Acclaimed by the New York Times as “the versatile violinist who makes the music come alive” and for her “tonal mastery” (BBC Music Magazine) and “searing intensity” (American Record Guide), violinist Kelly Hall-Tompkins is forging a dynamic career as a soloist and chamber musician. Winner of a Naumburg International Violin Competition Honorarium Prize as well as a Concert Artists Guild Career Grant, Ms. Hall-Tompkins has appeared as soloist with orchestras including the Dallas Symphony, Oakland Symphony, Jacksonville Symphony, Tulsa Philharmonic, Chamber Orchestra of New York, and a Brevard Festival Orchestra under the baton of Keith Lockhart, in addition to numerous concerts and recitals in cities including New York, Washington, Cleveland, Toronto, Chicago, Baltimore, and Greenville, South Carolina, and at festivals in France, Germany and Italy.
Ms. Hall-Tompkins’ orchestral career also includes extensive touring in the United States and internationally with the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, including performances in Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Japan, Singapore, Scotland and a recording with countertenor Andreas Scholl. She has also performed over 150 performances with the New York Philharmonic, under conductors including Kurt Masur, Leonard Slatkin, Andre Previn, Charles Dutoit and Valery Gergiev. Ms. Hall-Tompkins has also lead numerous Carnegie Hall concerts with the New York Pops and as founding member of the Chamber Orchestra of New York, which performed its debut concert in Carnegie’s Zankel Hall in the Fall ’07 with Ms. Hall-Tompkins also as soloist. From 1999-2012 she was a member of the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra’s first violin section.
A dedicated humanitarian, Ms. Hall-Tompkins founded and directs Music Kitchen-Food for the Soul, which has, to date, brought almost 100 chamber music performances to New York City and Los Angeles homeless shelters, with over 150 artists.
Ms. Hall Tompkins received an Honorary Doctorate from the Manhattan School of Music, her alma mater, in 2016, and also delivered the Commencement address. She is also one of three 2017 recipients of the Sphinx Medal of Excellence, which will be presented at the US Supreme Court by Justice Sotomayor. She earned a Master’s degree from the Manhattan School under the mentorship of Glenn Dicterow, concertmaster of the New York Philharmonic.
Russell Kotcher is an avid chamber, solo, and orchestral musician. He has appeared as soloist several times in Germany with the Isny Festival Orchestra in both Isny and Munich, and was also a soloist at the Bodensee Festival in Bodensee, Germany.
A member of the prize winning Muhlenberg Piano Quartet, Russell was awarded several grants to commission and premiere Eric Sessler’s Piano Quartet which took place at The Curtis Institute and The Juilliard School. Past teachers include Hal Grossman, Andrew Jennings, Camilla Wicks, Ian Swensen, and William DePasquale.
He currently is a member of Symphony in C and the Chamber Orchestra of New York and serves as faculty at Temple University Preparatory School. Russell holds diplomas and degrees from the Interlochen Arts Academy, University of Michigan, and the San Francisco Conservatory.
Hungarian born violinist, Bela Horvath began to play the violin at age 3. Starting his violin studies with his grandfather, Bela immediately showed outstanding talent for the violin. Therefore he was taken to the famous Hungarian violin teacher, Valeria Baranyai, with whom he studied with for many years. During those years, Bela won a number of national violin competitions in Hungary, as well as a few international violin competitions in Prague and Vienna.
In 1996, Bela entered the Bela Bartok Conservatory, where he studied with former first violinist of the Festetics String Quartet, Istvan Kertesz. Bela won the National Janos Koncz violin competition in Hungary in 1997. The following year, he entered the 9th International Carl Flesch Violin Competition. As the youngest contestant, he won the 4th prize as well as a special prize for the best interpretation of Miklos Csemicky`s Solo Sonata for violin
In the year of 2000, Mr. Horvath entered the Franz Liszt University of Music, where he began his studies with Hungarian concert violinist, Miklos Szenthelyi. In 2002, the renowned violinist, violist, and conductor, Pinchas Zukerman invited Mr.Horvath to study with him and his associate, Patinka Kopec, at the Manhattan School of Music in New York City. During his studies in New York, Bela Horvath has worked with the world`s leading violinists and pedagogues such as, Zakhar Bron, Leonidas Kavakos, Jaime Laredo, Gyorgy Pauk, Ruggiero Ricci, Aaron Rosand, and Joseph Silverstein. Mr. Horvath has also played a great deal of chamber music and has been coached by chamber musicians and teachers like Daniel Avshalomov, Steven Dann, Eugene Drucker, Lawrence Dutton, Timothy Eddy, Joseph Kalichstein, RobertMann, Sylvia Rosenberg, David Soyer, and Michael Tree.
