Chiu-Chen Liu

Violist Chiu-Chen Liu enjoys a diverse career in orchestra, chamber music and pedagogy. Recent performances include engagements with Festival Suoni D’abruzzo in Italy, BAMcafé Live, American Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra of St. Luke’s, American Chamber Music Ensemble, New York Classical Quartet and Lecture-Performance Series at Columbia University. Chiu-Chen has served as principal viola with the Sarasota Opera, Di Capo Opera, Fairfield County Chorale Orchestra and Greater Bridgeport Symphony. Her chamber music performances have been broadcast on NPR and WQXR radio.

Currently residing in New York City, Chiu-Chen relocated from her native Taiwan at age seventeen to study at the Manhattan School of Music. She later earned her Bachelor of Music, Master of Music and Professional Studies Diploma from Mannes College The New School for Music, receiving full scholarship as a student of Hsin-Yun Huang, Mark Steinberg and Laurie Smukler.  A dedicated teacher, Chiu-Chen was appointed the String Department Chairperson from 2013 to 2016 at the Third Street Music School where she is currently serving as a full time violin, viola and chamber music faculty.

In addition to Music, Chiu-Chen is also an active visual artist.  She is currently serving as the Visual Artist-In-Resident for the Olympic Music Festival in Washington State, VivaViola Festival in Taiwan and for the Sejong International Music Festival at the Curtis Institute from 2013-2014.

Drummer, Percussionist, Singer, Instructor, Composer

Ivan Llanes

Ivan Llanes was born on December 30, 1985 in Camaguey, Cuba. At an early age, he began to show interest in music. He began his musical studies at age 10, at the Vocational School of art in his province of Luis Casas Romero. At age 13 he joined the orchestra “Estrellitas de la Charanga” participating in the “National Festival of Charanga Orchestra” in Palma Soriano on two separate occasions. Llanes then continued his studies at the Jose White Conservatory at the age of 15, were he received numerous awards as part of the competitive educational programs.

Ivan graduated 2004 at the top of his class, and began to pursue his career locally. He became a member of several different projects while honing his skills as a percussionist and singer. Within a few months, he began traveling throughout Cuba with some distinguished local bands.

In 2008, Ivan Moved to Havana to join the internationally renowned Cuban orchestra of Ricardo Leiva y Sur Caribe. As a part of this orchestra, he was able to refine his skills on drum set and percussion whist being exposed to a wider variety of popular Cuban music. After spending quite sometime on the scene, he began expanding his horizons and developing an interest in Jazz. He was fortune enough to collaborate with prominent creative music artist such as Waldo Mendoza and Leo Vera, among many others.

In 2010, Ivan joined the Grammy-Nominated Orlando ” Maraca” Valle in his orchestra “Otra Vision”. Under the musical direction of Maraca, a world-flute virtuoso; Ivan began combining the use of the Drum-set and Timbal. He Began rapidly developing the skills necessary to master Maraca’s complicated compositions and style of play.

After the United States tour (2011) with Maraca, he began to focus on developing his musical career and decided to live in the U.S., he made his way to New York in February 2012, where he could evolve alongside a melding pot of the world’s top musicians and artists. Since then, Llanes has become and indispensable member of the Latin and Latin Jazz communities, respectively. He has performed alongside numerous renowned artists including Descemer Bueno, Marlow Rosado, Carlos Vives, Colin Hay, JenCarlos Canela, Xiomara Laugart, Raul Paz, Jesus Diaz, MTG ALL STARS, Franci Vazquez, Mario “Mayito”Rivera, Jose Pepito Gomez, Tirso Duarte, Michel Herrera, Jorge Luis Pacheco, Miguelo Valdez, among many others. Also started to collaborate in the American scene with Hank Lane Music and Production Company, Singing and playing percussion.

A milestone in his career, Llanes was invited to participate in a private video performance series created by Latin Percussion founder, Martin Cohen for Ivan’s first video showcased his compositions where he was featured on Drum-set, Timbal, and Vocals. The second video brought together a part of the new generation of Latin percussionists living in New York City, in a piece composed for percussion ensemble by him.

