Jessica Chang, Viola
Taiwanese-American violist Jessica T. Chang is dedicated to sharing her love for music through expanding educational opportunities in the arts, and by presenting chamber music in accessible ways. As the founder and director of Chamber Music by the Bay, Jessica brings educational chamber music programs to public schools, libraries, and hospitals throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. Her commitment to sharing chamber music extends to audiences of all ages across the United States, from reaching 800 youth and community members in the San Francisco Bay Area in CMB’s 2012 season, to educational concerts with Project 440 in Savannah, Georgia, and serving as a teaching artist with Opportunity Music Project. Jessica is a founding member and violist of ensemble39, a Philadelphia-based chamber group specializing in performances of repertoire ranging from the classical to contemporary in non-traditional concert spaces.
Recent performance highlights include a European concert tour with Curtis on Tour alongside Roberto Díaz, Pamela Frank, and members of the Berlin Philharmonic; collaborations at Music from Angel Fire with Peter Wiley, Daniel Philips, and Toby Appel; and performances with Itzhak Perlman, Joseph Silverstein, Soovin Kim, and Anthony McGill. Her festival appearances include Music from Angel Fire; Tanglewood Music Center; the International Musicians Seminar at Prussia Cove; the Perlman Chamber Music Workshop; and the festivals at Taos, Verbier, Aspen, and California.
Aside from her musical endeavors, Jessica has maintained commitments toward improving youth access to quality arts education through the School District of Philadelphia’s ArtsRising initiative. Also a writer and an artist, she has been published by art and literary magazines at the North Central Review, CRED Magazine, Yale, and the American Literacy Council. A native of northern California, Jessica is a graduate of Yale College, where she received her Bachelor of Arts degree with honors and distinction, and was also the recipient of a Louis B. Sudler Fund Award and the Yale Friends of Music Chamber Music Award. She also holds an Artist Diploma from the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, where she was the recipient of the William A. Loeb Fellowship. Jessica is currently pursuing graduate studies at The Juilliard School under the tutelage of Heidi Castleman and Steven Tenenbom, with gracious support from the Satterthwaite Scholarship Fund and the Irene Diamond Graduate Fellowship. www.jessicatchang.com
Karen Cueva, Violin
Violinist Karen Cueva is in her third year of training at The Juilliard School where she studies with Stephen Clapp and Lewis Kaplan. She is a graduate of the Walnut Hill School for the Arts where she attended on full scholarship. During her time at Walnut Hill, Ms. Cueva also studied at the New England Conservatory Preparatory School.
Ms. Cueva began her violin studies at the age of four and has won various competitions and awards, including a Certificate of Commendation from the US Marine Corps for her musical service to the veterans of the Armed Forces. She was the 2009 recipient of The Jack Kent Cooke Young Artist Award, one of the largest and most competitive scholarship programs in the nation. An advocate for arts education in public schools, Ms. Cueva was a founding performer of Boston Crew, an outreach program from NPR’s From The Top radio show, where she brought classical music to children in inner-city schools. She continues her outreach work by collaborating with Young Artists New Jersey. Ms. Cueva has taught in the Juilliard Pre-College Division program CLIMB (Combining Literacy Instruction with Musical Beginnings), as well as at the Harlem School of the Arts as a recipient of the 2010 Goldman Fellowship. She is currently on faculty at Opportunity Music Project. Ms. Cueva performs on a 2008 Douglas Cox violin.
Tegen Davidge, Viola
Tegen Davidge is a violist whose objective both on and off the stage is to exhibit passion and dedication. Most recently, she attended the Yellowbarn Festival, where she performed with renowned artists Maria Lambros, Michael Kannen, Seth Knopp, and Anthony Marwood.
Tegen has performed solo and chamber music around the United States, Canada, and China. As a winner of the concerto competition at the Cleveland Institute of Music, she has performed as soloist with the CIM Orchestra, in addition to performances with the Medicine Hat College Academy Orchestra, the Shanghai Opera Orchestra, and the Youth Orchestra of the Americas. She was recognized as the best viola performer both at the 2006 Kingsville and 2010 Corpus Christi Competitions, as well as the winner the String Category Prize at the 2008 Canadian National Music Festival. In 2007, Tegen was recorded for The Nature of Things with David Susuki, a television documentary on the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) network.
A native of British Columbia, Tegen grew up in rural areas, resulting in a passion for bringing live classical music to those that would not experience it otherwise due to their location. She performs frequently in hospitals and long-term care facilities, as well as presenting interactive performances in schools and rural communities.
Tegen began studying the violin at the age of seven, before taking up the viola at age 14, and studied with Michael van der Sloot in Medicine Hat, Alberta. Having obtained her Bachelor of Music degree at the Cleveland Institute of Music, studying under Jeffrey Irvine, she is currently a first year graduate student with Heidi Castleman and Hsin-Yun Huang at the Juilliard School.
