2012 Phest Phaculty

2017 May Phest Phaculty

Artists in Residence: The Jupiter Quartet

The Jupiter String Quartet, formed in 2001, is a particularly intimate group, consisting of violinists Nelson Lee and Megan Freivogel, violist Liz Freivogel (older sister of Meg), and cellist Daniel McDonough (husband of Meg, brother-in-law of Liz). Meg and Liz grew up playing string quartets with their two brothers, Ben and J. Rehearsals were often quite raucous, but they grew to love chamber music during weekly coachings with Oliver Edel, a wonderful cellist and teacher who taught generations of students in the Washington, D.C., area. Nelson also comes from a musical family — both of his parents are pianists (his father also conducts) and his twin sisters, Alicia and Andrea, play clarinet and cello. Although Daniel originally wanted to be a violinist, he ended up on the cello because the organizers of his first strings program declared that he had “better hands for the cello.” He remains skeptical of this comment (he was, after all, only five), and suspects they may just have needed more cellists, but is happy that he ended up where he did. Daniel, Nelson, and Meg met at the Cleveland Institute of Music, and when they were searching for a violist Meg suggested they might consider her sister Liz, who was at nearby Oberlin College. The quartet finished up their schooling together at the New England Conservatory of Music, where they were in the Professional String Quartet Training Program. They currently reside in Boston, Massachusetts.

The quartet chose its name because Jupiter was the most prominent planet in the night sky at the time of its formation, and the astrological symbol for Jupiter resembles the number four. There are also musical references (for example, Holst’s The Planets, in which Jupiter is “the bringer of jollity”) that emphasize the connotations of happiness and strength associated with the Roman god Jupiter. The quartet owes much of its musical philosophy to the influences of the original Cleveland Quartet and the current Takacs Quartet, in which all four members form a dynamic and democratic union. The Jupiters spent many of their formative years under the instruction of these eminent chamber musicians, and continue to adhere to many of their central principles today. While enjoying the opportunity to work with living composers, they still feel a strong and fundamental connection to the core string quartet literature, particularly the wonderful set of sixteen quartets by Beethoven and the six quartets of Bela Bartok. In addition to its formal concert schedule, the Jupiter String Quartet places a strong emphasis on developing relationships with future classical music audiences through outreach work in the school systems and other educational performances. They believe that chamber music, because of the intensity of its interplay and communication, is one of the most effective ways of spreading an enthusiasm for “classical” music to new audiences.

The Jupiters have been fortunate to receive several recent chamber music honors, including first prize in the Banff International String Quartet Competition, grand prize in the Fischoff National Chamber Music Competion, membership in Lincoln Center’s Chamber Music Society Two, and Chamber Music America’s Cleveland Quartet Award, which “honors and promotes a rising young string quartet whose artistry demonstrates that it is in the process of establishing a major career.” The quartet also won the 2005 Young Concert Artists International auditions and now holds YCA’s Helen F. Whitaker Chamber Music Chair. Most recently, they were honored to receive an Avery Fisher Career Grant.

The quartet concertizes across the United States, Canada, Europe, Mexico, and South America. They have enjoyed playing in such venues as New York’s Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center, Boston’s Jordan Hall, Mexico City’s Palacio de Bellas Artes, and Washington, D.C.’s Kennedy Center, Corcoran Gallery, and Library of Congress. Other recent concerts include debuts in Albuquerque, Austin, Birmingham, Boulder, Buffalo, Calgary, Chicago, Cincinnati, Davis, Dayton, Detroit, Edmonton, Jacksonville, Joplin, Palo Alto, Raleigh-Durham, San Antonio, San Diego, Tallahassee, Toronto, Vancouver, and Winnipeg, among others. They have also been enthusiastically received at several major music festivals, including the Aspen Music Festival, the Vancouver Chamber Music Festival, the Caramoor International Music Festival, the Great Lakes Chamber Music Festival, the Honest Brook Festival, the Skaneateles Festival, and the Yellow Barn Music Festival.

The quartet is managed by Bill Capone of the Arts Management Group. Website: jupiterquartet.com


Gabriel Bolkosky

Gabriel Bolkosky has performed and taught across the United States and abroad. He performs a diverse repertoire of classical and contemporary works with different collaborative artists from many genres of music making. Over the last decade, Gabe has founded and directed the music festival, PhoenixPhest. He founded the festival with the intent of creating an environment open to all levels and ages of musicians, creating a more holistic musical experience without sacrificing quality.

