2. Dwight Coleman (voice-opera)
3. Lara Nie (voice-opera)
4. Kent Smith (voice-opera)
5. Siranous Tsalikian (voice-opera)
6. Nevart- Veron Galileas (flute-flute ensemble-chamber music)
7. Christos Galileas (violin-chamber music)
8. Yannis Tsitselikis (cello)
9. Raffi Besalyan (piano)
10. Brandt Fredriksen (piano)
11.George Konstantinidis (piano)
12. Nickitas Demos (composition)
13. Lina Tonia (composition)
14. Yiorgos Vassilandonakis (composition)
The American tenor, Richard Clement, studied voice at Georgia State University and the Cincinnati Conservatory, where he received his Master of Music degree. He was a Tanglewood Music Festival Fellow in 1990 and 1991, was a member of the Houston Grand Opera Studio in the 1991-1992 season, and the winner of a 1994 Richard Tucker Music Foundation Jacobson Study Grant. Richard Clement made his New York City Opera debut as Tamino in The Magic Flute during the 1997-1998 season. He has performed with most of America’s major orchestras and music directors, bringing tonal beauty and superb musicality to repertoire from the baroque to the contemporary. He recently earned particular acclaim for the title role of Edward Elgar's The Dream of Gerontius with the North Carolina Symphony Orchestra and Sacramento Choral Arts Society and Orchestra. In addition he premiered - and recorded - Theofanides' The Here and Now with Robert Spano and the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, including performances in Atlanta and at New York’s Carnegie Hall (he has also sung George Frideric Handel's Messiah and concert performances of John Adams’ Doctor Atomic with them). Among the most in-demand tenors for L.v. Beethoven's Symphon No. 9, invitations include the Brooklyn Philharmonic, Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra; New Jersey Symphony Orchestra, Milwaukee, San Antonio, Oregon, Memphis, San Diego, Baltimore, Nashville, Phoenix, Colorado and Toledo Symphonies. He sang Elijah with the Memphis and Charlotte Symphonies; the Verdi Requiem with the the Santa Rosa Symphony and New Jersey Symphony Orchestra and Chautauqua Music Festival Orchestra; L.v. Beethoven's Missa solemnis with the New Mexico Symphony Orchestra and National Arts Centre Orchestra; and Haydn's Die Schöpfung with the Colorado and Puerto Rico Symphonies. In addition he has performed Belmonte in W.A. Mozart's Die Entführung aus dem Serail with Leonard Slatkin and the National Symphony Orchestra; Sergei Rachmaninov's The Bells with Jeffrey Kahane and the Colorado Symphony; Orff’s Carmina Burana with Neeme Järvi and the Detroit Symphony, and two W.A. Mozart programs with Boston’s Handel and Haydn Society under Grant Llewellyn. He also sang Felix Mendelssohn's Die erste Walpurgisnacht and Symphony No. 2 (Lobgesang) with Kurt Masur and the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra; Toch’s Cantata of the Bitter Herbs with the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra; W.A. Mozart's Requiem with the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra and Delaware Symphony; Igor Stravinsky's Oedipus Rex with Charles Dutoit and the Montreal Symphony; Kernis’ Millenium Symphony with the Minnesota Orchestra; Tippett’s A Child of Our Time with Jeffrey Kahane and the Santa Rosa Symphony; The Bells with Leon Botstein and the American Symphony in Lincoln Center’s Avery Fisher Hall; Haydn’s Seven Last Words of Christ and L.v. Beethoven’s Missa solemnis with the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra. He has been guest soloist with the Cleveland Orchestra and Philadelphia Orchestra; Houston Symphony Orchestra, Toronto Symphony Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony Orchestra and Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, and collaborated with such conductors as Marin Alsop, James Conlon, Charles Dutoit, Daniel Harding, Christopher Hogwood, Neeme Järvi, Jesús López-Cobos, John Mauceri, Bobby McFerrin, Carlo Rizzi, Robert Shaw, Michael Tilson Thomas, Wolfgang Sawallisch, and Hugh Wolff.Festival engagements include Tanglewood (concert performance of Act III of Verdi’s Falstaff), L.v. Beethoven's Symphon No. 9 at both Grant Park and the Hollywood Bowl, and J.S. Bach's B Minor Mass (BWV 232) with Seiji Ozawa at Japan’s Saito Kinen Festival.Richard Clement’s and his other engagements have included the Vancouver Opera and the Boston Lyric Opera and his considerable operatic credentials include Pedrillo in W.A. Mozart's Die Entführung aus dem Serail with Sir Colin Davis and the New York Philharmonic Orchestra; Mao Tse-tung in John Adams’s Nixon in China with the Brooklyn Philharmonic conducted by Robert Spano; Tamino in W.A. Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte at Belgium’s De Vlaamse Opera and with the Colorado Symphony. At the Vancouver Opera his roles include Nanki-Poo in The Mikado, Ferrando in W.A. Mozart's Così fan tutte, Fenton in Falstaff, Little Bat in in Susannah and Don Ottavio W.A. Mozart's Don Giovanni; Ernesto in Don Pasquale at Glimmerglass Opera; Vanya in Katya Kabanova and To-No-Chujo in Tale of the Genji at Opera Theater of St. Louis; Belmonte in Entführung with the Boston Baroque; Lensky in Eugen Onegin and Nemorino in L’elisir d’amore at Opera Festival of New Jersey; Candide, Lockwood in Wuthering Heights and Fenton in Falstaff at Boston Lyric Opera; and Benjamin Britten's Albert Herring with the Atlanta Opera.Recordings include Benjamin Britten's War Requiem with the Washington Choral Society, Béla Bartók's Cantata Profana with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra (both Grammy winners) and Tchaikovsky's Pique Dame.
