Pianist Tanya Bannister (2003 CAG Competition) is lauded by The Washington Post for playing "...with intelligence, poetry and proportion" and recognized as an "Artist to Watch" in SYMPHONY Magazine. 2009-10 season highlights include concertos with the Syracuse, Greenwich, Columbus, Northwest Indiana Symphonies, and the New Philharmonic (IL). Ms. Bannister's debut recording of piano sonatas of Muzio Clementi was released in 2006 on the Naxos label. Her latest recording, This is the story she began, features solo piano music of living American composers (David Del Tredici, Christopher Theofanidis, Suzanne Farrin, and Sheila Silver) and was released on Albany Records in February 2009. Tanya Bannister is a member of the 2-piano/2-percussion ensemble Hammer/Klavier and co-artistic director of the AlpenKammerMusik Festival. www.tanyabannister.com
Pianist Michael Boriskin (1978 CAG Competition), one of the most imaginative and versatile pianists of his generation, offers "an adventure for the audience" according to The New York Times. He has performed throughout the US and in over thirty countries, with the San Francisco, Utah, and Seattle Symphonies, American Composers Orchestra, Munich and Polish Radio Orchestras, and others. His discography includes the complete works for piano and orchestra of George Gershwin with the Eos Orchestra and conductor Jonathan Scheffer on the BMG label, the rarely-heard Tchaikovsky Second Concerto and the Prokofiev First for Newport Classic, the concerti of George Perle (the second of which was written for Mr. Boriskin) on the Bridge and Albany labels, in addition to Brahms, Joplin, and Poulenc. He is artistic and executive director of Copland House.
Pianist Judith Gordon gave her New York recital debut at the Metropolitan Museum of Art's Introductions series, and was The Boston Globe 1997 Musician of the Year. She's explored repertory from Bach, Schumann, and Rachmaninoff, in addition to Berg, Boulez and Gorecki with ensembles including the Boston Pops, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, and Boston Modern Orchestra Project. Judith has worked with many artists, including vocalists Lisa Saffer, Mary Nessinger, and James Maddalena; cellist Andres Diaz; violist Roger Tapping; violinists Rose Mary Harbison, and Elizabeth Chang; Imani Winds; and the Borromeo and Daedalus Quartets. Composers with whom she has often collaborated include John Harbison, Lee Hyla, and Peter Lieberson. Ms. Gordon performs and teaches at festivals including Charlottesville (VA), Rockport (MA), and Music from Salem (NY) where she is an Artistic Co-Director. She joined the Smith College music faculty in 2006.
Pianist Soyeon Lee (2004 CAG Competition) has been described by The New York Times as a pianist with "a huge, richly varied sound, a lively imagination and a firm sense of style," while The Washington Post has lauded her for her "stunning command of the keyboard." Ms. Lee has appeared as soloist with the Cleveland, London, Columbus, Napa Valley, and San Diego Symphonies; including performances under the batons of Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos, Jahja Ling and Otto-Werner Mueller. Her debut CD, a Naxos release in 2006, features sonatas of Scarlatti. Most recently in spring 2009, Ms. Lee released a CD for E-1 featuring works by Bach/Busoni, Albéniz, Ravel, Huang Ruo, and Prokofiev. This disc followed a highly successful recital in Zankel Hall at Carnegie Hall. www.soyeonlee.com
Pianist Elizabeth Pridgen has been described as an artist with a "big piano presence" by the American Record Guide. Recent engagements include concerts at Alice Tully Hall, the Kosciuszko Foundation, and the DACOR Bacon House in Washington D.C.; and recitals in Atlanta, Long Island, and Curacao. She has performed with the Mark Morris Dance Group at Jacob's Pillow, Yo-Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble, and appeared extensively at the Tanglewood and Amelia Island Chamber Music Festivals. Ms. Pridgen's chamber music collaborators include Hilary Hahn, Lynn Harrell, Robert McDuffie, Mark O'Connor, Rachel Barton Pine, and members of the New York Philharmonic, Boston, and Atlanta Symphonies. She holds degrees from the Peabody Conservatory of Music and The Juilliard School where she studied with Ann Schein and Joseph Kalichstein respectively. www.elizabethpridgen.com
Pianist Rorianne Schrade (1988 CAG Competition) is known for adventurous programming that includes rarities, established masterpieces and new works. Her performances of Beethoven and Chopin have been cited for their "wit, passion and grace" by The New Yorker. Ms. Schrade has appeared as soloist in concerti of Mozart (having written numerous cadenzas to them and a dissertation on the subject), Bach, Beethoven, Saint-Saëns, and Rachmaninoff. Her most recent recording, Homage to Chopin, is available on the Impromptu Classics label. In addition to her parents, her primary teachers were Nadia Reisenberg at The Juilliard School and Harvey Wedeen at Temple University. www.rorianneschrade.com
Pianist David Shimoni, winner of the National Federation of Music Clubs Young Artist Auditions, has appeared at Weill Recital Hall, Zankel Hall, Alice Tully Hall, the 92nd Street Y, and the Museum of Modern Art. His playing has been called "as smooth as velvet" by the American Record Guide. Guest appearances include the Chautauqua, Brevard, Moab, Foothills and Rockport Festivals. He has worked with the Jupiter String Quartet, Toronto Dance Theatre and the New York and Southeastern Festivals of Song. An associate coach in the vocal arts division at Juilliard, Mr. Shimoni has appeared on Juilliard's Alice Tully Hall Vocal Debut Recital; with the Marilyn Horne Foundation; and at Wolf Trap, the Caramoor Center for the Arts, the Chicago Cultural Center, and the Dallas Museum of Art. Mr. Shimoni has also completed fifteen educational and outreach tours across the U.S. for the Piatigorsky Foundation.