Gabe’s performances have focused in the areas of contemporary music, jazz and tango as well as traditional classical music. In 2008 he performed in the premiere of Fredric Rzewski’s "Natural Things" for Carnegie Hall’s Making Music Series. He has also collaborated with other composers, among them Fredric Rzewski, William Bolcom, John Harbison, Thomas Ades, Bright Sheng, William Albright, Andrew Kirshner, Lars Holmer, Carter Pann, Michael Daugherty, George Tsontakis, Derek Bermel, and Bernard Rands. As a jazz and tango musician, Gabe has worked with great artists such as John Lindberg, Peter Soave, Tad Weed, Ed Sarath, Chris Howes, Andy Bishop, and was a founding member of The Oblivion Project.

A native of Detroit, Michigan, Gabe began his violin studies at age three. His primary teachers were Michael Avsharian of Ann Arbor, Paul Kantor at the University of Michigan, and Donald Weilerstein at the Cleveland Institute of Music. Gabe earned a bachelor’s degree in violin performance and a master’s degree in chamber music, as well as studying improvisation at the master’s level at the University of Michigan. At the Cleveland Institute he earned a Professional Studies degree, served a year as Weilerstein’s teaching assistant and won the school’s prestigious Darius Milhaud prize. He attended the Aspen Music Festival from 1991–98 on fellowship, first playing with the Aspen Chamber Symphony and then the Aspen Contemporary Ensemble for four years. During those four years he premiered hundreds of new works, and with his group, Non Sequitur, conducted workshops and concerts for thousands of students in the Aspen valley as well as at schools such as Harvard, Dartmouth, Brandeis and Princeton.

Gabe has released seven CDs that show his breadth as a musician. His debut solo album, This and That, features classical and jazz music. Other albums include The Shape of Klez to Come with the klezmer group Into the Freylakh; The Orchestra Is Here to Play, a live recording teaming the Gemini children’s-music group with a full orchestra; The Oblivion Project Live, showcasing the music of Astor Piazzolla; Non Sequitur, contemporary and experimental music, including one of his own compositions; Home from Work, an eclectic mix of jazz, folk and blues in collaboration with San Slomovits, and as sideman on John Lindberg’s recording Two by Five. His most recent CD is Bonne Nuit, which includes the Debussy Sonata and other small works for violin and piano with Michele Cooker.

Gabe was guest artist at The University of Michigan in Ann Arbor teaching violin and chamber music for six years. He has worked with all ages of young musicians in most of the 50 states and parts of Asia. He is the executive director of The Phoenix Ensemble, a nonprofit organization dedicated to being a musical resource for artists and educational institutions. Gabe also directs PhoenixPhest! and PhoenixPhest! Grande, and maintains a private violin studio.

Dan Foster

Dan has taught violin at Eastern Michigan University since 1987. A student of Paul Rolland at the University of Illinois and of Angel Reyes at the University of Michigan, he holds degrees in violin performance from both schools. Since 1978, he has appeared frequently throughout the United States as a solo and chamber artist, with repertoire ranging from the seventeenth through the twentieth century. As a baroque violinist and violist, he has performed and recorded with Ars Music Baroque Orchestra, Smithsonian Chamber Players, Oriana, and Tafelmusik.

He is also a current and founding member of two early music groups: Xantippe, a trio for baroque flute/recorder, cello and violin, specializing in music of the late baroque and early classical periods, and La Gente d’Orfeo, a quartet for violin, cornetto, cello and early keyboards, specializing in Italian music of the early 17th-century. He currently serves as concertmaster of the Macomb Symphony, under Thomas Cook, and is a founding member of the Red Hot Lava Chamber Music Festival in Honolulu. He is a member of the Alexander Trio, faculty piano trio at Eastern Michigan University. Professor Foster’s teaching includes emphasis on musical values and expression, cultivation of free physical movements, and enhancement of the mind/body connection.