W. Dwight Coleman, baritone is Professor of Voice and Coordinator of External Relations in the School of Music at Georgia State University. He is the Executive/Stage director of the nationally recognized Harrower Summer Opera Workshop in Atlanta, lead voice teacher and resident stage director for Lefkas Music July Festival in Lefkada, Greece and former resident stage director of the La Musica Lirica Summer Opera Festival in Italy. Maintaining an active performing career in opera, recital and oratorio, Mr. Coleman has performed in Italy, U.S.A, Austria, Greece, China, Taiwan, Brazil, the Bahamas, Germany and France. He made his Carnegie Hall debut in 1992 in Brahms' Ein Deutches Requiem and was later featured at Avery Fischer Hall in Lincoln Center as baritone soloist in Five Mystical Songs by Vaughan Williams. Other performances include Ravel's Chanson Madecasses with the Musica da Camera in Atlanta; Eight Songs on text by Walt Whitman by Ned Rorem and "I remember long ago" from the Great Gatsby by John Harbison, with the composers in attendance; Elijah with the Pensacola Symphony and Choral Society; premiere performances of Waltzing Through the Endtime with the Atlanta Chamber Players, acclaimed as one of the top three classical performances in Atlanta 2005; and Beethoven's Ninth Symphony with the Columbus Symphony Orchestra. In addition to his numerous collegiate operatic productions as a stage director, Mr. Coleman's professional credits include original language productions of: La bohème, Le nozze di Figaro, Carmen, Madama Butterfly, Don Pasquale, L'Elisir d'amore, Die Fledermaus, Die Zauberflöte, Highway I U.S.A., The Impresario, Rigoletto, Suor Angelica, Falstaff, La traviata, Lucia di Lammermoor, Les Contes d'Hoffmann, Dialogues of the Carmelites, Don Giovanni, L’incoronazione di Poppea and others. He has directed premiere performances of five contemporary operas.His numerous awards include Regional Finalist in the Metropolitan Opera Auditions in Chicago, Shreveport Opera Singer of the Year; Finalist in the Bel Canto Foundation competition in Italian Opera; winner of the National Opera Association's Opera Production Competition as stage director for his production of The Saint of Bleecker Street, winner of the Pro Mozart Society competition to study at the Mozarteum in Salzburg, Austria with Grace Bumbry and Kerstin Meyer, and a Bel Canto grant to study in Busseto, Italy with Carlo Bergonzi, Renata Tebaldi and Piero Cappuccilli. At Georgia State University he received the 2000 Torch of Peace Award for promotion of racial harmony, the 2005 Sparks Award for dedication to service at Georgia State University and the 2007 College of Arts and Science Outstanding Teacher Award. As a recitalist, Derrick Henry, critic for the Atlanta Journal Constitution stated: "He grabbed one's attention immediately with his imposing, resonate voice and his theatrical manner. What made his recital special was the ability to make a listener identify with the texts' protagonists, to feel their joys and sorrows."
