Romanian born violinist ANDY SIMIONESCU is a graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music where he completed his studies with Szymon Goldberg. He was awarded the Silver Medal and the Prize for the Commissioned Work at the 1987 Montreal International Violin Competition and was a 1st prize winner in the Concert Artists Guild and the Washington International Competitions. Andy’s solo appearances have taken him to the stages of Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, the Musikverein, Tokyo’s Casals Hall and throughout the US, Europe, and Asia. Recital highlights include performances at the White House, the Kennedy Center, Library of Congress, New York’s 92nd Street Y, and Alice Tully Hall.
Andy lived in Montgomery when he was the second violin fellow of the Montgomery Symphony. For two seasons, he led the orchestra, performed the Beethoven and Tchaikovsky Concertos and a six-recital series at the Montgomery Museum of the Fine Arts.
A prolific chamber musician, he is a member of the Raphael Trio and Artistic Director of the Performers of Westchester.
American violinist PAMELA FRANK has established an outstanding international reputation across an unusually varied range of performing activity. In addition to her extensive schedule of engagements with prestigious orchestras throughout the world and her recitals on the leading concert stages, she is regularly sought after as a chamber music partner by today’s most distinguished soloists and ensembles. The breadth of this accomplishment and her consistently high level of musicianship were recognized in 1999 with the Avery Fisher Prize, one of the highest honors given to American instrumentalists.
Ms. Frank has appeared with such orchestras as the Baltimore Symphony, the Berlin Philharmonic, the Boston Symphony, the Chicago Symphony, the Cleveland Orchestra, the Dallas Symphony, the Orchestre National de France, the Houston Symphony, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, the Minnesota Orchestra, the National Symphony, the New York Philharmonic, the Orchestre de Paris, the San Francisco Symphony and the Vienna Symphony. She has performed under many esteemed conductors, including Daniel Barenboim, Christoph von Dohnányi, Christoph Eschenbach, Bernard Haitink, Seiji Ozawa, André Previn, Leonard Slatkin and, most regularly, Yuri Temirkanov and David Zinman. She appears often at numerous festivals in Europe and the United States, including Aldeburgh, Berlin, Blossom, Bravo! Vail Valley, Caramoor, the Hollywood Bowl, Mostly Mozart, Ravinia, Salzburg, Tanglewood and Verbier.
Her passion for chamber music continues to find a variety of outlets.. Her frequent collaborators, drawn from a large group of chamber music colleagues, include Yo-Yo Ma, Tabea Zimmermann and Alexander Simionescu. For many years she took part in the Marlboro Festival in Vermont as well as the subsequent Music from Marlboro tours. Ms. Frank has also participated in several of the Isaac Stern chamber music seminars at Carnegie Hall and the Jerusalem Music Centre as part of a group of performer-colleagues assisting Mr. Stern. She now continues that tradition with the Leon Fleisher Classes at Carnegie Hall, as well as her own.
In the recording studio, Pamela Frank has made two discs for London/Decca: the Dvorak Concerto with the Czech Philharmonic and the Brahms Sonatas with Peter Serkin. She has also recorded the complete Mozart Violin Concertos with David Zinman and the Tonhalle Orchestra (Arte Nova), a Schubert album with Claude Frank (Arte Nova), and the Beethoven sonata cycle, also with Claude Frank (MusicMasters), now available as complete set on three discs. For Sony Classical, she has recorded the Chopin Piano Trio with Emanuel Ax and Yo-Yo Ma, the “Trout” Quintet, and is featured on the soundtrack to the film “Immortal Beloved.”
While committed to the standard repertoire, Ms. Frank also has an affinity for contemporary music, often including works by today’s composers on her programs. In March 1998 she gave the world premiere of a new concerto by Ellen Taaffe Zwilich commissioned for her by Carnegie Hall with Hugh Wolff and the Orchestra of St. Luke’s. In 1997, as part of her annual visit to Japan, Ms. Frank joined Peter Serkin, Yo-Yo Ma and Richard Stoltzman at Toru Takemitsu’s Tokyo Opera City, playing works of Takemitsu and others. She has also premiered and recorded two works by Aaron Jay Kernis, a piano quartet (“Still Movement with Hymn”) and a piece for violin and orchestra (“Lament and Prayer”). A noted pedagogue, Pamela Frank presents master classes and adjudicates major competitions throughout the world. She is also on the faculties of Curtis Institute of Music and the Peabody Conservatory, and teaches and coaches annually at the Tanglewood, Aspen, Ravinia and Verbier Festivals as well as at several festivals in Europe.