Annie Fullard

Annie Fullard, violinist, has joyfully dedicated her artistic life to performing and sharing chamber music with audiences of all ages and all walks of life. Ms. Fullard celebrates 30 years as a member of the Cavani String Quartet, and, along with her colleagues, is a winner of numerous awards and prizes including the Naumburg Chamber Music Award, Cleveland Quartet Competition at the Eastman School, and the Banff, Fischoff and Carmel Competions. Ms. Fullard and her colleagues in The Cavani Quartet were named Musical America’s Young Artists of the Year 1989 and have received the 1998 ASCAP-Chamber Music America Award for Adventurous Programming of Contemporary Music, the 2005 and 2011 Chamber Music America Guarneri String Quartet Residency Award and nine Chamber Music America Residency Partnership Grants. Ms. Fullard has toured extensively throughout the United States and abroad, including a Mozart Celebration tour of Salzburg, Vienna, and Prague, and tour with Chamber Music Connection Italia, featuring a performance at The Santa Cecilia Conservatory of Music in Rome Ms. Fullard has had the honor and privilege of collaborating with such renowned artists as Itzhak Perlman, Robert Mann, Nathan Gunn, Alisa Weilerstein, Anton Nel, Stephanie Blythe Charles Neidich, Joel Smirnoff, and members of the Cleveland, Juilliard, Miami, Takacs, Ying, Guarneri, Emerson, Borodin, Amadeus, Tokyo, St. Lawrence, Linden and Colorado Quarttets.

Deeply committed to arts-education, Ms. Fullard has given master classes and lecture demonstrations at music festivals, universities and public and private schools in communities across the country. As member of the faculty and Quartet-in-Residence at The Cleveland Institute of Music since 1988, Ms. Fullard also serves as Artistic Director for Community Engagement and Outreach for the Cleveland Chamber Music Society, Director of Chamber Music at Case Western Reserve University and in collaboration with her colleagues she has developed the COLLAGE — Music and Poetry Program with poet Mwatabu Okantah, The Apprentice Quartet Program, The Intensive Quartet Seminar, New Quartet Project , M.A.P. (Music, Art & Poetry) PROJECT, and the Beethoven & Brotherhood Program.

A strong advocate for young artists who wish to pursue a career in chamber music, she has mentored CIM students who have become members of the Miro, Omer, Linden, Maia, Jupiter, Miami, Daedalus, and Ariadne Quartets as well as members of The Cleveland Orchestra and Chicago Symphony. Ms. Fullard is former artist-in-residence at the University of California, Riverside, and the University of Texas and visiting-artist at the University of Southern Illinois, Carbondale. A graduate of the Eastman School of Music, Ms. Fullard pursued additional studies at the Indiana University and Yale University. Her teachers and mentors include Donald Weilerstein, Josef Gingold, Franco Gulli, Earl Carlyss and Peter Salaff. A resident of Cleveland, Ms. Fullard lives with her husband Jim, son Sam, two cats named Mewzik and Art and enjoys organizing chamber music residencies, books, movies, chamber music reading, and downhill skiing.

Steffani Kitayama

Steffani Kitayama, a native of Boulder, Colorado, began studying the violin at age 4. She was a Starling scholar at the University of Cincinnati, where she completed her Bachelor of Music degree under the tutelage of Won-Bin Yim. Recently, she graduated from Northwestern University studying under Blair Milton for a Masters of Music in violin performance and pedagogy. While in Chicago, Steffani played with the Civic Orchestra of Chicago and Civic’s MusiCorps String Quartet, working closely with Yo-Yo Ma for two years. She has also spent time playing with Orchestra Iowa, the National Repertory Orchestra, and studying at the Aspen Music Festival. An avid chamber musician, she has studied with some if the greatest quartet musicians, notably, Mathias Tacke of the Vermeer Quartet and members of the Takacs, the Tokyo, and the St. Lawrence String Quartets.

Peter Salaff

Peter Salaff was a founding member and second violinist of the Cleveland Quartet, which received a Grammy, seven Grammy nominations and “Best of the Year” awards from Time and Stereo Review for recordings of more than 50 chamber works. They also performed and toured the former Soviet Union, South America, Australia, New Zealand, Turkey, and Israel, in addition to U.S. and Canadian tours. Mr. Salaff has served on the faculty at the University of Concepcion (Chile), Cleveland Institute of Music, State University of New York at Buffalo, and Eastman School of Music. He has also taught at Interlochen, Chamber Music in the Mountain at Echo Glen, Aspen Music Festival, and the Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival in Germany, among others.