Ivan is currently working on his own project, a brainchild of the sessions the proceed, Cuban Way. It is an effort to reflect the wide variety of Ivan’s influences, while incorporating elements of Timba and Folklore in creative setting, while showcasing the energy and passion that his has become well known for. He got invited to perform with his band, in the Havana Film Festival April 5th at Bronx Museum (2013), and he have turned that night into an beautiful, lovely and successful moment…

“Cuban Way reflects the impact of the Cuban sensibility on music… I want to play all kinds of music, but with the Cuban Soul”.

Korean American Cellist

Ju-Young Lee

Korean American cellist, Ju-Young Lee enjoys an international career as a chamber musician, soloist, and versatile recording artist. A graduate of the Juilliard School, he trained under David Soyer and Joel Krosnick, and studied with Felix Wang as a Myra Jackson Blair Scholar at the Blair School of Music, Vanderbilt University. Concert and festival appearances as chamber musician and recital soloist include performances at Brevard, Great Mountains Music Festival, The National Music Festival, Rocky-Mountain Summer Conservatory, Kneisel Hall, and Manhattan Chamber Music Festival. Mr.Lee is in demand as a recording artist and performer for popular music in addition to his classical activities. He has collaborated on Jazz, Rock, and Country music albums and also performs internationally with the Emmy-Award winning Damien Escobar and his quartet, including performances at the 2013 Hip-Hop Inaugural Ball honoring Barack Obama. Currently Mr.Lee reside in New York City, while actively touring the United States and internationally with The Core Ensemble and Warp Trio.

New York City-based Violist, Violinist, Vocalist, Songwriter, and Performer

Sarah Elizabeth Haines

Sarah Elizabeth Haines is a New York City-based violist, violinist, vocalist, songwriter, and performer. She is a core member of new music ensemble Contemporaneous, and is co-bandleader of the Americana group Bellehouse (new record Capsized out now), as well as being a member of bands Emanuel and the Fear (new record Primitive Smile out now) and Kenyon Phillips and the Ladies in Waiting. She is also a member of the soul orchestra Little Kruta. Sarah regularly plays in bands for regional and off-Broadway theatre, and has performed in NYC, Boston, Los Angeles and Miami with Todd Almond’s experimental rock opera Kansas City Choir Boy, starring rock icon Courtney Love.  Abbreviated recording credits include: Iow@ Original Cast Album, Phillip Glass, Jherek Bischoff, PWR BTTM, Mackenzie Shivers, Guards, and Sufjan Stevens.

Liz Kovalchuk

Elizabeth Kovalchuk has performed in nineteen different countries as a soloist, chamber musician and orchestral player throughout North America, Europe, Asia and the Middle East. Currently based in New York City, Ms.Kovalchuk performs regularly with groups such as the New York Chamber Players, Hollywood Festival Orchestra, the Curiosity Cabinet among others, in venues such as the Brooklyn Academy of Music, Ganz Hall, Sapporo Concert Hall, Symphony Center among others.

As a soloist, Ms.Kovalchuk has performed and produced seventeen solo recitals in Toronto, Chicago, New York City, Moscow, Riga, Cremona and Helsinki. In addition to working as a soloist, Elizabeth is an avid session musicians, recording in studios such as Avatar Studios, ManMade Music Productions and Premier Studios for PBS, Blakewood Documentary, YouTube sensation Robyn Adele Anderson, Emmy Award winning Katreese Barnes, and other independent artists in the USA and Canada.

As orchestral musician, Elizabeth has worked with dozens of professional orchestras such as the Marion Philharmonic, Anderson Symphony, Muncie Symphony, L’Orchestre de La Francophonie, Sibelius Academy Orchestra among others. From 2014-2016, Elizabeth played in Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, being the only cellist in the eleven-piece band, amplified to thousands of audience members.

Elizabeth Kovalchuk is a passionate educator and finds great fulfillment contributing to the development of young minds. Along with maintaining a private studio since 2005, Elizabeth was employed as the graduate assistant to the studio of professor Dr.Peter Opie from 2012-2014, teaching undergraduate students. She has been a counsellor at the Cremona International Academy and has coached chamber music groups, lead cello sectionals and taught group lessons at Toronto Lord Landsdowne Summer Music School, Etobicoke School of the Arts and Ball State University.

In non-classical realms, Liz leads and sings in the Liz K Cover band performing in bars and for weddings throughout New York City. She also sings in the Oratory Choir and contracts for New York Session Symphony. Liz was born in Riga and moved to Canada as an infant with her family during the collapse of the USSR.

