September 13, 2014
Amy Lynn Budd is a first year MFA Directing candidate at Purdue University. She recently directed a workshop production of Beth Henley's Am I Blue and assistant directed Visiting Assistant Professor Robert Quinlan's production, Anna In the Tropics in the fall of 2013. She worked as a director, performer, and teaching artist in Providence RI. She has a commitment to new plays and the creation of interdisciplinary performance works. She directed regional and world premiere productions at Perishable Theatre. Amy Lynn was a 2006-09 Resident Artist at Perishable Theatre, where she developed a full-length performance work, The Thing that Ate My Brain…Almost, about her experience as a Von Hippel-Lindau Syndrome (VHL) patient/survivor. It was produced in full by Perishable Theatre in 2009 and subsequently toured to Austin, Texas and Washigton, DC. Lady Miss Iris, is Amy’s neo-burlesque alter ego. She was Providence’s first neo-burlesque artist. She performed in rock clubs, theaters, and ballrooms. Her “Little Tramp” routine was one of the first American works presented to the 2005 Magdalena International Festival of Women in the Performing Arts. Her workshop, It’s Burlesque, was an Editor’s Choice for The Providence PhoenixBest of Rhode Island. Lady Miss Iris has hosted many events, and was Providence’s Roller Derby announcer. In her spare moments at Purdue she announces for Lafayette Brawlin' Dolls. While teaching, Amy collaborated on dozens of original performances each year. She worked with grades 1-6, using academic content as a basis for ensemble-devised works. Amy uses the same processes in the classroom as the rehearsal hall to create a lively environment of risk taking and constant innovation. She served as Artist in Residence at Oakland Beach Elementary School in Warwick, RI from 2005-13.
October 11, 2014
Hailed by the New York Times as a "vibrant soprano...with a secure, appealing sound and eye-opening volume," soprano Rebecca Krynski will perform the role of Violetta in Verdi’s LA TRAVIATA in the partnership concert between Lafayette Symphony Orchestra and Kentucky Opera. Ms. Krynski was a recent resident artist at Minnesota Opera for their 2013/14 season and in summer 2014, she returned to Des Moines Metro Opera’s Young Artist Program. Last season, she joined New York City Opera for the cover of Amaltea in MOSÈ IN EGITTO, the Metropolitan Opera for the role of Cynthia in the workshop of Nico’s Muhly’s TWO BOYS, and returned to Des Moines Metro Opera for the Fifth Maid in ELEKTRA as well as for the cover of Ellen Orford in PETER GRIMES. Ms. Krynski received both a professional studies diploma and a Master of Music at the Manhattan School of Music and is a cum laude graduate of the University of South Carolina. The recipient of the Arthur and Mae Orvis Foundation Inc. Award in the 2013 Liederkranz Competition, Ms. Krynski also won a 2013 Career Bridges Grant, and was a Southeastern Regional Finalist in the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions (2011).
Marco Cammarota, tenor, is a recent graduate of the College Conservatory of Music (CCM) where he has received both his Masters Diploma and Artist Diploma. While at CCM he sang Peter Quint in The Turn of the Screw, Carlson in Of Mice and Men, Chaplain of the convent in Dialogues of the Carmelites, Sam Kaplan in Street Scene, and Tamino in Die Zauberflote. Mr. Cammarota has been a Young Artist with Des Moines Metro Opera for two seasons and in summer 2014 will be a member of the Young Artist Program at Glimmerglass Opera. He has received encouragement awards from the George London Foundation, the Gerda Lissner foundation, the Metropolitan Opera National Council, as well as a nomination by the Richard Tucker Foundation. As a member of Kentucky Opera’s 2013/2014 Studio Artist Program, Mr. Cammarota performed Rodolfo in La Boheme with the Lafayette and Owensboro Symphony Orchestras, William Franklin in Paul Moravec’s The King's Man, and Tybalt in Romeo et Juilette. Mr. Cammarota will return to Kentucky Opera in the 2014/15 Studio Artist Program performing the roles of Jaquino in Fidelio, Alfredo in La Traviata with the Lafayette and Owensboro Symphony Orchestras, Nick in La Fanciulla Del West, and Ahmed in Daron Hagen’s A Woman in Morocco.