He has been a judge at many chamber music competitions, including the Yellow Springs Competition, the London International String Quartet Competition, the Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition, and the Coleman Chamber Ensemble Competition. Ensembles coached by Mr. Salaff have garnered prestigious international awards, including the Walter W. Naumburg Foundation Chamber Music Award, Banff International String Quartet Competition, Coleman Chamber Ensemble Competition, and Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition, among others. These ensembles include the Anderson, Cavani, Chester, Colorado, Dakota, Franciscan, Lafayette, Lark, Lydian, Meliora, Rackham, and Ying Quartets.

Mr. Salaff was reappointed to the Cleveland Institute of Music faculty in September 1995 as director of string chamber music. He has also been a faculty member of the Music Academy of the West in Santa Barbara, California, since 1996.

Mari Sato

Mari Sato, violinist is a member of The Cavani String Quartet, Quartet-in-Residence at The Cleveland Institute of Music. The Cavani Quartet is the winner of numerous awards including the Naumburg Chamber Music Award, the Cleveland Quartet Competition, an ASCAP Award for Adventurous Programming of Contemporary Music, and the Guarneri String Quartet Award for Artistic Excellence from Chamber Music America. The Quartet has been featured on National Public Radio’s Performance Today and St. Paul Sunday, NBC, CBS, ABC, and PBS television. Cavani Quartet recordings of Bartók, Dvořák, Schumann, Brahms, Erb, Chausson, Brouwer and Primosch are available on the Azica, Gasparo, New World, Albany, and Pantheon labels.

Ms. Sato is honored to have collaborated with many distinguished artists including Robert Mann, Alisa Weilerstein, Anton Nel, Stephanie Blythe, Charles Neidich, Itzhak Perlman, Franklin Cohen, and members of the Cleveland, Juilliard, Miami, Takács, Ying, Emerson, Borodin, Amadeus, St. Lawrence String Quartets. Music festival appearances and residencies include The Aspen Music Festival, The New World Symphony, Norfolk Chamber Music Festival, Kniesel Hall Chamber Music Festival, Interlochen Center for the Arts, The Perlman Music Program, ChamberFest Cleveland, and PhoenixPhest.

As a faculty member at the Cleveland Institute of Music, Ms. Sato and her colleagues have coached many outstanding young musicians in the Intensive Quartet Seminar, the Apprentice Quartet Seminar, and the Art of Engagement Seminar. Former chamber music students include members of the Jupiter, Daedalus, Aeolus, Miró, Fry Street and Afiara Quartets, as well as members of the Cleveland, St. Paul, Minnesota, Chicago, Detroit, and New York Philharmonic Orchestras.

Ms. Sato received her musical training at the Cleveland Institute of Music and the University of Michigan. Her mentors include David Cerone, Paul Kantor, and Peter Salaff. The 2014-2015 season’s exciting projects include Cavani performances as part of the Violins of Hope project in Cleveland, a performance of violin/piano works by Jean Sibelius to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the composer’s birth, and performances of the Brahms Violin and Piano Sonatas with pianist, Robert Cassidy.