Electric Bass

Antoine Katz

Born in Caen, France, Antoine Katz started his musical journey at the early age of 6, by playing cello. After 12 years of conservatory studies, he decided to switch to electric bass. It was only after 3 years of playing, that he was accepted into the prestigious Berklee College of Music with the European scholarship.

During his time at Berklee, Antoine developed his ability to play in a wide range of musical styles, including Gospel, Afro Cuban, Jazz , R&B, and Funk. He has studied with the likes of Victor Bailey or John Patitucci.

He has played/recorded with artists/groups such as : Harry Belafonte, Jennah Bell, Cory Henry and the Funk Apostles, Lunchmoney Lewis ,Patti Austin, Siedah Garrett , Charlie Puth, Talib Kweli, Bea Miller, Mali Music, Jaime Woods , Marie Davy, Casey Benjamin, Maurice Brown, Bob James, Gizmo, Dave Mackay Group

Paulo Stagnaro

Over the course of six years, with a myriad of performances across the globe, several studio projects as a sideman, television appearances, and contributions in Jazz, Pop, Latin, and World music, Two-Time Grammy-Award Winning percussionist Paulo Stagnaro has established himself as an innovative voice in today’s generation of creative young artists. Hailed by jazz great Ralph Peterson as “a young master percussionist,” Stagnaro has been a force on the ever-evolving New York scene since moving to Brooklyn in 2012. Recently he has performed and/or recorded with NEA Jazz master Paquito D’Rivera, Grammy-Winner Angelique Kidjo, Jazz Legend Dave Liebman, and formed part of the all-star rhythm section for Sting’s 25th Anniversary Rainforest Fundraiser at Carnegie Hall.He has been a part of Ricky Martin’s touring band since 2014, and also contributed to Martin’s most recent Grammy Winning Record “A Quien Quiera Escuchar.”

Lavinia Pavlish

Lavinia Pavlish is a New York City based violinist. She performed as a soloist with the Cleveland Orchestra in education concert series Time Travel with the Cleveland Orchestra and premiered her own composition Rhapsody for Violin and Orchestra with the Contemporary Youth Orchestra for its tenth anniversary concert under music director Liza Grossman.

As a chamber musician, Lavinia has performed in exciting venues such as Carnegie Hall and Alice Tully Hall. She has performed as a chamber musician with Troy Schumacher’s Ballet Collective and at the New York City Ballet’s Choreographic Institute. She co-founded and was a member of Rhythm Method String Quartet for three years, during which time the quartet became a finalist in the Victor Elmelah Concert Artist Guild competition. The Rhythm Method has performed at Joe’s Pub, the Met Museum, the Onassis Cultural Center, and Roulette, and was featured on the String Orchestra of Brooklyn’s String Theories Festival, MATA Festival, and the Austrian Cultural Forum’s Moving Sounds Festival. Lavinia has performed as assistant concertmaster of the Juilliard Orchestra under Alan Gilbert and Jeffrey Kahane, and has participated in The Aspen Music Festival and School, Music Academy of the West, and
Holland International Music Sessions, Lake Tahoe Music Festival, Lucerne Festival Academy, and Spoleto Festival.

Lavinia studied with Paul Kantor in the Cleveland Institute of Music preparatory program and continued her studies as an undergraduate student of Almita Vamos at Northwestern University. Lavinia completed her Masters Degree at Juilliard with Naoko Tanaka, where she studied chamber music with Lara Lev and Sylvia Rosenberg.

Lavinia is a member of Chamber Orchestra of New York and Brooklyn-based band MacGlidden.

Multi-instrumentalist, Arranger, and Composer

Eric Allen

Eric Allen, born in Portland, Oregon, is a multi-instrumentalist, arranger, and composer living in Brooklyn. Eric has created orchestral arrangements for the National Symphony Orchestra at the Kennedy Center and for the Portland Ballet in Portland, Oregon. Recently, he has subbed for the Broadway show Waitress, has toured with Todd Almond’s Kansas City Choir Boy co-staring Courtney Love, and can be seen in the TV series’ The Knick and Mozart in the Jungle. He was a participant of both the BMI Lehman Engel Musical Theatre Workshop and the BMI Jazz Composers Workshop. Eric is a founding member of Speed Bump, a string trio of two cellos and one viola dedicated to performing their original compositions and unique arrangements of classical, jazz, and world music.

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