Bela Horvath made his debut recital at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Hall in 2003. The debut of his Piano Quartet, Amity Players, was at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Hall in October 2006. They have recently released a recording of two piano quartets by J. Brahms for the Canadian label, Marquis Music. As a soloist and recitalist, he has played many concerts around the world, including the Czech Republic, Austria, Germany, France, England, Slovakia, Hungary, the United States and Canada.
In February, 2008, he performed with Pinchas Zukerman at Carnegie Hall’s Zankel Hall. Mr. Horvath, has performed in Carnegie Hall`s Isaac Stern auditorium as a soloist in June 2008. Mr. Horvath completed his Bachelor’s and his Master’s of Music degrees at the Manhattan School of Music. He has been a faculty member at the Manhattan School of Music’s Pre-college division program since 2009.
Sarah Charness has captivated audiences with her vibrant sound and vivacious performances. Sarah is a versatile musician, at home in the worlds of classical, contemporary, and popular music. Her performances have taken her from Lincoln Center to the Today Show.
Sarah is a graduate of the New England Conservatory Preparatory School, where she studied violin with Marylou Churchill, voice, chamber music, and orchestral performance. She earned her Bachelor of Music degree in violin performance under the mentorship of Andrew Jennings at the University of Michigan. Sarah was awarded a Surdna Foundation Scholarship to attend the Young Artist Orchestra and String Quartet programs at the Boston University Tanglewood Institute. Sarah also attended the Encore School for Strings, the Mark O’Conner Fiddle Camp, and the Henry Mancini Institute.
Sarah appeared at Carnegie Hall, Avery Fisher Hall, New York City Hall, and the Kennedy Center as a member of the Chamber Orchestra of New York and the Philharmonic Orchestra of the Americas. Sarah’s many chamber performances have taken her to Brandeis University, the Duxbury Art Complex Museum, the Noon Day Concert Series in Nantucket, the Newton Free Library, the Boston Public Library, the Boston Museum of Science, the Natick Center for the Arts, the DeCordova Museum, and the Museum of our National Heritage. Her performances have been broadcast on WCRB 102.5 FM in Boston, and she was featured on the National Public Radio. She was three times a finalist in the New England Conservatory concerto competition, a winner in the Brockton Symphony Concerto Competition, a semifinalist in the Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition, and a finalist in the University of Michigan concerto competition. Sarah has performed annually at the Nassau Coliseum and the Continental Airlines Arena with the Trans-Siberian Orchestra. She has backed up top recording artists Roger Daltry of the Who, Sarah Brightman, and British pop singer Mika. Sarah is a widely-sought teacher whose experience includes the New England Conservatory Charter School, Greenwood Chamber Music Camp, and numerous private students.
Lauded as a “first rate” violinist by Maestro Lorin Maazel, Nicholas Pappone makes a diverse career as soloist, chamber musician, sought-after orchestral player, and teacher in New York City.
Growing up as a professional child actor in Los Angeles, performing the role of a prodigy violinist in a film inspired his interest in the instrument. Nicholas has performed with members of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, the Emerson String Quartet, the New York Philharmonic, Vienna Piano Trio, and the Zukerman Chamber Players. This includes collaborations with violists Paul Neubauer, Paul Coletti, Jethro Marks, and the cellist Paul Watkins. Nicholas has appeared as soloist with the Marina del Rey-Westchester Symphony, the Pacific Palisades Symphony, New York Session Symphony, and the New Westchester Symphony.
He also appeared with the Cleveland Orchestra as violinist and actor on the Musically Speaking Series in a unique collaboration with actor John De Lancie. Highlights of recent seasons include appearances at the Academy of Music, Philadelphia, the Boulder International Duo Competition, Rutgers University, WMP Concert Hall’s Strad for Lunch, Teatro Principal in Burgos, Spain, Cathedral of St. John the Divine, as well as the National Arts Centre in Ottawa, and Heliconian Hall in Toronto, Canada.
The 2019-2020 season features concerts with the Chelsea Symphony playing Bernstein’s Serenade after Plato’s Symposium, and recital and chamber music appearances at the Islip Arts Council, Rutgers University, Bar Harbor Chamber Music Festival, and Holy Trinity Rittenhouse Square, Philadelphia. Nicholas is Principal Second violin of Amit Peled’s Mount Vernon Virtuosi, and a member of the New Hampshire Music Festival Orchestra. He served as Principal Second Violin of the Huntsville Symphony Orchestra in Alabama from 2016-2018. In the summers, Nicholas is violin and chamber music faculty at the International Academy of Music in Tuscany, Italy and the Burgos International Music Festival in Spain.
