One of the most sought-after soloists and chamber music collaborators of his generation, Weiss is widely regarded as a “brilliant pianist” (The New York Times) with “powerful technique and exceptional insight” (The Washington Post). With a warmth to his playing that outwardly reflects his engaging personality, Weiss has dazzled audiences with his passionate, lush sound and performed with dozens of orchestras in North America including the Chicago Symphony, Boston Symphony, Los Angeles Philharmonic, and New York Philharmonic.
As a recitalist and chamber musician, Weiss has appeared across theUnited STates at venues and festivals including Sheldon Concert Hall, the Broad Stage, Seattle Chamber Music Festival, La Jolla Music Society SummerFest, The Schubert Club, Chamber Music Northwest, Bridgehampton Chamber Music Festival, Spivey Hall, and many more.
Weiss’s impressive list of awards includes the Classical Recording Foundation’s Young Artist of the Year, GIlmore Young Artist Award, an Avery Fisher Career Grant, the Gina Bachauer Scholarship at the Juilliard School, and the Mieczyslaw Munz Scholarship. He won the 2005 William Petschek Recital Award at Juilliard and made his New York recital debut at Alice Tully Hall that April. Also in 2005, he made his European debut in a recital at the Musee du Louvre in Paris. He was a member of Lincoln Center’s The Bowers Program (formerly CMS Two) from 2002-2004, which included his appearance in the opening concert of the Society’s 2002-2003 season Alice Tully Hall performing Ravel’s La Valse with Shai Wosner.
Bassoonist Gina Cuffari is a dynamic and versatile musician who performs a variety of roles in the New York City area as an orchestral musician, chamber musician, soloist, new music advocate, and educator. Praised for having a "sound that is by turns sensuous, lyric and fast-moving" (Palm Beach Daily News), Gina is the Co-Principal Bassoonist of the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra. For over a decade, Gina has performed and recorded throughout the USA, Europe, and Asia with this prestigious ensemble, and has been an active participant in their community engagement programs such as Access Orpheus (teaching at NYC public schools) and the Reflections program (performing for Alzheimer's patients and their caregivers). Gina is also the Associate Principal/2nd Bassoonist of the Lincoln Center-based Riverside Symphony, as well as a frequent performer with Orchestra of St. Luke's, American Composers Orchestra, Westchester Philharmonic, American Ballet Theater, Iris Orchestra in Memphis, TN, and many more. In addition, Gina has played in recent Broadway productions of Fiddler on the Roof, Sunset Boulevard, and My Fair Lady as a substitute bassoonist.
Gina's passion for chamber music has led her to collaborate with many amazing musicians and ensembles over the years. She is currently a member of the Jupiter Symphony Chamber Players and Sylvan Winds, and a founding member of Trio Cabrini, a clarinet, bassoon/voice, piano ensemble. She performs throughout New England with the Boston-based Walden Chamber Players and has had recent engagements with the Exponential Ensemble, Tertulia Ensemble, and Camerata Pacifica in Santa Barbara, California.
As an educator, Gina currently holds positions at NYU and Western CT State University where she teaches bassoon, coaches chamber music, and teaches a variety of other classes. She is a frequent guest clinician at Bard College for The Orchestra Now and has taught master classes at universities such as Yale, Auburn, and Louisiana State.
Praised for his “virtuosic,” “dazzling” and “brilliant” performances (The New York Times) and his “bold, keen sound” (The New Yorker), oboist James Austin Smith performs new and old music across the United States and around the world. Mr. Smith is an artist of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE) and Decoda, co-principal oboist of the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra and Artistic and Executive Director of Tertulia, a chamber music series that takes place in restaurants in New York and San Francisco. He is a member of the oboe and chamber music faculties of Stony Brook University and the Manhattan School of Music.
Mr. Smith’s festival appearances include Marlboro, Lucerne, Music@Menlo, Spoleto USA, Bowdoin, Bay Chamber Concerts, Macklenburg-Vorpommern and Orlando; he has performed with the St. Lawrence, Parker, Rolston and Orion string quartets and recorded for the Nonesuch, Bridge, Mode and Kairos labels.
Mr. Smith received his Master of Music degree in 2008 from the Yale School of Music and graduated in 2005 with Bachelor of Arts (Political Science) and Bachelor of Music degrees from Northwestern University. He spent a year as a Fulbright Scholar in Leipzig, Germany at the Hochschule fur Musik und Theater “Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy” and is an alumnus of Ensemble Connect, a collaboration of Carnegie Hall, The Juilliard School, The Weill Music Institute and the New York City Department of Education. Mr. Smith’s principal teachers are Stephen Taylor, Christian Wetzel, Humbert Lucarelli and Ray Still.
Hailed as “stunning and assured” by The New York Times, Atlanta native David Byrd-Marrow is the Solo hornist of the International Contemporary Ensemble, as well as a member of The Knights. Working with a uniquely wide range of performers, he has premiered works by Anna Webber, Arthur Kampela, George Lewis, Tyshawn Sorey, Anna Thorvaldsdottir, Du Yun, Marcos Balter, Eric Wubbels, Jörg Widmann, Miguel Zenón, and Chick Corea.
David has performed at festivals including the Ojai Music Festival, the Spoleto Music Festival, the Mostly Mozart Festival, the Tanglewood Music Center, Summerfest! at the La Jolla Music Society and as faculty at the Festival Napa Valley. Formerly a member of Carnegie Hall’s Ensemble Connect, he has also made appearances with the New York Philharmonic, the Cleveland Orchestra, the Atlanta, Seattle and Tokyo symphony orchestras, the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, the Mostly Mozart Festival Orchestra, the Washington National Opera, the Metropolitan Opera and the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center. He has recorded on many labels including Tundra, More Is More, Nonesuch, EMI, Deutsche Grammophon, and Naxos.
Mr. Byrd-Marrow received his Bachelor of Music degree from The Juilliard School and Master of Music from Stony Brook University. He is the Assistant Professor of Horn at the Lamont School of Music, of The University of Denver.
Clarinetist Jose Franch-Ballester is a captivating performer of “poetic eloquence” (The New York Sun) and “technical wizardry” (The New York Times). He plays regularly at the Bridgehampton Chamber Music Festival, Chamber Music Northwest, the Saratoga Chamber Music Festival, the Skaneateles Festival, Camerata Pacifica, and Music from Angel Fire. He has also appeared at the Usedomer Musikfestival in Germany, the Verbier Festival in Switzerland, the Cartagena Festival Internacional de Música in Colombia, and the Young Concert Artists Festival in Tokyo, Japan. As a soloist, he has appeared with the Orchestra of St. Luke’s, the BBC Concert Orchestra, the Santa Barbara Orchestra, and numerous Spanish orchestras.
Winner of the 2004 Young Concert Artists International Auditions, he was presented in debut recitals in New York and in Washington, DC at the Kennedy Center. In 2008, he won a coveted Avery Fisher Career Grant. He was awarded the Cannes’ Midem Prize, which aims to introduce artists to the classical recording industry. With the Chamber Music Society, he has recorded Bartók’s Contrasts on the Deutsche Grammophon label. Born in Moncofa, Spain into a family of clarinetists and Zarzuela singers, Mr. Franch-Ballester graduated from the Joaquin Rodrigo Music Conservatory. He earned a bachelor’s degree from The Curtis Institute of Music, where he studied with Donald Montanaro and Pamela Frank.
Mozart: Quintet in E-flat major for Piano and Winds, K. 452
Beethoven: Quintet in E-flat for Piano and Winds, Op. 16
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