"This is true talent, a genuine diamond that you so rarely see."-St. Petersburg Times
An Inca Indian and a native of Peru, Hwaen Ch'uqi began his musical studies at the age of five, upon arriving to the United States; he gave his first public recital the following year. Mr. Ch'uqi currently holds Bachelor and Master of Music degrees in Piano Performance from the Eastman School of Music, where he studied under Natalya Antonova. He quickly distinguished himself as one of the rare pianists to be three times invited as a fellow to the prestigious Tanglewood Music Center (1995-97); there, he studied with such luminaries as Gilbert Kalish and Leon Fleisher.
Mr. Ch'uqi is an active soloist, recitalist, chamber musician, and improvisor. He has performed throughout the United States, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Bulgaria, Russia, Taiwan, and Japan. In 2008, he was a semifinalist at the Second Sviatoslav Richter International Piano Competition in Moscow and was awarded the Special Prize at the finalists' gala. In 2010, Ch'uqi had the chief honor of giving the closing concert of Lebanon Valley College's Distinguished Artist Series.
In recent years, Mr. Ch'uqi has begun composing in earnest. In March of this year, he became a finalist at the 17th International Piano Duo Composition Competition in Tokyo, Japan.
The New York Times has called Katherine Ciesinski “a singer of rare communicative presence, and a musician of discrimination and intelligence.” Major operatic credits include three Metropolitan Opera productions, Covent Garden, Paris Opera, San Francisco, Chicago, among many others. Her world premieres include Mark Adamo’s Little Women, Dominick Argento’s The Aspern Papers, Jake Heggie’s The End of the Affair, and the title role of Maurice Ohana’s La Celestine. She has been seen on national televised broadcasts of operas and concerts on PBS Great Performances and heard on NPR’s World of Opera.
Ms. Ciesinski has also performed with many of the world’s leading orchestras, including Berlin, Vienna, Cleveland, Philadelphia, Chicago, Boston, San Francisco, L’Orchestre de Paris, the London Symphony Orchestra, the Dresden Staatskapelle and L’Orchestre de la Suisse Romande. She has been heard in recital and contemporary chamber music across the United States and Europe. She joined the faculty of the Eastman School of Music in August of 2008.
Pianist Ivanka Driankova has a diverse career as a solo and chamber music performer, piano teacher and vocal coach. She is a native of Plovdiv, Bulgaria. She began studying piano at the age of five, and won her first national competition at the age of eight. Some of the more recent competitions she has won include the SIA Chautauqua International Competition (2000), the Arkansas solo piano competition (1998), The Fourth National Competition for German Music (1997), the UCA Solo piano competition (1996), and was an MTNA Region finalist (1997). She was awarded the prestigious Clara Wells National Scholarship (1998). She has toured in France, Germany and Austria, and has performed as a soloist throughout the United States. She has participated in music festivals in the United States, Bulgaria, Macedonia, France and Germany. Ivanka Driankova began collaborating with the Eastman Wind Ensemble in 2003 and has since performed as a part of the Eastman Wind Ensemble at a number of concerts, including their concert in Carnegie Hall in February of 2005.
Ivanka Driankova completed her Doctoral Degree in piano performance at the Eastman School of music in 2008, in the studio of Rebecca Penneys. She also received her Master's Degree in Theory Pedagogy at Eastman.
Dr. Zbigniew Granat is Assistant Professor of Music at Nazareth College in Rochester, NY. He studied musicology at Jagiellonian University in Kraków, Poland, and in Boston University, where he completed his doctoral dissertation on Open Form and the Work-Concept: Notions of the Musical Work after Serialism. His research interests include the history of twentieth-century music, musical aesthetics, history of music theory, and jazz. Granat has delivered papers at numerous conferences held in Europe the U.S. Before coming to Rochester, he taught at Boston University and New England Conservatory of Music.
As a native of Minnesota, Kelsey Farr has performed in the Minnesota Youth Symphonies at Orchestra Hall in Minneapolis, as well as the Minnesota All State Orchestra. Kelsey began her musical studies in the Eden Prairie String Academy, followed by private lessons with members of the Minnesota orchestra. After completing her undergraduate studies in viola performance at Eastman in 2011, Kelsey chose to continue her education with a Masters Degree from ESM, also in viola performance. She is expected to graduate this spring. Additionally, Kelsey subs with the Rochester Philharmonic and gigs locally with chamber groups.
