Executive DirectorRead Bio
Josué Gonzalez comes to Project STEP having recently served as the Director of Education for Rockport Music. His professional career has been centered in music education, having previously served as a teacher and program director for the El Sistema music program at the Conservatory Lab Charter School in Boston.
A trained classical cellist, Josué holds a B.M. and M.M. in Performance and Suzuki Pedagogy from the Cleveland Institute of Music and is a graduate of the Perrone Sizer Institute for Creative Leadership. In 2017 he received an Emerging Leader Award from the Arts Schools Network (ASN) for his work in the music education field and was a prize winner at the 2011 Sphinx Competition.
Artistic DirectorRead Bio
A talented double bass player, Dr. Saunders earned both his bachelors and master’s degrees in double bass performance from The Pennsylvania State University (State College, PA). He continued his studies at the University of Maryland, where he received his Doctor of Musical Arts degree. He served as the Assistant Dean of Students for the Eastern Music Festival for four years; held the title of Classical Roots Coordinator for a year with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra; and most recently, he worked at The Longy School of Music, in Cambridge, serving as the Assistant Dean for Artistic and Social Change (in which capacity he also worked with Longy’s El Sistema orchestra for students ages 8 to 18). A committed educator, Dr. Saunders has taught in youth programs in Virginia and Maryland and was associated with Cincinnati’s El Sistema program; additionally, he has taught at the collegiate level (including The University of Cincinnati, Northern Kentucky University, and Penn State University). His orchestral experience is extensive, and includes performances with the National Philharmonic Orchestra, the Sphinx Symphony Orchestra, the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, and the Virginia Symphony. In addition to his music degrees, Dr. Saunders earned an Artist Diploma from The University of Cincinnati.
Artistic AdvisorRead Bio
Mariana Green Hill began studying violin at the age of four. At age nine she auditioned into Project STEP, and under its auspices Ms. Green Hill studied at the New England Conservatory of Music Preparatory School. Her teachers included Farhoud Moshfegh, Marylou Speaker Churchill, then Principal Second Violin of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, and Tamara Smirnova, Assistant Concert Master of the Boston Symphony Orchestra. Ms. Green Hill received Bachelors and Masters Degrees from the Juilliard School, and a Professional Studies Diploma from the Mannes College of Music. Ms. Green Hill is a Second, Third and Best Tone Award Winner of the Sphinx Competition and placed First in the Boston Symphony Orchestra Youth Competition, the 17th Annual NAACP Act-So Competition, and the Chinese American Art Society Competition. Ms. Green Hill has been a featured guest soloist with the Memphis, New Jersey, and Detroit Symphony Orchestras, the Boston Pops, Symphony Pro Musica, Boston Philharmonic Orchestra, Boston Civic Symphony, Boston Landmarks Orchestra, and the Cape Ann Symphony. Ms. Green Hill is a member of the Young Eight, a group of emerging African American artists who perform chamber music throughout the country. She is concertmaster of the Soulful Symphony in Baltimore. For eight years she was the second violinist of the Amaryllis String Quartet. She currently teaches at the Boston Arts Academy and Orchard Gardens Pilot School, as well as privately. She is Artistic Advisor of Project STEP where she consults with the Artistic Director and Executive Director on issues pertaining to the Youth Preparatory, Preparatory and Pre-College Divisions. She also assists with content and student selection from the FOCUS program. In conjunction with the Artistic Director and the Executive Director, she helps develop curriculum for the program. She is a resource for parents and faculty.
Director of Institutional RelationsRead Bio
Leigh Kelter served as Project STEP’s Executive Director from 2001-2005 and moved on to specialize in non-profit fundraising in her subsequent position as the Director of Development at the Conservatory Lab Charter School. She returned to Project STEP in 2010 and has been focusing on foundation, corporate, and government fundraising since then. Serving as Interim Executive Director in fall 2018 strengthened her already deep commitment to the organization. Ms. Kelter received a Master of Arts in ethnomusicology from UCLA and a Bachelor of Arts in music and anthropology from Tufts University.
Director of Donor EngagementRead Bio
Jodie McMenamin joined Project STEP in the fall of 2014. Jodie has worked for over 15 years in the arts and culture sector of Boston in fundraising and development for various non-profit organizations including the USS Constitution Museum, Arsenal Center for the Arts, and Glovebox. She also worked in arts administration as an intern through the Massachusetts Cultural Council and Fort Point Arts Community. Her role at Project STEP includes working with the Executive Director, and Board of Trustees to lead a successful campaign of individual support for the organization’s continued growth and stability.
In addition to her position with Project STEP, Jodie is a successful curator and fine arts painter (jodiebaehre.com). Her art has been featured in Boston Magazine, Boston Home, Apartment Therapy, and the Boston Weekly Dig among other publications. Jodie’s work is on permanent reserve at the Boston Public Library and State Street Bank, and permanent exhibition at Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital. She has been nominated as a Brother Thomas Fellow by The Boston Foundation (2018), recognized as a Fay Chandler Emerging Artist by The City of Boston (both in 2018 and 2019), and was nominated by the St. Botolph Club, Boston for an emerging artist grant (2021). In 2022 Jodie was awarded a curatorial ship by the Fort Points Art Community that was sponsored by The City of Boston for an exhibition titled There Once Was Parking – which also supported an evening of music from student musicians of Project STEP. Also in 2022, Jodie was awarded The People’s Choice Award for the National art competition, “Emptiness” for her painting titled Last Call.
In addition to her artwork and her work in fundraising, Jodie is a member of the Fort Point Arts Community, The National Guild for Community Arts Education, and The Edward Hopper House Artists’ Members in Nyack, NY, and The American Iris Society.
Jodie studied Industrial Design at the Rochester Institute of Technology, Printmaking and the History of Italian Gardens at the Lorenzo de’ Medici School in Florence, Italy, received a Bachelor’s of Fine Arts from the Art Institute of Boston at Lesley University, and a Master’s of Science in Art Administration from Boston University.
Interim Manager of Youth & Community EngagementRead Bio
Juliet Pepe is a former Project STEP student, and a recent graduate of Mount Holyoke College, where she received a Bachelor of Arts in Neuroscience and Behavior. Her years in STEP ignited her love of music, and she now plays two instruments and is trained in singing choral and a cappella music.
Elisa Pepe, President
Diane M. Austin, Immediate Past President
Alex E. McCray, First Vice President
Meghan K. Jasani, Second Vice President
Michael J. Hoyle, Treasurer
Audley H. Fuller, Clerk
Melinda K. Cheston
Dr. Mark Churchill
Jessica M. Fenton
Andrea Kalyn, New England Conservatory Interim Rep.
Jenelle Lawson, Parent Rep.
Hon. Antoinette McLean Leoney (Ret.)