Melisa Bonetti, mezzo-soprano, is a recent graduate of the College Conservatory of Music (CMM) where she has received her Master's Degree. While at CMM she sang the role of Emelda in the CMM/Cincinnati Opera Fusion productions of Champion. She completed her undergraduate degree in her hometown in Queens, NYC, in CUNY Queens College in the Aaron Copland School of Music, in which she played the roles of the Second Lady in Die Zauberflote, The Lady With the Hat Box in Postcard From Morocco, and the Old Lady in Candide. She also played the role Maddalena in Rigoletto in a professional production with the Queens Symphony Orchestra which has continued to hire her for concert work. Melisa has been a studio artist at the Wolf Trap Opera Company where she covered the roles of Baba the Turk and Mother Goose in The Rakes Progress. She has also been a young artist with I Sing Beijing in China. Melisa has recently finished her first outreach tour as the role of Mercedez in Carmen Redux with Cincinnati Opera Chorus for their Summer Opera season. She will then perform as a soloist in the Septemeber production of "Twisted" with Columbus Opera at the Ohio Theater, and then go into the 2014-15 Studio Artist Program with Kentucky Opera. Ms. Bonetti will perform as a member of the outreach tour Battle Cry of Freedom as well as perform the role of the Mexican Flower Woman in A Streetcar Named Desire. She will return in April to perform the role of Lorca in Ainadamar with the Lexington Philharmonic followed by the role of Claire in Daron Hagen's A Woman in Morocco.
Erin K. Bryan, soprano, is currently pursuing her graduate studies at the University of Louisville School of Music under the tutelage of Edith David Tidwell. With a passion for oratorio, she was most recently heard as soprano soloist for Mozart's Coronation Mass at the Teatro Nacional de Costa Rica. An advocate of new music for voice, Ms. Bryan enjoys frequent collaboration with living composers, recently working with Pulitzer Prize winning composer Paul Moravec, and in 2014 premiering "Dangerous New Avenues," a chamber duet for percussion and soprano by Louisville composer Justin Giarrusso. Full and partial operatic roles include Paquette in Candide, Donna Anna in Don Giovanni, and Lucia in The Rape of Lucretia. Ms. Bryan received her Bachelor of Music in education and performance from the Conservatory of Music at Lawrence University in Appleton, Wisconsin, where she studied with Patrice Michaels and Steven Paul Spears. The 2014/2015 season marks her debut with Kentuck Opera.
César A. Méndez Silvagnoli, baritone is a native of Ponce, Puerto Rico. In the spring of 2013 completed his Master of Music at the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music and Bachelor’s degree in Vocal Performance at the Conservatorio de Música de Puerto Rico. He performed Silvio in PAGLIACCI, Old Emile in CHAMPION as a part of Cincinnati Opera and CCM’s Opera Fusion New Works. Mr. Méndez has performed with Opera Camerata of Washington, Queen City Chamber Opera, the Casals Festival, Ópera de Puerto Rico, Teatro de la Ópera de Puerto Rico,Teatro Lírico de Puerto Rico, Teatro Lirico d’Europa and the Symphonic orchestra of Puerto Rico. He was one of the Gulf coast region finalists in 2010-2011 edition of the Metropolitan Opera House Auditions. He has been a member of the Cedar Rapids Opera Theater Young Artist Program, the International Vocal Arts Institute in Blacksburg, VA and Tel Aviv, Israel and International Institute of Vocal Arts in Chiari, Italy. Mr. Méndez joined the 2013/14 Kentucky Opera Studio Artist Program performing the roles of Benjamin Franklin in Paul Moravec’s THE KING’S MAN and Grégorio in ROMÉO ET JULIETTE. Mr. Méndez will return for a second year with Kentucky Opera in the role of Germont in Verdi’s La Traviata with the Lafayette and Owensboro Symphony Orchestras.