Lara Nie - Soprano
Mezzo-soprano Lara Nie is a versatile and accomplished singer, hailed as one of New Yorks most prominent German lied specialists by New York Magazine and as an intensely expressive artist by the Cleveland Plain Dealer. As an active orchestral soloist, chamber musician and recitalist, her performances are recognized for passionate interpretation and sophisticated musicality. Since her Carnegie Hall debut in 2006 at Weill Recital Hall, Ms. Nie has appeared at the Ravinia Festival, Cleveland Severance Hall, Chicago's Orchestra Hall, Munich's Gasteig Hall, the Dame Myra Hess Concert Series, Merkin Concert Hall, the Washington Holocaust Museum Chamber Series, the Windermere Music Festival in Canada, the Edgar M. Bronfman Chamber Music Series, the Society for Ethical Culture, Sun Valley Summer Symphony, Carnegie Halls Zankel Hall, the Chicago Civic Orchestra, and other nationally and internationally renowned recital, chamber and orchestral venues. Ms. Nie has collaborated with members of the New York Philharmonic, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Cleveland Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony, St. Louis Symphony and Washington National Orchestra, the Miami String Quartet, the Escher Quartet and the Sun Valley Summer Symphony Bronfman Quartet. She has performed alongside such top artists as Jon Nakamatsu (piano), Amit Paled (cello), Shai Wosner (piano), Brandt Fredriksen (piano), Lara Downes (piano), William VerMeulen (horn), and has worked with many prestigious conductors, including Christoph Eschenbach, David Gilbert, Alasdair Neale, Michael Morgan and Stefano Seghedoni. Ms. Nie is a founding member of Trio Respiro, who have garnered praise for original and creative programming, and for the beauty of their performances. Equally at home on the opera stage, she has appeared with the Altenburger Musik Festival in Germany, Israel Vocal Arts, and the Kentro Musikis in Thessaloniki Greece in varied works ranging from Mozarts Cosi fan tutte, to Brecht and Weills Street Scene, to the premiere of Toshiro Saruyas The Pompeii Exhibit at New Yorks avant-garde theatre, The Kitchen. Ms. Nie has recorded Mozart and Schubert lieder on the Silver Bay Label and has been heard live on Chicagos WFMT, Florida Public Radio, Radio Free Europe and New Yorks WQXR Artist Showcase with Robert Sherman. She also performed the West Coast premiere of Maria Schneider's Andrade Stories with the San Francisco Chamber Orchestra. Highlights of past seasons include concerts with Sola Musica at Carnegie Hall's Zankel Hall, San Francisco Chamber Orchestra, St. Louis Symphony and World Chess Hall of Fame Composer Spotlight Series, Shepherd School of Music at Rice University Faculty Series, Sun Valley Summer Symphony, The Kosciuszko Foundation Recital Series, the Chagrin Concert Series, the Nicholas Roerich Museum Recital Series, and the Cape Cod Chamber Music Festival.
Kent Smith, a native of Parkersburg, WV, is known for a varied musical career. Smith has appeared in a wide variety of roles in opera, operetta, musical theatre, and on the concert stage with companies such as Opera Festival of New Jersey, Lyric Opera Cleveland, Cleveland Opera on Tour, Opera at Florham, American Music Theatre Festival, Natchez Opera Festival, The National Opera Company, New York City Opera, Stamford Symphony Orchestra, Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, West Virginia Symphony, Indianapolis Symphony, North Carolina Symphony and the Brooklyn Philharmonic. Other performances in recital and concert include the Caramoor Music Festival, Westchester Oratorio Society, Thomas Tallis Scholars, Coro de Camera, and Musica Antiqua of Santa Fe. He was part of the acclaimed national tour of the Tony Award Winning Play, Master Class, as well as performing the same play with TheatreWorks in the Bay Area, both of which he was Musical Director as well. Mr. Smith’s vocal master classes are presented throughout the country and the world, and he maintains his private vocal studio in New York City. Mr. Smith runs the voice department at the State University of New York at New Paltz, where is Associate Professor of Voice. In 2012 he presented and produced the first ever student opera, “The Medium” at SUNY New Paltz. Mr. Smith was on the faculty of University at Buffalo for 4 years, where he was also Director of the Opera Studio and has also taught in Italy at Centro Studi Italiani and at Centro Studi Lirica as well as in Pennsylvania at the Performing Arts Institute of Wyoming Seminary. In 2011 he began his own program in Italy called Lingua e Lirica Italiana, where he was the artistic director.2016 performances have included appearances with the Innisfree PianoTrio, Newburgh Chamber Music Festival, as well as the Husdson Valley BachFest. In 2017 Mr. Smith was also seen at the Gala Opening Night for Opera Niagara in Canada as Marcello in Puccini’s La Boheme as well as performing at the famous Casa Verdi in Milan, Italy. This November he will be portraying the role of composer Virgil Thomson in the opera "The Mother of Us All" at the historic Hudson Opera House. Mr Smith received his artists’ diploma in vocal performance from the Curtis Institute of Music after having received his BFA in French horn performance from Carnegie-Mellon University. He was awarded the Masters in Music from the Manhattan School of Music. Current students of Mr. Smith have been accepted to some of the most prestigious conservatories (Manhattan School of Music, Eastman School of Music, New England Conservatory, Columbia University, New York University). Singers from Mr Smith’s studio have also competed and won at the state, regional and national levels for the Young Artist Competition of MTNA (Music Teachers National Association
Soprano SIRANOUS TSALIKIAN has enjoyed a rich career in Greece and abroad. As a soloist of the Dessau Opera (Germany), she participated in international tours and appeared at the Vienna Volksoper. She has also collaborated repeatedly with the Greek National Opera, the Athens and Thessaloniki Concert Halls, and the Opera of Thessaloniki. A graduate of the New Conservatory of Thessaloniki (class of Varvara Tsambali), she completed her studies at the Vienna Music Academy Opera School, studying with Helene Karusso, Edith Mathis and Curt Malm. She has participated in masterclasses with Daphne Evangelatos, Kostas Paskalis, Nicola Zaccaria and Inge Borkh. She has performed as a soloist with the State and City Symphony Orchestras of Thessaloniki, and has appeared at the “DIMITRIA” Festival and the Patmos Religious Music Festival. Graduates from her class have been accepted on scholarships at major academies and universities abroad: Royal Academy of Music (London), Georgia State University (Atlanta), Berklee College of Music (Boston), Conservatori Superior de Musica del Liceu (Barcelona). She teaches Vocal Technique & Interpretation at the New Conservatory of Thessaloniki and the Kavala Municipal Conservatory.
