19 concerts of Latin American Chamber Music in Los Angeles, Riverside, San Diego, and across Southern California.
Celebrating 130 years of Villa-Lobos and 85 years of Lalo Schifrin.
19 concerts of Latin American Chamber Music in Los Angeles, Riverside, San Diego, and across Southern California.
Celebrating 130 years of Villa-Lobos and 85 years of Lalo Schifrin.
American cellist Lars Hoefs, professor of cello and music history at Sao Paulo State University in Campinas, Brazil, performs and teaches in South America, the United States, and Europe. 2017 included concerts and courses in Chile, France, Poland (Paderewski Cultural Exchange Program), Germany (Neuburger Sommerakademie) and Spain (Scandinavian Cello School Camp), as well as solo appearances with Brazilian orchestras. He recently published a feature article in The Strad magazine about the history of the cello ensemble.
Lars has established himself as a leading expert on the cello repertoire of Brazilian composer Heitor Villa-Lobos and was the first cellist to perform together in one program the complete works for cello and orchestra by Villa-Lobos. Lars is artistic director of the annual Villa-Lobos International Chamber Music Festival in Southern California, the only festival dedicated to Latin American chamber music in the United States. Lars also actively promotes contemporary Brazilian music, premiering and recording works by composers Liduino Pitombeira, Joao Guilherme Ripper, Paulo Costa Lima, and Paulo C. Chagas among others.
As soloist in Brazil, in recent years Lars has performed concerti by Haydn, Schumann, Saint-Saens, Lalo, Tchaikovsky, Dvorak, Elgar, and Villa-Lobos with orchestras throughout the country, including the Amazonas Filarmonica in Manaus and the youth orchestra NEOJIBA in Salvador. Notably Lars gave the South American premiere of Korngold’s Cello Concerto as well as performing the title role in Richard Strauss’ Don Quixote with the Orquestra Sinfonica Municipal of Campinas. Lars is a frequent guest at the Rio International Cello Encounters and the Festival Virtuosi in Recife, and in 2009, Lars spent the year as co-principal cellist of the Orquestra Sinfonica Brasileira in Rio de Janeiro under conductor Roberto Minczuk.
Originally from Appleton, Wisconsin, Lars earned his high school diploma at the North Carolina School of the Arts, a Bachelors from Northwestern University studying with Hans Jorgen Jensen, and both Masters and Doctorate degrees from the University of Southern California in Los Angeles where he studied with former Los Angeles Philharmonic principal cellist Ronald Leonard. At Sao Paulo State University in Campinas, Lars founded and leads the Unicamp Cello Ensemble, a conductorless cello orchestra consisting of his current and former cello students. The Unicamp Cello Ensemble has performed at Brazil’s most prestigious festivals and concert halls including the Campos do Jordao Winter Music Festival, the Rio International Cello Encounters, and the Sao Paulo Cultural Center to name a few. In 2016 they recorded a CD of world premiere recordings, featuring Lalo Schifrin’s Divertimento, and toured throughout the state of Sao Paulo. In 2017, Lars began music director of the Oficina de Cordas, a string orchestra in Campinas, and led the group on a tour to Germany culminating in a performance at the Gasteig in Munich.
Brazilian violinist Cármelo de los Santos was the first prizewinner of the IV “Júlio Cardona” International Competition, held in Covilhã, Portugal, in 2003. He also received the special prize for the best interpretation of the required Portuguese work.
In 2002 Cármelo performed at the prestigious Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall with the ARCO Chamber Orchestra, both as a soloist and conductor.
Cármelo won the first prize at the Music Teachers National Association Collegiate Artist Competition in Cincinnati, Ohio. He came into prominence in 1993 when he won Brazil’s most prestigious music competition, the “VII Eldorado Prize”, São Paulo. Since then he has appeared as a soloist and as a recital player with major orchestras in Brazil and South America, in the most important halls. Other prizes include the second prize in the “VII Young Artist International Competition” (1991), Argentina, and first prize in the “I Young Talents of MEC Radio Competition” (1996), in Rio de Janeiro.
He has recorded many programs for radio and television in Brazil. In 1994 he made a CD under the Eldorado Radio label which featured Brazilian and other composers of the twentieth century.
Cármelo began his violin studies at the age of nine. He graduated from Rio Grande do Sul Federal University, Brazil, where he worked with Fredi Gerling and Marcello Guerchfeld, and came to America in 1997 to study in New York at the Manhattan School of Music with Sylvia Rosenberg. He holds a doctoral degree from the University of Georgia, having studied there under the Russian violinist Levon Ambartsumian. He is currently Associate Professor of violin at the University of New Mexico, Albuquerque.
With a passion for Latin American and Spanish repertoire, emerging Spanish-American soprano, Elisa Ruiz, brings the flavor of her Spanish roots to her intense and captivating performances.
