of the renowned Juilliard String Quartet, has recorded most of the great quartet literature on the Sony label and has performed it throughout the world. With his sonata partner of over forty years, pianist Gilbert Kalish, Mr. Krosnick has recorded a great deal of the cello sonata literature. Additionally, the duo has presented annual New York recitals, the last of which on March 16, 2015 at Juilliard, featuring performances of Mieczeslav Weinberg Sonata No. 2 and Ralph Shapey Evocation II with percussionist Daniel Druckman. While a student at Columbia College he began a life-long involvement with composers and new music. Krosnick has performed and premiered many new works including Donald Martino’s Cello Concerto and Ralph Shapey’s Double Concerto for Violin, Cello and Orchestra and Concerto for Cello, Piano and Double String Orchestra. He also premiered Richard Wernick’s Cello Concerto #2 with the Juilliard Orchestra. Mr. Krosnick was appointed to the faculty of The Juilliard School in 1974 and has been chair of the cello department since 1994. He has been associated with the Aspen and Marlboro Festivals, Yellow Barn and the Tanglewood Music Center. He has recorded for the Sony Classical, Nonesuch, Orion, CRI, New World, Koch International and Arabesque labels. Mr. Krosnick has been appointed Artistic Advisor of Kneisel Hall.

June 26 – August 14

BARBARA STEIN MALLOW, cellist and alumna of Kneisel Hall, is recognized as a distinguished chamber musician, recitalist and soloist. From her early years she has been an accomplished pianist and was twice winner of the New York Philharmonic Young Composers Award. Her composition studies were with Bohusiav Martinu, Quincy Porter and Nadia Boulanger. She received her Bachelor and Master Degrees at the Yale School of Music where she studied with Luigi Silva; other teachers include Bernard Greenhouse and Zara Nelsova.

She was a founding member of the Carnegie String Quartet in residence at Brooklyn College and a founding member of the Chamber Arts Trio with her twin sister, violinist Carol Stein Amado. A respected teacher of cello and chamber music, she has been a professor at Bennington College and the Aaron Copland School of Music at Queens College. She is currently on the faculty at Mannes College of Music. She taught also at the Perlman Music Program where she established the cello and chamber music programs. She is Vice President of the New York Violoncello Society. Ms. Mallow’s mother, Lillian Fuchs, and uncle, Joseph Fuchs, were instrumental in re-establishing Kneisel Hall with Marianne Kneisel in 1953.

July 25 – August 14


jane coopJANE COOP, one of Canada’s leading pianists, has appeared in some twenty countries as recitalist, chamber musician and orchestral soloist. Her extensive discography includes works by Bach, Beethoven, Mozart, Chopin and Brahms, as well as concerti by Bartók, Prokofiev and Britten. Her release of the complete Sonatas for Piano and Violin by Beethoven, with Kneisel Hall former faculty member Andrew Dawes, was nominated for a Juno Award, her fourth such honor. She has been invited collaborate with the Audubon, Manhattan, Penderecki, Lafayette, Orford, Angeles, Miami, Pacifica and Afiara String Quartets, as well as many distinguished instrumentalists and singers. Ms. Coop has recently left her long-time teaching position at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver to devote herself full-time to her performance career. In 2012 she was awarded the Order of Canada, in recognition of her lifetime achievement.

