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Benita BenéitezExpertise: Violin
Benita Benéitez is a dedicated violinist and educator with over twenty years of teaching experience.
Hailing from Spain, Ms. Benéitez received her Bachelor of Music in Violin and Piano Performance from the Superior Music Conservatory of Bilbao in Spain, as well as her Master of Music in Violin Performance. She received her Suzuki Teacher Training at School for Strings (NYC), and studied Counterpoint at the Juilliard School of Music. Ms. Benéitez holds a Postgraduate Diploma in Orchestral Training from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama (London, UK).
In addition to Opportunity Music Project, Ms. Benéitez currently teaches at Brooklyn College’s Preparatory Center for the Performing Arts, as well as The Brooklyn Conservatory of Music at P.S. 230. Ms. Benéitez is the recipient of numerous awards and grants, including the Sculpture Foundation Gerald Siciliano New York INC. Grant, the Caixa Galicia International Scholarship, the JONDE – Cajamadrid Grant, and the Diputación Foral de Vizcaya Award.
Carlos BarrientoExpertise: Bass
Carlos Barriento has appeared with various orchestras and ensembles in many venues including Carnegie, Avery Fisher, Alice Tully and Merkin Halls, NJPAC, and Symphony Space. Currently, Mr. Barriento is Principal Bass of the New York Chamber Virtuosi, where he also holds a position on the board of the orchestra.
An avid performer, Carlos has performed various chamber works including Schubert’s Trout Quintet at Carnegie Hall, as well as Prokofiev’s Quintet in G minor and Schubert’s Octet. He has played in the NY Times reviewed performances of Britten’s A Beggar’s Opera and Strauss’s Die Fledermaus at the Manhattan School of Music (MSM), and has also performed in master classes at the International Society of Bassists convention. An active teacher, Carlos maintains a private studio throughout the NY metropolitan area and has taught at the American String Teachers’ Association/NJ Chamber Music Institute, Manhattan School of Music Precollege, and the Garden State Music Festival.
Chloe FedorExpertise: Violin
Beginning her musical journey at age three with a macaroni box disguised as a violin, South Florida native Chloe Fedor has since acquired a more sophisticated instrument and gone on to perform throughout the Americas, Asia, and Europe. She received her Master of Music Degree from the Juilliard School and her Bachelor of Music Degree from the Eastman School of Music, where she won the 2008 concerto competition and served as a concertmaster for four years.
She is a recipient of Juilliard’s Morse Teaching Fellowship, Instrumental Music Program Fellowship and the Gluck Community Service Fellowship, which reflect her special interest in reaching out to the community, both through teaching and interactive performances. An avid gut-string enthusiast, Chloe has come forward publicly admitting her support of the historical performance movement; this year she returns to Juilliard as a Baroque violinist in the Historical Performance Program.
Elvira SullivanExpertise: Cello
Elvira Sullivan is a classically trained cellist and teacher, who has been devoted to music education for the past two decades. After obtaining Suzuki teacher training at The School for Strings in 2001, she taught for their outreach program at PS 116 from 2001 – 2011. For the past fifteen years, she has been the Orchestra Director and after-school cello teacher at Brooklyn Friends School. Elvira continues to teach privately in her uptown Manhattan music studio.
Jessica ParkExpertise: Violin
Praised as an “exceptional talent” by the Frankfurter Neue Presse, violinist Jessica Park explores a wide spectrum of music on both the baroque and modern violin. Whether performing on period instruments or collaborating with multi-media electronics, Ms. Park’s musical activities are enterprising and diverse. Since her debut at the age of nine with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, Ms. Park has appeared as a soloist throughout the United States, Austria, China, Germany, South Korea, and Switzerland as well as Alice Tully Hall, Cologne Philharmonie, Seoul Arts Center, Shanghai Grand Theatre, and the Vienna Konzerthaus.
Wholehearted in her love of quartet music-making, Ms. Park has appeared with different quartets over the years in venues such as the Metropolitan Museum, the Morgan Library, the New York Historical Society, and on WQXR’s “Young Artist Showcase.” She has worked closely with members of the Brentano, Cleveland, Emerson, Juilliard, Mendelssohn, Orion, Tokyo, and Ying Quartets.
An advocate of contemporary music, Ms. Park performs with Ensemble LPR and Orchestra of the Next Century. Ms. Park’s recent multi-media projects include performances in Acoustica Electronica with touch Performance Art and the ARMIDA Project, a multi-genre baroque pastiche.
On the Historical Performance scene, Ms. Park plays with the Handel and Haydn Society, Trinity Baroque Orchestra, the American Baroque Orchestra, and New York Baroque Incorporated. In 2010-2011, she became a Fellow of the Yale School of Music as a member of the Yale Baroque Ensemble while studying with Robert Mealy.