Ms. Ruiz received her Masters in Vocal Arts and Opera from the Thornton School of Music in 2014. While at USC, her versatile voice led her to perform a wide range of styles encompassing Spanish zarzuela, chamber music, concert repertoire, art song and opera. She received her Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance from Western Michigan University where she performed and recorded Claudio Monteverdi's masterpiece, Vespers of the Blessed Virgin 1610 in collaboration with Grammy-nominated choral ensemble “Seraphic Fire.” The #1 itunes rated recording was followed by an international tour to Mexico City, where she performed in Mexico’s premier venues including the Catedral Metropolitana de Mexico and the Palacio de Bellas Artes.
Currently residing in Los Angeles, she works to expand her repertoire and further explore her gift as a singer. She has studied voice with internationally acclaimed teachers such as Claudine Carlson, Vladimir Chernov, Olga Toporkova, Elizabeth Hynes and acting with Debra DeLiso.
The Unicamp Cello Ensemble consists of Sao Paulo State University cello professor Lars Hoefs and his current and recently graduated cello students. Formed in 2013, the conductorless orchestra of cellos is led by Lars and specializes in the music of Villa-Lobos. In just a few years they have established themselves as the most active and in-demand cello ensemble in Brazil, performing at the Rio International Cello Encounters, the International Winter Festival in Campos do Jordao, and the Sao Paulo Cultural Center, to name a few. They were recently featured in The Strad magazine (UK), and on Sao Paulo's classical radio station, Cultura FM. In 2016, they recorded the album "Cellos Without Borders", a CD of world premiere recordings including Lalo Schifrin's Divertimento.
The cellists travelling to California with Lars include: Leonardo Castilho, Bianca de Souza, Leonardo Borges, Ana Clara Alves, Gabriel Falcade, Pedro Bortolin, and Bruno Belluco.
“What a huge surprise...this orchestra of cellos that Lars put together is incredible...it’s a miracle.” – composer Edmundo Villani-Cortes
Brazilian pianist Rafael Liebich has earned degrees from the State University of Campinas, the Federal University of the Rio Grande do Sul State, and a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the USC Thornton School of Music, in the studio of Dr. Stewart Gordon. Beyond performing with various ensembles and concert series throughout California, Dr. Liebich teaches at University of La Verne (where he is also Artist-In-Residence), El Camino College, and Neighborhood Music School in Boyle Heights. He is a strong advocate of contemporary music, working as assistant director to “People Inside Electronics” concert series. Highlights of his career include a series of workshops with musicians of the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, a presentation at the International Society of Music Education world conference in Beijing, and a publication on music interpretation and aesthetics for a journal in Brazil. From USC Thornton School of Music he received honors such as the Keyboard Ensemble Award, the Keyboard Studies Department Award, as well as induction into the Pi Kappa Lambda National Music Honors Society. When time allows, Rafael likes to create and cook elaborate meals for his close friends. He also enjoys taking care of his three rescued orchids, the oldest of which has been with him in his apartment for 6 years.
Michael Gratovich is an active guitarist and music educator based in Los Angeles. In 2016, he was invited to join the USC Thornton Opera in their Fall production of Osvaldo Golijov’s flamenco-inspired opera, Ainadamar. He has also been an invited artist of the USC Thornton Orchestra, the Colburn Orchestra, the Austin Symphony Orchestra, and the GRAMMY-winning vocal ensemble Conspirare, with whom he recorded an album of new music on the Harmonia Mundi label. The album, “Pablo Neruda: The Poet Sings,” received a 2016 GRAMMY nomination for best choral performance. Michael has been invited to present solo recitals by Austin Classical Guitar and the Philadelphia Guitar Society, and presented two programs of solo and chamber music by Latin American composers in the third annual Villa-Lobos International Chamber Music Festival in Los Angeles in 2017, and will return to the festival for performances in 2018.
Michael is a prizewinner in several competitions, including first prizes in the 2014 Philadelphia Classical Guitar Competition and the 2014 Pacific Guitar Festival in Los Angeles, as well as second prize in the 2013 ASTA-LA Classical Guitar Competition and first prize in the 2011 Classical Minds Guitar Institute and International Competition in Houston, Texas. His chamber ensemble, Sunset Club Trio, was a winner of the 2016 Beverley Hills National Auditions resulting in concert engagements throughout Southern California in 2017.
Michael Gratovich began playing classical guitar in Austin, Texas, when he was eight years old. After many years of study with Dr. Matthew Hinsley, executive director of Austin Classical Guitar, Michael continued his musical education at The University of Texas at Austin, earning his Bachelor’s degree with legendary American classical guitarist, Adam Holzman. In 2014 Michael earned the degree of Master of Music from the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, where he is currently engaged in Doctoral studies with a Teaching Assistantship award. Michael studies guitar performance with Scott Tennant and William Kanengiser (both founding members of the Los Angeles Guitar Quartet), Maestro Pepe Romero, and flamenco guitarist Adam del Monte.
Brazilian pianist Nathália Kato discovered her vocation in collaborative piano at a very early age and has been dedicated to this specialized skill ever since. She received her Bachelor of Music from Pará State University (Brazil) studying with Glória Caputo, and her Master of Music degrees from Campinas State University here she studied with Mauricy Martin and Ricardo Ballestero.