June 26 – August 14

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Chinese-born pianist Qing Jiang enjoys a diverse career in solo, chamber, and contemporary music. She has performed concertos with the Chattanooga Symphony, the Adrian Symphony, and the Aspen and Aldeburgh festival orchestras, and she has also appeared at Yellow Barn, the Ranivia Steans Institute, Music@Menlo, Aspen, MasterWorks, and the Perlman Music Program. Since 2014, Ms. Jiang has maintained a close relationship with England’s Britten-Pears Program, giving numerous solo and chamber performances of traditional and contemporary repertoire. Ms. Jiang has collaborated with Itzhak Perlman, Donald Weilerstein, Anthony Marwood, Gil Kalish, and Susan Narucki, as well as with members of the Peabody Trio and the Emerson, Juilliard, Kronos, and Parker string quartets. Performing alongside her duo partner, violinist Ying Xue, Ms. Jiang was featured in Christian Tetzlaff’s Carnegie Hall Workshop, and she has also coached closely with composers Jennifer Higdon, Oliver Knussen, and Jörg Widmann. Committed to mentoring the next generation of musicians, Ms. Jiang has taught piano, chamber music, and theory, at New England Conservatory, the NEC Preparatory School, the Curtis Institute of Music, and Yellow Barn’s Young Artist Program. She has also been a guest artist, lecturer, and clinician at numerous universities in the U.S. and abroad, and she is currently the pianist for Ralph Kirshbaum’s studio at University of Southern California.

After making her American debut at age 17 as a delegate of the Tempe Sister-Cities Program, Ms. Jiang was subsequently offered a full-scholarship to study at Arizona State University with Caio Pagano. She later received the Jack Kent Cooke National Arts Scholarship, and went on to complete her Master’s at Juilliard with Robert McDonald, and her Doctorate at New England Conservatory with Wha-kyung Byun and the late Patricia Zander.

thAnna Polonsky made her solo piano debut at the age of seven at the Special Central Music School in Moscow, Russia. She emigrated to the United States in 1990, and attended high school at the Interlochen Arts Academy in Michigan. She received her Bachelor of Music diploma from The Curtis Institute of Music, where she worked with the pianist Peter Serkin, and continued her studies with Jerome Lowenthal, earning her Master’s Degree from The Juilliard School. In addition to performing, she serves on the piano faculty of Vassar College. With her husband Orion Weiss, she is a member of the Polonsky-Weiss Piano Duo.

Anna Polonsky has appeared with the Moscow Virtuosi, the Buffalo Philharmonic, the Columbus Symphony Orchestra, the Memphis Symphony, the Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia, the St. Luke’s Chamber Ensemble, and many others. Ms. Polonsky has collaborated with the Guarneri, Orion, Daedalus, and Shanghai Quartets, and with such musicians as Mitsuko Uchida, Yo-Yo Ma, David Shifrin, Richard Goode, Emanuel Ax, Arnold Steinhardt, Peter Wiley, and Jaime Laredo. She has performed chamber music at festivals such as Marlboro, Chamber Music Northwest, Seattle, Music@Menlo, Cartagena, Bard, and Caramoor, as well as at Bargemusic in New York City. Ms. Polonsky has toured extensively throughout the United States, Europe, and Asia. A frequent guest at the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, she was a member of the Chamber Music Society Two during 2002-2004. In 2006 she took a part in the European Broadcasting Union’s project to record and broadcast all of Mozart’s keyboard sonatas, and in the spring of 2007 she performed a solo recital at Carnegie Hall’s Stern Auditorium to inaugurate the Emerson Quartet’s Perspectives Series. She is a recipient of a Borletti-Buitoni Trust Fellowship and the Andrew Wolf Chamber Music Award.

She will be on campus the first session.


155Robert McDonald is a graduate of Lawrence University, the Curtis Institute of Music , The Juilliard School, and Manhattan School of Music. He counts among his teachers , Seymour Lipkin, Rudolf Serkin, Mieczyslaw Horszowski, Beveridge Webster and Gary Graffman. McDonald is chair of piano studies at the Curtis Institute of Music, is on the faculty at The Juilliard School and is director of the keyboard program of the Taos, NM, School of Music and Chamber Music Festival.

McDonald has performed extensively as a soloist and as recital partner with Isaac Stern, Midori and other celebrated instrumentalists. He has had appearances with San Francisco, Baltimore, Curtis Symphony Orchestras. He has performed at important international festivals: Aldeburgh, Marlboro, Brevard, Caramoor, Luzerne, Salzburg, Montreux, Besançon, Schleswig-Holstein. He often plays in chamber music groups and has guested with the Juilliard, American, Takács, Brentano, Borromeo, Shanghai, St. Lawrence, and Vermeer String Quartets. He won the Busoni International Piano Competition Gold Medal. Other awards and prizes include the gold medal at Busoni International Competition (1983); top prizes at the William Kapell International Competition and Washington International Competition; National Federation of Music Clubs Artist Award; Deutscher Schallplatten Critic’s PrizeRecordings: Sony Classical, Musical Heritage Society, Bridge, Vox, ASV, and CRI. His compact discs have been released on the Bridge, Vox Cum Laude, Musical Heritage, Stradivari, and CRI labels.

