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. In 2020 Yizhak was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award by the American Viola Society.
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.
Daniel Phillips, violin
Daniel Phillips began violin at age four with his father, Eugene Phillips, a violinist in the Pittsburgh Symphony. He studied with Ivan Galamian, Sally Thomas and Nathan Milstein at The Juilliard School and later with Sandor Vegh and George Neikrug. He won the Young Concert Artists Auditions in 1976. As soloist he has appeared with many United States orchestras including Pittsburgh, Houston, San Antonio and Yakima. Daniel is a founding member of the 32-year-old Orion String Quartet, in residence at the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center. Available on CD and download from ITunes and Google are the complete quartets of Beethoven and the four quartets of the great American composer, Leon Kirchner. Works written for the Quartet by Wynton Marsalis, Chick Corea, John Harbison and Marc Neikrug are also available on CD. The Quartet have often collaborated with the Bill T Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company and appeared at the legendary court of Esterhaza in Austria, where Haydn wrote most of his string quartets. Visit www.orionquartet.com. Daniel appears regularly at the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, Chamber Music Northwest, Spoleto USA and the International Musicians Seminar in Cornwall, England. In 1985, he toured and recorded in a string quartet (for SONY) with Gidon Kremer, Kim Kashkashian, and Yo-Yo Ma. As judge he has served on the Bordeaux, Seoul, Hudson Valley, Fishoff Competitions and in summer 2022, the Leipzig Bach Competition. He and his wife , flutist Tara O’Connor, have been appointed as Artistic Directors of Music From Angel Fire in New Mexico. He is professor of violin at the Aaron Copland School of Music at Queens College, City University of New York and is on the faculty of the Mannes College of Music, the Bard College Conservatory and The Juilliard School. Daniel lives with Tara and their two dachshunds on Manhattan’s upper west side.
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.
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.