Noah Bendix-Balgley, Violin - Noah Bendix-Balgley has thrilled and moved audiences around the world with his performances. A Laureate of the 2009 Queen Elisabeth Competition in Brussels, he also won 3rd prize and a special prize for creativity at the 2008 Long-Thibaud International Competition in Paris. Mr. Bendix-Balgley won the 1st prize at the 2011 Vibrarte International Music Competition in Paris and was awarded 1st Prize and a special prize for best Bach interpretation at the 14th International Violin Competition “Andrea Postacchini” in Fermo, Italy.
Mr. Bendix-Balgley has appeared as a soloist with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, the Orchestre National de Belgique, I Pomeriggi Musicali of Milan, Orchestra Filarmonica Marchigiana (Italy), Orchestre Royal Chambre de
Wallonie (Belgium), the Binghamton Philharmonic and the Asheville Symphony (USA).
In 2011, Noah Bendix-Balgley was appointed Concertmaster of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. His Pittsburgh debut recital in January 2012 was named the “Best Classical Concert of 2012” by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Mr. Bendix-Balgley’s performance with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra of the Beethoven Violin Concerto, featuring his own original cadenzas, was acclaimed by critics and audiences alike. Mr. Bendix-Balgley has also performed his own version of The Star-Spangled Banner for solo violin in front of 39,000 fans at the Pittsburgh Pirates Opening Day at PNC Park.
Mr. Bendix-Balgley is a passionate and experienced chamber musician. He has performed on North American tour with the Miro String Quartet. From 2008 to 2011, he was the 1st violinist of the Munich-based Athlos String Quartet, which won a special prize at the 2009 Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy Competition in Berlin, and performed throughout Europe. He has performed with artists including Gidon Kremer, Yuri Bashmet, Gary Hoffman, Emanuel Ax, Ralph Kirshbaum, and percussionist Colin Currie. Mr. Bendix-Balgley has appeared at numerous festivals in Europe and North America, including the Verbier Festival, the Sarasota Festival, ChamberFest Cleveland, and Chamber Music Connects the World in Kronberg, Germany.
Born in Asheville, North Carolina in 1984, he began playing violin at age 4. At age 9, he played for Lord Yehudi Menuhin in Switzerland. Mr. Bendix-Balgley graduated from the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music and the Munich Hochschule. His principal teachers were Mauricio Fuks, Christoph Poppen, and Ana Chumachenco. In his spare time, he enjoys playing klezmer music. He has played with world-renowned klezmer groups such as Brave Old World, and has taught klezmer violin at workshops in Europe and in the United States. Mr. Bendix-Balgley recently joined the faculty of the Carnegie Mellon University School of Music as an
Artist Lecturer in Chamber Music.
Mr. Bendix-Balgley performs on a Cremonese violin made in 1732 by Carlo Bergonzi. His first recital CD, “A Musical Tour of the early 20th Century” (Anima Records) was recorded in Switzerland in May 2011 and is now available.
Francisco de Galvez, Conductor - Born in Málaga, Francisco de Gálvez is one of the leading Spanish conductors of his generation. He obtained international recognition when he was awarded First Prize and Gold Medal at the 1994 Tokyo International Conducting Competition(Min-On), among 194 conductors of 36 countries. Dr. De Gálvez is Director of Orchestral Studies at Weber State University, Utah, USA. Music Director of University of Malaga Chamber Orchestra since 2004 and has also been Music Director of Malaga Symphony Orchestra between 1998 and 2011. As guest conductor, Francisco has offered concerts with Orchestras like Berliner Symphoniker, Zagreb Philharmonic, New Japan Philharmonic, Tokyo City and Osaka Philharmonics, Saint Petersbourg Philharmonic, Filarmonica di Russe Orchestra, Postdam Philharmonic, Sinfonica di Sofia, Fort Worth Symphony, Danish Radio Orchestra, Flanders Opera, Spanish National Orchestra, Madrid Symphony, Málaga, Seville and Granada Symphony Orchestras, among many others.