Gregory Melchor-Barz, PhD, Boston University Rep.
Asadour Santourian,Boston Symphony Orchestra Rep.
Malik Williams, Parent Rep.
Gregory E. Bulger
Nina L. Doggett
Goetz B. Eaton
Rachel S. Moore
Ann Hobson Pilot
Martha Batchelor Volpe
Jason Amos began the viola at age eleven in his hometown of Southfield, MI. He placed 4th in the 2007 Sphinx Competition and 1st in the 2006 Detroit Symphony Orchestra’s Bradlin Scholarship Concerto Competition. He has also performed as the featured young artist of the Detroit Chamber Winds and Strings and as soloist with the Ann Arbor Symphony. After undergraduate studies at the University of Michigan, Mr. Amos received a Graduate Diploma at the New England Conservatory of Music. During the summers, he has enjoyed serving as faculty for the Sphinx Performance Academy and the Four Strings Academy, as well as mentoring the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain. Jason studied primarily with Martha Strongin Katz, Yizhak Schotten, Caroline Coade, and Catherine Carroll. Mr. Amos completed the Fellowship program at Community MusicWorks in Providence, RI. Jason serves as violist in the Boston Public Quartet, which has a permanent residency at the Chittick Elementary School in Mattapan, MA.
Alexander Badalov received his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Cello Performance from the Tbilisi College of Music, his PhD from Tbilisi State Conservatory, and an Artist Diploma from the Longy School of Music. He also received a Kodaly Method Certification Level I from the New England Conservatory. He has since performed many times with the Cape Cod Symphony, Nashua Symphony, Central Massachusetts Symphony, New Hampshire Symphony and Bangor Symphony Orchestras.
Miriam Bolkosky, cello, appears nationally as an orchestral and chamber musician. She has performed extensively with orchestras in Boston, New York, D.C. and Chicago, including Boston Lyric Opera, A Far Cry, Boston Pops, BMOP, Odyssey Opera, Boston Ballet, ProMusica Chamber Orchestra, National Lyric Opera, and Lyric Opera of Chicago. She has appeared as soloist with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, the Paul Hill Chorale, and on classical and popular commercial recordings.
A graduate of the University of Michigan and the Cleveland Institute of Music, Miriam maintains a large private studio and has held faculty positions at Northwestern, the Music Institute of Chicago, and the Cleveland Institute of Music. She is on the faculty of Berkshire Summer Music, and of Project STEP. Miriam is also a Registered Yoga Teacher, and is currently pursuing an Alexander Technique teaching certification.
Meghan Carye is an active cellist and music educator in the Greater Boston Area. She began her musical training at New England Conservatory and holds a Bachelor of Music and a Graduate Performance Diploma in cello performance from the Peabody Conservatory of Music. She has performed throughout North America, Europe and Israel and is a founding member and cellist of the Illyrian Chamber Players.
She is currently on faculty at New England Conservatory Preparatory School and the School of Continuing Education. In addition to her role as a cello teacher and chamber music coach at NEC she is the chair for SCE’s Chamber Music Department. From 2012 until 2016 she served as Program Director of New England Conservatory’s Festival Youth Orchestra (an intensive summer orchestral institute) after serving as the Assistant Director and Chamber Music Coordinator for twelve years.
In addition to her home cello studio in Lexington, she is also the cello sectional coach for Tufts Youth Philharmonic and an adjunct cello faculty member at Belmont Day School, Belmont Hill School and Buckingham Browne and Nichols School. Former teaching positions include cello faculty member at Powers Music School, Boston Youth Symphony Orchestra’s Intensive Community Program.
Meghan is the recipient of the American String Teachers Association 2018 Studio Teacher of the Year.
Nominated a “Citizen Musician” by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Maggie Cerjan has established herself as a committed and passionate educator over the past decade. Currently the director of the Junior Strings Intensive at Boston University Tanglewood Institute, Maggie is the founder and director of Stonybrook Strings, and is a Resident Artist at Conservatory Lab Charter School.
Maggie has enjoyed a full and varied career as an educator-performer. After graduating from Northwestern University’s School of Music, Maggie joined the Civic Orchestra of Chicago, performing under renowned conductors including Riccardo Muti, Esa-Pekka Salonen, and Jaap van Zweden.
While in Chicago, Maggie coached the Chicago Symphony Youth Orchestras and performed over 40 chamber music concerts a year at public schools and community centers as a Teaching Artist through the Chicago Symphony’s Institute for Learning Access and Training, and was a faculty member at the People’s Music School’s YOURS Project. As a founding member of the Chicago-based Élan String Quartet, Maggie was invited to perform at the Utah Symphony’s Emerging Quartets’ program, collaborated with the Chicago Symphony’s Institute and Chicago Young Authors to create beat poetry and classical music concerts with poets from Englewood High School, and performed the Schubert Cello Quintet with Yo-Yo Ma at the Chicago Symphony’s Citizen Musician Week.
Maggie completed her Master of Music degree at Boston University with Peter Zazofsky and Bayla Kayes. She was Peter Zazofsky’s assistant at BUTI’s String Quartet Workshop before founding the Junior Strings Intensive in 2017. She performs regularly throughout Greater Boston and at Tanglewood, and joined the faculty of New England Conservatory’s Summer Orchestra Institute in 2019.
Conductor, cellist and educator Mark Churchill is widely known in New England and abroad. He served as Associate Conductor of the Boston Ballet from 1990 to 2012 and is the founder and Music Director of Symphony Pro Musica, now in its 37th season. Former conducting roles include music director of Worcester’s Salisbury Lyric Opera and Salisbury Chamber Orchestra and the Thayer Conservatory Orchestra. He has also led the New Zealand National Youth Orchestra in its annual gala concert and recently conducted the National Ballet of Mongolia and the Tokyo’s Komaki Ballet. For eleven years he served as Resident Conductor and Faculty Chairman of the Asian Youth Orchestra in Hong Kong, a pan-Asian organization led at its inception by the late Sir Yehudi Menuhin. He is the founder and vice president of the Orchestra of the Americas (formerly the Youth Orchestra of the Americas, established in 2002, which draws gifted young musicians from throughout North and South America.
As a cellist Mark has appeared as soloist, recitalist, and chamber music player throughout the United States and on tours of South America. He has also appeared in Seoul, Hong Kong, and Taiwan with the Trio Pro Musica. He is much sought after as a cello teacher of gifted teenage cellists, many of whom have gone on to study at major conservatories, achieving notable careers as performers and teachers. He was given the Boston Cello Society’s 2017 annual recognition award for outstanding service to education, performance, and scholarship. In addition to his 40-year tenure as cello instructor at NEC’s Preparatory School, Mark has presented numerous masterclasses and workshops, and has served on the faculty of summer music festivals such as the Cremona, Heifetz, Musicorda and Foulger International Music Academies, and Greenwood Music Camp. He and his wife, violinists Marylou Speaker Churchill, received Harvard’s Luise Vosgerchian Teaching Award in 2005.