Tatjana Mead ChamisTatjana Mead Chamis

Violist Tatjana Mead Chamis has gained recognition through a wide variety of performances, from orchestral, solo, and chamber music to studio recording, as well as introducing and experimenting with new music. Associate Principal Viola of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra since 2003, Mead Chamis has led in performances in Pittsburgh as well as abroad, appearing in the most renowned concert halls of Europe, Asia, and the Americas. In 1993, after winning what was her first orchestral audition, she was offered the post of Fourth Chair Viola of the PSO, under Lorin Maazel. Mead Chamis joined the orchestra at the age of 22, while still a student at the Curtis Institute of Music, and has since been featured on numerous performances as soloist with the Pittsburgh Symphony and the Pittsburgh Symphony Chamber Orchestra. In 2011, she premiered with the orchestra the Lionel Tertis transcription for viola of Elgar’s Cello Concerto. An avid chamber music player and recitalist, Mead Chamis made her debut playing with Sir Andre Previn at the Caramoor International Music Festival in New York. Since 1993, together with some of today’s finest solo and chamber players, she also performed as a member of the “Caramoor Virtuosi”. Other notable festivals include the Bravo Festival in Vail, Colorado, Tanglewood Music Festival, the Grand Teton Music Festival, the Los Angeles Philharmonic Institute and the Green Bay Music Festival. She has performed chamber music with Lynn Harrell, Joshua Bell, Emmanuel Ax, and Gil Shaham, among others. Her concerts have been heard on “Performance Today” from NPR, and several of her recital and chamber music performances continue to be featured on WQED Pittsburgh. At the age of 17, Mead Chamis made her solo debut with the Utah Symphony under the baton of Joseph Silverstein. She has since been featured as soloist with the Curtis Institute Symphony Orchestra, the Utah Symphony, the Sao Paulo and Porto Alegre Symphony Orchestras in Brazil, as well as her solo appearances with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. Graduating from the Curtis Institute of Music in 1994, Mead Chamis studied with Philadelphia Orchestra Principal Violist Joseph dePasquale. After starting her musical studies on the violin, she switched, at age 15, to the viola under the tutelage of violist Mikhail Boguslavsky, co-founder of the Moscow Chamber Orchestra, in Salt Lake City, Utah. Mead Chamis spent a sabbatical year in Florianopolis, Brazil, in 2012, with her daughter, twin boys, and husband, Brazilian composer/conductor Flavio Chamis.

Kirsten Docter

Kirsten Docter is associate professor of viola at Oberlin Conservatory of Music. First prize wins at the Primrose International and American String Teachers Association Viola Competitions launched her on a career that includes a 23-year tenure with the Cavani Quartet, concerts on major series and festivals throughout North America, Europe, and Australia, and numerous appointments as a master class clinician and teacher.

During her time as violist of the award-winning Cavani String Quartet, Docter performed at Carnegie Hall, Alice Tully Hall, Corcoran Gallery of Art, the Kennedy Center, Festival de L’Epau in France, the Honolulu Chamber Music Society; appeared in features on public radio programs Performance Today and St. Paul Sunday; and television programs on NBC, CBS, ABC, and PBS. The quartet was also honored with an award from ASCAP-Chamber Music America for Adventurous Programming of Contemporary Music, as well as Guarneri String Quartet Residency Awards and Chamber Music America Residency Partnership Grants.

Docter’s festival appearances include performances at the Aspen Music Festival, Banff Centre for the Arts, Madeline Island, Mimir (in both Texas and Melbourne, Australia), Sitka Summer Music, Interlochen, Kneisel Hall, Yale Summer School of Music and Art at Norfolk, and the Perlman Music Program. She has collaborated with Itzhak Perlman, Jaime Laredo, Alisa Weilerstein, Stephanie Blythe, Nathan Gunn, Alessio Bax, and members of the Cleveland, Juilliard, Takács, Emerson, Borodin, and Amadeus string quartets. Her work can be heard on the Azica, Albany, New World, and Gasparo labels.

Docter formerly served on the chamber music and viola faculty of the Cleveland Institute of Music and has given numerous master classes at universities and music schools. She has been a jury member of the Primrose International Viola, Fischoff National Chamber Music, and Sphinx competitions. In addition to her position at Oberlin, she is on the viola faculty of the Perlman Music Program and the Madeline Island Music Camp. Docter is a graduate of Oberlin Conservatory with additional studies at the Curtis Institute of Music.

Eric Wong

Celebrated for a “tone like toasted caramel. Amazing.” (Musical Toronto), Eric Wong is the violist of the Cavani Quartet, ensemble-in-residence at the Cleveland Institute of Music (CIM). He was also a member of the JUNO-nominated Afiara Quartet and the Linden String Quartet.

Mr. Wong is a frequent guest educator and has given masterclasses and lectures in many institutions of higher learning in North America and Europe including Yale University, American University, the University of Iowa, the Royal Academy of Music of Århus, Middlesex University, and the University of Toronto. He is also active in collaborating with directors of several up-and-coming chamber music festivals including the Geneva Music Festival and the humanitarian initiative “Music Feeds Us”.

Mr. Wong has performed on the most iconic stages around the world including Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Severance Hall, Kings Place, Koerner Hall, and as a featured guest artist at the Aspen Ideas Festival. His chamber music collaborators have included the Tokyo Quartet, Sharon Isbin, Itzhak Perlman, Richard Stoltzman, Donald Weilerstein, and pianist and former US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, among others.