Greek-Armenian flutist Nevart-Veron Galileas is an artist enjoying an international career as soloist, chamber musician, recitalist and pedagogue. Having performed in countries such as Austria, Armenia, Cyprus, France, Greece, Rumania, Japan, and the USA reviews have emphasized on her «musicality, lyricism and tone quality».
Dr. Galileas has performed and given master classes at international music festivals and institutions such as : «Renaissance» International Festival (Gyumri-Armenia 2014), West Texas A & M University (Canyon-Texas 2013), International Chamber Music Festival of the T.C.H. Organisation (Greece, 2013), Odysseia Symposium (Atlanta-Georgia 2010, 2011, 2012), 13th International Festival of Kavala «Y.A. Papaioannou» (Greece 2012), Georgia State University (Atlanta 2010, 2011, 2012), Etchings Festival of Contemporary Music (France 2011), Rutgers University (New Jersey 2010), Kutztown University (Pennsylvania 2010), Dimitria Festival (Greece 1999, 2003, 2007, 2010, 2014), Nafplion Festival (Greece 2009), Rhodes Festival (Greece 2009) and the Summer Music Academy in Athitos (Greece 2007, 2008).She has appeared as soloist with the Bohuslav Martinu Philharmonic (Czech Republic), the Brasov Symphony Orchestra (Rumania), the Ploesti Philharmonic Orchestra (Rumania), the Orchestra Citta di Grosetto (Italy), the Symphony of the Americas (Florida, USA), the Amarillo Virtuosi Chamber Players (Amarillo, Texas), the State Orchestra of Thessaloniki and the City Orchestra of Thessaloniki (Greece). She has also appeared as guest artist with the Cadence Ensemble (Armenia), the neoPhonia New Music Ensemble (Atlanta, USA) and the ECCE (East Coast Contemporary Ensemble, USA). Throughout her career Nevart-Veron has collaborated with distinguished artists such as: Thomas Robertello, Michael Palmer, Christos Galileas, Timothy Hester, Ilarion Ionescu Galati, James Brooks-Bruzzese, Maria Asteriadou, Brandt Fredriksen, Byron Fidetzis and Yiannis Tsitselikis. She has recorded for EBU (European Broadcast Union), Euroradio and her performances have been broadcasted on BBC and PBS. She has also recorded with the neoPhonia New Music Ensemble on Albany Records a CD featuring the works of Theodore Antoniou, Nickitas Demos, George Tsontakis and Christos Samaras. In 2013 and 2014 Dr. Galileas served as a member of the woodwind jury committee of the «Renaissance» International Festival in Gyumri (Armenia) and in the 2014-2015 season she was a juror for the apexart art organization of New York. She is a graduate of the Oberlin Conservatory where she studied with the renowned flutist Michel Debost and Kathleen Chastain receiving the Bachelor of Music degree in 2001. She continued at Indiana University-Bloomington where she studied with Kathryn Lukas receiving the Master of Music degree in 2004 and was appointed the teaching assistant of flute position. In 2006 she received the Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the State University of New York at Stony Brook where she studied with Carol Wincenc. Nevart-Veron plays on a 14-carat gold flute built for her by David Straubinger.
Hailed by many critics as a «genuine virtuoso», «an incredible mixture of dazzling virtuosity and immaculate musicianship», «an artist of rare originality and utmost integrity», Christos Galileas has enjoyed an international career as a concert violinist, chamber musician, and teacher. Christos Galileas was born in Thessaloniki, Greece. He took his first violin lessons at the age of four with his father Kosmas Galileas, the distinguished Greek violinist and conductor, and continued studying with Professor Stelios Kafantaris. He was awarded first prize and the gold metal for his outstanding musical abilities upon graduating from the Conservatory of Athens in 1994. While still a student he began an active career with international solo appearances and individual recitals. His first public appearance at age sixteen was with the Symphony Orchestra of Thessaloniki with an impressive performance of the Paganini violin concerto no 1. From 1994 to 1995, he studied with Zachar Bron in Lubeck Germany. He continued his studies with the renowned professors Roland and Almita Vamos at the Oberlin Conservatory where he received the «Dean’ s Talent Award» and got his B.M. degree. In 1995 he won the first prize at the «National Competition for Scholarships» of Greece, and two years later he was awarded the «Alexandra Triandi» scholarship of the «Megaron» of Athens. Since then he has appeared as soloist with many orchestras including the Berlin Symphony, the Bohuslav Martinu Orchestra, the State Orchestra of Athens, the National Radio Orchestra of Greece, the Prague Symphony, the State Orchestra of Thessaloniki, the Philharmonic Orchestra of Armenia, the Canadian Chamber Orchestra of Toronto, the Symphony of the Americas (Fort Lauderdale Florida), the Ploesti and Baccau Symphony Orchestras (Romania), the «Prague Virtuosi», the Orchestra Citta di Grosseto (Italy), the Symphony Orchestra of Sofia (Bulgaria), the Lisbon Chamber Orchestra (Portugal), the Latvian National Orchestra, the «Camerata Stuttgart» (Germany), and the Gustav Mahler Orchestra (Prague). He has made appearances at the International Festivals of «Nafplio» (1993, 2001), «Dimitria» (1994, 