Mark is Dean Emeritus of New England Conservatory’s Preparatory School and and School of Continuing Education, which he oversaw for 31 years. During his leadership of the Preparatory School, the program expanded enormously and became known as one of the best of its kind in the nation, emphasizing serious, professional training for the pre-college student along with high-level music education for students of all ages and aspirations. He launched the School of Continuation as the counterpart to the Preparatory School and shaped the first two decades of its growth. In addition he established the NEC at Walnut Hill Program 1982 and initiated and curated numerous community-based programs and local, national, and international partnerships.
An active advocate for the improvement and expansion of music education programs in American schools, Mark for many years oversaw NEC’s Center for Music-in-Education, which featured the development of new music education curricula and music teacher training programs. He is founder and board member of El Sistema USA, the advocacy and service organization for US programs that are inspired by the renowned Venezuelan model of social development through music, and he established NEC’s Abreu Fellows Program for the training of El Sistema leaders in 2008. Beginning in the late 1990’s Mark began developing New England Conservatory’s close relationship with Venezuela’s massive El Sistema youth orchestral training program, leading to the signing of the 2005 “Friendship Agreement” between New England Conservatory and El Sistema along with numerous faculty and student exchanges and the joint founding of the Youth Orchestra of the Americas. He oversaw NEC’s close relationship with El Sistema until 2010. In January 2018 he was given El Sistema USA’s Lifetime Achievement Award.
Mark is currently Senior Advisor to the Boston Philharmonic and Boston Philharmonic Youth Orchestra and serves on the boards of a number of non-profit organizations, including Project STEP, a pre-professional support program for string students of color; the Center for Artistry and Scholarship, dedicated to leading arts education reform in the US public schools; El Sistema USA; and the Orchestra of the Americas (vice-president). For 18 years Mark served as a founding board member of the Conservatory Lab Charter School, a K-8 public inner-city Boston elementary school offering a music based curriculum. Other former board roles include the Walnut Hill School, an independent school for serious high school age art students; and the Berkshire Institute for Theology and the Arts, which fostered the interface between those two areas.
Mark holds the B.M. M.M. degrees from New England Conservatory and a D.M.A. from the Hartt School. He received a Fulbright Grant to Brazil for doctoral dissertation research, and spent a year writing, playing and teaching in that beautiful country. His teachers include Herbert Blomstedt and Charles Bruck (conducting); Rudolf Kolisch (chamber music); and Raya Garbousova, Laurence Lesser, David Soyer, and Benjamin Zander (cello). He was married to the the late Marylou Speaker Churchill, Boston Symphony Orchestra principal second violinist and New England Conservatory faculty member. His twenty-three-year-old twin daughters are both studying music in university and plan to pursue careers in music.
Double bassist Charles Clements grew up in Westborough, Massachusetts and began playing music at an early age. A 10 year voyage through piano, viola, trumpet and electric bass led Charles to the double bass in high school which he began to study privately and play in jazz ensembles and youth orchestras in the Boston area. He attended the New England Conservatory of Music earning his Bachelor’s Degree studying with Boston Symphony bassist Todd Seeber. Charles went on to receive his Masters Degree at Manhattan School of Music in New York, studying with New York Philharmonic bassist and jazz talent David Grossman.
Charles was a fellow with the New World Symphony and has attended the Tanglewood Music Center, the Aspen Music Festival, the Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival, the National Orchestral Institute, Domaine Forget, and the 2012 Britten-Pears Aldeburgh World Orchestra. He has performed with the Boston Symphony, the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, the East Coast Chamber Orchestra, the Knights Chamber Orchestra in New York, the LA Chamber Orchestra and Boston’s own A Far Cry Chamber Orchestra.
Charles also enjoys writing and performing music with his identical twin brother George, and enjoys snowboarding, hiking, and biking in his spare time.
Described as “a tireless force of musical curiosity, skill, and enthusiasm” and “the one to up the ante” (Boston Musical Intelligencer), Sarah Darling enjoys a varied musical career, holding a variety of leading roles in A Far Cry, Musicians of the Old Post Road, Boston Baroque, Les Bostonades, Gut Reaction, and Antico Moderno, also performing with the Boston Early Music Festival, Emmanuel Music, Newton Baroque, Sarasa, the Boston Ballet Orchestra, and the Carmel Bach Festival. Sarah studied at Harvard, Juilliard, Amsterdam, Freiburg, and New England Conservatory, working with James Dunham, Karen Tuttle, Wolfram Christ, Nobuko Imai, and Kim Kashkashian. She has recorded old and new music for Linn, Paladino, Azica, MSR, and Centaur, plus a solo album on Naxos and two Grammy-nominated CDs on Crier Records. Sarah is active as a teacher and coach, on the faculty of the Longy School and serving as co-director of the Harvard Baroque Chamber Orchestra.
French double bassist Pascale Delache-Feldman enjoys a diverse career performing as a soloist, chamber and orchestral musician, recording artist, commissioner of new music, educator and founder and artistic director of the Boston Bass Bash.
As a soloist, she has performed with the Nashua Chamber Orchestra, Merrimack Valley Philharmonic, the North Shore Philharmonic, Greensboro Festival Orchestra, Longy Chamber Orchestra and others. New Music Connoisseur described her playing from a recent concert as having “technical certainty and musical imagination” and by the Phoenix as “ a gifted colorist ….who produced an entire range of orchestral effects”.
An avid chamber musician, she has collaborated with violinists Midori, Joel Smirnoff, St. Petersburg String Quartet, Borromeo String Quartet, members of the Lark String Quartet, Fidelio; pianists Virginia Eskin, Victor Rosenbaum, Randall Hodgkinson, and with soprano Dawn Upshaw. She was a prizewinner at the Prague International Chamber Music Competition and won first prize with honors for double bass performance at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique de Paris. She has recorded CDs of chamber music with the Albany, Archetype, Arsis, AFKA and CRI labels and has appeared on NPR’s Artbeat, WGBH Boston, Vermont Public Radio, France Inter, Radio France Toulouse, and local television stations.
As an orchestra player, Ms. Delache-Feldman has performed with the New York Philharmonic, Boston Symphony, Boston Pops, Toulouse Capitole National Orchestra (France), and as principal bassist with Metamorphosen Chamber Orchestra, New England String Ensemble and BMOP, among others.