Nicholas graduated Manhattan School of Music in the studio of Patinka Kopec and Pinchas Zukerman. Other influential mentors include Rodney Friend, Lucie Robert, and Grigory Kalinovksy. Nicholas has performed in masterclasses for violinists Itzhak Perlman, Ivry Gitlis, and Vadim Gluzman.
Caroline Drexler is a New York City based violinist. She is an enthusiastic orchestral musician and holds a tenured chair with the Chattanooga Symphony and Opera. In addition to Chamber Orchestra of New York, she can be seen performing with orchestras such as American Ballet Theater orchestra, Symphony in C, and the Savannah Philharmonic. Caroline’s NYC performances have taken her to venues including Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, and Merkin Hall.
As a recording artist, Caroline can be heard on projects for the Smithsonian Museum and Bungie Games. She has also appeared as a New York Fashion Week performer for designers such as Tory Burch and Dolce and Gabbana and as a guest performer on The Tonight Show.
Caroline performs often with the Desdemona Ensemble, an all female chamber ensemble dedicated to championing the works of contemporary composers. Performances with Desdemona include the Larsen Young Artist Spotlight chamber series with the Savannah Philharmonic.
She graduated with honors with a Masters in Music from the University of Tennessee.
Violinist Holly Nelson is passionate about contemporary music and especially enjoys collaborating with composers. In 2019, she was named a Britten Pears Young Artist and performed in Aldeburgh, England where she was mentored by members of the London Sinfonietta as well as composers Matthew Collins and Mark Anthony Turnage. In 2018 she gave the premiere performance of Fabian Beltran’s work for violin and piano, Witchcraft-Incantos, at National Sawdust in Brooklyn, New York with pianist Huizi Zhang. In 2017, as a Contemporary Ensemble Fellow at the Atlantic Music Festival in Maine, she premiered 22 works and served as the festival orchestra’s concertmaster and from 2014-2015, she toured Switzerland and Luxembourg as a member of the Lucerne Festival’s Young Performance Ensemble, performing Tod Machover’s work Fensadense for 10 musicians and interactive electronics developed by MIT.
Also a lover of baroque music, in 2015, sponsored by an Arts Grant from the government of Taiwan, Holly completed a concert tour of three cities in Taiwan with harpsichordist Hsiu Tzu Ryan. Ms. Nelson has performed with some of the most sought-after early music ensembles in New York City: The Sebastians, Clarion Music Society and Project Amadeus. In 2015, she was invited as a full scholarship baroque violin fellow to The American Bach Soloists Academy in San Francisco. Other festival appearances include Domaine Forget, Banff, The Lucerne Festival Academy and the Baroque Performance Institute at Oberlin College.
Violist Maggie Snyder has performed as a soloist and in orchestras throughout the United States as principal violist, solo concerto player and under well-known conductors. She has performed at the Kennedy Center, Carnegie Hall, and the Seoul Arts Center, and has performed in Mexico, Greece, Korea, and Russia. She is currently the violist in the West Virginia Piano Quartet. She has performed under leading conductors, including James Levine, Yuri Temirkanov, David Zinman, Robert Spano, Leonard Slatkin, James dePriest, Julius Rudel, James Conlon, and Michael Tilson Thomas and at such festivals as the Brevard Music Festival, the Sewanee Summer Music Festival, and the Aspen Music Festival where she was a Time Warner Fellow. In the last 24 months, she has played more than 100 recitals and concerts in 15 states and abroad. She greatly anticipates upcoming performances with Duo Allamagnetti, her ensemble with harpsichordist sister, Alexandra Snyder Dunbar, including a debut recital in Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall. That recital will feature three world premiere works written for the ensemble by Thomas Pasatieri, Kamran Ince, and Garrett Byrnes.
Ms. Snyder has given master classes, clinics, and performances at universities and music schools throughout the country, including Interlochen Arts Academy, Eastman, The University of Rochester, The University of Georgia, The University of Tennessee, The University of Kentucky, and the University of South Carolina, among others. She earned the Masters and Graduate Performance Diploma from The Peabody Conservatory of Music, where she was the teaching assistant for Victoria Chiang. Her Bachelor’s degree is from the University of Memphis, where she was a Pressar Scholar. Her principal teachers have been Victoria Chiang, Heidi Castleman, and Lenny Schranze. She has been President of the Alabama Orchestra Association, and on the board of the Alabama Music Educator’s Association, the state chapter of Music Educator’s National Conference. She was born into a musical family and began her studies of music at the age of 3. She grew up giving concerts with her family both in the United States and abroad and continues to concertize with her family on the yearly New Years concert in Memphis. Ms. Snyder joined the faculty at West Virginia University in 2007, a post she took after teaching at Ohio University and the University of Alabama, where she was coordinator of the string area. She has also served on the faculties of the Brevard Music Festival, the Tennessee Valley Music Festival, and the Lutheran Summer Music Festival.