Clay Jenkins performed as a member of the Stan Kenton, Buddy Rich, and Count Basie Orchestras before he joined the Eastman School of Music faculty in September 2000 as Associate Professor of Jazz Trumpet. Clay has performed and recorded with many different jazz artists including Milt Jackson, Benny Carter, Snooky Young, Harold Danko, Rich Perry, Dick Oates, Randy Brecker, Diana Krall, Dr. John, Joe Williams, Peter Erskine, Joe La Barbera, and Kim Richmond. He is a charter member of The Clayton/Hamilton Jazz Orchestra and continues to record and tour with that award-winning ensemble.
In addition to his career as a jazz performer, Jenkins has taught at numerous schools and colleges including the Foundation for the Junior Blind (Los Angeles), the Colburn School of Performing Arts, the University of Southern California, and California Institute of the Arts. He has conducted clinics and workshops in the United States and abroad.
Among his numerous recording credits are two recordings with Trio East (along with Jeff Campbell and Rich Thompson), three projects with the Kim Richmond/Clay Jenkins Ensemble, and six solo recordings. His latest recording, Blues State was released on the Jazz Compass label. Clay plays an “Edwards Generation II” trumpet and is a performing artist for the Edwards Instrument Company.
Jan Opalach, whose voice has been described as "lyric," "flexible," and "displays a wonderful variety of color," is one of America's most versatile performers on the operatic stage today, combining serious musicianship with excellent acting skills.
Mr. Opalach was a principal artist at the New York City Opera for thirty years. Among the many roles he performed during his long association there, are Papageno in Die Zauberflöte, the title role in Le nozze di Figaro, Leporello in Don Giovanni, Bartolo in Il barbiere di Siviglia, Sancho Panza in Don Quichotte, Dulcamara in Donizetti's L'elisir d'amore, Ariodate in Handel's Xerxes. His performances in the title role of Verdi's Falstaff were critically acclaimed.
He has also appeared with the Baltimore, the Seattle Opera, Florentine Opera of Milwaukee, Portland (OR) Opera and the Santa Fe Opera. Elsewhere, he has performed with the Metropolitan Opera, Washington Opera, Atlanta Opera and the Opera Theater of St. Louis. He has also achieved international recognition appearing with the Canadian Opera Company, English National Opera, Netherlands Opera, Scottish Opera, Teatro Bellas Artes in Mexico City, and Sweden's Drottningholm Royal Court Theater.
Mr. Opalach has sung with the acclaimed orchestras of Dallas, Detroit, Houston, Los Angeles, Minnesota, Montreal, New York, Pittsburgh, San Francisco, St. Louis, Seattle, and the National Symphony. Among the many conductors with whom he has collaborated are Marin Alsop, Daniel Barenboim, Herbert Blomstedt, Semyon Bychkov, Charles Dutoit, Gunther Herbig, Christopher Hogwood, Lorin Maazel, Kurt Masur, Roger Norrington, Christof Perick, Sir Simon Rattle, Christopher Seaman, Robert Shaw, Leonard Slatkin, Edo de Waart, and David Zinman.
He has been a winner of the Marcella Sembrich Award from the Kosciuszko Foundation, the prestigious Walter M. Naumburg Vocal Competition, the Metropolitan Opera National Auditions, and the International Vocalisten Concours of s'Hertogenbosch, Netherlands. He received a National Endowment for the Arts Soloist Recital Grant, funding his solo recital at Lincoln Center's Alice Tully Hall. He has been a featured recitalist at the National Association of Teachers of Singing Convention in Minneapolis, MN. Notable recital venues in which he has appeared include the Ambassador Auditorium (Pasadena), the Library of Congress, Harvard University, and the Morgan Library (NYC). In addition, he has collaborated with many new music ensembles including Speculum Musicae, Continuum, Parnassus, and the American Composers Orchestra.