Possessing a "devilish manner and burly bariton" (Opera Magazine, UK) that is "robust and vocally powerful," (NY Daily News) Joseph Flaxman is a baritone who had been drawing praise from musicians and critics alike internationally and throughout America for his compelling dramatic portrayals. Joseph has performed at Lincoln Center, La Palacio del Opera Lyrique-en-mer, Lorin Maazel's Castleton Festival, Opera Memphis, Des Moines Metro Opera, Sarasota Opera, Bard Summerscape, Opera Saratoga, Opera Naples, and St. Petersburg Opera amongst others. His 2014-2015 season includes, Bello in La Fanciulla del West at the Munich Philarmonic, a role in which he has performed at La Palacio del Opera and Lorin Maazel's Castlton Festival, his Wagnerian debut as Donner in Das Rheingold with the Hartford Wagner Festival, Germont in La Traviata with Bronx Opera, and "all make roles" in Smashed! at the NY Fringe Festival with Opera on Tap. This past year he debuted as the titel role in Gianni Schicchi at Raylynmor Opera in Keene, New Hampshire. Additionally, he performed Fiorello in Il barbiere di Siviglia at Opera Naples, Montano in Verdi's Otello at Lorin Maazel's Castleton Festival, the iconic Verdi baritone roles of Renato in Un ballo in maschera and Don Carlo in Ernani at Symphony Space in New York City, Don Parmenione in the New York premiere of Rossini's L'occasione fa il ladro with the Little Opera Theatre of NY, and Mozart's Requiem with the Helena Symphony. A graduate of the Manhattan School of Music, Mr. Flaxman's talens have been recognized by the Liederkranz Foundation, Opera Index, the Bel Canto Foundation Scholarship, Career Bridges, the Comeptizione dell'Opera, the Armel Opera competition, and the MacGraw Hill Young Artists Showcase on WQXR. As a member of Kentuck Opera's 2014/2015 Studio Artist Program, Mr. Flaxman sings Teddy Forsythe in Daron Hagen's A Woman in Morocco in the contemporary opera series, Bello in La fanciulla del West, and the Baron in La Traviata.
Mexican Tenor Serigo Gonzalez recently received his Master's degree under the tutelage of Cesar Ulloa at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, where he also holds his Bachelor's degree. He will be performing for the first time the role of Don Ottavio with the Mendocino Music Festival in their production of Mozart's Don Giovanni in the summer of 2014. He was also seen there as Florville in their production of Rossini's Il signor Bruschino in the summer of 2013. The spring of 2013, he performed the role of Albert in Britten's Albert Herring with the Green Mountain Opera Festival and in the fall of 2013 as Vaslav Nijinski in Danse Russe (Paul Moravek's One-Act Opera) with Kentucky Opera. In the summer of 2012 he was an apprentice artist with the Des Moines Metro Opera program. He returned in 2014 to Kentucky Opera to sing Benvolio and cover Tybalt in their production of Gounod's Romeo et Juliette under the baton of Maestro Plasson. Gonzalez was also recently seen as, Ferrando in Mozart's Cosi fan tutte under the baton of Maestro Giuseppe Finzi, Count Almaviva in Rossini's Il barbiere di Siviglia, Rinucco in Puccini's Gianni Schicchi, Charlie in Weill's Mahagonny, Le Chevalier in Poulenc's Dialouges of the Carmelites, Oronte in Handel's Alcina with the Conservatory's Opera Department, and also as Tamino in Mozart's Die Zauberflote with the Bay Area Summer Opera Theatre Institute. He was also recently a Studio Artist with the Opera Santa Barbara where he covered the role of Fenton in their production of Verdi's Falstaff. He also covered the role of Ernesto with Arizona Opera in their recent production of Donizetti's Don Pasquale. Gonzalez gladly returnes to Louisville to sing the role of Gastone in Verdi's La Traviata and Trin in Puccini's La Fanciulla del West. Gonzalez is a second year artist Kentucky Opera.