A native of Cincinnati, Ms. Park was a student of Kurt Sassmannshaus while part of the Starling Chamber Orchestra. Ms. Park has participated in the Aspen Music Festival for several summers, as well as IMS Prussia Cove, the International Bowdoin Music Festival, Great Mountains Music Festival in South Korea, Kneisel Hall, Music Academy of the West and Encore School for Strings. Further studies and masterclasses include teachers such as Glenn Dicterow, Andras Keller, Mikhail Kopelman, Robert Lipsett, Joel Smirnoff, Krzysztof Wegrzyn, and Kathleen Winkler. Ms. Park holds Bachelor and Master degrees from The Juilliard School. Additionally, Miss Park earned a Professional Studies Diploma from the Mannes School of Music. Her principal teachers have included Mark Steinberg, Ronald Copes, and Hyo Kang.
Joan PlanaExpertise: Violin
Born in Lleida, Catalunya, violinist Joan Plana alternates his career in the US and Europe between the worlds of both modern and baroque violin. Since moving to New York in 2009, Joan has built an active career as solo, orchestral and chamber musician. Highlights of the 2012-13 season include his debut in Asia on a 2-week recital tour throughout China as well as his appointments as the new concertmaster of The New York Society of Ancient Music and Baroque Band (Chicago).
He is the recipient of several prizes, awards and scholarships, including the Jeanne Lamon Scholarship Award, Arjau Competition Catalan contemporary music prize (Barcelona) and the Achievement Award from the Cleveland Institute of Music.
A founding member of the baroque ensemble CONCITATO, Joan also plays with a variety of early music groups around the country, with appearances in Cleveland, New York, Chicago, Aspen, Boston and Ravinia. In 2011 he was a member of the European Baroque Orchestra. He plays regularly with Handel and Haydn Society, Chicago Band, Il Pomo d’Oro, Trinity Wall Street Baroque Orchestra, Concert Royal, Apollo’s Fire, the American Classical Orchestra and New York Baroque Incorporated.
An advocate of contemporary music, he has premiered and recorded several works from Spanish and American composers, some of them written especially for him. He appears in groups such as BCN 216 (Barcelona), Arcos Orchestra, Metropolis Ensemble, Blind Ear Project, Axiom Ensemble and the New Juilliard Ensemble.
As a recitalist and chamber musician, Joan has performed concerts all over Europe, Canada and the US. He has recorded for radio and TV stations including the BBC, RAI, TVE, TV3, WQXR, WCLV and WFMT. His discography credits include recordings on Virgin, Sony, Naive and Ambroise.
He has played in concerts and festivals such as the Aspen Music Festival, Ravinia, Dame Myra Hess Concert Series (Chicago), Steinway Hall (New York), Boston Early Music Festival, York Early Music Festival (England), Auditori de Barcelona (Spain), Auditorio Nacional (Madrid, Spain), Alice Tully Hall (New York), Rencontres Musicals des Graves (France) and Festival de Torroella de Montgri (Spain).
An avid chamber musician, he founded the Arion BCN Quartet, while studying with the Ysaye Quartet in Barcelona. With the quartet, he won several national music competitions and played concerts all over Catalunya. He has been featured in concerts with different chamber music groups in the US (Chicago, Cleveland, New York and Boston) as well as Canada, Italy, Luxembourg, Switzerland and France. He was a member of the Intensive Quartet Program at the Cleveland Institute of Music, studying with the Cavani Quartet and Peter Salaff. He has been coached by members of the Casals, Cassatt, Ying and Tokio Quartets.
Further studies and masterclasses include teachers such as Josep-Lluis Puig, Solange Dessane Jose-Luis Garcia Asensio, Lewis Kaplan, Midori, Ruggiero Ricci, Pierre Reach, and on baroque violin with Enrico Onofri, Riccardo Minasi, Stefano Montanari and Fabio Biondi.
He has participated as a student in festivals such as the Bowdoin International Music Festival (Maine), Sommerakademie at the Mozarteum of Salzburg (Austria), Encuentros Musicales de Santander (Spain), Aspen Music Festival (Colorado), Zephyr Music Festival (Italy) and “Musica en Compostela” (Spain).
Joan started his violin studies with Francesc Rodoreda at the Conservatori Professional de Musica de Lleida. While there, he obtained an Honorable Mention and received the 1st Prize from the Conservatory Music Competition. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree with Honors from the Escola Superior de Musica de Catalunya (ESMUC) in Barcelona, studying with Kai Gleusteen, Agustin Leon Ara and the Ysaye Quartet. Thanks through the support of the Fundacio Privada Sorigue, Joan moved to Cleveland in 2005 to study with the renowned teacher Paul Kantor, at the Cleveland Institute of Music. He received a Master of Music and a Professional Studies Degree from CIM as well as an Early Music Certificate from the Case Western Reserve University. He graduated from The Juilliard School’s Historical Performance Program (New York), studying with Monica Huggett and Cynthia Roberts. He is pursuing a Doctorate of Musical Arts at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York, studying with Cynthia Roberts and Robert Mealy.