He has been Artistic Director of Contemporary Music Cycles organized by the Malaga Philharmonic Orchestra between 1995 and 2000. He was director and founder of the Montreal Chamber Players Orchestra in 1991, with whom he performed extensively in North America and Spain. With this orchestra made its first CD, which others have followed, as well as numerous recordings for radio and TV.Dr. De Gálvez obtained a PhD “cum laude” in Music and Comunication at Malaga University. He studied Conducting, Composition, Orchestration and Analysis in Canada and graduated with a Master in Orchestral Conducting at McGill University, Montreal. His main teachers in conducting have been Timothy Vernon and Ferdinand Leitner. He also studied conducting at Vienna, Hochschule für Musik, and Siena, Accademia Chigiana, Italy. In 1993 he continued his studies with Carlo Maria Giulini in Milan, Italy. He has an extensive musical background as a violinist (Título Superior-Madrid; Orquesta Nacional de España; Performing Diploma-Royal College, London, England; Master-McGill, Montreal, Canada). Between 1995 y 1998 lives in Berlín, where he performs with various orchestras (it is worth mentioning his conducting of the World´s Premiere of Carlo Domeniconi’s El trino del diablo at the Philharmonie, later presented at the Istambul International Music Festival and recorded on CD). Dr. De Gálvez now lives with his family in Ogden, Utah, teaches at Weber State University and develops an intensive and creative musical program, consisting of regular season symphony concerts, chamber music series, school concerts and artistic events.
Aaron Janse, Violin / Viola - A member of the Minnesota Orchestra since 1997, Aaron Janse has performed as soloist, chamber musician and orchestra member around the globe at such venues such as Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully and Avery Fisher Halls, the Concert Hall of Kennedy Center and Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall. He has performed chamber music at many Orchestra concerts, and in February 2012 he played two works on the Chamber Music at MacPhail series: Ravel’s String Quartet and Mozart’s Quartet for Oboe and Strings. His other recent solo performances include Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto No. 6 at the Las Vegas Music Festival.
Janse, also active as a violist, has performed, toured and recorded with the Berlin Philharmonic under Bernard Haitink, Daniel Barenboim and Sir Simon Rattle. He has performed frequently as a violist with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra at both Symphony Center and the Ravinia Festival.
Janse has collaborated in numerous chamber music performances with such artists as Gil Shaham, Joseph Silverstein, Charles Castleman, Hilary Hahn, Stephen Hough and the late Alicia de Larrocha. In addition to Sommerfest, he has appeared at festivals including the Aspen Music Festival, Cincinnati’s Linton Series, the Las Vegas Music Festival and the Alpenglow Festival in Colorado. Janse is a member of the Musical Offering, a long-standing Twin Cities chamber ensemble.
A recipient of the Fritz Kreisler Scholarship, Janse earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees at the Juilliard School, where he studied with Dorothy DeLay and Joel Smirnoff of the Juilliard String Quartet. His chamber music studies included extensive work with Felix Galimir, Zoltán Székely and Joseph Fuchs, as well as the Guarneri and Juilliard String Quartets. At Juilliard, he served as a teaching fellow for Dorothy DeLay and as concertmaster of the Juilliard Orchestra. He is a member of the violin and viola faculties at the MacPhail Center for Music in Minneapolis and St. Joseph’s School of Music in St. Paul.
Rudolph Kremer, Violin / Viola - Rudolph Kremer began playing with the San Francisco Symphony in 1995 and performs frequently with the Chicago Symphony and the Minnesota Orchestra. He holds a master’s degree from Western Illinois University, where he studied with Almita and Roland Vamos. He was first violinist of the Fidelio String Quartet in Lisbon, Portugal while teaching at that city’s National Superior Academy of Music, and he served as assistant concertmaster and principal second violin of the Metropolitan Chamber Orchestra of Lisbon. He has also played with the San Francisco Opera Orchestra, Minnesota Orchestra, Florida Orchestra, The International Orchestra of Italy, and the Malaysian Philharmonic. Mr. Kremer often gets the chance to perform with his brother and sister-in-law in Tokyo, Japan as a guest in their duo. He is also an expert in cooking spicy chicken wings.