 He will be on campus the final week of the season.

Program for ME Students Faculty:

Marisa Solomon received cello performance degrees from the Oberlin College and San Francisco Conservatories of Music, studying with Norman Fischer and Bonnie Hampton, respectively. She is an avid chamber musician, teacher and performer, and was a founding member of the Hancock St. Quartet, the Nor’easter Quartet and the Cormier Trio. She has participated in many festivals, including Kneisel Hall, Aspen Music Festival, New York String Seminar, Round Top, Festival dei Due Mondi, Spoleto USA and the Breckenridge Music Festival. Marisa teaches privately and performs in the Bangor area, as well as being on the adjunct faculty at the University of Maine-Orono. She lives in Bangor with her husband, Jack Burt, professor of trumpet at the University of Maine-Orono, and their two sons, Ben and Lucas. Marisa is a Kneisel Hall alumna.

Patricia Stowell is well known in the Bangor region where she resides as an independent performing artist, chamber musician and teacher. She is the director of Kneisel Hall’s chamber music Program for Maine Musicians and is a year-round faculty member at the Bay Chamber Community Music School in Rockport, Maine. In addition to her two degrees from Indiana University and a doctorate from Northwestern University, Patricia also studied in Vienna, Austria and Stuttgart, Germany. She has taught at Husson University in addition to performing on their Kilgore Kenduskeag Series numerous times. Patricia presents master classes and adjudicates competitions in New England and is also a founding member of the Chamber Music Society at the Collins Center for the Arts. Her European appearances include performances in Bulgaria, Austria, Germany, Poland and Russia, where she lectured on composer Alexander Scriabin and the Russian Symbolist Movement.

Scott Woolweaver, viola, Director of ACMI, graduated with distinction from the University of Michigan School of Music where he won the Joseph Knitzer and Earl V. Moore awards for outstanding participation in chamber music. After moving to Boston for graduate studies with Walter Trampler, he founded the Boston Composers String Quartet, which won the silver medal at the 1993 String Quartet Competition and Chamber Music Festa in Osaka, Japan. He also founded the Vaener String Trio, which won the Grand Prize at the Joseph Fischoff Chamber Music Competition. From 1999 – 2006 he was a member of the Ives Quartet, based in San Francisco, CA, and for over 25 years he was a member of the New England Piano Quartette. A champion of the music of our time, Scott has premiered many new works, including pieces written especially for him. Since 1980 he has been a member of Alea III, a contemporary music ensemble in residence at Boston University. Current affiliations also include the Chameleon Arts Ensemble of Boston and the Grammy-nominated period chamber orchestra Boston Baroque. Scott is Artist Associate at Williams College, and Lecturer in Viola and Chamber Music at Tufts University. He is a regular guest of the Martha’s Vineyard Chamber Music Society and the Meetinghouse Chamber Music Series on Cape Cod. Scott plays a Johan Georg Thir viola made in Vienna, 1737.


Jan Pfeiffer-rios, a native Missourian, is the founder and director of the Lavazza Chamber Ensemble. In the New England area she plays with the Boston Lyric Opera, the Rhode Island Philharmonic and the Portland Symplony.

Ms. Pfeiffer-Rios was concerto soloist in Carnegie Hall, toured Italy with Musicisti Americani and was featured on Charles Kuralt’s television program. A frequent performer of contemporary music, she has had pieces written for her by John Carbon, Simon Andrews and John McDonald. Ms. Pfeiffer-Rios has performed chamber music with Michael Tilson Thomas, members of the Boston Symphony Orchestra and pianist Hung Kuan Chen. She teaches and coaches at her home.

