GUEST ARTISTS

Quarteto Nuevo

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Quarteto Nuevo merges western classical, eastern European folk, Latin and jazz with an organic feel that packs a wallop! Their diverse programs can be tailored to fit anywhere, from an intimate chamber music venue to a large outdoor festival. The ensemble’s razor-sharp precision is enhanced by jazzy interludes, lightly rumbling percussion motifs and mesmerizing rhythms. They effectively meld the music of ancient worlds and faraway places with a contemporary groove that enchants audiences of all ages!

Winners of the Beverly Hills National Auditions, Quarteto’s master musicians create emotionally-charged soundscapes with instruments and sensibilities that represent very different world cultures. Their unique instrumentation – soprano saxophone/alto flute (Damon Zick), cello (Jacob Szekely), guitar (Kenton Youngstrom) and hand percussion (Felipe Fraga) – richly colors their wide-ranging repertoire, from Heitor Villa-Lobos' "Bachianas Brasileiras" and Chick Corea’s “Children's Song No. 6" to Traditional Macedonian “Gadjarsko” and original works “Hector, Desmond and Titus”, “Rain Song” and “Dizer O Que”.

Neal Stulberg

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NEAL STULBERG has conducted many of the world’s leading orchestras, including the Philadelphia Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Atlanta, Houston, Saint Louis and San Francisco Symphonies, Netherlands Radio Symphony, West German Radio Orchestra, Hong Kong Philharmonic, St. Petersburg Symphony Orchestra and Moscow Chamber Orchestra. He has appeared as opera and ballet conductor with New York City, San Francisco and Netherlands Ballets, Long Beach Opera, Norwegian National Ballet and Hollands Diep Opera Company. His performances of Mozart concertos conducted from the keyboard are uniformly praised for their buoyant virtuosity. For West German Radio, he has recorded orchestral and solo piano works of Lazare Saminsky, Alexander Veprik and Mikhail Gnessin.

Formerly assistant conductor of the Los Angeles Philharmonic under Carlo Maria Giulini and music director of the New Mexico Symphony Orchestra, he is a recipient of the Seaver/National Endowment for the Arts Conductors Award, America's most coveted conducting prize.

A native of Detroit, Mr. Stulberg is a graduate of Harvard College, the University of Michigan, the Juilliard School and the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia in Rome. Since 2005, he has served as professor and director of orchestral studies at the UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music.

Thomas Loewenheim

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Thomas Loewenheim is a modern renaissance man: a unique musician who enjoys an international career, combining cello performance, conducting, and teaching at the highest levels.  He has toured North America, Europe, the Middle East, and the Far East, performing with orchestras, giving recitals, and playing chamber music, and has been broadcast over the national radio networks in Austria, Canada, Israel, and the United States.

 

Loewenheim is currently Professor of Cello and Director of Orchestras at the California State University, Fresno, and the Music Director and conductor of the Youth Orchestras of Fresno.  Recently he received the Fresno State Provost's Award for Excellence in Teaching (2016), the California Music Educators Association John Swain College/University Educator Award (2015), the Ella Odorfer Educator of the Year Horizon Award from the Fresno Arts Council (2012), the Fresno State Provost's Award for Promising New Faculty (2011), and Special Recognition from the Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi for his service to the university and the community (2011).  Previously he taught at the Indiana University String Academy and the Memorial University of Newfoundland (MUN), and served as music director and conductor of the Musical Arts Youth Orchestra (MAYO) in south-central Indiana.

 

As a conductor, Loewenheim has earned a reputation for getting the most out of any orchestra, whether coming in for a single performance or festival week, as at the Hong Kong International School Choral and Orchestra Festival, or building an orchestra over a period of years, as at MUN or for MAYO.  He founded the iMAYO festival in Bloomington, Indiana, and was a co-founder of the international Tuckamore chamber music festival in St. John’s, Newfoundland.

 

Through his own performing, working with some of the great musicians of our day, and his cumulative experience as a teacher, Loewenheim has synthesized an approach to teaching and conducting which produces a technical confidence that rapidly enables music-making at a sophisticated level.  He is currently demonstrating this approach in his master classes around the world.

 

Loewenheim is also an active researcher, who has been rediscovering lost masterpieces, then performing and editing them.  He has been the dedicatee of a number of cello works, most unaccompanied.

 

Loewenheim earned a doctorate in cello performance from the renowned Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University, where he studied with Janos Starker and Tsuyoshi Tsutsumi, and was mentored in conducting by David Effron.  He received a master’s degree from the University of Michigan under Erling Blöndal Bengtsson and a bachelor’s degree from the Rubin Academy for Music and Dance in Jerusalem.  He also took part in master classes with Yo-Yo Ma, Mischa Maisky, Antonio Meneses, Arto Noras, Aldo Parisot, William Pleeth, and Menahem Pressler, among others.  He plays a Jean Baptiste Vuillaume cello, made in 1848.