As co-founder of Duo Cello e Basso (formerly the Axiom Duo) with cellist Emmanuel Feldman, she has concertized both in the US and in Europe at such distinguished venues as the Kennedy Center, the Phillips Collection, Jordan Hall, Sanders Theater, Liszt Academy Budapest, Altes Rathaus Vienna, Radio France Paris and many others. Duo Cello e Basso’s repertoire champions music of our time and collaborates with dynamic artists from many genres. The duo has arranged more challenging and diverse music from Bach to Bartók and has commissioned numerous pieces including composers John Harbison, Daniel Pinkham, John McDonald, Eric Sawyer, Andrew List, Mark DeVoto, Alexander Blechinger, Elena Ruehr, Hayg Boyadjian and many others.
The duo debuted on the Boston Celebrity Series in collaboration with the Rebecca Rice Dance Group and has realeased their first CD on Synergy Classics.
Since 2001, Ms. Delache-Feldman has been the founder and artistic director of the Boston Bass Bash, an international festival dedicated to the double bass that included guests Edwin Barker, Larry Wolfe, Don Palma, Tim Cobb, Rufus Reid, Michael Moore and many others.
Ms. Delache-Feldman teaches double bass at the Longy School of Music of Bard College, Tufts University, New England Conservatory and has been recently invited to give masterclasses at Eastman, University of Taipei, New Englande Conservatory and University of Texas among others. She has taught at the Yellow Barn and Summit Music Festivals, and is on the faculty of the Killington Music Festival, VCU Global Summer Institute of Music, Foundation for Chineses Performing Arts and the Wellesley Composers Conference and Chamber Music Center.
A second-generation bassist, she studied with her father Jean-Claude Delache from age 10 at the Toulouse Conservatory, later studying with Jacques Cazauran and Frédéric Stochl at the Paris Conservatory where she earned her Bachelor of Music. Ms. Delache-Feldman came to the US to study with Roger Scott at the Curtis Institute of Music, where she received her Artist Diploma. She has also studied with Edwin Barker, Evgeny Kolosov, and violinist and renown pedagogue Burton Kaplan. Ms. Delache-Feldman was a Tanglewood Music Center Fellow and participated in the Pablo Casals and Schlesswig Holstein Musik Festivals.
Susanne Friedrich, cello, was born in Vienna, Austria, and received her cello training at the Vienna Conservatory (modern cello) and the Innsbruck Conservatory (baroque cello). She performed for many years with Concilium Musicum on period time instruments, touring all of Austria and Europe as well as Southeast Asia. During her years in Vienna she played regularly with the Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra and the Wiener Kammeroper.In 1997 she moved to the Boston area to establish herself as a freelance player with many of New England’s orchestras. She was assistant principal of Symphony New Hampshire for many years, and plays regularly with many other ensembles. She founded Trio Orione (piano trio) together with Katharina Radlberger and Roy Imperio, as well as the Vienna Waltz Ensemble, which performs Strauss’ waltzes and polkas, and has been a member of Trio con Brio, two flutes and cello, with Wendy Vignaux and Laura Wilkins. With Joshua Peckins, Lilit Hartunian, and Gillian Rogell she performed as the Rivers String Quartet for two seasons.Most recently she is part of Trio con Anima, a piano trio, with Ana Popa, piano, and Marie Louise Sjöberg, violin.Susanne teaches cello and chamber music at the New England Conservatory Preparatory School, Dana Hall School of Music, Rivers School Conservatory, and in her private studio.
Cellist Melody Giron was born and raised in Boston, Massachusetts. She began her musical studies at the New England Conservatory of Music Preparatory School when she was four. She has since performed throughout the United States, Europe and Asia as a soloist, chamber musician, and orchestral musician. Currently based in NYC and Boston. Melody’s musical versatility has engaged her in a variety of work including new music premieres, Broadway theater, orchestral work, chamber music, and solo performances. She has also recorded for movie scores, and TV commercials in addition to recording and performing with various popular music artists.
Most recent new music collaborations include the world premiere of Julia Wolfe’s Spinning, at Montclair State University, as well as Ted Hearne’s premiere of “PLACE” at BAM, Brooklyn. Melody also performed David Chesky’s “Arbeit Macht Frei” for solo cello and orchestra with the Metro Chamber Orchestra of New York.
Melody frequents the popular music world, she was on tour with Sara Bareilles’ for the Amidst the Chaos Tour in the U.S. She has also performed with Stevie Wonder, Shawn Mendes, Eminem, 50 Cent, Ed Sheeran, Doja Cat, Skylar Grey, Keyshia Cole, H.E.R, Andra Day, Emily King and The Burned, among others. She has performed on Saturday Night Live and The Today show.
Melody also maintains an active orchestral career, playing principal chair for the Metro Chamber Orchestra, subbing with the Chamber Orchestra of New York, the Huntsville Symphony Orchestra in Alabama, and the Rhode Island Philharmonic among other orchestras.
Melody’s TV engagements include starring in the GMC Acadia car commercial, airing nationally on television, marking her first commercial appearance. Melody can also be seen on TV as a member of the string ensemble for NBC’s America’s Got Talent season 10, as well as Amazon’s TV series, Mozart In The Jungle seasons 2 and 4. More recently, Melody booked her second TV commercial, for Classe Audio. Melody can also be heard on two feature films- Boy Erased and Gemini Man.
Melody’s Broadway Theater appearances include being chosen by playwright, Edward Albee, to act the role of “The Musician” in the Off-Broadway production of The Sandbox directed by Lila Neugebauer at Signature Theatre Company in NYC In 2020 she played for the NYC premiere of Unknown Soldier at Playwright’s horizons and previously played cello for Bard SummerScape’s revival production of Leonard Bernstein’s Peter Pan directed by Chris Alden.
Melody has collaborated with many classical artists including renowned pianist and Irish music producer, Phil Coulter. While on tour with Coulter, Giron performed for former President Bill Clinton and former Secretary of State, Hilary Clinton at Carnegie Hall. Melody has also worked with the Takacs Quartet, the Peabody Trio, The Borromeo String Quartet, Vivian Weilerstein, James Buswell, Lucy Chapman, John Heiss, John Gibbons, Ran Blake, Benjamin Zander, and Hugh Wolff, among others. Her summer studies have been with renowned pedagogues, Eloenore Schoenfeld, Orlando Cole, Metta Watts, Dmitri Ferschtman, and Rienhard Latzko.
Melody’s summer festival engagements include, The Britten-Pears Young Artiste Programme in Aldebrugh, England. She performed for the widely proclaimed production of Benjamin Britten’s opera, Peter Grimes. She returned to Britten-Pears for the “Tchaikovsky Project” under the baton of Semyon Bychkov. Melody played principal cello in the Penderecki Academy Orchestra of Westfalen, Germany as well as the Luslawice Academy Orchestra of Poland under the direction of Krzysztof Penderecki. Giron has attended the International Holland Music Sessions, Netherlands, Aims in Graz, Austria, and the Sienna Summer Music Festival in Italy.