Brent Michael Smith, bass, is a recent graduate of the University of Northern Iowa (UNI), having received his master's degree in vocal performance, under the tutelage of John Hines. He is a recent Apprentice Artist with Central City Opera (2014), singing Antonio in Le nozze di Figaro and covering Captain Von Trapp in Sound of Music. While at UNI, he sang Balthazzar in Amahl and the Night Visitors. He also performed in several scenes concerts as Bartolo in Le nozze di Figaro, Le devin in Jean Jacques Rousseau's Le devin du village and Mr. Kofner in The Consul. He received his bachelor's degree in music from Hope College (Holland, MI), majoring in piano performance and minoring in Spanish. He studied voice with Linda Dykstra. While at Hope, he played Harry Easter in Street Scene. Brent has a deep love for musical theater, having been in several productions. Of these, his most memorable in West Side Story, Young Joe Hardy in Damn Yankees and the Prince in Cinderalla. Brent is a first-place winner of both the Grand Rapids Opera Competition (2012) and the National Association of Teachers of Singing Competition: Great Lakes Region (2012). He is a native of Owosso, MI.
Cory Battey is a vocal coach/accompanist hailing from the Pacific Northwest. He has performed and Coached with various opera programs throughout the United States, including Opera in the Ozarks, Shreveport Opera, and several companies in the New York Metropolitan area. Mr. Battey holds a degree from the University of Oregon, where he studied piano performance and music history. This summer, Mr. Battey will be heading to North Carolina as a staff pianist for Brevard Music Center, where he will be helping singers prepare their roles in Falstaff, La Tragédie de Carmen, and The Merry Widow. Currently, Mr. Battey resides in Manhattan, where he continues to coach and perform.
November 15, 2014
The young American pianist Thomas Pandolfi is an exciting virtuoso who, with each passing season, is becoming more and more sought after by audiences worldwide, and showered with superlatives by critics for his passionate artistry and amazing technique. His orchestral appearances often feature not only the beloved masterpiece concerti by Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninov and Liszt, but also the equally brilliant ones by Paderewski, Rubinstein and Moszkowski. Additionally in the "Pops" genre, Thomas is considered a leading interpreter of the works of George Gershwin. While the 2008-09 season marked Thomas' debut recitals in Canada, Germany and China, the 2009-10 season highlighted his debut in London, as well as return engagements throughout Eastern Europe, and concerts both as recitalist and soloist with orchestras across the United States. Pandolfi released his 6th CD album during the 2010-11 season, and returned to China in August of 2011 for his second tour of that country. Additionally, he made his recital debut in Toronto during the 2011-12 season, as well as stepped in on 48 hour notice to perform the Rachmaninov Second Piano Concerto for The Alexandria Symphony's closing concert of that season. During the last two seasons, he performed highly successful and acclaimed 15 state recital tours across the United States. Audiences during 2014-15 will enjoy his artistry in an expanded 21 state recital tour to include the states of New York, Maryland, Virginia, Massachusetts, Indiana, Connecticut, New Jersey, Georgia, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Florida, Washington, DC, Ohio, South Carolina, North Carolina, California, Kansas, Arizona, New Mexico, Kentucky and New Hampshire. Thomas will also be making his debut with the Lafayette Symphony and Nicholas Palmer in The James Bond Concerto and Warsaw Concerto, and his debut with The McLean Orchestra in Rachmaninov's Piano Concerto No. 2 under Miriam Burns on their Gala Opening Night. He will also return as guest soloist with The Washington Metropolitan Philharmonic and Ulysses James in Brahms' First Piano Concerto, and The Owensboro Symphony under Nicholas Palmer in The James Bond Piano Concerto and Warsaw Concerto. Following a violin concerto for Midori, and a saxophone concerto for Brandford Marsalis, film and concert composers Kim Allen Kluge and Kathryn Vassar Kluge are now composing a piano concerto for Thomas, who is most honored and very excited to be involved in this thrilling project. A graduate of The Juilliard School, Pandolfi earned both his Bachelor's and Master's degrees as a scholarship student. He is the father of two beautiful children, and resides in Washington, DC. To keep informed of the latest updates, please visit www.thomaspandolfi.com Follow Thomas: Facebook: @PianistThomasPandolfi Twitter: @PandolfiThomas