Adam Golka

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Polish-American pianist Adam Golka (born 1987) first performed all of Beethoven's Piano Sonatas when he was 18 years-old, and he considers the 32 masterpieces to have been his saving grace during the Covid crisis. "The reason I can't stay away from Beethoven is that he put himself through absolute hell in an attempt to marry the rawest expressions of his subconscious to the unattainable ideals of his mind. No other composer before or since has been willing to explore this internal warfare as deeply as he did, and I constantly feel that I'll somehow redeem myself by surrendering to the fight which is at the core of performing his works." 

 

In 2020-2021, Adam Golka performed the eleven-hour cycle of Beethoven's Sonatas five times in its entirety, three times for socially distanced audiences at the Bach Festival Society of Winter Park (Florida), once the Archway Gallery in Houston, and also a live-streamed cycle at the Saint Thomas Church Fifth Avenue (NYC), with a growing live audience as the year-long series proceeded. Adam's performances were complemented by 32 short films he created, known as 32@32 (available on YouTube), documenting his preparation for climbing the Everest of piano literature and featuring an amalgam of distinguished guests, from astrophysicists to Alfred Brendel. First Hand Records in London has released his "Beethoven Piano Sonatas Vol. 1" in 2020, recorded at the Tippet Rise Art Center in Montana. "Adam Golka plays [Sonatas op. 10] with a certain brio, fiery, very free. After all, Beethoven dares in them fantasies, embellishments, cadenzas that the pianist seizes with a sense of improvisation, variations of mood, which never make you forget the simple beauty of his touch, the obviousness of his speech." Artamag (France) 

 

As public events in the United States re-opened, Adam was engaged by the Buffalo Philharmonic and Asheville Symphonies to film works by Bach, Mozart, Clara Schumann, Robert Schumann, Saint-Saëns, Brahms, Rachmaninoff, and Shostakovich for online release. He has also recorded a recital for the Chelsea Music Festival at High Line Nine, and he performed for live audiences at Chamber Music Sedona, as well as a series of recitals with cellist Jonathan Swensen, including the Morgan Library in NYC. 

 

In 2021-2022, Adam plays Beethoven's Emperor with the California Symphony and he tours with a recital featuring Beethoven's Les Adieux, Liszt's Sonata, Grażyna Bacewicz's Piano Sonata No. 2, as well as etudes by Nicolai Kapustin and his own Relevant Etude (2021), including stops at the PianoTexas International Festival, Minnesota Beethoven Festival, and Brattleboro Music Center. He also joins violinist Itamar Zorman for recitals at Wigmore Hall in London and the Israel Conservatory in Tel-Aviv, pianist Yannick Rafalimanana for a two-piano recital at Kammermusik-Verein Halberstadt (Germany), and a two-week residency at the Krzyżowa-Music Festival (Poland). 

 

Adam Golka is deeply indebted to his two main teachers, José Feghali, with whom he studied at Texas Christian University, and Leon Fleisher, with whom he worked as part of the Artist Diploma program at the Peabody Conservatory. Since finishing his formal studies, Adam has continued to develop his artistry through mentorship from his favorite artists: Alfred Brendel, Richard Goode, Murray Perahia, Ferenc Rados, and András Schiff, who invited Adam to give recitals at the Klavier-Festival Ruhr and Tonhalle Zürich for the "Sir András Schiff Selects" concert series. 

 

As a concerto soloist, he has appeared with dozens of orchestras, including the BBC Scottish Symphony, NACO (Ottawa), Warsaw Philarhmonic, Shanghai Philharmonic, as well as the San Francisco, Atlanta, Houston, Dallas, Milwaukee, Indianapolis, New Jersey, and San Diego symphonies. Adam has enjoyed collaborations with conductors such as Donald Runnicles, Pinchas Zukerman, Mark Wigglesworth, Joseph Swensen, and countless concerto appearences with his brother, Tomasz Golka. Adam gave his Carnegie Stern Auditorium début in 2010 with the New York Youth Symphony and his New York recital début at Alice Tully Hall, presented by the Musicians Emergency Fund. 

 

Adam's professional life began when he was awarded the first prize and audience prize at the 2nd China Shanghai International Piano Competition. In 2009, he won the Max I. Allen Fellowship from American Pianists Association. As a pedagogue, he acted as Artist-in-Residence for six schoolyears at the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts. Adam has recorded works by Beethoven, Schumann, and Brahms for First Hand Records and he has premiered works composed for him by Richard Danielpour, Michael Brown, and Jarosław Gołębiowski. 

Anna Kostyuchek

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Violinist Anna Kostyuchek has appeared as soloist, chamber musician, and orchestral player throughout the United States, South America, and Europe.