He received both Bachelor and Master of Music degrees from the CIM, studying violin with Paul Kantor and viola with Kirsten Docter and Lynne Ramsey. Other coaches and mentors have included Peter Salaff and the Cavani and Tokyo Quartets.


Miriam Bolkosky

A native of Detroit, Miriam Bolkosky began her cello studies at the age of four and made her solo debut with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra at fifteen. Ms. Bolkosky has performed extensively with the Boston Pops Esplanade Orchestra, Boston Ballet, BMOP, Opera Boston, Odyssey Opera, Rhode Island Philharmonic, National Lyric Opera, and the Berkshire Opera Company. The Washington Post applauded her performance as soloist at the John F. Kennedy Center as one filled with a “poignant beauty born of pathos.” Her recording of Donald McCullough’s “Holocaust Cantata” can be heard on Albany Records. An active chamber musician, she has given numerous recitals including performances at Paul Hall, Harris Hall, the Cape May Festival, the Cayman International Chamber Music Festival, Avery Fisher Hall, and Weill Recital Hall. She holds degrees from The University of Michigan and The Cleveland Institute of Music, where she studied with Jeffrey Solow, Erling Blondal Bengtsson, and Alan Harris.

Miriam is incredibly grateful for the members of the Cavani and Cleveland string quartets for helping fuel her passion for playing and teaching chamber music. She is a member of the CMA/ASCAP award winning Radius Ensemble (Cambridge, MA), and is on the faculties of Berkshire Summer Music and PhoenixPhest. Miriam currently lives in Boston where she freelances, teaches cello and yoga, and chases after her twin sons. She is married to chef extraordinaire Benjamin Wright.

Anthony Elliott

Cellist Anthony Elliott is in great demand as a soloist, chamber music performer, and teacher. Following his victory in the Emanuel Feuermann International Cello Competition in 1987, Strad Magazine wrote of his competition appearance “His emotional communication is often profound, and his glittering, silvery tone captivates the ear.” Following quickly on the heels of his competition victory was a highly successful New York debut recital, which received a lengthy standing ovation from a capacity crowd.

Anthony Elliott’s studies were with two legendary figures of the cello, Janos Starker and Frank Miller. Presently he is a Professor of Music at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. He has given master classes at most of America’s leading music programs including Cleveland Institute of Music, Eastman School of Music, the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University, Indiana University, Oberlin Conservatory, Peabody Conservatory, Chicago’s Music Center of the North Shore, and Interlochen Arts Academy. He devotes most of his summer to teaching and performing at the Aspen Music Festival.

A frequent guest soloist with major orchestras, Anthony Elliott has performed most of the standard concerto repertory with such orchestras as the New York Philharmonic, the Minnesota Orchestra, the Detroit Symphony, the Vancouver Symphony, and the CBC Toronto Orchestra. He has also commissioned new works by such composers as Primous Fouuntain III, Augustus Hill, James Lee III, and Chad E. Hughes. As a soloist, his performances have been recorded and broadcast on radio and television across the United States and Canada.

Also in great demand as a chamber musician, he is a regular guest artist at the Sitka (Alaska) Summer Music Festival, the Seattle Chamber Music Festival, the Texas Music Festival, New York’s Bargemusic Chamber Series, Chamber Music International of Dallas, Houston’s DaCamera Series, the Victoria International Festival, and the Gateways Festival. He has also appeared as a member of Quartet Canada, with members of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, and with members of the Emerson, Juilliard, Cleveland, and Concord string quartets.

He has appeared in chamber music with the present and former concertmasters of the Berlin Philharmonic, the Concertgebouw of Amsterdam, the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, and the Cleveland Orchestra. He performs regularly with the Michigan Chamber Players in Ann Arbor.

Melissa Kraut

Dr. Melissa Kraut, co-chair of cello at the Cleveland Institute of Music, is recognized as one of the leading pedagogues of her generation. Having developed and trained some of the outstanding young musicians of today, Dr. Kraut has demonstrated a unique ability to teach all ages and stages of dedicated students, helping them reach their highest potential both at and away from the cello.