Born in New York City, Pamela Frank is the daughter of noted pianists Claude Frank and Lilian Kallir. She began her violin studies at age 5 and after 11 years as a pupil of Shirley Givens continued her musical education with Szymon Goldberg and Jaime Laredo. In 1985 she formally launched her career with the first of her four appearances with Alexander Schneider and the New York String Orchestra at Carnegie Hall. A recipient of the Avery Fisher Career Grant in 1988, she graduated the following year from the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia.
Pamela Frank is married to violinist Alexander (Andy) Simionescu, and they make their home in the New York area.
Born in Brussels, Belgian violist DIMITRI MURRATH has made his mark as a soloist on the international scene, performing regularly in venues including Jordan Hall (Boston), Kennedy Center (Washington), Wigmore Hall, Purcell Room, Royal Festival Hall (London), Kioi Hall (Tokyo), the National Auditorium (Madrid), and Palais des Beaux-Arts (Brussels).
A first prize winner at the Primrose International Viola Competition, Belgian violist Dimitri Murrath has won numerous awards, including second prize at the First Tokyo International Viola Competition, the special prize for the contemporary work at the ARD Munich Competition, Verbier Festival Academy’s Viola Prize, and a fellowship from the Belgian American Educational Foundation.
With repertoire extending from Bach to contemporary music by Ligeti, Kurtag and Sciarrino, Murrath is particularly keen on performing new works. He has taken part in the Park Lane Group New Year Series in London to great critical acclaim, as well as commissioned, given the world premieres, and recorded several solo works.
An avid chamber musician, Murrath has collaborated with Miriam Fried, Pamela Frank, Richard Goode, Laurence Lesser, Paul Katz, Donald Weilerstein, Gidon Kremer, Kim Kashkashian, Menahem Pressler, Radovan Vlatkovic, Arnold Steinhardt, Peter Wiley, David Soyer, and Mitsuko Uchida.
Festivals include IMS Prussia Cove (UK), Ravinia’s Steans Institute for Young Artists (Chicago), Verbier Festival Academy, Gstaad Festival (Switzerland), Caramoor Rising Stars (New York), Great Lakes Festival (Michigan) and Marlboro Music Festival (Vermont).
He is on the faculty of Longy School of Music, New England Conservatory.
Recently featured as a “Face to Watch” in the Los Angeles Times, NOKUTHULA NGWENYAMA’s performances as orchestral soloist, recitalist, and chamber musician garner great attention. Gramophone proclaimed Ms. Ngwenyama’s playing as providing “solidly shaped music of bold, mesmerising character,” and the Washington Post described her as playing “with dazzling technique in the virtuoso fast movements and deep expressiveness in the slow movements.”
Ms. Ngwenyama came to international attention when she won the Primrose International Viola Competition and the Young Concert Artists International Auditions at age 17. Plaudits followed her debut recitals in Washington, D.C. at the Kennedy Center and in New York at the 92nd Street ‘Y’, and in 1998 she received the prestigious Avery Fisher Career Grant.
This season Ms. Ngwenyama appears throughout the US and Japan, including at New York’s Town Hall and Nexus Hall in Tokyo’s Chanel Tower. Last season she was chosen for the coveted Duncanson Artist-In-Residence at the Taft Museum and appeared in Washington D.C. at the Cosmos Club, at Symphony Space in New York, and at the Kimmel Center in Philadelphia, amongst others. Past seasons include appearances with the Cincinnati Symphony, the Nurnberg Philharmonie and world premiere performances of Andrew Norman’s Sabina in Washington D. C.’s Kennedy Center and Merkin Hall in New York. She also performed with the Charlotte, Austin, Jackson and Memphis Symphonies, and with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center. Additionally, she “fascinated on viola and violin during recital” (Washington Post) at the National Academy of Sciences in Washington, D. C. and with the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society.