Ms. Pfeiffer-Rios studied at the University of Southern California and the New England Conservatory. Her cello teachers include Gabor Rejto, Ronald Leonard, Laurence Lesser and Harvey Shapiro; she studied chamber music with Eugene Lehner, Louis Krasner and Robert Koff. She was the first holder of the Emanuel Feuermann Cello Chair with the National Orchestra of New York, as well as the first recipient of the Claus Adam Award. Her cello is a Santino Lavazza, made in Milan in 1751.

Pianist Lora Tchekoratova was born in Sofia, Bulgaria. She began her piano studies at age four. Soon after, she became a pupil of the legendary piano pedagogue Lydia Kuteva. At age nine, Lora gave her first solo recital at the State Music School “Lubomir Pipkov” where she received her high-school education. In Bulgaria she also studied with Vessela Marinova and Prof. Jenny Zaharieva. In 1992 Lora moved to the United States where she continued her studies at The Juilliard School in New York. As a student of Seymour Lipkin, Ms. Tchekoratova earned her Bachelor, Master and Doctor of Musical Arts Degrees, thus becoming the first Bulgarian musician to hold a Doctorate from Juilliard. While still a student, she won numerous scholarships, awards, grants and the first prize at the 1996 Washington International Competition for Pianists. Her solo debut at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. was followed by recitals and chamber music appearances throughout the United States and in Europe.

Lora Tchekoratova has been praised for her virtuoso performances of piano music from the 19th and 20th centuries. In her vast repertoire, she shows a particular interest towards the music from Eastern Europe. Although she is a sought-after soloist, she spends significant time performing chamber music. Ms. Tchekoratova appears regularly in performances with her husband, violinist Georgy Valtchev, and as a guest artist at major international chamber music festivals. She has made numerous recordings for radio and television stations in the United States, Finland, Sweden and Bulgaria. In 2005, together with distinguished Bulgarian musicians and the American Foundation for Bulgaria, she co-founded the concert series Bulgarian Concert Evenings in New York at the Consulate General of the Republic of Bulgaria in New York.

Violinist Georgy Valtchev has appeared as soloist, recitalist and chamber musician throughout the United States, Europe and Asia. Mr. Valtchev has appeared as Guest Concertmaster with the London Philharmonic Orchestra and the Madrid Symphony Orchestra. He is a member of the Mark Morris Dance Group Music Ensemble and a founding member of Bulgarian Concert Evenings in New York.Born in Plovdiv, Bulgaria, Georgy Valtchev began his violin studies at the age of six and gave his first performance with orchestra six years later at the music academy of his native city. In 1992 Georgy Valtchev moved to the United States as a scholarship student of Dorothy Delay and Masao Kawasaki at The Juilliard School in New York, where he earned his Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees.

Scott Woolweaver, viola, Director of ACMI, graduated with distinction from the University of Michigan School of Music where he won the Joseph Knitzer and Earl V. Moore awards for outstanding participation in chamber music. After moving to Boston for graduate studies with Walter Trampler, he founded the Boston Composers String Quartet, which won the silver medal at the 1993 String Quartet Competition and Chamber Music Festa in Osaka, Japan. He also founded the Vaener String Trio, which won the Grand Prize at the Joseph Fischoff Chamber Music Competition. From 1999 – 2006 he was a member of the Ives Quartet, based in San Francisco, CA, and for over 25 years he was a member of the New England Piano Quartette. A champion of the music of our time, Scott has premiered many new works, including pieces written especially for him. Since 1980 he has been a member of Alea III, a contemporary music ensemble in residence at Boston University. Current affiliations also include the Chameleon Arts Ensemble of Boston and the Grammy-nominated period chamber orchestra Boston Baroque. Scott is Artist Associate at Williams College, and Lecturer in Viola and Chamber Music at Tufts University. He is a regular guest of the Martha’s Vineyard Chamber Music Society and the Meetinghouse Chamber Music Series on Cape Cod. Scott plays a Johan Georg Thir viola made in Vienna, 1737.