Committed and passionate about teaching and pedagogy, Giron completed the two year Suzuki Method teacher training program at the School For Strings in Manhattan, New York under the tutelage of Pamela Devenport. Melody’s teaching style combines the traditional method with Suzuki method. Melody holds a private studio in addition to teaching being a teaching artist for Project step and The Suzuki School of Newton.
Melody earned her bachelor’s degree in cello performance from The New England Conservatory of Music in Boston, MA under the tutelage of Natasha Brofsky. She earned her master’s degree in cello performance from the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, MD, at which she studied with Alan Stepansky.
Nancy Hair (cello) received her B.M. from Indiana University and The Hartt School, and attended graduate studies in pedagogy at Ithaca Talent Education. She studied with Janos Starker, Raya Garbousova, Yehuda Hanani, George Neikrug, Timothy Eddy as well as the Alexander Technique. She has performed with Pro Arte Chamber Orchestra, New Hampshire Symphony, Opera Company of Boston, Rhode Island Philharmonic and has been former faculty at Longy and Powers music schools. She is currently on faculty at The Hartt School, All Newton Music School, and New England Conservatory Preparatory Division.
Mariana Green-Hill marks this upcoming year as the 15th anniversary as Founder and Director of Four Strings Academy, an intensive string program held during the summer geared to children, ages 4-18 and some adults, demonstrating the potential to become professional musicians and love for the art form.
Mrs. Green-Hill is also the Strings Director at Boston Arts Academy under the leadership of Gregory Holt, directing both technique and orchestral classes for the school’s string students. From 2012-2013, her role was expanded to teach violin at the Orchard Gardens School under the leadership of Principal Andrew Bott with his Arts Initiative Team also considered President Obama’s choice turn around school in Boston.
Along with these responsibilities, she currently serves as the Interim Artistic Director but usually has worked as the Artistic Advisor of the Project STEP program located in Boston’s Symphony Hall, where she teaches, coaches and advises students and parents grades K-12. Ms. Green-Hill also performs in various venues as a soloist and chamber musician and teaches privately.
Mariana Green-Hill is a multi- prize Winner of The Sphinx Competition as well as the recipient of the 2009 Sanford Allen Award in recognition of her “artistic merit, persistence, and extraordinary achievement.” She has also won first place in the Boston Symphony Orchestra and the Harry and Marion Dubbs Competitions. Mrs. Green-Hill has been a featured guest soloist with the New Jersey, Memphis, Detroit, and Boston Symphony Orchestras and The Boston Pops. In addition to her solo performances, she is an experienced chamber and orchestral musician. The Amaryllis String Quartet, of which she was a member, was awarded First Prize in the prestigious Fischoff Chamber Music Competition (Jr. Division). Ms. Green-Hill has performed with YoYo Ma, Pamela Frank, Lynn Chang, Marcus Thomson, and with members of the Houston and Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestras. She was also a member of the Young Eight String Octet for six seasons.
Mariana Green-Hill was of the Concertmasters of Soulful Symphony, a symphony ensemble made up of classical orchestra, big-band and gospel choir. Their performance of “Song in a Strange Land” composed and directed by Darrin Atwater earned an Emmy. This ensemble has also performed in collaboration with members of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. Ms. Green-Hill was one of the violinists of the former MarNi Duo that performed for a benefit concert for former President Barak Obama in Boston’s Jordan Hall. She enjoys performing with non-classical musicians, and has recorded with gospel artists Donnie McClurkin and Richard Smallwood. She has also performed with the “Gorillaz,” and with Joss Stone and Alicia Keys. Ms. Green-Hill studied violin under the auspices of Project STEP and attended Walnut Hill School for the Arts. She received her Bachelor and Masters Degrees from The Juilliard School and a Professional Studies Diploma from the Mannes College of Music under the respective tutelage of the late Dean Stephen Clapp, Dr. Ann Setzer and Ida Kavafian.
Patrice Jackson-Tilghman joined the Conservatory in 2018 and is an associate professor of cello. In addition, she has served on the strings faculty at Berklee College of Music since 2013. Jackson, who has carved a name for herself as a gifted and charismatic young soloist, has been described as a “big-toned, boldly projected soloist” (Detroit News) who “wowed the audience with effortless facility, playful phrasing and a sense of spontaneity that one hears usually only from the highest caliber of musicians” (Hartford Courant).
In 2002, Jackson was awarded first place in the Senior Laureate Division of the nationally renowned Sphinx Competition, and was the recipient of the Yale University Aldo Parisot Prize, awarded to a “gifted cellist who shows promise for a concert career.” Since then, she has performed with the Atlanta, Detroit, Dallas, New Jersey, Milwaukee, Omaha, Cincinnati, St. Louis, Grand Rapids, Nashville, Hartford, Chautauqua, Colorado and Mississippi symphonies, as well as the Philadelphia Orchestra. Jackson has performed with the Ritz Chamber Players, Castle of Our Skins, and Boston Conservatory Chamber Orchestra, in addition to faculty recitals at Boston Conservatory.
Jackson received both a Bachelor of Music degree and Artist Diploma from the Juilliard School, and a Master of Music degree from the Yale School of Music. She has been a student of Janos Starker, Aldo Parisot, Joel Krosnick, and Bonnie Hampton. In addition to her classical credentials, Jackson has played behind some of the most iconic artists of our generation, including Alicia Keys, Kanye West, J-Cole, and Stevie Wonder.
Kathleen Jara is a creative educator who focuses on developing student voice through the refinement of the artistic self. She has spent the last fourteen years working in education while maintaining an active performance schedule with her violin, in various idioms, and has continuously found that one discipline informs the other. She has studied with Sharan Leventhal, Vasile Beluska, Steven Cornelius, Russell Schmidt, Bernard Woma, and Jeff Halsey on her journey to becoming a musician/educator, and has taught and performed in the United States and various countries in South America. It is her pleasure to be working with Project Step this year.
Susan Bradley-Jarvis, a native of Canada, is an internationally known violin teacher, adjudicator, and lecturer in string pedagogy. Currently living in Boston, she teaches at the New England Conservatory of Music where she was also chair of Suzuki Department, and teaches for and directs the Milton Suzuki Talent Education. A clinician at many Suzuki workshops and institutes in the Americas and Asia, she has twice been an invited guest speaker for Suzuki Association national conferences. Known as a teacher for the serious beginner, many of her students have won district, state, and national competitions including the Canadian Stepping Stone Competition, and the National Student Music Competition in Seoul, Korea. Her students have been featured on “From the Top”, and have appeared on solo recitals in NYC Steinway Hall.