December 19, 2014
Tim King is making his debut with the Lafayette Symphony Orchestra this evening. In his professional singing career, Tim has soloed over 130 times with symphony orchestras from New York to California in a variety of classical and pops venues. Recent appearances include the Las Vegas Philharmonic, The Louisville Orchestra, Owensboro Symphony Orchestra, Blue Ash-Montgomery Symphony Orchestra and the Richmond Symphony Orchestra. Tim recently wrapped up a career in Arts Administration with positions including Executive Director of The Louisville Orchestra, Vice President of The Kentucky Center for the Performing Arts, and Director-Performing Arts with the Jefferson County Public School System in Louisville, KY. In May of 2014, Lincoln Performing Arts School in Louisville renamed their piano lab after Tim for his role in creating the first public elementary performing arts school in Kentucky. He also served as the tenor soloist with the nationally acclaimed Cathedral of the Assumption Choir for over 20 years. Born and raised on a working farm in the bluegrass area of Kentucky, Tim received his Bachelor of Music Education degree from Eastern Kentucky University and his Master of Music Performance degree from the University of Louisville. He is father to daughter, Sara, who is a former U. S. Presidential Arts Scholar and embarking on a musical career of her own. Now living outside the town of Rolling Prairie, IN (very close to Lake Michigan), Tim believes in life-long learning and is currently a voice student of Victoria Garrett of Bethel College close to South Bend. Visit www.timkingsings.com
The West Lafayette High School Chorale is an auditioned ensemble of singers in grades 9-12. After a 20 year absence from ISSMA contest, the group earned a Gold Rating with Distinction at ISSMA State Qualification contest as well as numerous state qualifiers in Solo and Ensemble. Additionally, members of Chorale are active in the music department through musical theater productions and a cappella singing clubs. Outside of their musical activities, many singers are active throughout the school in the award-winning academic, athletic, and service organizations. Ben Waltz is in his second year directing choirs at West Lafayette Jr/Sr High School. In addition to directing the choirs, Mr. Waltz serves as assistant band director and teaches courses in general music. Previously he taught for 5 years at Rossville Middle/High School. Mr. Waltz earned his BM in Music Education from Anderson University and his Master of Arts in Music Education (Choral Concentration) from the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, MN. In addition to advanced conducting study with Dr. Angela Broeker, Mr. Waltz’s area of research was in bullying and its effect on adolescent participation in choir.
March 7, 2015
Ann Mozina is a sophomore at Vanderbilt University where she is pursuing majors in flute performance and Spanish and a minor in violin performance. She has studied flute with Philip Dikeman (Vanderbilt), Anne Reynolds, and Jonathan Keeble. As a soloist, Ann has appeared previously with the Lafayette Symphony Orchestra and also the Marion Philharmonic Orchestra, the Mississinewa Valley Band, and the Indiana Wind Symphony. In addition, she has played in master classes on flute with Marina Piccinini, Michael Hasel, and Alice Dade, on piccolo with Laurie Sokoloff, Jim Walker, and Jeffery Zook, and on violin with Katie Lansdale. Ann has also performed throughout central Indiana in her four-piece klezmer (Jewish and Eastern European folk music) band, the Final Klez-Down, as well as in her family’s piano trio. While in high school, Ann was a member of the Marion Philharmonic Orchestra and Carmel Symphony Orchestra violin sections and a substitute violinist with the Anderson Symphony Orchestra. She served as concertmaster of the state-champion Carmel High School Symphony Orchestra, and she was a member of the Indiana All-State Orchestra on flute/piccolo. She played both violin and flute/piccolo in the Indianapolis Symphony Side-by-Side Orchestra and the New World Youth Symphony Orchestra (Indianapolis). At Vanderbilt Ann is the recipient of a Cornelius Vanderbilt Scholarship and National Merit Scholarship.
