Narek Arutyunian, Clarinet
Clarinetist Narek Arutyunian is an artist who “reaches passionate depths with seemingly effortless technical prowess and beguiling sensitivity” (The Washington Post). He has performed the Copland Clarinet Concerto with the Orchestra of St. Luke’s at Alice Tully Hall as well as Artie Shaw’s Concerto for Clarinet with The Boston Pops. Mr. Arutyunian has also appeared as soloist with the Meridian Symphony, the Albany Symphony, the Long Bay Symphony, and the Longwood Symphony. He has performed recitals at the Washington Center for the Performing Arts, the Lied Center of Kansas, the Buffalo Chamber Music Society, the Weis Center for the Performing Arts, the Westport Arts Center, the Macomb Center for the Performing Arts, Music for Youth, Iowa State University, Southern Adventist University, Missouri State University, the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, and Carnegie’s Weill Recital Hall.
Mr. Arutyunian has performed extensively in Australia, Asia, and in Europe, where he appeared at the Louvre in Paris and the Palazzo del Principe in Genoa, among others. He has appeared as soloist with the Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra, and in Russia with the Kaliningrad Philharmonic, the Moscow Virtuosi Chamber Orchestra and the Moscow State Symphony Orchestra. Mr. Arutyunian’s festival appearances include Juilliard ChamberFest, where he performed Osvaldo Golijov’s The Dreams and Prayers of Isaac the Blind, the New York Festival of Song, Krzyzowa Music Festival in Poland, Germany’s Usedomer Musikfestival, Musica Viva’s Huntington Estate and Sydney Festivals in Australia, the 2013 Young Concert Artists Festivals in Tokyo and Beijing, and the Marlboro Music Festival.
Mr. Arutyunian’s growing career has also included numerous educational outreach programs in New York City public schools and around the country. His 2016-2017 season includes recitals at the Morgan Library and Museum, Pepperdine University, Oneonta Concert Association, and a performance as soloist with the Bucks County Symphony.
Winner of the 2010 Young Concert Artists International Auditions, he was presented in debut recitals at Merkin Concert Hall and the Kennedy Center to rave reviews. By the age of 16, he had already won First Prizes in the International Young Musicians Competition in Prague and the Musical Youth of the Planet Competition in Moscow. He recorded the Weber Concertino for clarinet with the State Symphony Orchestra of New Russia.
Born in 1992 in Gyumri, Armenia, Mr. Arutyunian’s family moved to Moscow when he was three. He graduated from the Moscow State Conservatory where he worked with Evgeny Petrov. He received his Bachelor’s degree from the Juilliard School, where he worked with Charles Neidich. He is currently a Master’s candidate at the Manhattan School of Music, where he continues his studies with Mr. Neidich. Mr. Arutyunian’s clarinet is a personal gift from the conductor and violinist Vladimir Spivakov. He receives general support for his career from the Guzik Foundation in California.
Connor Kim, Cello
Inspired at the age of five by the sound of his kindergarten teacher’s playing, Connor Kim decided to pursue his passion for music, and two years later started his studies under the tutelage of Mrs. Kyeong Hwa Kim.
Among his many awards, Connor received First Place from the Chinese Music Teachers Association of North California, and was a winner of the Menuhin-Dowling Nueva Competition. He has performed with the El Camino Youth Symphony and the California Philharmonic Youth Orchestra after winning their respective concerto competitions. In 2009 as a winner from the Y.E.S. Foundation, he won the Margaret Brady Study Grant and was also chosen to participate in the Junior Bach Festival in both 2009 and 2012. In 2010 Connor won the Nafisa Taghioff Award (reserved for performers under 16) from the Fremont Symphony Young Artist Competition, and two years later took First Place in the competition performing Dvořák Cello Concerto. During the same year, he was a semifinalist in the Johansen International Competition in Washington D.C. In 2013, he placed 1st at the American Fine Arts Festival International Competition, allowing him to perform at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall. Also in 2013, he won 1st place at the Santa Cruz Baroque Music Festival with his quintet, performing the Brahms Piano Quintet in F minor. Late March of 2014, Connor made his debut performing the Dvorák Cello Concerto with the Fremont Symphony Orchestra as the winner from the competition previously.
Connor, a passionate chamber musician, has also participated in various chamber music programs. Of those many years spent at festivals, three consecutive years were at the acclaimed Hotchkiss Summer Portals on full scholarship. There, he was able to collaborate and study with such artists as Ida Kavafian, Melvin Chen, and the Shanghai, Miami, Miró and Brentano Quartets. During his last year at Hotchkiss, Connor had the pleasurable opportunity to solo with Ida Kavafian performing Piazzola’s Otoño Porteño. He also attended the Yellow Barn Young Artist Program in 2012.