With degrees from the Cleveland Institute of Music, the University of Iowa and Northwestern University, Dr. Kraut has had the opportunity to study with the great pedagogues Alan Harris and Hans-Jorgen Jensen as well as summer study/masterclasses with cellists such as Aldo Parisot, Frank Miller, Yo-Yo Ma, Tsuyoshi Tsutsumi and David Soyer. As a student, she participated in the Aspen Music Festival, Banff Center for the Arts and the Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival in Europe.

An active performer, Dr. Kraut has led a diverse career on stage, with solo and chamber performances throughout the United States and Europe. She has held leadership positions in several orchestras, and has played under the baton of conductors such as Sir Georg Solti, Valery Gergiev and Semyon Bychkov. Dr. Kraut currently enjoys performing chamber music with her friends and colleagues throughout the world.

Dr. Kraut enjoys reaching students from all over the world through master classes and workshops. Her status as a Suzuki Teacher Trainer, enables her to pass on her love of pedagogy to the next generation of teachers. In addition, she is passionate about public speaking and the ability to reach audiences of a larger scope, about topics broader than cello.

Dr. Kraut’s committment to diversity and equality in the arts has led her to work on several projects, including A Gift For Music, which was a partnership between the University of Central Florida, A Gift for Teaching and Disney. Dr. Kraut served as the Artistic and Educational director for this program which reached 1200 inner city children in Orlando by bringing string education to their schools. For her work in this program, Dr. Kraut was awarded Arts Educator of the Year (2004) from United Arts of Central Florida.

In the summer of 2014, Dr. Kraut and famed cellist Zuill Bailey launched the inaugural summer of the Sitka Cello Seminar in Sitka, Alaska, bringing 10 elite cellists from all over the world to study under their guidance. In prior summers, Dr. Kraut was on the faculty of several summer festivals including eight summers at the Meadowmount School of Music and eight summers at Interlochen Arts Camp, where she was also the Head of Strings. Other festivals include the Lev Aronson Legacy Week in Dallas, TX, as well as Heifetz International Music Institute in Staunton, VA.

Dr. Kraut’s students have achieved great success, with top prizes in National and International competitions. Students of Dr. Kraut have won the Gold Medal and Audience Award at the Gaspar Cassado Competition in Hachioji, Japan, Grand Prize in the Music Teachers National Association Competition, First Prize in the American String Teacher’s Association, Grand Prize in the Walgreen’s Competition, Grand Prize in the Fischoff Competition, as well as prizes in many local and regional competitions.

DianeWinderDiane Winder

Dr. Diane L. Winder, professor of cello at Eastern Michigan University since 1988, is active as a recitalist and in symphonic and chamber music. The Alexander Trio, EMU’s faculty piano trio, tours with repertoire from Classical through Contemporary periods. Orchestral experience includes principal positions with the Plymouth and Charlotte Symphonies, as well as the St. Louis Philharmonic. She has also played seasons with the Knoxville Symphony and at summer festivals such as Brevard, Bear Valley, the Alaska Festival of Music, and the Superior String Alliance (SSA). Additionally, Winder has performed on viola da gamba and Baroque cello. She served as instructor of viol at The Florida State University and appeared there in faculty early music ensembles. Related groups include chamber music at the Ashland Shakespeare Festival and seasons with the Cappuccino Quartet and Orianna.

Recently Winder became music director and conductor for the Young Strings Camp of SSA in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, and was a founding member of both the Michigan Cello Quartet, as well as Xantippe, an historically informed trio featuring violin, cello and flute/recorder.

As a conductor, Winder has led a variety of student and faculty groups, including the Tallahassee Youth Orchestra, the award-winning Tennessee Tech Chamber Orchestra, and a professional chamber orchestra in Albania.

At EMU Winder teaches private cello and orchestration, and coaches chamber music. She is also a Faculty Associate in the University Honors Program. She has experience with courses in theory-music literature, music appreciation, and a cello-double bass techniques class, and studio double bass. She holds performance degrees from the University of the Pacific, Converse College and the D.M. from The Florida State University. While at Eastern she has been recognized as Advisor of the Year in the College of Arts and Sciences, and as an outstanding teacher by the state of Michigan. She has previously taught at Tennessee Tech. She is author of articles for state ASTA with NSOA chapters and for The Instrumentalist.


