Violinist Michi Wiancko is a winner of the 2002 Concert Artists Guild International Competition. Featured as an "Artist to Watch" on the cover of the January 2007 issue of Symphony magazine, Ms. Wiancko has appeared as soloist with the New York and Los Angeles Philharmonic. Reviewing the world premiere of Margaret Brouwer's Violin Concerto with CityMusic Cleveland under the baton of James Gaffigan, the Cleveland Plain Dealer declared that Ms. Wiancko "tossed off the dizzying demands with extraordinary confidence and focus."
An avid recitalist and chamber musician, her concert highlights include Carnegie Hall, the Library of Congress, the Banff Centre, the National Gallery, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Ms. Wiancko is a member of the renowned Los Angeles Piano Quartet, a founding member of the conductor-less string ensemble ECCO, and can be heard with a number of eclectic ensembles, including ICE and Yo-Yo Ma's Silk Road Ensemble. Ms. Wiancko performs regularly with Kono Michi, a band for which she is singer, songwriter, and violinist. Kono Michi stretches musical boundaries using non-traditional instrumentation and electronics, and is influenced by a variety of genres.
Ms. Wiancko's discography includes a solo CD, Platinum Spirals, devoted to traditional repertoire with works by Ravel, Beethoven, Kreisler, Debussy, Prokofiev, and Joan Tower. Next is a Naxos Records disc featuring works for violin and piano by the French composer Emile Sauret. Kono Michi has two EPs available on the Shark Batter label. Ms. Wiancko is a native of Southern California and holds degrees from the Cleveland Institute of Music, where she studied with Donald Weilerstein, and from the Juilliard School, where she was a student of Robert Mann. More info is available at michiwiancko.com.
Martha Mooke is a pioneer in the field of electric five-stringed viola and transcends musical boundaries by synthesizing her classical music training with extended techniques, digital effects processing, and improvisation; her music can range from pyrotechnic viola solos to that of a seemingly traditional string quartet...that is, until the score calls for some very nontraditional performance practices. Ms. Mooke has created scores for theatre and dance, as well as soundtracks for film and multimedia events. Her genre-defying recordings, the solo Enharmonic Vision and Café Mars as one-half of the duo Bowing with electric guitarist Randolph A. Hudson III, have attracted wide critical acclaim. She is a Yamaha Artist and leading clinician on electric and alternative approaches to string playing.
Ms. Mooke is founder and violist of the electro-acoustic Scorchio Quartet which has performed and recorded with David Bowie as well as championed new works. She has toured internationally as a member of Barbra Streisand's acclaimed orchestra and performed with Bon Jovi, Philip Glass, Enya, Lou Reed, Tony Bennett, Moby, Johnny Mathis, Luciano Pavorotti, and the Orchestra of St. Luke's, as well as in the pits of many Broadway, opera, and ballet productions.
Ms. Mooke received the Fromer Award for Creative and Performing Arts, as well as awards from ASCAP, Meet the Composer, and Arts International. She was honored with an ASCAP Concert Music Award for conceiving and producing Thru the Walls, a new music showcase featuring ASCAP composer/performers whose work defies categorization. More info is available at marthamooke.com.