Katherine Collier, piano and music director
Katherine Collier, pianist and music director, was the winner of the National Young Artist’s Competition and the Cliburn Scholarship Competition. She studied at the Eastman School of Music, where she was a concerto winner and awarded the Performer’s Certificate. She was a recipient of both a Rockefeller Award and a Kemper Educational Grant to study at the Royal College of Music in London for post-graduate work. A faculty member of the University of Michigan, she performs with many renowned musicians and has appeared in concerts throughout North America, the British Isles, Europe, Israel, and Asia. She tours and records with her husband, Yizhak Schotten.
Yizhak Schotten, viola and music director
Yizhak Schotten, violist and music director, came from Israel to study with William Primrose at USC. He won the Concert Artists Guild International Competition in New York with his string trio, and performed in many of this country’s prestigious concert series. He has concertized around the world as a soloist and chamber musician, was a member of the Boston Symphony Orchestra and later became principal violist of the Cincinnati and Houston Symphony Orchestras. An active recording artist, he is on the faculty of the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor.
Ida Kavafian, violin
Ida Kavafian enjoys an international reputation as one of the most versatile musicians performing today. With a repertoire as diverse as her talents, Ms. Kavafian has electrified recital stages throughout North America, Asia and Europe. She has also appeared as soloist with major orchestras around the globe. For thirty-five years, Ms. Kavafian was the artistic director of the highly successful festival, Music from Angel Fire, in New Mexico. She also founded the Bravo! Vail Valley Music Festival in Colorado and, as its music director for 10 years, built it into one of the country’s leading festivals.
Some of Ms. Kavafian’s many recordings include two world premieres representing her wide range – Fire and Blood by Michael Daugherty with the Detroit Symphony, Neeme Jarvi conducting, and two string quartets by the Bluegrass virtuoso, Mark O’Connor, alongside the composer.
Ms. Kavafian’s commitment to contemporary music has led to many world premieres by composers such as Toru Takemitsu, who wrote a concerto for her, and to tours and recordings with jazz greats Chick Corea and Wynton Marsalis, in addition to Mr. O’Connor. She gave the world premiere of Daugherty’s concerto, Fire and Blood, with the Detroit Symphony under Neeme Järvi (a recording was released from these performances), and went on to perform it in Carnegie Hall with the American Composers’ Orchestra and with the National Symphony of Mexico, among many others. She also performed the work at the Interlochen Arts Academy, a place where she spent much of her musical youth, and from which she received the coveted Alumni Award as well as the Ovation Award. Subsequently, the Acadamy Orchestra and Ms. Kavafian toured together nationally in a celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the Academy.
Since her founding membership in the innovative group TASHI, Ida Kavafian’s chamber music appearances have included many renowned festivals and series throughout the world. She continues her 40 year association with Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center with a number of appearances. She has toured and recorded as violist with the Guarneri String Quartet, as well as with the Orion, Shanghai and American Quartets. During her six-year tenure as the violinist of the legendary Beaux Arts Trio, the group was named “Ensemble of the Year” by Musical America and received a Grammy nomination. After leaving the trio, she formed the ensemble Opus One with pianist Anne-Marie McDermott, violist Steven Tenenbom and cellist Peter Wiley, a group that has co-commissioned and premiered new works by Steven Stucky, Roberto Sierra, George Tsontakis, Marc Neikrug, Lowell Liebermann and Stephen Hartke. More recently, she co-founded Trio Valtorna with pianist Gilles Vonsattel and hornist David Jolley. She also continues to appear frequently with her sister, violinist Ani Kavafian in recital and concerto appearances. Their television credits include features on CBS Sunday Morning and NBC’s Today Show. Ms. Kavafian has also had a solo feature on CBS Sunday Morning.
Born in Istanbul, of Armenian descent, Ms. Kavafian immigrated to the United States with her family when she was three. She began her studies at age six with Ara Zerounian, continued with Mischa Mischakoff, and ultimately earned her master’s degree, with honors, from the Juilliard School, where she was a student of Oscar Shumsky. She holds the Nina von Maltzahn Chair in Violin Studies on the faculty of the Curtis Institute, where she was awarded the Lindback Award for Distinguished Teaching. She has previously been on the faculties of The Juilliard School and the Bard College Conservatory. She has served on numerous competition juries and various boards.
Ida Kavafian made her New York debut with pianist Peter Serkin, as a winner of the Young Concert Artists International Auditions, and also received the coveted Avery Fisher Career Grant. Her violin is a J.B. Guadagnini, made in Milan in 1751, and her viola was made in 1987 by Peter and Wendela Moes.