Ms. Kato attended piano and chamber music master classes with several important musicians such as Wenzel Fuchs, Rita Sloan, and Martin Katz. She has worked as a staff pianist in many important music festivals in Brazil. Ms. Kato has immense experience in orchestral and operatic activities, and has worked with such renowned conductors as Marin Alsop and Steven Mercurio. Her repertoire list includes numerous vocal works, including many complete operas such as Rossini’s La Cenerentola, Strauss’s Ariadne auf Naxos, Britten’s The Turn of the Screw, and Poulenc’s Dialogues des Carmélites.
In December of 2010, Ms. Kato performed with clarinetist Herson Amorim in Portugal; the recital was promoted by the Embassy of Brazil in Lisbon, and it was entirely dedicated to Brazilian repertoire. In the summer of 2015, Ms. Kato performed with clarinetists Cristiano Alves and Whatson Cardozo at ClarinetFest in Madrid, where they presented Brazilian repertoire to the Spanish audience. This past summer, Ms. Kato was also awarded a full scholarship to attend the prestigious Aspen Music Festival, studying with Andrew Harley.
Currently, Ms. Kato is pursuing her DMA degree in Collaborative Piano from the University of Colorado Boulder, where she just finished her second Master of Music degree. Ms. Kato studies with Margaret McDonald and Alexandra Nguyen, and holds a teaching assistantship for which she is one of the rehearsal pianists and coaches for the Eklund Opera Program working with maestro Nicholas Carthy.
Armen Anassian holds Master's Degrees in Instrumental Conducting and Violin Performance, and studied in the United States, Armenia, and Germany. His teachers include Rainer Kussmaul, Sidney Weiss, Dorothy DeLay, and conductor Michael Zearott. Mr. Anassian has held Conducting and/or Concertmaster positions with such noted groups as the Hoboken Chamber Orchestra, Freiburg Chamber Orchestra, Heidelberg Chamber Orchestra and the Zelt Musik Festival Orchestra. In Los Angeles he has been Concertmaster/Guest Concertmaster with Pacific Symphony, Santa Barbara Symphony, California Philharmonic, Pasadena Pops, Burbank Symphony, Riverside Philharmonic, Inland Empire Symphony, Long Beach Symphony, Glendale Symphony, Symphony in the Glen and the Los Angeles Opera.
Mr. Anassian has performed hundreds of concerts in France, England, Belgium, Spain, Italy, Switzerland, China, India, Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea, Japan, Australia, Canada, Mexico, and all over the United States. He was invited to perform the Khachaturian Violin Concerto in Armenia with the Armenian National Philharmonic. Locally, Mr. Anassian has been featured as soloist with the California Philharmonic, Glendale Symphony, Pasadena Pops, Riverside Philharmonic, Burbank Symphony, Munich Andechs Philharmonic, Timisoara Philharmonic in Romania, Armenian Philharmonic in Concertos by Brahms, Tchaikovski, Khachaturian, Prokofieff (1&2), Shostakovich (1&2), Bartok 2, Stravinsky, etc. In the summer of 2009, as well as 2015, Mr. Anassian was a featured soloist at Disney Hall performing the Korngold Concerto.
He is scheduled to perform Berg Concerto in Bucharest, Timisoara and Sibiu in April 2018.
Currently, Mr. Anassian is an avid researcher/ performer of 20th century Concertos and a recitalist, performing with his long time collaborator Mark Robson. He is also a violinist with the Los Angeles Opera where he has also served as guest Concertmaster under the direction of James Conlon. He has collaborated with Placido Domingo, Esa Pekka Salonen, Luciano Pavarotti, Valery Gergiev, Gustavo Dudamel, etc. He also records in the recording and film industries with composers such as John Williams, James Horner, Hans Zimmer, James Newton Howard, Alan Silvestry, Randy Newman, Danny Elfman, John Debny, Lalo Shiffrin, Howard Shore, Alexander Desplat, Michael Giacchino among many others.
Mr. Anassian lives in Burbank with his wife Erlinda and five children where he runs the trails of Griffith Park in preparation for Marathons. To date he’s run over 140 Marathons.
Mark Robson has been hailed by the Los Angeles Times as a performer with a “monster technique”, “an inquiring mind” and a pianist for whom everything he “touched sparkled”; he continues to impress with his multi-faceted career as a soloist, chamber musician and teacher. Mr. Robson is equally comfortable in styles ranging from early music that he performs on the harpsichord and organ to the great Romantic repertoire and beyond to contemporary piano works demanding theatrical participation from the performer. He is also a highly respected collaborative artist with singers and instrumentalists. As a founding member of the Los Angeles-based series Piano Spheres, he presents recitals devoted to new and rarely played music and has frequently played on the Jacaranda series in Santa Monica, CA. In his capacity as an organist he has played at Disney Hall on the Green Umbrella series and in the ‘Minimalist Jukebox’, as well as assuming the organ part for Mahler’s 8th Symphony at the Hollywood Bowl.