1998, 2003, 2004), the Music Festival of Armenia (1994), the Festival «Kypria» of Cyprus (1995), «The Festival of Patra» (1998), «Heraklion Summer Art Festival» (1999), the Festival of Classical Music of Larnaca», Cyprus (2001), the festival of Catania in Sicily (2001), and the «Festival Lago di Como», Italy. He has also appeared as soloist with the Philharmonic Orchestra of the Music Academy of Vienna, as well as the «Camerata» Orchestra of «Megaron» of Athens for the opening of the International Festival in Patra. In 1997, Christos Galileas won the first prize at the Greek National Competition for violin, held by the Cultural Association «TECHNI», in collaboration with the State Orchestra of Thessaloniki and the Cultural Capital of Europe «Thessaloniki 1997». Of special significance was his collaboration with acclaimed pianist Dimitri Sgouros with whom he has played extensively since 2000. In May 2001 he received the Master’ s Degree at the Juilliard School where he studied with the distinguished Professors of violin Dorothy Delay and Naoko Tanaka. In March 2001 he had the honor of receiving the first prize in the «Kate Neal Kinley Memorial fellowship» competition of the University of Illinois.In 2002, he founded the «Hellenic Camerata», a chamber orchestra with 22 members, and had an extensive tour in North, Central and South America in many countries such as: USA, El-Salvador, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Uruguay and gave more than 35 concerts in 7 weeks. In December 2005 he received his Doctorate Degree in Violin Performance (Doctor of Musical Arts) from the State University of New York at Stony Brook. Dr. Galileas has been invited to teach violin and chamber music extensively in renowned institutions such as:: The Juilliard School, Oberlin Conservatory, University of Illinois, Northwestern University, University of North Carolina, New York University, Penn State University, University of Houston, The State Conservatory of Thessaloniki, The Athens Conservatory among others. Dr. Galileas has held important administrative positions which include: Artistic Director of the Chamber Music Series at the «Dimitria» International Festival of Thessaloniki (2003-2010), Board of Directors of the State Conservatory of Greece and State Orchestra of Thessaloniki (2014-present). Highlighted appearances included the performance of the Brahms Double Concerto with Mischa Maisky, and the collaboration with the Borodin Quartet and the George Enescu Philharmonic of Bucharest (Romania). He has appeared as a soloist at some of the world’ s most prestigious concert venues such as the Kennedy Center (Washington D.C.), Musikverein (Vienna), Gasteig (Munich), Smetana Hall (Prague), Athenaeum (Bucharest). In 2007 Christos Galileas joined the faculty at Georgia State University in Atlanta (USA). Dr. Galileas plays on a 1705 Joseph Guarneri violin.
Yannis Tsitselikis was born in Thessaloniki and graduated from the State Conservatory of Thessaloniki in 1990. His first important cello teacher was Manolis Kazabakas. He completed his studies (with scholarships from the British Council, the Onassis Foundation, and the Foundation of State Scholarships) at the Royal College of Music in London with William Pleeth, at the Eastman School of Music in the United States with Steven Doan, and at Indiana University with Janos Starker, where he earned his master of music degree in 1998. Tsitselikis gave signs of talent early in life. His career started at the age of 14, with solo recitals in Athens, Thessaloniki, and other Greek cities, as well as with recordings for the Third Program of the Greek Radio and Television. At the age of 16, he was honoured with first prize at the competition of the Graduate Association of Thessaloniki Conservatories and gave recitals organized by the Athens and Thessaloniki state orchestras. In 1989, he represented Greece in Venice in a concert organized and televised by Italian Radio Television.Tsitselikis has performed recitals in Athens, Belgrade, London, Oxford, and Houston, among other cities. He has appeared as a soloist with important orchestras in Greece as well as abroad, such as: Moscow Virtuosi Chamber Orchestra, under the direction of Vladimir Spivakov; Haydn Philharmonic Orchestra of Vienna, under the direction of Philippe Entremont; Youth Orchestra Rhineland-Palatinate, with which he toured many cities in Germany; and the Odessa Philharmonic Orchestra, under the direction of Hobart Earle.Tsitselikis is a member of the World Orchestra for Peace as one of its principal cellists and took part in the orchestra’s tours in Europe (2003), Russia (2005), and China (2007), under the direction of Valery Gergiev. In October 2004, he toured to Budapest, Singapore, and India as concertino cellist of the Maggio Musicale of Florence, under the direction of Zubin Mehta.Since November 2000, Tsitselikis has been solo cellist at the State Orchestra of Athens.In 2015 he was the assistant of Chris Rex at Georgia State University and was invited twice by J.T.Dodson to give solo performances with the Adrian symphony orchestra in Adrian and the BBSO in Detroit.He plays a 1900 Leon Bernadel cello and uses a Voirin bow bequeathed to him by the English cellist Amaryllis Fleming.