Lee-Sang Mee, Violin / Viola - MM, The Juilliard School; BM, The Juilliard School; student of Dorothy DeLay, Hyo Kang, Masao Kawasaki, Felix Galimir, Joseph Gingold, Roland and Almita Vamos, Victor Aitay, Betty Haag; master classes with Salvatore Accardo, David Cerone, Sidney Harth, Cho-Liang Lin, Robert Lipsett, Ruggiero Ricci, Pinchas Zukerman; additional studies at the Aspen Summer Music Festival, the Encore School for Strings, and Meadowmount School for Strings; recitals throughout the country and solo appearances with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the Lausanne Chamber Orchestra, the Korean Broadcasting Symphony Orchestra and others; top prizes in the Tibor Varga and Leopold Mozart International Competitions for Violin, the Irving M. Klein Competition, Seventeen Magazine/General Motors Concerto Competition, Julius Stulberg Auditions, Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition; co-founder of the Metamorphosen Chamber Ensemble of Boston; recipient of numerous awards and distinctions including Honorary Member of the Delta Omicron Fraternity.
Shi-Hwa Wang, Violin / Viola - Violinist Shi-Hwa Wang’s reputation as a performer has earned him the post of concertmaster for several professional orchestras including the Taipei Symphony Orchestra in Taiwan, the Ballet West and Utah Chamber Orchestra in Salt Lake City, and the Classical Music Festival Orchestra in Eisenstadt, Austria. An avid chamber musician, he is the founding member of the Formosan Violin-Piano Duo, the Wasatch Piano Trio, Browning String Quartet, and the Kismarton String Quartet.
As an educator Dr. Wang is the Professor of Violin at Weber State University. He has a keen sense of teaching which allows his students to achieve their very best. His pupils have constantly been prize-winners of state and national competitions. Many have gone on to graduate programs of the top music universities in the country or become accomplished teachers after graduation from WSU.
Dr. Wang has served as a clinician, adjudicator, and master class teacher, both nationally and internationally. He has taught violin in the summer programs at the University of Michigan, the Eastman School of Music, the University of Illinois, the International Workshops in Europe, Classical Music Festival in Austria, and the Banff International Youth Orchestra Festival in Canada. He taught violin at the Haydn Conservatory of Music in Austria as a visiting professor and toured many European countries as a solo recitalist. He frequently adjudicates and conducts master classes in Music Teachers National Association or American String Teachers Association’s state and national competitions and the Kiwanis Festival in Calgary, Canada. He was on the planning committee in the first American String Teachers Association (ASTA) National Conference in 2003. He is the director of the annual WSU ASTA Stringfest for string players of all ages and the executive director of the Sid & Mary Foulger International Summer Music Festival. He served as the state president of ASTA and was its Utah Educator of the Year recipient.
A graduate of Soochow University, Dr. Wang studied violin with Cheu-Sen Chen in Taiwan. He holds Master of Music and Doctor of Musical Arts degrees from the University of Illinois (Champaign-Urbana) where his teachers include Yuri Mazurkevich, Catherine Tate, and Peter Schaffer. He also studied with Paul Kantor in Michigan, Camilla Wicks in California, and the late Raphael Bronstein in New York. Other pedagogues he has worked with include Gerald Fischbach, Igor Ozim, Ivan Strauss, Jaap Schroeder, and Arianna Brone. A performer in great demand, Wang has appeared frequently as a soloist, chamber musician, and guest concertmaster in the US, China, Taiwan, Singapore, Canada, and Europe.
Almita Vamos, Violin - Almita Vamos is the winner of numerous honors and awards. She is a six-time recipient of the Presidential Excellence in Teaching Award and winner of the Distinguished Service Award, bestowed by the American String Teachers Association, as well as the Chautauqua and Concert Artists Guild Awards. She has also been named a Distinguished Teacher by National Endowment for the Arts. Formerly on the faculties of Western Illinois University, University of Minnesota, and Oberlin Conservatory. Vamos is currently a faculty member of the Music Institute of Chicago and a cofounder of the Weathersfield Summer Music Festival. Her students have won top prizes in numerous international competitions. She studied with Mischa Mischakoff and Louis Persinger at the Juilliard School.
