Equally at home in the solo, chamber and orchestral stages, Sarah Frisof is a passionate flutist and educator. As a soloist, Frisof was the second-prize winner of both the National Flute Association Young Artist Competition and the Heida Hermanns International Woodwind Competition, and she was a semi-finalist in the 2009 Kobe International Flute Competition. Frisof has concertized throughout the United States, Europe and Asia.
As a committed proponent of contemporary music, Frisof frequently premieres major works. Recent premieres include Damian Montano’s Concerto for Flute and Harp with the Dallas Winds and Joel Puckett’s Knells for Bonnie for flute and wind ensemble. "The Puckett Concerto" was released on the Klavier Label in February of 2017. In June of 2016, Frisof released her first solo CD, "The Flute Music of Joseph Schwantner," an authoritative recording of all of Schwantner’s major works for flute. This recording, which was released on the Centaur Label, includes the world premiere recording of Taking Charge, a new chamber work for flute, piano and percussion. Highlights of Frisof’s 2016–17 season include a concerto performance with the Dallas Winds and guest artist recital appearances at the New York Flute Club, Ithaca College, University of Chicago and the Salon de Bellas Artes in Mexico City, Mexico.
In addition to Frisof’s work as a solo artist, she is an active orchestral musician, having worked with major symphony orchestras across the country, including the Chicago Symphony, Boston Symphony, New York Philharmonic, Dallas Symphony and many others. Frisof frequently plays with the Kansas City Symphony, and she is principal flute of the Dallas Winds, the premier wind band in the United States. In the summers, Frisof plays with several festival orchestras including the Sunflower Festival (Topeka, KS) and Music in the Mountains (Durango, CO). She is a frequent performer at the National Flute Association Conventions, having most recently performed Joel Puckett’s The Shadow of Sirius Concerto with the United States Army Field Band at the closing gala concert in August of 2015.
An enthusiastic educator, Frisof has taught in a variety of diverse settings, including as a faculty member at the Interlochen Arts Camp, the Music in the Mountains Conservatory and the Blanche Bryden Summer Institute. She has taken her passion for education to global audiences, including working with young students in Zimbabwe and Brazil, and she frequently gives masterclasses at universities across the United States. A graduate of the Eastman School, The Juilliard School and the University of Michigan, she was formerly the professor of flute at University of Kansas and the University of Texas at Arlington.
Rita Sloan is acknowledged internationally as a leading teacher of piano, collaborative piano and chamber music. In 1999, she was appointed a piano faculty member and director of the collaborative piano program at the University of Maryland. As an Artist Faculty Member at the Aspen Music Festival, Sloan founded their Collaborative Piano Program. She has performed as soloist with both the Aspen Festival Orchestra and Chamber Symphony as well as in chamber music with many of Aspen’s distinguished guest artists including pianists Wu Han and Orli Shaham, violinists Sarah Chang and Nadia Salerno-Sonnenberg, cellist Gary Hoffman, bassist Edgar Meyer and flutist Emmanuel Pahud. Teaching residencies and master class presentations have included Tainan National University of the Arts and National Normal University in Taiwan, China Conservatory in Beijing, China, leading universities in Seoul, Korea, London’s Royal College of Music, American universities and conservatories including numerous visits to the Juilliard School in New York. Sloan has performed with orchestra, in recital, and in chamber music throughout the U.S., Europe, South America and Japan. She has been a guest in many chamber music venues and has performed with members of the Emerson and Guarneri String Quartets. Born in Russia to Polish parents, Sloan graduated from the Juilliard School, where she studied with Martin Canin and Rosina Lhévinne. Further studies were with Leon Fleisher, Aube Tzerko, Herbert Stessin and Vladimir Ashkenazy.
Robert DiLutis is the professor of clarinet at the University of Maryland, College Park, and the principal clarinetist of the Annapolis Symphony Orchestra. DiLutis previously served as professor of clarinet at the Louisiana State University School of Music from 2009–12. He has also held positions with the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, San Antonio Symphony Orchestra and the Eastman School of Music. DiLutis has served on the faculties of St. Mary's University in Texas and Nazareth College in New York. His recent recitals and masterclasses have included the University of Georgia, University of California at Northridge, University of South Carolina, Catholic University of America and the International Clarinet Conference in Assisi, Italy.
Born in Baltimore, MD, to a family of musicians, DiLutis studied first at the Peabody Conservatory with William Blayney and later at the Juilliard School with David Weber, principal clarinetist of the NYC Ballet. In 1989 he made his Carnegie Hall Recital debut as the winner of the Artist International Chamber Music Competition. As a soloist, DiLutis has performed with ensembles such as the San Antonio Symphony, LSU Wind Ensemble, Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra and the Baton Rouge Symphony Orchestra. DiLutis has performed and toured with the New York Philharmonic and is currently co-director of the Clarinet Academy of America, an intensive summer program for advanced clarinetists in high school and college. In addition to his performance career, DiLutis is the creator of the Reed Machine, a reed making device used by top professionals around the world.