 

She has been a member of the Philharmonie der Nationen under Justus Frantz and the Stuttgart Bach Academy under Helmuth Rilling, where she served as Associate Concertmaster and Principal Second Violin, and with whom she performed in the greatest concert halls of South America and Europe, including the Berlin Philharmonie, Amsterdam Concertgebouw, the Kultur- und Kongresszentrum Luzern, and the Teatro del Lago in Frutillar, Chile. As an orchestral musician she has performed under the batons of such renowned conductors as Michael Tilson Thomas, John Williams, George Mester, Grant Gershon, and David Newman.

 

As a recording artist she has recorded for numerous television and motion picture soundtracks, including Star Trek, Dexter, Fear Factor, Grey’s Anatomy, Survivor, Batman Returns, American Idol, The Voice, Dancing with the Stars, and had an onscreen role in the TV shows The Big Bang Theory and Shooter. Anna has also appeared in concert with Barbra Streisand, Andrea Bocelli, Tony Bennett, Burt Bacharach, Stevie Wonder, Black Eyed Peas, and Harry Connick, Jr.

 

As soloist, she has appeared with the Mozart Classical Orchestra and Santa Cecilia Orchestra. She is a member of the Los Angeles Master Chorale Orchestra, Santa Barbara Opera Orchestra, and is Associate Concertmaster of Riverside Philharmonic.

Jonah Sirota

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Violist, composer, and producer Jonah Sirota is a new breed of multi-talented musician. Equally at home performing as a soloist and chamber musician, writing concert music, and scoring and recording music for TV, film, and video games, Jonah creates and recreates vivid music for a wide variety of audiences. Since his solo Lincoln Center debut at the age of 17 with conductor Alan Gilbert, Jonah has been charming audiences and winning accolades, including a top prize at the Naumburg Viola Competition, a 2012 Grammy nomination with the Chiara Quartet (of which he was a founding member), and a 2019 Plains-region Emmy nomination for his original soundtrack to the public television documentary Return of the American Bison.

 

Since moving to the Los Angeles area, he has been performing in collaboration with many chamber music groups, including the newly-revived California String Quartet. He is sought after as a session player and regularly plays with major orchestras, including the Long Beach Symphony, where he is Assistant Principal Viola. As an educator, Jonah coaches chamber music at the Colburn School, teaches viola at Cal State University Fullerton and the Greenwood Music Camp, and gives viola and composition masterclasses and residencies across the country. He resides in South Pasadena, CA.

Laszlo Mezo

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Born in Budapest, Hungary, Laszlo Mezo gained national recognition as one of the top musicians of his generation when he won First Prize in the “Kertész Ottó Memorial Competition” at the young age of 18. Since then, he has won numerous other competitions which have brought him international recognition including the Fourth Prize in the “Antonio Janigro Junior International Competition” in 1998, Second Prize in the “International Dávid Popper Competition for Young Cellists” in 2000, the Special Prize in the “International Dávid Popper Cello Competition” in 2004, and First Prize in the “Ima Hogg International Competition” in 2008.

Mr. Mezo has forged a career as a soloist, recitalist, master teacher, and chamber musician. He has performed extensively in Europe, Asia, and North and South America. Always eager to pass on his knowledge, Laszlo has conducted master classes in Japan, Brazil, Italy, Switzerland, Hungary, and the United States. Mr. Mezo is currently an adjunct professor in cello at Chapman University and Saddleback College in California, and he was Assistant Teacher at the University of Southern California between 2007 and 2008.

As a soloist, Mr. Mezo has performed with maestros Ádám Fischer, Thomas Wilkins, Grant Llewellyn, Zsolt Hamar. As a chamber musician, he has collaborated in recitals with pianists Kevin Fitz-Gerald, Steven Vanhauwaert, Gábor Farkas, Márta Gulyás, Piotr Folkert, and Balázs Szokolay, violinist Kristóf Baráti, cellist Philipp Muller, and the Bartók Quartet. He has also played under the direction of Zubin Mehta and Kent Nagano as a member of the Bayerische Staatsorchester in Munich, Germany.

Mr. Mezo holds two master's degrees from the Liszt Ferenc University of Music in Budapest and the Hochschule für Musik und Theater München. He graduated from the class of Ralph Kirshbaum at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. Mr. Mezo has also participated in the master classes of Uzi Wiesel, Josef Podhoransky, Othmar Müller, Philippe Müller, Rainer Zipperling, Fenyves Lóránd, Wolfgang Boettcher, and Aldo Parisot.

Currently residing in Los Angeles, California, Mr. Mezo is a member of the Pacific Symphony Orchestra. He is a sought after soloist, and an active studio musician in Hollywood. He has played in many film scores, some most updated blockbusters include Ice Age, Life of Pi, Wolverine, and The Lone Ranger.

His first CD recording of Dávid Popper’s works, on the Hungaroton label, includes several first time ever recordings of the master’s cello works. He recently finished his second CD, “Made in Paris,” with romantic cello pieces from the 19th century also featuring world premiere works by cellist-composer Daniel Van Goens, and pieces from the Suite Populaire Espagnole by Manuel De Falla.