Mr. Opalach has recorded for a numerous labels including Argo, Bridge, CRI, Decca, Delos, EMI, Koch International, L'Oiseau-Lyre, Nonesuch, Telarc, and Vox Unique. Works recorded include Igor Stravinsky's Renard/Pulcinella (St. Paul Chamber Orchestra; Hugh Wolff), Solo Cantatas 56, 82, 158 by J.S. Bach (Bach Ensemble; Joshua Rifkin), Stefan Wolpe's Quintet with Voice, Elliot Carter's Syringa (Speculum Musicae), Robert Beaser's Seven Deadly Sins (Premiere Recording, American Composers Orchestra; Dennis Russell Davies), G.F.Handel's Acis and Galatea (Seattle Symphony; Gerard Schwarz), Pulitzer Prize winner Aaron Kernis' Mourning Song, and an CD of selected lieder by Franz Schubert.
He is a Professor of Voice at the prestigious Eastman School of Music. He has been heard in annual recitals as well as other performances with the Eastman Virtuosi and the Ying Quartet. He recently recorded I. Stravinski's L'Histoire du Soldat, (voicing all the characters) with Mark Scatterday, conductor and distinguished members of the Eastman faculty.
Maria Rączka started her violin training at the Wieniawski Academy in her native city of Lodz, Poland. Since then, Maria has continued her education at: DePaul University School of Music, Northwestern University and the Eastman School of Music. She has been privileged to study with violinists such as: Mark Zinger, Gerardo Ribeiro, Ilya Kaler, and Mikhail Kopelman. Maria has played recitals, chamber concerts as well as premiered contemporary music in Poland, Spain, Portugal, UK as well as the US. She is currently working on her doctorate at the Eastman School of Music.
Alexander Tatarinov was born in Moscow, Russia in a musical family and began to play the violin at the age of five. His teachers included Asja Kushner at the prestigious Central Music School in Moscow and Dora Schwarzberg at the Vienna University of the Performing Arts. In May 2008 Mr. Tatarinov graduated from the Eastman School of Music, Rochester, NY where he studied with Professor Oleh Krysa. While at Eastman, Alexander received the Performance Certificate for outstanding performing abilities, as well as other prestigious scholarships. He was also a four-time Recipient of the Outstanding Young Musician Award from the Russian Collection of Unique Music Instruments and was awarded a full scholarship to attend the Swiss Master Courses in Zürich under Maestro Vladimir Spivakov.
In 2008, Alexander began his studies as a Jacob Scholar with Professor Mauricio Fuks at the Jacobs School of Music (Indiana University), where in 2010 he received his Master’s of Music and is currently working toward his Performer’s Diploma. In the fall 2012, Alexander returned to Eastman as a doctoral student, where he is a pupil and a teaching assistant to Professor Federico Agostini.
Alexander's numerous recital appearances include concerts in Europe, Russia and North America. He enjoys giving solo performances, as well as collaborating in a chamber group setting and in an orchestra. Most recently, as part of the Indiana University Summer Music Festival Orchestra, Alexander gave concerts at the Ravinia Music Festival with the violinist Joshua Bell.
Dariusz Terefenko has a unique joint appointment as Assistant Professor in the departments of Jazz Studies and Contemporary Media, and Music Theory at the Eastman School of Music. His current research includes various topics related to baroque and jazz improvisation, codification of standard tunes, and analysis of jazz styles. As a pianist, Dariusz Terefenko frequently travels to Europe and Canada giving master classes and solo recitals. As a speaker, he lectures on a broad array of topics ranging from jazz theory and baroque improvisation to musical aesthetics and jazz history and improvisation. Terefenko recently recorded his first solo album, Evidence, that offers his creative take on favorite jazz standards, jazz instrumentals, as well as his own compositions. His new book Jazz Theory – From Basic to Advanced Studies will be published by Routledge in 2013.
Karolina Terefenko is seventeen years old. Her adventure with the violin started in 2002. Since then, she has been studying violin at the Public Music School in Słupsk, Poland, under the supervision of Agnieszka Rajska. In 2009 she was a prize-winner in the Violin Competition in Gdynia, Poland. She often performs with different music groups playing all kinds of music ranging from classical, jazz, to contemporary.