Jordan BakExpertise: Viola
Luis CasalExpertise: Violin
Dr. Luis Casal is one of Panama’s leading violinists and violists, the Panama News cites: “Panama does have a worthy classical scene, and right at the top of it we find Luis Enrique Casal.” Mr. Casal is vice president of the Sinfonía Concertante Foundation of Panama, an honorary academic adviser to the Alfredo Saint Malo Music Festival, faculty at Juilliard Music Advancement Program, and instructor at the Brooklyn Conservatory of Music and Washington Heights Community Conservatory of Fine Arts. Known for his charisma, versatility, and musicality, Mr. Casal is a favorite among audiences and has quickly established himself in both art and folk music stages. He has represented his country in events in England, France, Japan, Italy, Spain, and the United States.
An experienced orchestra player, Mr. Casal has held the position of Principal Violist of the Laredo Philharmonic Orchestra (2005-2008), Concertmaster of the Butler Symphony Orchestra in Butler, Pennsylvania (1998-2000), Concertmaster of the Viola Ensemble of the 2003 Tertis International Viola Workshop and Competition, and most recently guest concertmaster of the Altoona Symphony Orchestra. Some of the prestigious conductors he has worked under include Sergio Commissiona, Charles Dutoit, David Effron, Larry Rachleff, Juan Pablo Izquierdo, Eduardo Díaz-Muñóz, Roberto Abbado, and Elisabeth Heath Charles. He is co-founder and member of the Camerata Alfredo De Saint Malo.
A concert artist in both the violin and the viola, recent performances have included chamber music and solo appearances in Carnegie Hall’s Weill Hall, Merkin Hall at Kaufman Center, Millennium Stage at the Kennedy Center, the Hall of the Americas at the Organization of American States, the Bruno Walter Auditorium at the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, the Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and residency at the Harper School Chamber Music Camp 2011 and the Loon Lake Live 2011 Summer Concert Series. Future commitments include duo recitals along with his brother, cellist Isaac Casal, trio recitals in partnership with the Latinum Duet, and collaboration with Korean pianist Wonsun Bae, Panamanian pianist Abdiel Lombana, and soprano Anna Noggle.
Enthusiastic about collaborating with young composers, Mr. Casal has premiered pieces by Mikolja Gorecki, Carlos Bernales, Alexandra Dubois, and Bartosz Smoragiewicz. Luis Casal holds degrees from New World School of the Arts, Carnegie Mellon University, Indiana University, and the University of Oklahoma.
Nikita MorozovExpertise: Violin
Praised by La Presse as a “violinist with genuine strength,” Nikita Morozov is a Grand Prize winner in competitions including the Festival du Royaume, Montreal Classical Music Festival, Sorel Music Festival, and the Canadian Music Competition. A quartet performance of his was praised by Allan Kozinn of The New York Times as “the best performance of the evening… This was a virtuosic performance, but it achieved the often elusive, typically Brahmsian goal of putting virtuosity at the service of bigger ideas, rather than celebrating it for its own sake.”
Nikita studied the violin with the Turovsky family in Montreal for 16 years and completed his Bachelor of Music degree at the Université de Montréal in 2008, under the guidance of Eleonora Turovsky. He earned his Master of Music degree at The Juilliard School in 2012, having received the Naumburg and DePetris Scholarships, and studied with Lewis Kaplan and Joseph Lin. Nikita is currently pursuing his Doctor of Musical Arts at The Graduate Center (CUNY), where he studied with Rolf Schulte and Mark Steinberg. He has also worked with violinists Igor Oistrakh, Régis Pasquier, Rodney Friend, Mauricio Fuks, Michael Frischenschlager, Jeanne Lamon, and Augustin Dumay.
Teaching violin and chamber music are among Nikita’s favorite activities. Throughout his 13-year teaching career, he helped countless musicians of all levels, always encouraging an open-minded, curious and warm-hearted approach. His fascination with the infinite potential of humankind made him discover and thoroughly study Howard Gardner’s Multiple Intelligences Theory, Maxwell Maltz’s Psycho-Cybernetics, as well as the Feldenkrais Method. Nikita believes the music learning process to be one of holistic personal improvement, developing not only our musical talent but also our interpersonal, creative, analytical and bodily-kinesthetic abilities. He teaches and lives by the words of the late Dorothy Delay: “The secret to concentration is enjoyment.”