An advocate of music for everyone and music in the public schools, Ms Jarvis was part of the delegation that visited Venezuala for the re-signing of the friendship agreement between the famous El Sistema program and New England Conservatory, and was instrumental in the establishment of the El Systema Fellowship training program. She teaches as a private instructor for Boston’s Project Step, and group classes Focus II program. For many years, Ms Jarvis coordinated and taught in the outreach for Boston Arts Academy, a public high school for the visual and performing arts in Boston’s inner-city schools.
Ms Jarvis holds degrees from Ottawa University (violin performance), University of Lethbridge (music education), and Ithaca College (Masters in Performance with Suzuki Emphasis), and is a Silver Medal winner from the Royal Conservatory of Music. She is president and founder of Arco Press, a music publishing house devoted to providing advanced technique to young string players, and the author of the soon to be published nine book series Tailor Made Scales, and Seeing Beats, Saying Rhythms; A String Player’s Guide to Understanding and Sight-Reading Rhythms.
Anna Korsunsky (violin) studied at Gnessin Institute of Music in Moscow, Russia. After immigrating to the United States she continued her studies under a Special Director Award at Boston University, where she received Master of Music degree. She has appeared as a soloist and as a chamber musician in the former USSR, Germany, Italy, Japan and USA and has participated in the Musicorda, Spoleto and Pacific Music Festivals. Mrs. Korsunsky is a member of the Rhode Island Philharmonic Orchestra and plays with the Boston Modern Orchestra Project. She teaches extensively at her home studio in Needham and at the St. Mark’s School
Hyun-Ji Kwon, cellist, currently maintains an active schedule as soloist, chamber musician, and teacher. She earned her Bachelor of Music degree at Ewha Women’s University in Seoul, Korea, and was the winner of the top prize at the Seoul Symphony Orchestra Competition and the third prize at the Seoul Youth Chamber Music Competition. She was the principal cellist for the Ewha orchestra and performed as a soloist with the orchestra for two consecutive years.
She came to Boston to study at the New England Conservatory, where she earned a Master of Music in cello performance as well as a Graduate Diploma. From there she moved on to complete a Doctor of Musical Arts in cello performance at Boston University’s School of Music, in the studio of Rhonda Rider. Her other teachers have included Natasha Brofsky, Il-hwan Bai and Sungwon Yang.
Kwon has performed in master classes for renowned cellists such as Natalia Gutman and Anner Bylsma, and she has participated in numerous music festivals and concerts in Korea and North America. During her studies at BU, she was selected numerous times to perform in joint Faculty/DMA candidate “Chamber Music Masterworks” concerts, and she was awarded special String Department Honors upon graduation as well as membership in the national honorary society Pi Kappa Lambda. She has performed as guest alumna along with the celebrated Muir Quartet and violist Michelle LaCourse at BU’s Tsai Center, with the Convergence Ensemble, and in several other Boston area ensembles.
Kwon joined the BU School of Music cello faculty in 2015. During the summer, she serves on the faculty of Boston University Tanglewood Institute as co-director of the cello workshop program and cello instructor of the Young Artists Orchestra program.
Angela Leidig’s involvement with the Suzuki method goes back 40 years. She started playing violin when she was five years old in a Suzuki public school program in Pennsylvania. She began teaching in 1991 while finishing high school and continued teaching ever since. She completed her Suzuki Teacher training for Books 1-10 under Kimberly Meier-Sims, Linda Fiore, Ronda Cole, Ed Sprunger and Ed Kreitman.
Currently Angela is on the Suzuki faculty at New England Conservatory teaching both private lessons and group classes and maintains a private studio in Somerville, MA. She was on the Suzuki faculty at the Longy School of Music in Cambridge, MA from 2008-2013. In the summer, Angela teaches at the NEC Summer SuzukiFest and at White Mountain Suzuki Institute in New Hampshire.
Angela is also a certified Alexander Technique teacher; she is dedicated to teaching young children how to play with an attitude of creativity and enjoyment, developing a technical and musical foundation of ease, balance and freedom from the beginning stages. She works closely with parent and child to develop healthy habits with the instrument and practice at home from the very beginning. Angela teaches AT group and private lessons in the greater Boston area, as well at the Alexander Technique School of Cambridge teacher training program where she trained and graduated in 2011. She began teaching AT with Robyn Avalon at Meadowmount String Summer Institute to advanced string players ages 13 and up in 2019 and teaches AT courses at NEC Prep, NEC conservatory and in the greater Boston community.
Angela received her M.M. from Boston University with Bayla Keyes and did doctoral work in violin performance at the University of Colorado in Boulder under the Takacs Quartet. Angela has dedicated much of her performance career and study to chamber music and continues freelancing and giving chamber music concerts in the Boston area.
Photo Credit: Foppe Schut
Haitian-American cellist Francesca McNeeley has received critical acclaim as a collaborator and soloist, and enjoys an eclectic career in the Boston area. She has premiered dozens of works, solo and chamber music—including pieces by John Harbison, Mark Neikrug, Augusta Read Thomas, and Joseph Phibbs. Recent musical collaborations have included soloing with the Boston Landmarks Orchestra and touring with the Grammy-nominated A Far Cry chamber orchestra as a guest principal cellist. She is frequently featured with Castle of Our Skins, the New Gallery Concert Series, and the Celebrity Series of Boston. She has been invited to participate in various artist residencies at the Longy School of Music, Yellowbarn, the Grand Teton Music Festival, Marquette University, and Keene State College. She has performed with the Boston Symphony and Sarasota Orchestras, and can be heard on BMOP/sound with the Boston Modern Orchestra Project.
Ms. McNeeley graduated Princeton University Phi Beta Kappa, and went on to receive scholarships to attend the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University and the New England Conservatory for her graduate degrees in cello performance. She has earned fellowships and prizes from the Tanglewood Music Center, where she also served as a New Fromm Player. With her Fromm colleagues she has founded the Chroma Trio, championing modern string trio repertoire. She has received fellowships to attend the Music Academy of the West, Kneisel Hall Chamber Music Festival, & Toronto Summer Music. She has been awarded multiple grants from the Sphinx Organization, and now serves on The Artist Council for the National Alliance for Audition Support. Her teachers and mentors have included Tom Kraines, Darrett Adkins, Norman Fischer, Yeesun Kim, and Astrid Schween.
Francesca is dedicated to community engagement through teaching and mentoring. In addition to her private teaching studio, she serves on the faculty for the Boston Youth Symphony Orchestra’s Intensive Community Program.
Graduate from Zagreb University and Brussels Royal Conservatory; Diplome Superieur for violin and Premier Prix for Chamber Music; studies with K. Hauser, I. Pinkava, A. Gerller, Yankelewitch, and Chugajewa; masterclasses in Budapest, Weimar, Salzburg, Goslar; solo and chamber music performances in Europe and U.S.; TV and radio recordings; member, Duo Affetuoso; Director of Camp Cadenza.