Hailed as “a true heir of the mainstream of Russian pianism, like Horowitz” (Chopin Magazine, Japan), “a keyboard phenomenon” (Fanfare Magazine), “a formidable pianist with a commanding presence and rich interpretive gifts” (American Record Guide), “a master of his art” (The Record Geijutsu Magazine, Japan), Raffi Besalyan has established an international reputation of a magnetic and passionate performer. Assistant Professor of Piano at Georgia State University, Raffi Besalyan has toured North and South America, Europe, Russia and Asia. His performances have been applauded in such prestigious venues as Carnegie Hall and Merkin Hall (New York City), Kennedy Center (Washington D.C.), and Orchestra Hall (Chicago), Moscow Conservatory’s Rachmaninoff Hall and Maly Zal (Russia), Izumi Hall and Phoenix Hall (Japan). He dazzled his audiences appearing as a soloist with many prominent orchestras, including Osaka Symphony Orchestra in Japan; Orchestra Sinfonica Del Festival Di Chioggia in Venice, Italy; Yerevan Symphony Orchestra in Armenia; Belgorod Symphony in Russia; Kharkov Symphony in Ukraine; New Jersey Festival Orchestra; and Moscow Chamber Orchestra, among others. Besalyan’s solo recitals have also been broadcast live on National Public Radio. Critics on both sides of the Atlantic have praised his performances for their virility, poetry and extraordinary technical command. Besalyan visits Japan on a yearly basis for concerts, master classes and adjudication for PTNA, Osaka International Competition and International Chopin Competition in Asia arranged by IMC Music in Tokyo and MAS management. In 2012 Besalyan established himself as an award-winning recording artist, receiving international accolades for his album “Dance, Drama, Decadence” (IMC Music, Japan). He also recorded for Koch International Classics. Besalyan recently signed with GRAMMY® Award-Winning record label Sono Luminus. His first recording for the label will be released in early 2015. A native of Yerevan, Armenia, Besalyan studied at the Tchaikovsky Special Music School for Gifted Children. He received his bachelor’s, master’s, and Doctor of Musical Arts degrees (Aspirantura) from the Yerevan Komitas State Conservatory as a student of Sergey Barseghyan. He received an additional Master of Music degree from Rowan University under Veda Zuponcic, and studied at the Manhattan School of Music with legendary American pianist Byron Janis and Sara Davis Buechner. His studies at the Moscow State Conservatory included classes with Alexei Nasedkin, Victor Merzhanov and Naum Shtarkman. Former faculty member of the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point and Rowan University in New Jersey, he has also served on the faculties of Festival Musica in Laguna in Venice, Italy, and the International Music Festival at Rowan.
Pianist Brandt Fredriksen has performed at major venues and universities throughout North America, Europe, and Asia. His debut recitals were held in Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall in New York City, Gasteig Cultural Center in Munich, Germany, and Vafopoulio Hall in Thessaloniki, Greece. In 2003 he was selected by the U.S. and China Foundation to perform recitals and concertos throughout China, a tour that included Beijing, Shenzhen, Shanghai, and Shenyang. An active chamber musician, Dr. Fredriksen is a founding and performing member of “Ensemble Respiro” in New York City. He has collaborated with members of the New York Philharmonic, Metropolitan Opera, New Hellenic String Quartet and the American String Quartet.Brandt Fredriksen is the founder and Artistic Director of Silver Bay Summer Music Festival. In recent years, the festival had expanded its international footprint to include Germany and Italy. He is also a member of the performing faculty of Three Bridges International Chamber Music Festival, Summit Music Festival, Aria International Summer Academy, and International Academy of Music in Garfagnana, Italy. Fredriksen has been heard frequently on radio and TV in the United States, Greece, and China, including live appearances on NPR, WQXR-FM with Robert Sherman, Greek national TV and Radio, and Beijing TV. CD recordings include the complete violin and piano sonatas of Johannes Brahms with violinist, Anton Miller. Odysseia: New Music from Greek and Greek-American composers including Antoniou, Demos, Tsontakis and Samaras. Vocal collaborations include The Repertoire of Paul Robeson and Jazz Hymns with operatic Bass, Kevin Maynor, and Lieder by Mozart, Schubert and Strauss with mezzo soprano Lara Nie. Additional recordings include solo piano music of Scriabin, Glinka, Ravel, Satie, Chopin, and Prokofiev for the soundtrack of the award winning film documentary “Sonia”, produced by Lucy Kostelanetz. He has also recorded chamber music composed by Nickitas Demos for the soundtrack of “A Free Bird” directed by Gregg Russell. As educator, Dr. Fredriksen has held professorships at Lawrence University, Kent State University, and Georgia State University. He has also served as piano ensemble coach for the New York International Piano Competition sponsored by The Stecher and Horowitz Foundation, which has been featured on PBS.