Elena Escudero is a first-year Vocal Performance Major at DePauw University. She is a graduate of Jefferson High School, where she was the recipient of the Jeffersonian Award in Music. Other awards include the P.E.O. STAR, Rotary Club, and Don & Vicky Chambers Music Appreciation Scholarships. Within the community, Elena has participated extensively in the Greater Lafayette community at Civic Theatre, with Wabash Valley Youth Symphony (as a cellist), and as a featured singer with organizations such as the Lafayette Citizens Band and the Long Center Organ Society. She was a finalist in the Classical Singer Competition and second-prize winner in Schmidt Youth Vocal Competition, and was recently presented an award from the National Young Arts Foundation for voice. She studied voice privately with Vergene Miller while living in Lafayette, and is currently studying voice with Professor Pamela Coburn at DePauw. She intends to pursue a career in opera.
Daniel studied piano for 7 years and guitar for 2 years before entering the 7th grade concert band at West Lafayette High School. He taught himself the 4-mallet Steven’s grip and took a marimba piece to Solo/Ensemble where he received a Gold rating. In his 8th grade year he joined the marching band, pep band, and jazz band, as well as receiving the award for most outstanding percussionist in 8th grade. Throughout his high school career he has become principal percussionist for the jazz band, pep band, and concert band, and has been drumline captain for the past two years. He also instructs the Beginning and Intermediate Band percussion sections at West Side, as well as performing in the orchestras, choirs, and pit orchestra. Daniel has performed as guest timpanist with the Wabash Valley Youth Symphony, as percussionist in the Lafayette Citizens’ Band and Purdue Summer Concert Band, and in several theatrical performances with Civic Theatre and Heartland Productions. He was a member of the 2010 All-Region Band, 2011-2013 All-District Bands, and 2014 All-State Band. Daniel would like to credit his accomplishments to the support of his directors, Matt Conaway and Don Pettit, his parents, and his teacher Pam Nave. He also would like to thank his brother Patrick and sister Sami for grudgingly attending most of his performances. Daniel plans to attend a music conservatory to major in percussion performance, specializing in the marimba.
April 11, 2015
Jesús Medina, noted as one of Mexico’s most outstanding conductors, serves as Music Director of the UANL Symphony Orchestra in Monterrey, Mexico and is founder and Music Director of The Milenium Sinfonietta. Medina, was Music Director of some important mexican orchestras, like the Bellas Artes Chamber Orchestra, the UNAM Philharmonic and the Queretaro Philharmonic. In a short period of time, he has become one of the most sought-after conductors of his country, regularly guest conducting Mexico’s most prominent orchestras. Abroad he conducted orchestras in the United States, Brazil, Singapore, Czech Republic, France, Italy, Spain, Switzerland, Turkey, Venezuela, Serbia, Hnngary, Guatemala, Ecuador, El Salvador and Colombia. Future engagements includes presentations in Italy, Brazil, Czech Republic, USA, Ukraine, South Korea and Poland. Itzhak Perlman, Joaquin Achucarro, Alexander Markov, Angel Romero, Horacio Gutierrez, Elmar Oliveira, Pierre Amoyal, Jean Louis Steuermann, Mauro Maur, Jens Lindemann, Nathaniel Rosen, Mark Peskanov, Konstanty Kulka, Gyorgy Sandor, Pascal Devoyon, Fernando de la Mora, The Vienna Schubert Trio, Nikita Storoyev, Vladimir Viardo, are some of the soloists that have played under his baton. He has conducted many operas like Lucia de Lamermoor, La Cenerentola, La Italiana in Algieri, or ballets, like Romeo and Juliet, Carmina Burana, Oneguin, Giselle, Don Quixote, Carmen and The Nutcracker, or zarzuelas, like La Revoltosa. With La Camerata de las Americas, he has participed numerous times in Mexico’s most relevant music festivals with repertoire ranging from the baroque to the avant-garde. He has recorded with La Camerata three CD’s, one called “Sabor Latino”, another with the world premiere of the ballet “Dias de Muertos” by mexican composer Eugenio Toussaint, and last one calledGauguin; this CD, was nominated to the Latin American Grammy 2001, for best classical album. In 1991 he was awarded the prize of the Mexican Union of Music and Art Critics for being The Best Conductor of the Year, and in 2004 the prize “Gaviota” from the Latinamerican Association of Critics. He studied conducting under Charles Bruck at The Pierre Monteux School in Maine, USA, and previously with Enrique Diemecke and Fernando Lozano in Mexico City. WEB PAGE: www.chuymedina.com FACEBOOK: Jesus Medina Director