Randall Mitsuo GoosbyExpertise: Violin
Violinist Randall Mitsuo Goosby, has appeared as guest soloist with numerous orchestras throughout the United States since winning First Prize at the Annual Sphinx Concerto Competition in 2010 at age 13. Shortly after winning the Sphinx Competition, Randall was invited to appear as part of the New York Philharmonic’s prestigious Young People’s Concert series at Avery Fisher Hall, Lincoln Center. He was invited to play again with the New York Philharmonic in 2011 and remains the only African-American violinist to have soloed twice with the New York Philharmonic since its inception in 1864.
Randall also made his solo debut at Carnegie Hall at age 13 where he “exerted a mastery level of control and lavished an exquisite tone playing Ysaye’s unaccompanied Sonata No. 3, a performance that won him a deserved standing ovation for its sheer virtuosity” (NY Times Music Review).
Randall began violin studies at age 7 and has studied with several acclaimed violinists including Grammy-nominated violinist, Philippe Quint, Routa Koromovitch-Gomez and Alvaro Gomez. He currently studies with reigning violin virtuoso, Itzhak Perlman, and Catherine Cho at The Juilliard School in New York where he is pursuing an undergraduate degree in Violin Performance and proud recipient of a prestigious Kovner Fellowship.
Randall made his solo orchestral debut with the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra at age 9 and attended and performed at the Schlern International Music Festival (Schlern, Italy) that same year. Thereafter, he attended the Bowdoin International Music Festival (Brunswick, ME) and the next five summers at the Perlman Music Program (Shelter Island, NY) which welcomes young musicians of rare and special talent into a richly supportive musical community. And in 2011, Randall received a full scholarship to attend the Juilliard Pre-College program in New York where he commuted weekly from Memphis throughout high school.
Randall has performed with several major orchestras across the United States including the New York Philharmonic (2010, 2011) Cleveland Orchestra (2011), South Bend Symphony (2011), Memphis Symphony (2011, 2012, 2016), Grand Rapids Symphony (2011, 2013), New World Symphony (2012), Buffalo Philharmonic (2012), Nashville Symphony (2013), Modesto Symphony (2014) and Arkansas Symphony (2015) among others. He has also made two solo appearances at Carnegie Hall’s Stern Auditorium (2010, 2012) as part of the Sphinx Organization’s Young Artist Development Program.
Randall received Grand Prize honors at the Memphis Youth Symphony Concerto Competition (2008), Germantown Symphony Young Artist Concerto Competition (2009), The Young Artists Concerto Competition at the Conservatory Music in the Mountains in Durango, Colorado (2009) and, at the age of 13, became the youngest First Prize Winner of the Annual Sphinx Concerto Competition. Additionally, he received the prestigious Isaac Stern Award (2011) following his second solo performance at Carnegie Hall and was featured on National Public Radio’s “From the Top” program (2012) which showcases performances and captivating stories of extraordinary young classical musicians. Randall was also honored as the 2013 Rising Star of the Key West Impromptu Classical Concert Series in Florida honored as a Rising Star of the Stradivari Society in 2015.
Randall plays on a magnificent 1765 Giovanni Battista Guadagnini on generous loan from the Juilliard School.
Samuel MarchanExpertise: Violin
Samuel Marchan holds his Bachelor’s Degree in Viola Performance from the Juilliard School and his Master’s Degree in Music Performance from New York University. Sam is the founder and Viola member of the Carpentier String Quartet, AXIS Guitar Quintet and Philharmonic Orchestra of the Americas in NY.
Presently Samuel is the Astoria’s Symphony Principal Viola, is a member of the Park Avenue Chamber Symphony, and Musica de Camara Organization, one of the main Latin American music ensembles in New York City.
Artistic Director for the Union City Music Project, the premier El Sistema modeled program in New Jersey and recently nationally featured on a PBS/Annenberg Foundation Documentary, The Power of Music: teaching inspired by El Sistema and recently was honored by the Heroes of the Community Foundation for their work in the Latino community using music as a social integrator by the Office of the New Jersey’s First Lady.
Samuel is a Viola and Violin Faculty for the Kaufman Center/Lucy Moses School and Instructor at the two main New York City Performing Arts High Schools, the Frank Sinatra High School, and La Guardia High School.
Last summer Samuel was invited by the City of Boca del Rio en Veracruz Mexico and its Philharmonic Orchestra to implement an instrumental orchestra program: Orquestando Armonia, where he trained 14 teachers and 150 children and created the first full Symphonic Paper Orchestra.
The Baroque Viola Project is a personal project in which has been involved, to promote and discover repertory that enhances the Viola as a solo instrument.
Soloist with the Merida Philharmonic in Venezuela, Samuel is the recipient of the 2005 King Park Chavez Visiting Professorship Award from the University of Michigan.
Sofia NowikExpertise: 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.