Brandt Fredriksen holds a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the State University of New York at Stony Brook, a Master of Music from The Juilliard School, and a Bachelor of Music from Indiana University. He has also studied in Freiburg, Germany and the Liszt Academy of Music in Budapest, Hungary. His numerous awards included the Munz Award (The Juilliard School), Irene Tintner International Competition (MI), Artists International (NY), and Lima Concerto Competition (OH). His major teachers were Mischa Kottler, Flavio Varani, Nadia Reisenberg, James Tocco, Gyorgy Sebok, Martin Canin and Ferenc Rados.
The pianist Georgios Konstantinidis was born in Thessaloniki, Greece. After graduating with honors from the Thessaloniki State Conservatory, he entered the National Conservatory in Paris in the class of Bernard Ringeissen and Jacques Rouvier (Prix d’ Excellence, Prix de Perfectionement). He also attended master classes with Paul Badura Skoda and Bruno Leonardo Gelber. In 1993 he won the first prize in the National Chamber music competition and in 1998 he won the second prize in the National Piano Competition. He has made many appearances as soloist as well as chamber music player in USA, France, Germany, Spain, Italy, Cyprus, Romania and Egypt playing among others with the famous pianist Cyprien Katsaris and the Enesco Quartet, and with such orchestras as the Philharmonia of Greensboro, the Westchester Univerisity Orchestra, the Symphonia Bucharest Orchestra and the Thessaloniki State Symphony Orchestra. He has given master classes at the Univerisity of Catania in Italy. Konstantinidis appeared in several International Festivals where his performance was highly praised by the press. Recently he found great interest in the repertory for the left hand. In April 2006, April 2008 and April 2010, he organized in collaboration with the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki and the Institute of Music Physiology and Musicians’ Medicine in Hanover, the First and Second and third International Musicians’ Medicine Congresses in Greece. Up until 2010, he was director of the State Conservatory of Thessaloniki, the only one in Greece. He is currently President of the Thessaloniki Conservatories Board of Alumni, Vice President of the Friends of the Thessaloniki State Symphony Orchestra and Vice President of the Hellenic Association for the Medicine and Sciences of Dance and the Performing Arts. He holds a degree and a master’s diploma in law.
Nickitas Demos (b.1962) holds a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Composition from the Cleveland Institute of Music and Case Western Reserve University, a Master of Music degree in composition from the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music and a Bachelor of Music degree in clarinet performance from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. His principle teachers were Donald Erb (1927-2008) and Roger Hannay (1930-2006). His music has been described as: “rich.powerful…” having “…remarkable substance…” as well as “…lively.attractive, kinetic and…intriguing” – Atlanta Journal-Constitution “…fresh and exhilarating…” – The Nashville Scene “…compelling…deeply evocative music…well worth exploring…” – Georgia Music News “ambitious…sophisticated” and “…a reflection of the current mix of styles and aesthetic postures” – The New Music Connoisseur “[Demos’] music is emotionally direct and powerful, full of tonal complexity and structural sophistication without ever running the risk of being merely clever… Demos is certainly a composer whose ears are open to many different musical idioms, but who is able to synthesize them into coherent music of a distinctive kind.” – MusicWeb International “…substantive…accessible and personal, not derived from any ‘-ism.’ ” –ArtsATL.com For current information, score samples, audio excerpts, videos, blog and much more, please visit: http://nickitasdemos.com
Lina Tonia, is a young award winning composer born in Greece, in 1985. Her work list include more than 100 compositions for orchestra, ensembles, operas and music for theatre that performed in Paris, Vienna, London, New York, Boston, Moscow, Weimar, Berlin, Edinburgh, Zagreb, Sofia, Plovdiv, Tirana, Athens and Thessaloniki. She has been awarded prizes in several national and international composition competitions for her works. Among others, she received the first prize at Jungerson International Composition Competition in Moscow (2007), the Baerenreiter Award at the 12th International Via Nova Composition Competition in Weimar (2010), the title of “New Young Artist of the Year” from the Union of Greek Critics for Music and Theatre in Athens (2010). She awarded from the Greek National Opera in Athens, for her chamber opera “The Expelled” (2012) and also at the same year from the Vienna University and Institute Kunsthaus of Muerz, for her work “Kivos” for 12 violoncellos (2012). Her solo work “Neuma” for viola awarded with the Sempre Piu Edition’s Prize in Paris (2014). Her chamber opera “Fear &(s) the Love” performed and awarded in Music Biennale of Zagreb (2015). Her 5th string quartet “ENNEA” took a premiered by the Arditti Quartet at the Konzerthaus in Mozart Saal in Wien Modern (2015) in Vienna. She has been invited as guest composer and jury member at Piano Campus International Competition and commissioned to write her piano concerto “Les Mondes Flottants” to be performed as a compulsory piece at the final round of piano competition in Cergy Pontoise (2016). Her orchestral piece “Squall” performed in Music Biennale of Zagreb by the Zagreb Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Dian Tchobanov, and performed by pianist: Srebrenka Poljak (2017). Her orchestral piece “Butterfly Effect” recorded