Originally from Poland, Magdalena Richter has appeared as soloist with the Warsaw and Cracow Philharmonic and in the US with the Boston Pops, Cape Ann Symphony, the Nashua Philharmonic, Wellesley Symphony and Symphony by the Sea among others. “Violinist Magdalena Suchecka Richter is a virtuoso of her instrument, an artist of great, yet well controlled temperament,”- from the Copenhagen newspaper the Svenska Dag Bladet, in a review of her performance of Bacewicz Solo Sonata.
Richter is also a very devoted teacher and serves as a Chairman of New England Conservatory Preparatory School String Department and Rivers School Conservatory String Department. In May 2009 she was awarded the prestigious Jean Stackhouse Award for Excellence in Teaching at NEC Preparatory School. She is also a Director of the Rivers School Chamber Orchestra. Her students are very involved at NEC and BYSO youth orchestras as well as District, All State, All Eastern and National Orchestras, often serving as section leaders. Her students are also winners of concerto competitions in Boston area and many of them became professional musicians.
As a solo recitalist, Richter has presented concerts at the National Radio House, Paris, France, the International Cultural Center, Leipzig, Germany, at the Sibelius Academy of Music, Helsinki, Finland and Warsaw Symphony Hall, Poland. Now settled in the Boston area, Richter has performed on various concert series: at Jordan Hall, the Gardner Museum, Edward Pickman Concert Hall and St. Paul’s Church. She also participated in hundreds of concerts-presentations for school children both in Poland and US.
Richter has performed chamber music recitals with Arthur Balsam, Ronald Feldman, Roman Totenberg, Judi Stillman and Elise Jackendoff. As a member of New England String Quartett, Richter has presented concerts throughout New England.
Born to a family of professional musicians, Magdalena Richter began her concert career playing with her parents. She studied first at the Academy of Music in Warsaw, where she earned her diploma with highest honors and joined a faculty. She continued her studies in US at Boston University and Longy School with Roman Totenberg. Richter holds her Master of Music degree from Juilliard School, where she was a scholarship student of Dorothy Delay, earning the Extraordinary Student of America Award.
Other awards have included a fellowship to the Aspen Music School, a Special Award from the International Competition for American Contemporary Music in New York City, first prize awards from numerous National Competitions in Poland, a prize in the International Wieniawski Competition, and the International Young Violinists’ Competition in Paris.
M.M. with highest honors (Warsaw Academy of Music, Poland); M.M. (The Juilliard School), chosen as Extraordinary Student of America; prize winner, International Competition in Paris, Wieniawski International Competition, American Contemporary Music International Competition; numerous solo and chamber music performances, and recordings for radio and TV in Europe and U.S.; former faculty, Warsaw Academy of Music.
African-American/Filipino cellist, Nathaniel Taylor, has captivated audiences with his passionate and charismatic playing, and is quickly establishing himself as a formidable artist of the 21st Century.
Mr. Taylor has been a prize winner of many leading regional and national competitions including Grand Prize at the 2016 Massachusetts-ASTA Masters Competition, and first prize in the 2017 Boston Conservatory Concerto Competition. In addition, Nathaniel was a Performance Fellow with the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, and a two-time Fellow at the Tanglewood Music Center. For five years, Nathaniel was also the recipient of a cello on long term loan generously awarded by the Amati Foundation.
As a soloist, Nathaniel made his orchestral debut in 2016 as soloist with the Boston Conservatory Orchestra that was met with rave reviews. Since then, he has appeared as soloist with the Lexington Symphony (MA), and the Orchestra of Indian Hill (MA) where he worked alongside conductors, Jonathan McPhee and Bruce Hangen, respectively. In addition, he has been featured as soloist with the conductorless chamber orchestra, Hemenway Strings.
With an immense love for chamber music, Mr. Taylor has collaborated with renowned artists including violinist Lynn Chang, pianist Judith Gordon, soprano Tony Arnold, and cellists Yo Yo Ma, Rhonda Rider, Scott Kluksdahl, and Andrew Mark, amongst others. Nathaniel has performed at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Symphony Hall, Strathmore Center, Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, Sanders Theater, and Ozawa Hall. While attending the Boston Conservatory, Nathaniel was a multi-time laureate of the school’s Honors Chamber Music Competition and a member of the award winning cello ensemble, BoCoCelli. He has received chamber music coachings from the Juilliard String Quartet, Yo Yo Ma, Emmanuel Ax, Pamela Frank, Judith Eissenberg, and Norman Fischer. In 2018, Mr. Taylor joined the Artist Roster of the Boston based, Ensemble SONE. In 2020, Nathaniel was invited to perform the African-American spiritual, “Nobody Knows de Trouble I See” alongside Yo-Yo Ma that was featured at the Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s Gala, “Sounds of Celebrations: an Evening with the CSO.” In 2021, Mr. Taylor has performed with the acclaimed chamber ensembles, A Far Cry, and Palaver Strings.
Nathaniel has been principal cellist in several orchestras including the Tanglewood Center Festival Orchestra, the Boston Conservatory orchestras, and the Scoring Sessions Program Orchestra at the Berklee College of Music. He has also performed frequently with the Boston Chamber Orchestra.
Mr. Taylor has participated in masterclasses with Kang-ho Lee, Gautier Capuçon, Zuill Bailey, Scott Kluksdahl, Norman Fischer, David Teie, Mihai Tetel, Kiril Gerstein, Carol Rodland, Mihai Jojatu and members of the Jupiter, Shanghai, Chiligirian, and Lydian String Quartets. Nathaniel has attended the Tanglewood Music Center, the Cello Seminar at Music from Salem, Green Mountain Chamber Music Festival, and Foulger International Music Festival, among others.
Mr. Taylor completed his formal studies at Boston Conservatory at Berklee where he received the prestigious Artist Diploma in 2020. His teachers have included the renowned cellists Rhonda Rider, Patrice Tilghman-Jackson, Astrid Schween, and Steven Honigberg.
Nathaniel currently plays on a contemporary American cello made by Kevin Kelly, and a gold-mounted Salchow bow generously gifted to him by the Manganaro and Curme families, respectively.