After completing conservatory and university training, Mr. Robson amplified his musical studies by studying in Paris where he was a pupil of Yvonne Loriod and subsequently Alain Motard. While in France he also studied the Ondes Martenot with Jeanne Loriod and attended courses at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique de Paris and the Centre Acanthes of Aix-en Provence. Additional musical evolution came through his work on the music staff of the Los Angeles Opera for fourteen years as an assistant conductor and assistant chorus master. During this time he collaborated with renowned international singers and conductors, gaining further insight into the lyric art. In addition to preparing singers in rehearsal for opera performance, Mr. Robson conducted backstage bandas and choruses, played harpsichord in the pit for Baroque and Classical operas and even performed in the role of pianist Boleslao Lazinski in Giordano’s Fedora. He has also been a musical assistant at the Salzburg and Spoleto (Italy) festivals. As a composer, Robson has been programmed on concerts in Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, Barcelona and Paris. Two of his orchestral works—Apollo Rising and Christmas Suite—were premiered by the Brentwood-Westwood Symphony. Soprano Patricia Prunty has recorded his song cycle A Child of Air, and the same piece was presented by Sari Gruber at the winter Ravinia Festival. Other compositions include a trio Dances and Dirges for piano, clarinet and cello, Södergran-Dagbok for baritone and piano, numerous songs, Trio Botanica for three bassoons, Ribono shel olam for tenor, cello and organ, and a set of 24 left-hand preludes for the piano.
The recipient of several scholarships and awards (including the Certificate of Excellence from the Corvina Cultural Circle for artistic contributions to Hungary), Mark Robson has received degrees from the University of Southern California and Oberlin College; included among his teachers are Lydia Frumkin, John Perry, James Bonn and Alain Motard. He has worked as a vocal coach on the faculties of USC, Cal State Fullerton, Chapman University and the California Institute of the Arts. Two of his large-scale music projects have been the performance of the complete Beethoven sonatas and multiple performances of Messiaen’s great piano cycle Vingt Regards sur l’Enfant-Jésus. Mr. Robson is also a proud 2012 graduate of the comedy improv program at Bang Studio in Los Angeles.
Beth Ross Buckley, flute, is the Executive Director of Camarada. Ms. Ross-Buckley is an advocate of chamber music and dedicated to her craft. An original founder of Camarada, for 22 years Beth has been the driving force behind this ensemble and has added many new venues, compositions and musicians to its celebrated history.
Ms. Ross-Buckley received her Bachelor of Music in Flute Performance from St. Olaf College and her Masters of Music from the University of Minnesota. Her teachers include Kay Sahlin, Julia Bogorad, Elaine Eagle, Damian Bursill-Hall, Frances Blaisdell and Timothy Day. Ms. Ross-Buckley has been a featured artist at the National Flute Association Convention and Music Teacher’s Association of California. She also performed as Principal flute of the former San Diego Chamber Orchestra/Orchestra Nova for 25 years. Beth enjoys performing in local Broadway musical theater productions – including Wicked, Evita and Cinderella. Along with being the executive and artistic director for Camarada, Ms. Ross-Buckley also has a portrait photography business, Beth Ross Buckley Photography. Her other passions include family, friends, reading, and traveling.
Karl Pasch is principal clarinetist with the Anchorage Symphony Orchestra, and is active as a chamber musician, conductor, and composer. He has performed concert tours with the Blue Rose Trio in California and Alaska, and was a featured guest artist at the Virtuosi Festival in Recife, Brazil.
After winning a Rasmussen Artist Grant, he toured in Brazil and released a live CD of South American chamber music.
Karl has conducted with the Anchorage Civic Orchestra, the Anchorage Ballet, the Anchorage Concert Chorus, and Anchorage Theatre Orchestra. He also performs with the Damberg Latin Jazz Quintet, and the gypsy jazz group the Hot Club of Nunaka.
Pianist Nic Gerpe, a Los Angeles native, has been hailed as “magnetic” (Dan Johnson, L.A. Downtown News) and “prodigious… heroic” (Kevin McMahon, silverlakeblvd.com). L.A. Times music critic Mark Swed described his playing as “wonderfully illuminating… his tone is crystalline. His technique is dazzlingly fluid.” A dedicated proponent of new music, Nic has worked with composers such as Steve Reich, Gernot Wolfgang, Anne LeBaron, Krzesimir Debski, Michael Gordon and Don Crockett, and has given numerous world premieres in the Los Angeles area and abroad. Nic has performed throughout Southern California and at festivals including the Beverly Hills International Music Festival, Banff International Keyboard Festival, the Summer Institute for Contemporary Performance Practice at the New England Conservatory, and the Tahoe Chamber Music Festival. Nic has performed in such venues as Walt Disney Concert Hall, Zipper Hall, the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts, and the Roy and Edna Disney Cal Arts Theater. Nic’s performances have also been nationally broadcast on 91.5 KUSC and classicalkusc.org.