by the Radio France Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Pierre Andre Valade in Paris (2017). She studied composition at the Department of Music in Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (2003 – 2008), with Professor Christos Samaras. She completed a PhD in Composition in Edinburgh University with distinction (2008 – 2012) under the supervision of the professor Nigel Osborne and Michael Edwards, where she was studying with a Greek National Scholarship from Union of Greek Composers (2008 – 2009) and IKY Foundation (2009 – 2011). She studied composition with Michael Jarrell at the Vienna University (2012 – 2013). She worked as a postdoctoral researcher in Music Theory & Composition with a fellowship of the Research Committee of Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (2013 - 2014). She participated in many international composition workshops in USA, UK, Germany, France. She selected to participate at Manifeste Academy for young composers at IRCAM with Toshio Hosokawa, in Paris (2017). She has been invited as guest composer and lecturer to Takefu International Music Festival in Japan (2018). She commissioned by the Appleton Boychoir to compose her piece “Morning Sea” for the 40th anniversary of the Appleton Boychoir which took place in Appleton (Wisconsin) under of direction of Kevin Meidl. Some of her works are published by Sconfinarte Editions, Sempre Piu, Aelfior Editions and Donemus Publishing House. She is founding member and artistic director of Meet the Art, artistic series of concerts and performances around Modern Art in Thessaloniki (2015 - 2016). She is teaching Composition at the University of Macedonia, Department of Music Art and Science, in Thessaloniki from September of 2016. She gives lectures and seminars around composition and contemporary music. She is a jury member at ENKOR International Music Competition from 2014.
Yiorgos Vassilandonakis’ portfolio spans across a wide range of influences and styles, venturing into chamber, vocal, orchestral, opera, film, electronic & multimedia genres. Transcending stylistic boundaries, his works are emotionally engaging and cerebral, driven by a strong dramatic and formal sense, revealing a mastery of timbre, sonority and temporal space, and a deep interest in sound itself as a physical entity. Hailed by reviewers as “…a fascinating collection of sounds, inventive performance techniques, some of which first-time events…” (San Francisco Chronicle), “…an intimate, soft poetry that consumed the audience…” (Repeat Performances), “…lingering sonorities and delicacies…” (San Francisco Classical Voice), his music is frequently presented on both sides of the Atlantic, and has been commissioned and performed among others by Southern Exposure, the New York New Music Ensemble, the San Francisco Contemporary Music Players, the Nouvel Ensemble Moderne, the Juilliard Percussion Ensemble, ALEA III, the Del Sol String Quartet, Ensemble Cairn, Meridian Arts Ensemble, Ensemble In Extensio, Empyrean Ensemble, the Athens Camerata, and the Hellenic Contemporary Ensemble, and featured in the Aspen, Ernest Bloch, Domaine Forget, Wellesley and Patras International Festivals. Awards include the 2011 Aaron Copland Prize, 1st Prize at the Mediterranean Music Center 3rd International Composition Competition, the George Ladd Prix de Paris, the Henry Mancini Award, the Eisner Prize in Music, and the Nicola di Lorenzo Prize, as well as grants and additional support from Meet-the-Composer, the American Music Center and the Ministry of Culture of France. His one-act opera Chorevoume (Dance with Me), was commissioned and staged by the Experimental Stage of the National Opera of Greece in 2008. A progressive work combining non-linear narrative and film montage techniques with virtuosic vocal writing and intricate instrumental textures, Chorevoume was enthusiastically received by both audience and critics.Yiorgos holds advanced degrees from the University of California, Berkeley, where his principal composition teachers were Edmund Campion, Richard Felciano, John Thow, Jorge Liderman and Cindy Cox. As the recipient of the George Ladd Prix de Paris, he spent two years in Paris, studying advanced composition, orchestration and electronic music with Philippe Leroux, at the École Nationale de Musique et de Danse, Erik Satie. He also studied composition with Paul Reale and Ian Krouse, as well as Film Music with the legendary Jerry Goldsmith, Paul Chihara & Don Ray. His conducting teachers were David Milnes and Jeffrey Schindler. A dedicated educator, Dr. Vassilandonakis has taught Composition and Music Theory at the University of California, Berkeley and the University of Virginia, as well as electronic music at the Centre de Création Musicale, Iannis Xenakis, in Paris, before joining the faculty at the College of Charleston in 2010, where he is now Associate Professor of Composition & Music Theory and Director of contemporary music activities, named Outstanding Faculty of the Year in 2013. He has penned essays and interviews published in the Computer Music Journal (MIT Press), and the College Reference Dictionary Musicians and Composers of the 20th Century (Salem Press), and has held composing residencies at Yaddo and at Cité Internationale Des Arts. He is featured in the prestigious New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians (Oxford University Press), and was named among the 50 most progressive people in Charleston in 2011. Also active as a conductor and proponent of contemporary music, Yiorgos is currently the curator and co-music director for the contemporary music series Magnetic South with the Charleston Symphony Orchestra, and Composer-In-Residence with the Worn Chamber Ensemble in San Francisco.