In the winter of 2016, he took part in Juilliard’s ChamberFest Program and was given the opportunity to be coached by Catherine Cho and Timothy Eddy. He just attended his third summer at Kneisel Chamber Music Festival in Blue Hill Maine, this year, where he had the opportunity to study with members of the Juilliard String Quartet and Laurie Smukler. Kim was also selected to participate in IMS Prussia Cove Masterclass series, where he studied with Ralph Kirshbaum this past spring, and also participated in the Perlman Chamber Music Workshop the beginning of this summer.
Connor is currently going into his fourth year as an undergraduate cellist at the Juilliard School, under the tutelage of Mr. Joel Krosnick. He is attending under a full tuition scholarship provided generously by the George L. Shields Memorial Scholarship and Mari Brown Scholarship.
Carlin Ma, Piano
Seeking means of discovery and expression, Carlin Ma has dedicated her life to music and the arts, including solo piano, chamber music, photography, and multidisciplinary projects. As a pianist, she has performed for audiences at prestigious venues including the Kennedy Center, Ravinia Festival, Lübeck Musik Hochschule for the Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival, Capella Hall and Philharmonic Hall of St. Petersburg, Russia, Blaisdell Concert Hall for Hawaii International Music Festival, and Seiji Ozawa Hall for the Tanglewood Music Festival. She finds it equally meaningful to initiate performances in local venues, including the inaugural Musicians@Google series in Seattle, outreach programs, and house concerts. Special merit recognitions include semifinalist in the San Antonio International Piano Competition and Oberlin Piano International Competition.
She holds a Master’s Degree of piano performance from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and Bachelor’s and Performer’s Degree from Indiana University. Her mentors include Menahem Pressler, Yoshi Nagai, Arnaldo Cohen, Evelyne Brancart, Emile Naoumoff, and Karen Taylor. She also had the privilege of working in masterclasses with Sergei Babayan, Karl-heinz Kämmerling, Robert Levin, Joseph Kalichstein, Jon Nakamatsu, and Angela Chang.
In her continued quest for expression, Carlin found that photography is like chamber music, collaborating with others through the medium of light. Thus, she is also a professional photographer, holding staff positions at Music@Menlo Summer Festival, Seattle Symphony, and the San Francisco Conservatory of Music.
Her multidisciplinary talents have led to national invitations for artistic cross-pollination projects, including co-founding Hawaii International Music Festival as Artistic Program Director, spearheading projects that interweave classical music with Hawaiian inspirations. She has also worked on photo-music projects with Purdue Symphony Orchestra and Blueprint Ensemble.
Niccolò Muti, Violin
In his young career, Niccoló Muti has already established himself as a versatile musician. He is the Founder and Artistic Director of Incontri Musicali, an annual chamber music festival that brings classical music’s most-promising young talents to Spoleto, Italy for three weeks of chamber music performances each summer. He is also an avid conductor and has studied extensively with his father, conductor Lorenzo Muti.
As a violinist, Niccoló has performed in concerts across the U.S. and Europe, including appearances in Switzerland, Norway, the Czech Republic, and as featured soloist with the National Orchestra of Romania in Italy. He also performs regularly with the Chamber Orchestra of the Triangle in Durham, North Carolina.
Niccoló received his Bachelor’s degree in Violin Performance from Indiana, where he studied with Mimi Zweig. He completed his Master’s Degree at Rice University, where he was awarded the Vicki West Prize to study with Kathleen Winkler. An accomplished (former) ballet dancer, Niccoló still likes to go out dancing for fun. He also enjoys playing tennis, cheering for his favorite soccer team (Juventus FC), and exploring new cuisines and wines.
Hannah Nicholas, Viola
Philadelphia native Hannah Rose Nicholas is a violist, vocalist, curator, and writer. Currently the Principal Viola of the Central City Opera Orchestra in Colorado, she was a member of the New World Symphony from 2014-17, performing as principal viola on highlighted concerts including Strauss’ Don Quixote as well as on tour to Carnegie Hall and the Kennedy Center.
Hannah has been a featured artist with the O, Miami Poetry Festival, SoFar Sounds Miami, the Lucerne Festival Academy, and the 2017 Barnes Ensemble in Philadelphia. She is a founding member of the indie-rock trio The alt Default, winner of the Knight Arts Challenge South Florida.
Hannah earned her Masters in Music from New England Conservatory, studying under Kim Kashkashian, and her Bachelor of Arts in Modern Middle Eastern Studies at the University of Pennsylvania, where she has returned as a guest lecturer of songwriting and music-business.