Ms. Kavafian has found equal success outside of music in the breeding, training and showing of prize winning Vizsla dogs. Residents of Connecticut and Philadelphia, she and her husband, violist Steven Tenenbom are the proud breeders and owners of the 2003 Number One Vizsla in the US, and the 2007 National Champion. In 2018, they had a Gold Grand Champion in the top ten, their sixth generation of prize winning Vizslas.
Benny Kim, violin
Whether playing in the intimate setting of a string quartet or performing a concerto on the stage of a concert hall, Benny Kim’s “emotional depth and musical carriage are his real drawing cards. His is a style that touches the peak of romantic violin playing.” (The Washington Post) Known for his versatility as soloist, chamber musician, and teacher, Mr. Kim has been described as having “titanium technique” and producing “exquisite, pearly colorations.”
Benny is a proud product of the Suzuki Method, which he began at age 10 with Doris Preucil. He continued his violin studies with Almita Vamos and at age 15 won the Chicago Symphony Youth Symphony Auditions, making his solo debut with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. One year later he won the St. Louis Symphony Youth Auditions and the Julius Stulberg Auditions. Kim went on to graduate with Bachelor and Master of Music degrees from The Juilliard School, where he studied with legendary pedagogue Dorothy DeLay. In 1983, Mr. Kim won the Young Concert Artists International Auditions at age 20. While at Juilliard, the residents of Macomb, IL, Benny’s hometown, heard the news that he was preparing to puchase a violin. This small community, along with faculty members of Western Illinois University, began a fundraising campaign to contribute to the purchase. In 1987 he acquired a 1732 Stradivarius violin.
Collaborating with long-time friends plays an important role in Benny Kim’s musical career and has resulted in two EMI recordings with Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg, Bella Italia and Night and Day, frequent performances with the Kalichstein-Laredo-Robinson Trio, and many engagements with his brother, cellist Eric Kim. In past seasons, Benny has performed in concert with violinist Daniel Hope at the Savannah Music Festival, Norway’s Trondheim Chamber Music Festival, Queen Elizabeth Hall in London and most recently at Alice Tully Hall in Lincoln Center, New York, NY.
Benny has performed with the symphony orchestras of Chicago, Boston, St. Louis, Cincinnati and Detroit, and internationally with the Hong Kong Philharmonic, the Orquésta Sinfonica Nacional de México, BBC National Orchestra of Wales and the major orchestras of South Africa. In recital, Kim has performed in virtually every major city in the United States, including critically acclaimed engagements at New York’s 92nd St. Y and at Washington DC’s Kennedy Center.
Mr. Kim is first violinist of the Miami String Quartet, winner of the prestigious Cleveland Quartet Award, and Quartet in Residence at Kent State University in Kent, Ohio. Highlights of recent seasons include performances on the Quartets Plus Series at Carnegie Hall and the Fortas Chamber Music Series at the Kennedy Center. The quartet has also enjoyed working with students in limited residencies in Hong Kong and Bogotá, Colombia. The ensemble’s commitment to new music has led to many commissions and premieres, including Concierto de Cámara by Roberto Sierra, Septet by Ellen Taaffe Zwilich, Angels by Joan Tower and Green Sneakers by Ricky Ian Gordon. Benny spends most summers playing chamber music with friends at festivals around the world, including the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, Music from Angel Fire, Bravo! - Vail Valley Music Festival, Chamber Music Northwest, Mecklenburg and Schlewig-Holstein Festivals in Germany and the Bristol Festival in England.