In 2013, DiLutis created a new chamber music series at the historic Riversdale House Museum in Riverdale, MD, and was awarded a 2014 Individual Performing Artist Grant from the Maryland State Counsel for the Arts. DiLutis is an artist for buffet and his new DVD/CD "Clarinet at Maryland," is available at CDBaby.com and GumRoad.com
James Stern is a multi-faceted musician whose violin playing has been heard worldwide and cited by the Washington Post for “virtuosity and penetrating intelligence.” He has performed at the Marlboro, Ravinia, Banff and Bowdoin festivals as well as at New York’s Alice Tully Hall and Carnegie Hall. He did all of his formal training at the Juilliard School where his teachers were Louise Behrend, Joseph Fuchs and Lewis Kaplan.
Stern is a member of two critically acclaimed ensembles, the Stern/Andrist Duo with his wife, pianist Audrey Andrist, and Strata, a trio in which they are joined by clarinetist Nathan Williams. The duo has performed throughout the United States, Canada and China, with additional recitals in Munich and Paris. The trio has received enthusiastic repeat engagements at San Francisco Composers Inc (for which they were listed as one of San Francisco Classical Voice’s “highlights of 2005”), the Piccolo Spoleto Festival and New York’s historic Maverick Concerts. Strata has recently commissioned new works from Kenneth Frazelle and the late Stephen Paulus, giving the world premieres at, respectively, the Secrest Artist Series in Winston Salem, North Carolina, and New York’s Merkin Concert Hall.
Well-known to Washington, DC audiences, Stern has performed as a member of VERGE ensemble, the 21st Century Consort, the Smithsonian Chamber Players and the Axelrod Quartet, at such venues as the Corcoran Gallery, the German and French Embassies, the Smithsonian Institution, the Library of Congress, the National Gallery, the Phillips Collection, Strathmore Mansion and the White House. In frequent appearances at The Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center at the University of Maryland, he has brought innovative programming that includes performing in multiple capacities (as violist, pianist, conductor, reciter and arranger), and providing program annotations that are integral to the performance. His numerous chamber music and new music recordings can be heard on Albany, Bridge, Centaur, CRI, Dorian/Sono Luminus, Enharmonic, New Focus and New World. His recording of the Sonatas and Partitas by Bach was released on Albany Records.
A passionately devoted teacher, Stern has served on the faculty of the Cleveland Institute of Music and the University of the Pacific Conservatory of Music. He is currently professor and coordinator of the String Division at the University of Maryland School of Music. In summers he has performed and taught at the National Orchestral Institute, the Orfeo International Festival, the Schlern International Festival, ASTA International Workshops, California Summer Music, the Brian Lewis Young Artists Program, the Master Players Festival and the Starling/Delay Violin Symposium at the Juilliard School. Stern performs on a violin by Vincenzo Panormo built in 1781.
Violist Katherine Murdock has performed as soloist and chamber musician in the musical capitals of the U.S., Europe, Canada, New Zealand and South America. A frequent guest at music festivals throughout the world, she has appeared at the Edinburgh, Salzburg, Spoleto and Gulbenkian festivals, the International Musicians Seminar at Prussia Cove in Cornwall and in the U.S. at Ravinia, Saratoga, Wolftrap, Mostly Mozart, Tanglewood, Aspen and the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival. A past participant at the Marlboro Music Festival, she has toured with Music from Marlboro, and was invited to perform on the Marlboro Fortieth Anniversary Concerts in Philadelphia and New York’s Carnegie Hall. She has appeared on the Great Performers Series at Lincoln Center as a guest of the Beaux Arts Trio.
Born in Burlington, Vermont, to music loving parents, Murdock moved with her family to Toronto at the age of ten. A recipient of two Canada Council Arts Awards, she received her musical training at Oberlin and Boston University, and pursued graduate studies at Yale School of Music. She studied viola with Karen Tuttle and Joseph Silverstein, and for two summers she attended the Banff School of Fine Arts to study with the late William Primrose. She has studied chamber music with such teachers as Felix Galimir, Mischa Schneider, Sandor Vegh and Eugene Lehner.