Timothy Terranella has performed as cellist and flutist with many of the Boston area’s most prestigious musical organizations including the Boston Symphony Orchestra, the Boston Ballet, Boston Esplanade Pops, New Hampshire Symphony Orchestra, Boston Philharmonic Orchestra, Boston Lyric Opera, and Claflin Hill Symphony Orchestra. Mr. Terranella is a founding member of the New York-based Orpheus Chamber Orchestra and a former member of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. He has served on the faculties of Boston University, Buckingham Browne and Nichols School, College of the Holy Cross, Clark University, Joy of Music Program in Worcester, and Indian Hill Music, Littleton, MA (string chair). Mr. Terranella is also principal conductor of the Joy of Music Youth Orchestra and is a graduate of The Curtis Institute of Music. He earned the Masters Degree from The Boston Conservatory and the Artist Diploma from New England Conservatory. His cello teachers have included Leonard Rose, Orlando Cole, Mischa Nieland, and Ronald Thomas. His flute teachers have included Bernard Goldberg, Randolph Bowman and Jeanne Baxtresser. Mr. Terranella has performed on the musical soundtracks of Sophie’s Choice and Schindler’s List.
Ms. Villani grew up in Colombia where she received her BA in Music at University of Cauca in Popayan. She then went to France to further her studies. There she studied choir Direction and Gregorian Choir Direction at Conservatoire de Paris, where she was awarded a First Prize. In parallel she got a certification in Music Pedagogy by the Willems Institute (Lyon) and the Kodaly Insitute (Ezstergom, Hungary). Upon moving to the USA she obtained a Level II Dalcroze certification from the Diller-Quaille School of Music in New York.
In Colombia, Ms. Villani worked as a Music Teacher from Kindergarten to High School and founded her own Music Academy. In France she taught Music Theory, Solfege and Choir at the Conservatoire Francis Poulenc and the Music School in Argenteuil. As a choir conductor she was assistant conductor of the Maitrise de Paris, and was invited to conduct the Maitrise of the Cathedral in Metz, two leading youth choral organizations. In addition she founded and directed various ensembles including the Training Choir at Conservatoire Francis Poulenc, the Choir of Palais de la Culture in Puteaux, the World Music Choir in the Cite International Universitaire, and the Popayan Choir celebrating Latin-American music. In the US, she founded the Women’s Choir of Croton on Hudson. In addition to her teaching and conducting work, she also regularly returns to Colombia to transmit her experience to the next generation of educators.
She is now the artistic director and conductor of the Treble Chorus of New England in Andover, MA. In 2019 she joined the faculty of the Handel and Haydn Society in Boston as a conductor. Ms. Villani joined the Project STEP Faculty as a teacher of Music Fundamentals in 2018.
Laura Williamson teaches private lessons and group classes in the Boston area. She holds a BA in Music Performance and Sociology from Vanderbilt University, where she graduated summa cum laude, and a MM from New England Conservatory. Laura is passionate about 20th and 21st century music. While at the Round Top Festival, Laura was featured on a “Best of” recital performing Ligeti’s “Metamorphoses nocturnes” Quartet. Other festivals Laura has participated in include the Brevard Music Center, National Repertory Orchestra, and the Monadnock Music Festival.
While at NEC Laura studied pedagogy under Magdalena Richter. Laura endeavors to prioritize working with young musicians for the duration of her career, and to be a “life-long learner” in furthering her pedagogical awareness. Laura has done Suzuki training with Teri Einfeldt, Kirsten Marshall, Carol Smith and Lynn McCall. She is currently on the faculty of NEC’s Preparatory School where she teaches private violin and viola lessons, violin ensembles, and Suzuki Early Childhood Education.
Liana Zaretsky is an active chamber and orchestral musician in the Boston area. She is the former principal second violinist of Portland, ME, Symphony and appears regularly with the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Boston Pops Esplanade Orchestra and Boston Ballet. An avid chamber musician, Ms. Zaretsky was one of the original and former members of the Radius Ensemble. She has collaborated with faculty from Longy School of Music, New England Conservatory, as well as with Boston Symphony musicians to perform frequently. Ms. Zaretsky holds a Masters degree in music from Northwestern University and a Graduate Diploma degree from the New England Conservatory. Between degrees, she was a member of the New World Symphony-one of the rotating Concert Masters, under Michael Tilson Thomas.
Ms. Zaretsky is currently the Rivers Summer Music Program Director, a newly appointed position. During the year, she is a string faculty member at the Rivers School Conservatory and at the Preparatory and School of Continuing Education at the New England Conservatory. She has recently joined the Project STEP faculty and continues to actively work with the Boston Youth Symphony, coaching chamber music and leading orchestra repertoire sectionals. In the summer, she has been a regular member of the Peninsula Music Festival in Wisconsin.
Photo Credit: Marco Borggreve
Born in the former Soviet Union, violist Michael Zaretsky graduated from the Moscow State Conservatory cum laude. He began his career as a member of the Moscow Philharmonic String Quartet and the Moscow Radio and TV Symphony Orchestra. In 1972, he immigrated to Israel and became principal viola of the Jerusalem Broadcasting Symphony Orchestra and a soloist with Radio Israel. The following year he played for Leonard Bernstein, who brought him to Tanglewood. That summer, while a Fellow in the Tanglewood Music Center (then the Berkshire Music Center), he successfully auditioned for the Boston Symphony Orchestra. Besides being a longtime member of the BSO, Mr. Zaretsky regularly plays solo recitals and chamber music; he has appeared with such leading artists as Emanuel Ax, Yuri Bashmet, Yefim Bronfman, Gil Shaham, and Vadim Repin, as well as colleagues from the BSO. As a soloist, he has performed with the Boston Pops, the Rhode Island Philharmonic, the Atlantic Symphony, the Peninsula Music Festival Orchestra, the Georgian State Chamber Orchestra, and the Sapporo Philharmonic.
He has also appeared as violist with the dance company Tom Gold Dance. While on tour in Japan with the BSO in November 2017, Mr. Zaretsky gave a relief concert in the tsunami-stricken city of Ishinomaki, performing music of Shostakovich and others. A faculty member at Boston University, Mr. Zaretsky has made several highly regarded recordings, including an album of Russian music for viola and piano; music of J.S., C.P.E., and W.F. Bach; music of Brahms and Schumann; Bach’s six cello suites performed on viola; and Hindemith’s Sonatas for unaccompanied viola, and, with pianist Xak Bjerken, viola with piano. Mr. Zaretsky has performed and discussed the six Bach cello suites on multiple occasions, including in Athens, Greece, at the invitation of the American College of Greece, and at TurnPark Art Space in West Stockbridge, MA. Besides the traditional viola repertoire, Mr. Zaretsky performs an extensive repertoire of new music. His collaborations with composer Jakov Jakoulov have resulted in many new works. In 2007, film composer and Boston Pops Laureate Conductor John Williams dedicated his Duo Concertante for violin and viola to Mr. Zaretsky, who premiered it at Tanglewood that summer with BSO violinist Victor Romanul. Their acclaimed recording of the Duo Concertante and other duos for violin and viola was released in fall 2008.