Benny and his golden retriever, Cubby, make their home outside Kansas City on the Falcon Ridge
Kurt Muroki, double bass
Former Artist Member with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, Professor Kurt Muroki began his musical studies on the violin at the age of six and subsequently performed concerti with the Honolulu Symphony and the Maui Symphony. Mr. Muroki went on to study the double bass at the age of 13 and entered the Juilliard School of Music at 17 studying with his teacher / mentor Homer R. Mensch. At the age of 21 Kurt began performing with the internationally renowned Sejong Soloists under ICM Management. Kurt has performed with the the Jupiter Chamber Players, Speculum Musicae, “Great Performers” series at Lincoln Center, Ensemble Sospeso, Sequitur, The Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, Brooklyn Philharmonic, American Composers Orchestra, Tokyo Opera Nomori, New York City Ballet, 92nd St. Y, and Bargemusic. Festivals include Marlboro Music Festival, Festival L’Autonne at IRCAM, and Aspen Music Festival to name a few. Kurt is also active playing movies, commercials, popular, and classical recordings with titles including the Oscar winning film “The Departed”, “Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close”, “Hitch”, “Julie and Julia”, “The Manchurian Candidate”, “Roger Daltrey Sings Pete Townshend” – The Who, Sting, Peter Gabriel, and Itzhak Perlman . Mr. Muroki has won numerous competitions including 1st prize in the Aspen Music Festival double bass competition, the first bassist to win the New World Symphony concerto competition, and the Honolulu Symphony Young Artists competition. He has collaborated with members of the Guarneri, Juilliard, Tokyo, Orion quartets, Ensemble Wein-Berlin, Jaime Laredo, Lynn Harrell, Maurice Bourgue, Toru Takemitsu, Peter Schickele, John Zorn, and Brian Ferneyhough among others, and has performed concerto tours throughout Asia and the United States. Professor Muroki is currently a Tenured Professor at the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University, faculty at the Bowdoin International Music Festival, teaches at New York String Orchestra Seminar, and has been a judge at the Yale Gordon Competition at Peabody Conservatory, ASTA, and others. Mr Muroki is a past Board Member of the International Society of Bassists and is a D’Addario Strings Artist. Thank you D’addario for all you do for the musical community!
Kurt is also a former Artist/Lecturer at Stony Brook University, Distinguished Artist at the McDuffie Center for Strings at Mercer University, Adjunct Faculty at the Juilliard School, and Faculty at the NJ City University.
Tara Helen O’Connor, flute
Tara Helen O'Connor is a charismatic performer noted for her artistic depth, brilliant technique and colorful tone spanning every musical era. Recipient of an Avery Fisher Career Grant and a two-time Grammy nominee, she was the first wind player chosen to participate in The Bowers Program (formerly CMS Two) and is now a Season Artist of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center. A Wm. S. Haynes flute artist, Tara is a regular participant in the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, Music@Menlo, Chamber Music Festival of the Bluegrass, Spoleto Festival USA, Chamber Music Northwest, Mainly Mozart Festival, Music from Angel Fire, Rockport Music, Bay Chamber Concerts, Manchester Music Festival, the Banff Centre, the Great Mountains Music Festival, Chesapeake Music Festival and the Bravo! Vail Valley Music Festival. Along with her husband Daniel Phillips, she is the newly appointed Co-Artistic Director of the Music From Angel Fire Festival in New Mexico.
A much sought-after chamber musician and soloist, she has premiered hundreds of new works and has collaborated with the Orion String Quartet, St. Lawrence Quartet, Emerson String Quartet, Jaime Laredo, Dawn Upshaw, Eliot Fisk, Jeremy Denk, Ida Kavafian, Peter Serkin and David Shifrin. Tara is a member of the woodwind quintet Windscape, the legendary Bach Aria Group and is a founding member of the Naumburg Award-winning New Millennium Ensemble. A passionate advocate of new music, she is a member of the Talea and Cygnus Ensembles. Tara has appeared on A&E's Breakfast with the Arts and PBS' Live from Lincoln Center. She has recorded for Deutsche Grammophon, EMI Classics, Koch International, CMS Studio Recordings with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center and Bridge Records. She has just released a solo CD of American flute works entitled The Way Things Go on Bridge Records with pianist Margaret Kampmeier.
Tara holds a DMA from Stony Brook University where she studied with the late Samuel Baron. Her other teachers include Julius Levine, Thomas Nyfenger, Robert Dick and Keith Underwood. Her yearly summer flute master class at the Banff Centre in Canada was legendary. She is Associate Professor of Flute, Head of the Woodwinds Department and the Coordinator of Classical Music Studies at Purchase College School of the Arts Conservatory of Music. Additionally, Tara is on the faculty of Bard College Conservatory of Music, the Contemporary Performance Program at Manhattan School of Music and is a visiting artist, teacher and coach at the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto. She lives with her husband, violinist Daniel Phillips and their two miniature dachshunds, Chloé and Ava on the Upper West Side of Manhattan.
Anna Polonsky, piano
Anna Polonsky is widely in demand as a soloist and chamber musician. She has appeared with the Moscow Virtuosi, the Buffalo Philharmonic, the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, 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 given concerts in the Amsterdam Concertgebouw, the Vienna Konzerthaus, the Alice Tully Hall, and Carnegie Hall’s Stern, Weill, and Zankel Halls, and 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.