As one of four young pianists featured in L.A.-based Piano Spheres’ new Satellite Series, Nic recently performed a critically-acclaimed solo recital at the Roy And Edna Disney Cal Arts Theater. He also gave the world premiere of James Matheson’s “Chapter 1…” at Walt Disney Concert Hall as part of the Radical Light Tribute Concert for Steven Stucky.
Nic has performed as a soloist in modern piano concerti by some of today’s most talented emerging composers. He gave the World Premiere composer Dale Trumbore’s piano concerto “10,000 Hours” with the USC Thornton Symphony Orchestra, under the baton of Donald Crockett. He also participated in the 2012 Piatigorsky International CelloFest, performing the American premiere of Thomas Demenga’s “Relations”, a double concerto for two cellos, percussion and prepared piano. He also recently performed Reena Esmail’s “Earth Speaks”, a concerto for piano, horn and SATB chorus, with the Pasadena Master Chorale, conducted by Jeffrey Bernstein.
Nic has performed with Los Angeles-based new music groups WildUP and The Industry L.A., and premiered new works for Magnetic Resonator Piano with People Inside Electronics. He has performed with such world-renowned artists as Andrew Bain, Michele Zukovsky, Jack van Geem and Judith Farmer. Nic’s playing is also featured on composer Gernot Wolfgang’s most recent chamber music album “Passing Through”, released in 2016 on the Albany Label. Additionally, Nic has given guest artist recitals and masterclasses at California State University Los Angeles, Pasadena City College, and Los Angeles Valley College.
Along with violinist Pasha Tseitlin, Nic is the co-founder of “Panic Duo,” a violin and piano duo dedicated to the performance of contemporary music. The Duo has performed in Los Angeles, San Diego, Escondido, Paso Robles and other venues throughout the United States. Panic Duo performed the opening concert of the 2013 Paderewski Festival in Paso Robles, CA, to great acclaim. They “wowed the audience… the Festival opened with thunderous applause” (Scott Brennan, Paso Robles Daily News), and “played with great bravado, passion and skill” (Krysta Close, USC Polish Music Center). The Duo gave the World Premiere performance of Krzesimir Debski’s Sonata for Violin and Piano at the 2013 Paderewski Lecture Recital in Los Angeles. The Duo also gave the World Premiere of Juhi Bansal’s “An Imaginary Thing” for violin and piano. Panic Duo was recently honored by the Senate of the State of California for its performance in a benefit concert for Our Lady of Angels Church in San Diego, CA. The Duo has also premiered works by Michael Patterson, Ed Neumeister, and Bevan Manson.
Nic earned his Doctor of Musical Arts Degree in Piano Performance at the University of Southern California in 2012. He studied extensively with Bernadene Blaha, Kevin Fitz-Gerald and Stewart Gordon. He has also worked with Earl Wild, Arnold Steinhardt, Robert Lipsett, and Stephen Drury.
Nic has been on the Piano Faculty of the Pasadena Conservatory of Music since 2006.
Anita Protich is a soprano whose unique and agile voice has been heard in operatic, concert and recital appearances throughout the United States, Europe and Asia. She is winner of the Los Angeles Phi Beta Theta Award, a Pasadena Opera Guild Winner and is a Metropolitan Opera Audition Regional Winner and National Finalist. Her list of masterclass teachers and mentors included Jess Thomas, Sir Richard Bonynge, Joan Dornemann, Mignon Dunn, Gundula Janowitz, Evelyn Lear, Sherrill Milnes, Martial Singher and Nico Castel.
Ms. Protich’s beautiful spinto voice has been heard in the heroine roles of operas such as Il Trovatore, Aida, Ballo in Maschera, Attila, Der Rosenkavalier, Lohengrin, Die Walküre, and Tristan und Isolde. She was particularly honored to sing with Dame Joan Sutherland in Dame Joan’s final appearances as Bellini’s Norma with Opera Pacific and Michigan Opera Theatre. She also was privileged to sing the role of Sister Prejean in the American opera Dead Man Walking, a special performance led by the composer Jake Heggie at the keyboard. European and Asian audiences have been thrilled by her performances during her concert/operatic tours of Germany, Austria, Turkey, Greece, Italy, Ukraine, Croatia and Thailand.
Miss Protich has been featured with the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Pacific Symphony, and as featured soloist with the Claremont, Mountainside, Pacific, Saddleback, and Orange Chorales. Her most recent performances of note were recitals for the Pacific Standard Time Project's Émigrés and Experimentalists: Music in Los Angeles in the 1930s and 1940s presented by the J. Paul Getty Museum and LA Opera.
Residing in Los Angeles, Anita extends her range of vocalism to using her voice for film, and television. Her credits include the Warner Bros. film “Kangaroo Jack” and independent films “Distance” and “Dogs.” She has sung for commercials for Teac, Honda and Mazda and her voice can be heard in the animation series "Veggie Tales: Larry Boy The Cartoon Adventures" and for "Kid Notorious."
