"Pablo Casals was and probably is the most important musical influence in my life. One had the sense of his striving for what musical perfection and true musical realization could be," says Bonnie Hampton.
"Competitions for me are challenges that motivate me tremendously. I also think they are the most effective way to share my music with the world, thanks to live streaming technology," says Richard Lin.
Romanian-born Cristian Măcelaru is one of the most dynamic and insightful conductors of our generation. He is Music Director of the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music and next year will become Chief Conductor of the WDR Sinfonieorchester Cologne.
"Sailing with its slowness has changed my way of interpreting music," says Roberto Soldatini. So he spends six months of the year in liveaboard lifestyle sailing the Aegean and Mediterranean Seas and the other half teaching cello at the Music Conservatory Domenico Cimarosa in Avellino, Italy.
"It's very important to receive objective advice from someone who knows you well enough and that you can trust, even if your career has already taken off," says Romanian cellist Andrei Ionita - who has been dazzling audiences even before his Tchaikovsky Competition win.
Only 30 years old, Francesco Lecce-Chong is a rising star and already holds posts as Music Director of the Santa Rosa Symphony and the Eugene Symphony. "I will say that I strive for my performances to have a visceral impact on the audience and encourage taking risks for greater expression," he comments.
We are currently experiencing a Golden Age of violin players and Augustin Hadelich is among the best of the best - as evidenced by his being chosen Musical America's Instrumentalist of the Year 2018 and having received a Grammy in 2016 for Best Classical Instrumental Solo.
"I think it's extremely important to be the strongest, most pure and sincere version of yourself. We all go about this in different and often weird and wonderful ways," says world-class violinist Nicola Benedetti.
Soon after 28-year-old Yekwon Sunwoo won the 2017 Van Cliburn International Piano Competition, Decca Gold released a recording of his performnces at the competition which became number one on Billboard's Traditional Classical Album charts.
Violinist Anne Akiko Meyers doesn't just set the standard; she is the standard. Her internationally acclaimed recordings and performances have a distinction that's all about interpretative sophistication, silky sounds and crystal intonation.
Nina Lee is a powerhouse cellist, chamber musician, teacher and member of the Brentano String Quartet since 1998. She is on the faculty of Yale University where the Brentano is Quartet-in-Residence.
Alexander Barantschik is an orchestras dream come true. In 2001 he became concertmaster of the San Francisco Symphony under Michael Tilson Thomas and brings to this position a vast experience as orchestral player, performing artist and chamber musician.
Musafia Cremona Italy violin and viola cases are considered by many to be the standard of the craft for their construction, design, innovation and quality of materials used, such as high-end silks, satins and Italian suede lining.
Quintessential Chamber Musicians and The Perfect Musical Couple are expressions that come to mind when describing the dynamic duo of cellist David Finckel and pianist Wu Han.
Antonio Lysy's career as cellist and teacher is a tale of many countries and influences, particularly Argentina, Italy, Quebec, Canada and the US. He has collaborated with renown musicians such as Charles Dutoit, Yuri Temirkanov, Yehudi Menuhin, Vladimir Ashkenazy and Pascal Roge.
Los Angeles-born Jeffrey Kahane is the quintessential in demand artist because he enjoys a successful career as pianist and conductor and possesses an innate grasp of such composers as Bach or John Adams.
Anne Tomlinson has distinguished herself as Artistic Director of the Los Angeles Children’s Chorus (LACC) for almost twenty-two years, and will be relinquishing her position with this group at the conclusion of the 2017-2018 season.
Christopher Parkening was described by the Los Angeles Times as…”America’s reigning classical guitarist, carrying the torch of his mentor Andres Segovia.” He performs with leading orchestras including the New York Philharmonic and Royal Philharmonic and collaborates with distinguished artists such as Renee Fleming, John Williams and Josh Groban.
Mark Baranov has been Assistant Concertmaster of the Los Angeles Philharmonic for most of his thirty-eight year tenure with the orchestra. This December, he will be stepping down from the position but continue to serve as a member of the first violin section.
The award winning luthiers Joseph Grubaugh and Sigrun Seifert, are based in the small northern California town of Petaluma, in Sonoma County. Their violins, violas, cellos reflect the tradition and craftsmanship of the golden age of Italian instrument makers such as Stradivari and Guarneri.
Jerome Lowenthal is among the most respected interpreters of our time, receiving critical acclaim for a wide range of repertoire that includes works for piano solo, piano chamber music, duo piano and sixty-three different concerti.