Anna 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 under the tutelage of the renowned 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, and in the summer at the Marlboro and Kneisel Hall chamber music festivals.
Beginning in 2018, Polonsky performs in a trio with clarinetist David Shifrin and cellist Peter Wiley.
Ms. Polonsky is a Steinway Artist.
Steven Tenenbom, viola
Steven Tenenbom has earned an equally stellar reputation in recital, orchestral and chamber music appearances, displaying in all the impeccable style and sumptuous tone which have earned him a reputation as one of America's finest violists.
In great demand as a chamber musician, Mr. Tenenbom has appeared as guest artist with such eminent ensembles as the Guarneri and Emerson String Quartets, the Kalichstein-Laredo-Robinson and Beaux Arts Trios, the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, and Chamber Music at the "Y." He has appeared as soloist with the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra and the Brandenburg Ensemble in performances at Boston's Symphony Hall, the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC, Avery Fisher Hall in New York City, and on tour in Japan. Recent seasons have included recital performances in New York and California, and concerto performances in Washington state, Michigan, Arizona and Ohio.
Additional duo recital and orchestral engagements with his wife Ida Kavafian have also played to capacity crowds across the country. Their brilliant performance with the Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra under Keith Lockhart's baton led to their reengagement by Mr. Lockhart with the Utah Symphony. The Salt Lake Tribune called it "an inspiring performance," saying the duo "worked magic."
Mr. Tenenbom is the violist of the Orion String Quartet, one of the most outstanding and eloquent ensembles performing today. In addition to their many performances both nationally and internationally, they are the Quartet-in-Residence of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, the Aspen Music Festival, Mannes College of Music and the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival; and have toured widely with Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company, premiering this unique collaboration at Hancher Auditorium, Iowa City.
As a member of the prestigious group TASHI, Mr. Tenenbom has also had a long association with the Marlboro Music Festival, including many tours across the United States, Japan and France. Other festival credits include the June Music, La Jolla Mostly Mozart, Chamber Music Northwest, Music from Angel Fire, and Bravo! Colorado. Devoted to the music of our time, he has worked closely with such diverse composers as Leon Kirchner, Lukas Foss, John Corigliano and jazz greats Chick Corea and Wynton Marsalis.
He also co-founded the exciting group, Opus One, along with pianist Anne-Marie McDermott, violinist Ida Kavafian and cellist Peter Wiley. The group is wide ranging in their approach, presenting educational and community outreach activities as part of engagements.
Mr. Tenenbom is on the faculty of The Curtis Institute of Music, where he is the Coordinator of String Chamber Music. He also serves on the faculties of The Juilliard School, The Conservatory of Music at Bard College and was a visiting professor at The Yale School of Music. He has recorded on RCA Records with TASHI and the Guarneri String Quartet, and can also be heard on the Sony Classical, Marlboro Recording Society, Delos, ECM and Arabesque labels.
Born in Phoenix, Arizona, Mr. Tenenbom began his early studies with Max Mandel. He then attended the University of Southern California as a pupil of Milton Thomas. Further studies carried him to the Curtis Institute of Music where he worked with Michael Tree and Karen Tuttle. Married to violinist Ida Kavafian, the Tenenboms live in Connecticut where they breed, raise and show champion Vizsla
Peter Wiley, cello
Cellist, Peter Wiley enjoys a proliﬁc career as a performer and teacher. He is a member of the piano quartet, Opus One, a group he co-founded in 1998 with pianist Anne-Marie McDermott, violinist Ida Kavaﬁan and violist Steven Tenenbom. Mr. Wiley attended the Curtis Institute of Music as a student of David Soyer. He joined the Pittsburgh Symphony in 1974. The following year he was appointed Principal cellist of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, a position he held for eight years. From 1987 through 1998, Mr. Wiley was cellist of the Beaux Arts Trio. In 2001 he succeeded his mentor, David Soyer, as cellist of the Guarneri Quartet. The quartet retired from the concert stage in 2009. He has been awarded an Avery Fischer Career Grant, nominated for a Grammy Award in 1998 with the Beaux Arts Trio and in 2009 with the Guarneri Quartet. Mr. Wiley participates at leading festivals including Music from Angel Fire, Chamber Music Nothwest, OK Mozart, Santa Fe, Bravo! and Bidgehampton. He continues his long association with the Marlboro Music Festival, dating back to 1971. Mr. Wiley teaches at the Curtis Institute of Music and Bard College Conservatory of Music.