Jessica Garand, Viola
A versatile performer and music advocate, Jessica Garand is passionate about engaging society through music. She is the founder and executive director of Opportunity Music Project (OMP), a non-profit organization providing free private lessons, instruments, and mentoring to motivated children from low-income families in New York City. She also performs interactive chamber music concerts in inner-city classrooms. Jessica Garand enjoys being an active volunteer in the Montreal and New York City scenes, performing at benefit galas, retirement residences, hospitals, and homeless shelters and has been featured in the Globe and Mail’s column “Action Figure” and awarded the Canadian Millennium Scholarship in recognition of her ongoing passion to serve the community through music.
Jessica Garand has performed throughout both North and South America and Europe. Jessica began playing the viola at the Montreal Music Conservatory and has since completed her studies at the Juilliard School in New York City. She received her Bachelor of Music degree from the Schulich School of Music at McGill University in Montreal under the tutelage of André Roy, and received a Master of Music degree from the Juilliard School. She studied with Samuel Rhodes of the Juilliard String Quartet.
A prizewinner at the Montreal Classical Music Festival, Jessica Garand has been a finalist at the Canadian Music Competition, and won First Prize at the Lakeshore Chamber Music Competition.
In 2011, Jessica Garand had the opportunity to serve as principal violist of the New York String Orchestra Seminar with performances in Carnegie Hall under the direction of Jaime Laredo. Jessica Garand has also been a member of the New York City Symphony, and the New Juilliard Ensemble, performing in venues including the United Nations, Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center, and the Museum of Modern Art in New York City. She was a member of the Juilliard Symphony and in this capacity has worked with the distinguished conductors Alan Gilbert, Bernard Haitink, Kent Nagano, and Yannick Nézet-Séguin.
Jessica Garand is dedicated to the promotion of new music, an interest that has brought her to Carnegie Hall’s Japan NYC Festival, the Focus! Festival, and Summergarden with the New Juilliard Ensemble.
Jessica Garand is grateful for the support she has received from many generous patrons and foundations including the C. & B. Cohen Scholarship, the A.H. Kuhn Memorial Scholarship, and the Irene Diamond Fellowship.
Sofia Nowik, Cello
Cellist Sofia Nowik joins the faculty at Opportunity Music Project this fall having recently completed her Master’s Degree at the Juilliard School of Music where she was a student of Darrett Adkins. She also received her Bachelor’s Degree from Juilliard having worked with teachers, David Soyer and Bonnie Hampton. A principal cellist of the Juilliard Orchestra from 2009 till 2013, Sofia had the opportunity of working with conductors such as Alan Gilbert, Bernard Haitink, Michael Tilson-Thomas, Kurt Masur, and Christoph Dohnanyi. She worked with chamber music coaches Sylvia Rosenberg, Michael Tree, Seymour Lipkin, Earl Carlyss, Curtis Macomber, and Lara Lev at the Juilliard School, and with Ian Swenson and Norman Fischer as a fellow of the Tanglewood Music Center. As an advocate for new music, Sofia frequently played with Juilliard’s two contemporary ensembles, Axiom and New Juilliard Ensemble, and has premiered numerous works by composers at Juilliard.
During her graduate studies Sofia worked for the Juilliard Pre-College Division as both a chamber music and orchestral mentor, and was a teaching fellow for the Liberal Arts department in the college division. This coming 2013 – 2014 season, Sofia continues her educational outreach this year as cello faculty at Opportunity Music Project and a substitute coach for the Juilliard Pre-College. She will perform with ensembles Symphony in C, Arcos Chamber Orchestra, New York Concerti Sinfonietta, and is a substitute cellist for the New World Symphony.
Charlotte Steiner, Viola
Violist Charlotte Steiner made her solo debut with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra at age 16 as winner of their Young Soloist Competition. A Maryland Distinguished Scholar in the Arts, Charlotte has also performed as soloist with the Landon Symphonette (MD) and Greater Baltimore Youth Orchestra. She has received honors in competitions held by the Music Teachers National Association, Asian American Music Society, and the U.S. Army Orchestra, and has attended Yellow Barn Young Artists Program, Greenwood Music Camp, and Aspen Music Festival and School, where she was a fellowship recipient. Charlotte has studied viola with Karin Brown, Steven Tenenbom, Victoria Chiang, and Jeffrey Irvine, and is currently pursuing her undergraduate degree as a student of Heidi Castleman at The Juilliard School.
Charlotte currently maintains a studio of violin and viola students at Musipire Professional Music Education in Queens, NY, and teaches viola lessons in a New York City Public School as a fellow of Juilliard’s Instrumental Music Program. Committed to outreach, she most recently performed with Hope for New York at Bailey-Holt House, New York’s oldest HIV/AIDS residence. In 2012, she was a team member of Juilliard ARTreach’s New Orleans Project, through which she taught disadvantaged youth at a YMCA and led master classes at New Orleans Center for Creative Arts. Charlotte is passionate about celebrating and connecting diverse cultures through music, and strives to help empower students in underserved urban communities.