Ms. Ngwenyama has performed throughout the United States and abroad. Domestic appearances include performances with the Atlanta, Baltimore, and Indianapolis Symphonies, the Los Angeles Philharmonic and the National Symphony Orchestra. She has been heard in recital at Tokyo’s Suntory Hall, the Louvre, the Ford Center in Toronto, and the Maison de Radio France. Summer festival appearances include Green Music, Vail, San Diego’s Mainly Mozart, Chamber Music Northwest, Marlboro Music Festival, Spoleto USA, and Burgundy’s Musique et Vin.
Ms. Ngwenyama is no stranger to television and radio appearances. Her performance at the White House, commemorating the 10th anniversary of NPR’s Performance Today, also featured artists Wynton Marsalis, James Galway, and Murray Perahia. A vivid portrait of Ms. Ngwenyama was televised nationally on CBS Sunday Morning with cultural correspondent Eugenia Zukerman. She was featured on the Emmy Award-nominated PBS program Sound of Strings in the Musical Encounter Series, hosted by cellist Lynn Harrell. A dedicated advocate for the arts, she has testified before Congress on behalf of the National Endowment for the Arts. As an artist recording on the EDI label, she has collaborated with pianist Mihae Lee on Grieg and Debussy and guitarist Michael Long on Bach Partitas as well as Corella’s Che! A Musical Biography. Her recent collaboration with pianist Jennifer Lim on the Rubinstein viola and violin sonatas was released to excellent reviews.
As an educator Ms. Ngwenyama has served as visiting professor at the University of Notre Dame and at Indiana University. She has been director of the Primrose International Viola Competition since 2005 and serves as president of the American Viola Society. She recently spearheaded a string program for Biltmore Preparatory Academy, a public school in Phoenix, Arizona and performed with the Japanese group “The Surfing Godzillas” as both instrumentalist and co-lead singer. Born in California of Zimbabwean-Japanese parentage, Ms. Ngwenyama graduated from the Curtis Institute of Music. As a Fulbright scholar she attended the Conservatoire National Superieur de Musique de Paris, and received a Master of Theological Studies degree from Harvard University.
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 Northwest, OK Mozart, Santa Fe, Bravo! and Bridgehampton. 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.
Cellist EDWARD ARRON has garnered recognition worldwide for his elegant musicianship, impassioned performances, and creative programming. A native of Cincinnati, Ohio, Mr. Arron made his New York recital debut in 2000 at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Earlier that year, he performed Vivaldi’s Concerto for Two Cellos with Yo-Yo Ma and the Orchestra of St. Luke’s at the Opening Night Gala of the Caramoor International Festival. Since that time, Mr. Arron has appeared in recital, as a soloist with orchestra, and as a chamber musician throughout the United States, Europe and Asia.
The 2012-2013 season will mark Mr. Arron’s 10th anniversary season as the artistic director of the Metropolitan Museum Artists in Concert, a chamber music series created in 2003 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Museum’s prestigious Concerts and Lectures series. In the fall of 2009, Mr. Arron succeeded Charles Wadsworth as the artistic director, host, and resident performer of the Musical Masterworks concert series in Old Lyme, Connecticut, as well as concert series in Beaufort and Columbia, South Carolina. He is also the artistic director of the Caramoor Virtuosi, the resident chamber ensemble of the Caramoor International Music Festival.
Mr. Arron has performed numerous times at Carnegie’s Weill and Zankel Halls, Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully and Avery Fisher Halls, New York’s Town Hall, and the 92nd Street Y, and is a frequent performer at Bargemusic. Past summer festival appearances include Ravinia, Salzburg, Mostly Mozart, BRAVO! Colorado, Tanglewood, Bridgehampton, Spoleto USA, Santa Fe, Seattle Chamber Music, Bard Music Festival, Seoul Spring, Great Mountains, and Isaac Stern’s Jerusalem Chamber Music Encounters. Mr. Arron has participated in the Silk Road Project and has toured and recorded as a member of MOSAIC, an ensemble dedicated to contemporary music. Edward Arron began his studies on the cello at age seven in Cincinnati and, at age ten, moved to New York, where he continued his studies with Peter Wiley. He is a graduate of the Juilliard School, where he was a student of Harvey Shapiro. Currently, Mr. Arron serves on the faculty of New York University.