Greg Kostraba has successfully combined a career as a radio professional and concert pianist. At the Fourth Van Cliburn International Piano Competition for Outstanding Amateurs, Greg’s performances were called “mesmerizing” (Fort Worth Star-Telegram) and “boldly hewn” (Dallas Morning News), and garnered him semifinalist status. His performance of Kaintuck’ by William Grant Still with the Toledo Symphony Orchestra, Chelsea Tipton II conducting, was broadcast nationwide on National Public Radio’s Performance Today. Currently Program Director at WBAA Public Radio from Purdue University, Greg formerly served as Classical Music Director and Senior Radio Host at WGTE Public Media in Toledo. While there, he received the 2007 Ohio Public Broadcasting Award for “Radio Producer of the Year” and produced nationally-distributed special programs. Greg has produced and been featured as a pianist on several recordings, including “Trio Quelque Chose: Works for Horn, Piano & Violin” (Kickshaw Records), “Vistas” and “A Christmas Gift” (Rick Sowash Publishing), and the Toledo Clarinets premiere CD (Cambria Master Recordings), for which he also arranged two of the pieces. Greg has performed throughout the Midwest, including appearances with orchestras in Indiana (Lafayette and Purdue Symphonies) and Ohio (Toledo, Lima, Perrysburg, and University of Toledo Symphonies), as well as the Monroe County (Michigan) Community College/Community Band. He has also given solo piano and chamber music performances at the William Grant Still Festival in Dayton, OH, Ohio State University-Lima campus, Bowling Green State University, Bluffton University, Owens Community College, Adrian College, Oakland University, and St. Joseph's College in addition to the Great Gallery of the Toledo Museum of Art, Defiance Community Cultural Council Performance Series, the St. Roch Chamber Music Festival in Caseville, MI, the Tippecanoe Chamber Music Society, and Chamber Music Toledo. Dr. Kostraba also founded and served as President & Artistic Director of the Tippecanoe Chamber Music Society and Chamber Music Toledo. He holds masters and doctoral degrees in piano performance from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music and a degree in international relations from American University in Washington, DC. He studied piano and chamber music with Dorothy Bolognini, Alan Mandel, Richard Morris, Sandra Rivers, and the late Richard Fields.
May 23, 2015
This young Chicago based violinist has performed on stages all over the world in front of hundreds of thousands of people, released 13 albums, won countless prestigious awards, and played with musicians ranging from Placido Domingo to Jimmy Page. Throughout her career, Rachel has worked to demystify classical music and bring it to audiences for whom it has not been easily accessible, making her one of the preeminent ambassadors of classical music alive today. Rachel became interested violin at age three. By the time she was five years old, she was identifying herself as a violist. By age seven, Rachel was soloing with orchestras and at age ten, she made her first appearance with the Chicago Symphony. She hit the competition circuit with full force, winning numerous national and international competitions while still in her teens. At age 17, she became the youngest person and first American to win a gold medal at the prestigious J.S. Bach International Competition in Leipzig, Germany. Other top prizes followed in the Szigeti (Budapest), Paganini (Genoa), Queen Elisabeth (Brussels), Kreisler (Vienna), and Montreal international violin competitions. Rachel enjoys of many kinds of non-classical music, and it is her particular enthusiasm for heavy metal that has inspired her latest project. Rachel has released “Storming the Citadel,” an album of some of her favorite rock and metal songs, and she’s already had the opportunity to play with several rock legends, including Robert Plant and Jimmy Page. Rachel is now in the process of spearheading a whole new genre herself. She is commissioning composers and rock musicians to write classical violin pieces based on heavy metal. Rachel’s vision is that this music will be played in both concert halls and clubs and will introduce the magnificence of heavy metal to her classical fans.