Vera Parkin

Vera Parkin, pianist, made her debut under the auspices of the Artist Presentation Society in 1985. Since that time, she has enjoyed an active and varied career as a performer and pedagogue in the St. Louis area. Educated at Northwestern University, Southern Illinois University, and Washington University, her teachers have included Gui Mombaerts, Ruth Slenczynska and Seth Carlin.

As a performer, Vera is widely known as a collaborative pianist. She has been a keyboardist with the St. Louis Symphony since 1986, and is a frequent collaborator with many SLSO members in chamber recitals and outreach programs.

As a pedagogue, Vera is involved with many levels of music education. She is the founding director of the Preparatory Program for gifted high school instrumentalists at the Community Music School of Webster University, now in it’s 17th year. This program takes the most advanced students in the region and prepares them for college/conservatory and adult professional life as a musician. In her applied teaching, she works with young children through college level, and serves as staff accompanist at the Community Music School of Webster University and Southern Illinois University–Edwardsville. Vera has been a vocal coach for Opera Theatre of St. Louis’ AiT program, and often collaborates with Union Avenue Opera. In summer, she is a teaching artist at Phoenixphest in Ann Arbor, MI. Vera was previously Artistic Director of the Innsbrook Institute for 10 summers, as well as the director of the Wintergreen Festival Summer Academy. Vera serves as a mentor and accompanist for the cultural diplomacy agency American Voices, and is excited to make her third trip to Lebanon as a teacher for the Beirut YES Academy in summer of 2015. Vera Parkin was named Music Educator of the Year by the St. Louis Symphony in March, 2011. Her most recent innovation is the founding of the Generations Ensemble, a chamber ensemble of flexible instrumentation that couples Prep alumni and current students with mature artists who serve collaborate in performanance and as mentors. The Generations Ensemble will also borrow principals from the New York based GroupMuse concept.


Jeremy DittusJeremy Dittus

Jeremy Dittus enjoys a career as a pianist, theorist, and Dalcroze eurhythmics instructor. An avid recitalist, he has performed solo and chamber programs in the United States, Switzerland, and Italy. He currently teaches on the summer faculty at Colorado State University where he founded and now directs the Dalcroze School of the Rockies Dalcroze Academy teacher-training center. A former Lecturer in piano, theory, and solfège at the Baldwin-Wallace Conservatory in Cleveland, he also has instructed undergraduate solfège, piano, and composition courses at the University of Colorado at Boulder as well as eurhythmics and solfège at L’Institut Jaques-Dalcroze in Geneva, Switzerland.

Dr. Dittus has presented Dalcroze workshops at home and abroad including the World Piano Conference, International Early Childhood Music and Movement Convention, National Dalcroze Conference, National Flute Convention, Colorado Music Educators Association State Convention, Piano Celebration at Metro-State University in Denver, University of Louisville Piano Institute, in addition to several summer music institutes and universities and conservatories across the country.

He completed a doctorate of musical arts in piano performance from the University of Colorado at Boulder; for the master of music, he studied piano performance and music theory at the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. During his undergraduate work, he obtained bachelor degrees in piano performance and chemistry. His Dalcroze License and Certificate comes from the Longy School of Music in Cambridge, while the Diplôme Supérieur (a doctoral equivalent in Switzerland) comes from the L’Institut Jaques-Dalcroze in conjunction with La Haute École de Musique de Genève and Le Conservatoire de Musique de Genève.  While in Geneva, he received top honors including the 2009 Prix pour les qualities musicales exceptionnelles and the 2010 Prix pour les qualités artistiques et pédagogiques exceptionnelles.

He is the founder and director of the Dalcroze School of the Rockies in Denver, Colorado, the only authorized Dalcroze training center west of Pittsburgh in the United States. The DSR offers Eurhythmics classes for children ages 4–14, adult enrichment classes, and full time study toward the Dalcroze Certificate/License (eurhythmics, solfège, improvisation, and pedagogy). Dr. Dittus serves on the state board for the Colorado Federation of Music Clubs and is the Vice President of the Dalcroze Society of America. Former teachers include Lisa Parker, Anne Farber, Ruth Gianadda, Marie-Laure Bachmann, Sylvia del Bianco, Sylvie Morgenegg, Laurent Sourisse, Andrew Cooperstock, Michael Chertock, Frank Weinstock, and George Cherry.