Bridget Dolkas, Principal Second Violin of the Pacific Symphony, enjoys life as an innovative musician of the 21st century. 2013 saw her first endeavor as co-writer and director of a ground-breaking and “frighteningly funny” mash-up music video, “Frite of Spring” (check it out on youtube!). Bridget performs with the newly formed chamber ensemble, Renga, which recently performed at the 2014 Ojai Festival. Also in 2014, Bridget performed in the inaugural season of the Villa-Lobos International Chamber Music Festival. As first violinist and founding member of the California Quartet, she co-founded the critically acclaimed Connections Chamber Music Series, of which Tim Mangan of the Orange County Register wrote, “a worthy series”. Bridget rocks out in the jazz-classical fusion band, the Peter Sprague Consort, an intriguing ensemble combining string quartet and jazz trio- and always a favorite at the Idyllwild Jazz Festival. Since the year 2000, Ms. Dolkas has performed with the California Quartet in Europe and the United States to great acclaim, and has performed world-wide since the age of ten. In recent years, she has performed as soloist with the Pacific Symphony, South Coast Chamber Orchestra, and Poway Symphony. As a chamber musician, she performs regularly on Pacific Symphony’s chamber music series, Café Ludwig, and has shared the stage with such greats as Mark O’Connor, Orli Shaham, Peter Sprague, and Paul Katz. Ms. Dolkas performed for eight years in the San Diego Symphony and the San Diego Opera Orchestra. Studying chamber music under such masters as Joseph Silverstein, Kim Kashkashian, Fred Sherry, Toby Appel, as well as the Juilliard, Alexander, and Miro Quartets, has made a tremendous musical impact on Ms. Dolkas. As a student of Alice Schoenfeld, she earned her BM degree at the University of Southern California, where she was awarded Chamber Musician of the Year. Continuing her studies with Isaac Malkin, she completed an MM degree from the Manhattan School of Music. She neared completion of a DMA degree from UCLA, where she studied with Mark Kaplan. Ms. Dolkas performs on a cherished 1798 Lupot violin.
Peter Sprague was born in Cleveland, Ohio and was raised in Colorado until 1963, when his family moved to Del Mar, California. Inspired by his father's love of jazz, he took up the guitar when he was twelve. By the age of fifteen he was devoting all his time and energy to learning music.
Following a year's study at the Interlochen Arts Academy, Sprague studied privately and performed around the San Diego area until 1976. That year found him moving to Boston to study with many notable musicians including Pat Metheny, Madame Chaloff and Albin Czak (who taught Peter classical guitar). Peter returned to San Diego in 1978 and formed his ground breaking jazz group The Dance of the Universe Orchestra.
At the age of 20 Peter started recording his own albums on the Concord Jazz and Xanadu record labels. He has been a guest artist on many other records and performed and toured with Chick Corea, Hubert Laws, Dianne Reeves, David Benoit, Sergio Mendes and many others. On his debut with the Chick Corea band for a series of concerts at Disneyland noted Los Angeles Times jazz critic wrote in a review the following day "Peter Sprague is one of the emergent great guitarists." Peter also worked with Chick on the film score to the movie The Cat Chasers, starring actress Kelly McGillis.
From 1990 to 1993 Sprague taught music at both California Institute of the Arts in Los Angeles and the Musicians Institute in Hollywood. He continues to teach every summer at the annual UCSD Jazz Camp in La Jolla, CA.
Peter was involved with the legendary record label GRP Records on a number of projects. He arranged Chick Corea's song "Spain" for the GRP All-Star Big Band record and video. This performance featured Randy Brecker, Lee Ritenour, Dave Weckl, Ernie Watts among many other jazz legends. Peter was featured on David Benoit's GRP releases Letter To Evan and Shaken, Not Stirred. Also on GRP Records, Sprague played on Eric Marienthal’s recording One Touch featuring Russell Ferrante, Jimmy Haslip, Alex Acuna, and Ivan Lins.
Peter has been the recipient of many awards: His CD Blurring the Edges won the Best Contemporary Jazz Recording of 1994 from the San Diego Music Awards (SDMA); Best Jazz Musician of the Year in 2000 by the SDMA; The San Diego Reader voted Peter the Best Jazz Group for the 2002 Best Of issue; 2004 Best Jazz Artist of the year by the SDMA; In 2006 Peter was the Honored Musician at the Museum of Making Music’s Evening of Note; 2007 Best Jazz Artist of the year by the SDMA; In 2000 his CD Nikki's Rose was nominated for the Best Jazz CD by the SDMA; In 2003 his CD Pass The Drum was nominated for CD of the Year by the SDMA.
Peter has been the recipient of many grants and commissions, (San Diego Symphony, Chamber Music America etc.) and has published eleven music books (The Sprague Technique, Brazil Jazz Songbook, etc.)
Peter is also the chief organizer and transcriber for Chick Corea's music books published with Hal Leonard Publishing. Peter records at his own studio in Encinitas, Spragueland.