Lyric soprano Sarah Wolfson (First Prize, 2007CAG Competition) combines infectious energy and innate musicality that have earned her praise from The Washington Post for "working magic." Recent highlights include the Bach B Minor Mass with American Symphony Orchestra at Symphony Space; recitals at Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall and Columbia University's Italian Academy; collaborative performances with the Brasil Guitar Duo; and an evening with the Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra and conductor Mischa Santora. Ms. Wolfson created the role of Celia for the world premiere of John Musto's comic opera Volpone with the Wolf Trap Opera Company, and made her Off Broadway debut in Wallace and Allen Shawn's play/opera The Music Teacher, available on Bridge Records. www.sarahwolfson.com
Mezzo-Soprano Krista River (2004 CAG Competition) has been praised by The New York Times for possessing a "shimmering voice...with the virtuosity of a violinist and the expressivity of an actress." In June 2009 she was a featured performer at the International Water and Life Festival in Qinghai, China. 2009-2010 season performances include Copland's Eight Poems of Emily Dickinson with the Boston Modern Orchestra Project, Messiah with the Cambridge Community Chorus, and Julius Röntgen's Lyrische Gänge with the Boston Chamber Music Society. Ms. River enjoyed a featured role in Scott Wheeler's opera, The Construction of Boston, recorded live with Boston Cecilia and released in March 2008 on Naxos Records. www.kristariver.com
Tenor Robert Swensen (First Prize, 1987 CAG Competition) is a noted Mozart and bel canto specialist. He has appeared with major opera companies including those of Stuttgart, Teatro La Fenice (Venice), Bayreuth, the Bavarian State Opera (Munich), the Berlin State Opera, the Opera Comique (Paris), the Grande Theatre (Geneva), and the Vienna State Opera. US appearances include those with Arizona Opera, the Santa Fe Opera Festival and Opera Pacific. Mr. Swensen was mentored by and has been closely associated with tenors Nicolai Gedda and Luciano Pavarotti. Mr. Swensen's recording Barber: Anthony and Cleopatra won the GRAMMY Award for Best Classical Recording in 1985. In addition, he can be heard in releases on the L'Orfeo Records, RCA, Philips Classical, Teldec and New World Records labels.
Violinist Asmira Woodward-Page (First Prize, 2003 CAG Competition) has been hailed as "a remarkable and auspicious talent" by the Sydney Morning Herald and praised for her "transforming intensity and beauty of tone" in The New York Times. Recent engagements include Vivaldi concerti at Town Hall with the Little Orchestra Society, Bruch with the Charlotte Philharmonic, a Beethoven Concerto with the Wartburg Symphony, recitals at Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, and appearances at Ravinia's Rising Stars and the Dame Myra Hess series. Ms. Woodward-Page leads the twenty-member, conductor-less ensemble SONYC (String Orchestra of New York City), and was the founding violinist of "counter)induction," a critically acclaimed seven-member new music composer/performer collective based in New York City. www.asmira.net
Violist Jennifer Stumm (First Prize, 2006 CAG Competition) has been described as "outstanding" by The Strad. 2009-10 highlights include a recital at Merkin Concert Hall, a show at Barbès Bar and Performance Space in Brooklyn, and the Philadelphia Brahms Festival. Recent engagements include concertos with the New Haven, Dupage, and Bangor Symphonies; recitals at the Kennedy Center for the Washington Performing Arts Society; New York's River to River Festival, and appearances at London's Wigmore Hall and the Kilkenny Festival in Ireland. She is a member of the London-based Aronowitz Ensemble, resident New Generation Artists at the BBC. Ms. Stumm recently recorded an album of works by Italian composer Alessandro Rolla, scheduled for release in 2010 on the Naxos label. www.jenniferstumm.com
Cellist Sebastian Bäverstam (2009 CAG Competition) is also a winner of the Boston Symphony Orchestra's Concerto Competition and performed the Shostakovich Concerto with the BSO at Symphony Hall. He was praised for "insightful musicianship and poetic feeling" in the Cape Cod Times following a performance of the Schumann Cello Concerto with the Cape Cod Symphony after he stepped in for Lynn Harrell on six hours' notice. Mr. Bäverstam has appeared on the nationally syndicated radio show From the Top, participated in a PBS documentary filmed at Carnegie Hall and offered a concert of the complete Bach Cello Suites at Williams College. Summer festivals he has attended include Aspen, the Banff Center in Canada, the Verbier Festival Academy, and Switzerland's International Music Academy under the direction of Seiji Ozawa. Mr. Bäverstam is a student of Paul Katz at the New England Conservatory.
Cellist Rhonda Rider (1980 CAG Competition) is a member of the Triple Helix Piano Trio, in-residence at Wellesley College, and named Artists of the Year in The Boston Globe. She was a founding member of the Naumburg Award-winning Lydian String Quartet and has enjoyed collaborations with Mstislav Rostropovich, Kim Kashkashian, Daivd Krakauer, Paul Katz, Sanford Sylvan, and Dawn Upshaw. Ms. Rider has premiered works by composers including John Harbison, Lee Hyla, and Steve Mackey; and has over twenty recordings on Harmonium Mundi, Centaur, New World, CRI, and Nonesuch (two GRAMMY Award nominations). Ms. Rider is a member of the cello faculty and Coordinator of Chamber Music at The Boston Conservatory. In the summer, she serves as a coach for the Asian Youth Orchestra. www.rhondarider.com