(From Music Institute of Chicago) Almita Vamos is a graduate of the Juilliard School where she studied with Mischa Mischakoff and Louis Persinger. She has won the Presidental Award for Excellence in Teaching six times, the ASTA Distinguished Teacher of the Year Award and been featured on"Sunday Morning" CBS and in the New York Times best-seller, Battle Hymn of a Tiger Mom by Amy Chua. Vamos has served on the violin faculty of the Western Illinois Univeristy, University of Minnesota and the Oberlin Conservatory. She is a professor of violin at Northwestern University and the Music Institute of Chicago and in the summer, she is on faculty at the Chautauqua Summer Music Institute.
She currently teaches at the Music Institute of Chicago where she is co- recipient of the Rachel Barton Pine Violin Chair, and is a Distinguished Professor at Northwestern University.
Roland Vamos, Violin / Viola - Roland Vamos is a former member of the Houston and Dallas Symphony Orchestras, Radio City Music Hall Orchestra, and Contemporary String Quartet with recordings on the Rizzoli and Atlantic labels. The cofounder of the Weathersfield Summer Music Festival, he is the winner of the Distinguished Teacher in the Arts Award, granted by the American String Teachers Association, and also serves as an adjudicator at national and international competitions. He has served on the faculties of Western Illinois University and University of Minnesota, and currently teaches at the Music Institute of Chicago. His students have won top prizes in numerous international competitions. Vamos studied with Oscar Shumsky and William Lincer.
(From Music Institute of Chicago) ???Roland Vamos has been a violin/viola faculty member at the Music Institute of Chicago for over 25 years, and Director of the Academy Chamber Orchestra since its inception in 2006. Nationally recognized for his excellence in teaching, he has received numerous awards including the Distinguished Teacher in the Arts Award and Distinguished Service Award granted by the American String Teachers Association; six Presidential Excellence in Teaching Awards; Distinguished Teacher by the National Endowment for the Arts. He has served on the faculties of Oberlin Conservatory and the University of Minnesota and currently serves on the Northwestern University faculty. In the summer, he teaches at the Chautauqua Music Institute. He is a graduate of The Juilliard School where he earned his Bachelor, Masters and Doctoratal degrees. He studied violin with Oscar Shumsky and viola with William Lincer and has enjoyed a long performing career. Dr. Vamos is a former member of the Houston and Dallas Symphony Orchestras, Radio City Music Hall Orchestra, and Contemporary String Quartet with recordings on the Rizzoli and Atlantic labels. As a conductor and soloist he has appeared in Europe, Australia, Iceland, Korea, Taiwan and the United States. He and his wife, distinguished violinist and faculty member Almita Vamos, commissioned and recently recorded three violin and viola duos by living Chicago composers.
Matthew Young, Viola - Matthew Young joined the San Francisco Symphony's viola section in the 2012-13 season. Winner of a 2007 McKnight Artist Fellowship for Performing Musicians, he has also performed with the Boston Symphony, the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, and was an 8 year member of the Minnesota Orchestra acting 3 years as assistant principal.
Young was a founding member of the Verklärte Quartet, which won grand prize in the 2003 Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition, touring the US and Italy. He currently is a member of Ensemble SF www.ensemblesanfrancisco.org.
Young is active as an educator, he is on the faculty of the National Orchestral Institute, the San Francisco Academy Orchestra and the Stanford Youth Orchestra. He studied with Robert Vernon at the Cleveland Institute of Music, where he was awarded the Robert Vernon Prize in Viola Performance; he also attended the University of Kentucky and Yale School of Music.
Young has performed at the Emilia Romagna Festival, Aspen, Tanglewood, Yellow Barn, Banff, Sun Valley Summer Symphony, Sommerfest, The Quartet Program, New York String Seminar, Sarasota, etc. He was raised on his family's farm in rural Kentucky and grew up competitively training and showing horses.