Hailed as a conductor who leads with “passionate intensity” and recognized as “one to watch,” Roger Kalia is one of America’s most exciting young conductors. A recipient of a 2013 and 2017 Solti Foundation U.S. Career Assistance Award, Kalia is currently the assistant conductor of Pacific Symphony and the music director of Pacific Symphony Youth Orchestra. He began his tenure in 2015, and was recently awarded a two-year contract extension, becoming only the second assistant conductor in Pacific Symphony's history to receive this honor. Kalia also serves as co-founder and music director of the Lake George Music Festival in upstate New York, the premier musical arts festival in the region. Previously, he served for two seasons as assistant conductor of the Charlotte Symphony, where he conducted the orchestra in a variety of performances and invigorated the orchestra’s engagement with the community. Kalia has also held music director positions with both the Young Musicians Foundation (YMF) Debut Orchestra and Columbus (IN) Symphony Orchestra, the oldest orchestra in the state and only its fourth music director. Kalia recently led the Pacific Symphony Youth Orchestra on a highly successful tour of China, which marked the orchestra’s second international tour and its first to Asia.
In addition to his current positions, Kalia is in consistent demand as a guest conductor. In the 2017-2018 season, he makes his European subscription debut with the Szczecin Philharmonic in Poland, and will conduct the Bakersfield Symphony in their annual Gala concert. Further recent and upcoming guest conducting engagements include appearances with the National Symphony Orchestra at the Kennedy Center, Chicago Sinfonietta at Symphony Hall, Long Beach Symphony, Great Falls Symphony, Owensboro Symphony, Boise Philharmonic, Adrian Symphony, and the 2018 Missouri All-State Orchestra.
Rose was the pianist of the highly accomplished piano trio, the Blue Rose Trio. The trio had captured top prizes in the Coleman, MTNA, and Peninsula chamber music competitions and concertized in Canada, Austria, Brazil, France, Israel, Hong Kong, and China. Within the United States Rose also maintains a steadfast performing and teaching career in Alaska, Texas, and throughout California.
In addition to her lifelong interest in Western classical music, Rose’s eclectic taste in music encompasses a variety of styles and genres, including jazz, folk, pop, and the music of Latin America. Rose’s recent projects include composing and recording music for a short film called Tasting Wednesday; the world premiere of Suite Adeline for solo piano by techno pioneer Bruce Haack (1931-1988); an album dedicated entirely to the piano-cello works by Brazilian composer Heitor Villa-Lobos; and the premiere of her own arrangements of several Taiwanese folk/pop songs for piano, melodica, and choir.
Rose is currently a music faculty at Cypress College and Hyperium Conservatory. She is also the music director at the Holy Nativity Episcopal Church in Westchester, Los Angeles. An advocate for Taiwanese contemporary music, Rose was appointed director and conductor of the Los Angeles Taiwan Chorus in 2010.
Karoline Menezes was born in João Pessoa, Brazil and began her musical studies at the age of 10 in the Conservatory Antenor Navarro. A graduate of the University of Southern California, she was awarded full scholarship across four consecutive years at the renowned studio of Donald McInnes & Karen Dreyfus for multiple programs at the Thornton School of Music. Ms. Menezes has worked with various orchestras and chamber groups in the United States and Brazil, as well as collaborations with top artists. Some of these performances include a documentary with Elton John and James Newton Howard (2013), a television Christmas special with David Foster, Queen Latifah and Mary J. Blidge and a recent appearance at the 88th Academy Awards with the band The Weeknd. Ms. Menezes is an active recording artist with television and motion picture soundtracks, while still pursuing her passion for teaching and advocating for youth music education. She coaches extensively in the greater Los Angeles area, where she maintains her private studio and outreach work through non-profit organizations. Her hobbies include road trips and beach days, playing volleyball, and discovering great international food here in Los Angeles.
Frank Marino began his childhood education studying piano and violin in his native San Diego. By the year 1990, he had taken up string bass in the orchestra because he didn’t want to carry his violin to school everyday. Since then, Frank has been carrying his bass to rehearsals, lessons and festivals throughout California and across the country. He has studied with Gunner Biggs, Clifton Swanson, Paul Ellison, and Nico Abondolo, attended such festivals as the Music Academy of the West, the Aspen Music Festival, and the Summer Festival in Catania, Italy, and earned a Master’s degree from the University of Southern California in 2005. Today Frank enjoys teaching music lessons and performing with various ensembles in Los Angeles County, and he loves the Long Beach Symphony.
Elena Mashkovtseva has won attention as one of the world’s outstanding harpists through numerous appearances as a soloist and chamber musician. She has enchanted audiences throughout the world with her virtuosity, grace and elegance. Ms. Mashkovtseva is a graduate of the Moscow Tchaikovsky Conservatory, where she studied with the celebrated harpist Vera Dulova. She was awarded First Prize at the International Competition in Moscow. After graduating, Ms. Mashkovtseva held the principal harp position with the Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra. Since leaving Moscow, she has appeared with the Orquesta de Baja California, Orquesta de Bellas Artes, Orquesta Filarmonica de la UNAM, San Diego Chamber Orchestra, San Diego Symphony, Orchestra Nova, St. Petersburgh Mariinsky Theater Orchestra under Valery Gergiev, Chamber Orchestra Kremlin under Misha Rachlevsky, The Hutchins Consort, Camarada and the San Diego Opera. Ms. Mashkovtseva is a Professor of Harp at San Diego State University, University of San Diego and has her own private studio in San Diego.
Travis Maril is Lecturer and Studio Artist Teacher of Viola at San Diego State University, where he coordinates the String Division, and Adjunct Viola Faculty at Point Loma Nazarene University. He also serves as Co-Director of the SDSU String Academy. In the summers he teaches at the San Diego Summer Music Institute.
Mr. Maril's students have held principal positions in the San Diego Youth Symphony and have attended Itzhak Perlman's Music Program, Music Academy of the West and the Bowdoin International Music Festival. They have gone on to study or gained admission to prestigious institutions including The Juilliard School, New England Conservatory, Indiana University, the University of North Texas, and the Cincinnati Conservatory.
A passionate chamber musician, Mr. Maril won a top prize at the Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition and had performances broadcast on "Performance Today." He has performed with the Miró Quartet, concertmasters of the Cleveland Orchestra, LA Philharmonic and Rochester Philharmonic, principal players in the Pittsburgh, Cincinnati and San Diego Symphonies, and members of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center. Festival appearances include Ojai, Bravo! Vail Valley Music Festival, and multiple times for the Mainly Mozart Festival and La Jolla Music Society's SummerFest.
Locally he appears often with Art of Elan, Camarada, the Five Ensemble, the chamber orchestra Renga and as a substitute with the San Diego Symphony. For several years he performed and recorded with local band The Tree Ring, whose debut album won a San Diego Music Award. In addition he has been an active performer of musical theatre at the Old Globe and Civic Theaters, performing on the original productions of "A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder" and Steve Martin's "Bright Star". In the pop realm he has shared the stage with Christina Aguilera, Belle & Sebastian, and Idina Menzel. He was the solo violin and violist for the critically acclaimed film "Short Term 12".
David Buckley, violin, is an experienced chamber musician, soloist and orchestral player. He is currently Co-Concertmaster of the La Jolla Symphony with whom he has also been a featured soloist. He has also performed locally with the San Diego Chamber Orchestra. Dr. Buckley has been featured in all Camarada seasons and has special expertise in flute/violin repertoire. In addition to music, Dr. Buckley is president of Radiology Medical Group and has served as chief of radiology at Scripps Mercy Hospital. Dr. Buckley is a summa cum laude graduate of St. Olaf College and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. His MD is from the University of Minnesota where he was elected to the Alpha Omega Alpha medical honor society. In San Diego he has been honored twice as a top doctor by the members of the San Diego County Medical Society. Dr. Buckley enjoys travel, golf and relaxing by the lake in his home state of Minnesota.
A native of North Carolina, Elizabeth Wright received her B.A. in Cello Performance from the University of California, Los Angeles in 1996, where she studied with Ronald Leonard.
Currently, she plays with the New West Symphony, the Long Beach Symphony, the Long Beach Opera, the Long Beach Ballet, and the chamber music series, Jacaranda: Music at the Edge of Santa Monica. A versatile performer, Ms. Wright has shared the stage with Zubin Mehta, Michael Tilson-Thomas, David Zinman, Ivan Fischer, John Williams, John Clayton, Vince Mendoza, David Newman, Jerry Goldsmith, Elmer Bernstein, Christian McBride, Tony Bennett, Johnny Mandel, Terence Blanchard, Billy Childs, Ben Harper, Kelly Clarkson, and Whitney Houston. She is also an active studio musician for film and television; her work includes The Simpsons, Family Guy, King of the Hill, American Dad, American Idol, The Voice, and X-Factor.
In 2000, she earned her M.M. in Orchestral Conducting from UCLA and concluded six years of directing the Westwood Chamber Orchestra, which she founded in 1994. Soon after, she became the Associate Music Director of the Henry Mancini Institute. She has attended festivals at Tanglewood and Aspen, and studied conducting under Mehli Mehta, Gustav Meier, and Larry Rachleff.
A passionate educator, Ms. Wright has designed and implemented educational outreach programs for the Young Musicians Foundation and the Pasadena Pops Orchestra. She has taught cello, violin, and general music for the YMF Youth Mentor Artist Program, Children’s Music Workshop, the American Youth Symphony String Project, and the Henry Mancini Institute, as well as the LAUSD and Santa Monica-Malibu School districts. Ms. Wright also served as the Director of the Los Angeles Suzuki Institute, and on the faculty of the Harmony Project and Mount Saint Mary’s College. In 2016, she launched three new summer programs: ChamberFest, SuzukiFest, and CelloFest.
Ms. Wright is a Suzuki cello teacher and maintains a private studio in Los Angeles. She also serves on the faculty of the Colburn School.