From 1988 to 1994, Murdock was a member of the Mendelssohn String Quartet. With this group she toured internationally and premiered many new works for string quartet, including works of Augusta Read Thomas, Bruce Adolphe, Tobias Picker, Bernard Rands, Tina Davidson and Ned Rorem. She has also been a member of the Boston Chamber Music Society, the Cambridge Chamber Players and the N.Y. Philomusica. She has toured New Zealand as a guest of the New Zealand String Quartet. In concert she has collaborated with the Vermeer, Emerson and Guarneri string quartets, members of the Juilliard and Cleveland quartets and has performed with such artists as pianists Peter Serkin, Leon Fleischer, Claude Frank and Menahem Pressler, violinists Salvatore Accardo and Jaime Laredo, cellist Janos Starker and flutist Jean-Pierre Rampal.
Active in the field of contemporary music, she was a member for ten years of the contemporary chamber ensemble Boston Musica Viva, with whom she recorded and performed internationally. She has recently premiered several pieces written for her, including a work for viola and piano by Nathaniel Tull Phillips; her trio Polaris with her husband oboist Mark Hill has trios for viola, oboe and piano by Steven Burke and Dana Wilson.
As a member of the Mendelssohn Quartet, Murdock served as artist-in-residence at Harvard University and the University of Delaware. She has previously been on the faculties of Wellesley College, the Boston Conservatory, the Hartt School of Music and for eight years at Stony Brook. In the summer she is a member of the artist faculty at the Yellow Barn and Kneisel Hall chamber music festivals, and is on the faculty and co-director of the Chamber Music Program at the National Orchestral Institute. She served on the juries of the Juilliard Concerto Competition, the Peabody “Concours” and the Banff International String Quartet Competition.
Murdock’s extensive orchestral experience includes performances, tours and recordings with the Boston Symphony, the National Symphony and the New York Philharmonic; for ten years she toured and recorded with the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra.
Murdock has recorded for Deutsche Grammophon, Columbia, Delos, CRI, Nonesuch and John Marks Records; her discography includes a newly released Dorian DVD of Schoenberg’s Verklarte Nacht. She has been broadcast live and in recordings on NPR, West German Radio, the NBC "Today Show" and the BBC Radio and TV. Murdock currently performs and records as a member of the Los Angeles Piano Quartet, and is a member of the Left Bank Quartet and the Left Bank Concert Society of Washington, D.C.
A National Symphony Orchestra (NSO) cellist since 1998, Rachel Young brings a diverse musical background to her work, ranging from avid engagement in chamber music to a strong interest in new music. She joins NSO colleagues as a member of the Last Stand Quartet and the 21st Century Consort. Prior to joining the NSO, Young served as principal cello of the Kennedy Center Opera House Orchestra. An enthusiastic chamber musician, her collaborations include appearances with the Fortas Chamber Music and Mason Bates KC Jukebox series at the John F. Kennedy Center, Smithsonian Chamber Music Society, Jackson Hole Chamber Music, Garth Newel Music Center, the Odeon Chamber Series, the Strathmore Mansion, the White House, and the American Embassy in Madrid, as well as on radio stations WGMS, WETA, and WGBH. Her discography includes performances with the 21st Century Consort and the Smithsonian Chamber Players. Young has also enjoyed occasional forays into new arenas, collaborating with the Paul Taylor Dance Company, movie producer Bill McKenna, songwriter Randy Barrett, and saxophonist Al Regni.
Young was born and raised in Washington, D.C. She began studying music at the age of four and quickly knew she wanted to become a cellist. In high school, Young trained in the NSO Youth Fellowship Program, studying with Principal Cellist David Hardy. She went on to play with the contemporary Music ensemble at the Peabody Institute and found the challenge and discovery of performing contemporary music incredibly rewarding. She earned a Bachelor of Music degree from the New England Conservatory of Music, where she studied with Laurence Lesser, and her master's degree in cello performance with Stephen Kates at the Peabody Conservatory. She was a Fellow at the Tanglewood Music Center and attended the Britten-Pears School for Advanced Musical Studies in England, where she studied with William Pleeth. Young is a teaching artist with the National Symphony Orchestra Youth Fellowship and Summer Music Institute programs as well as a chamber coach for the Maryland Classic Youth Orchestra. She serves on the boards of the Kindler Cello Society and the 21st Century Consort.
Originally from Chicago, Richard Barber began his musical studies with piano at age seven, adding double bass at age nine. He studied privately with bassists from the Chicago Lyric Opera, and in high school, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Although he had strong interest in science and engineering, Barber found himself unable to choose any career except music. He attended the Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore, where he studied with Harold Robinson, currently principal bass of the Philadelphia Orchestra, and additionally with Tim Cobb, currently principal bass of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra. Summers were spent touring Europe with the Schleswig-Holstein Festival Orchestra. Receiving his degree in three years, he won his first professional orchestral audition two weeks after graduation, and joined the bass section of the Phoenix Symphony Orchestra. In 1995, after three years in Phoenix, Barber auditioned for, and was appointed to, the bass section of the National Symphony Orchestra. Seven months later, he was selected at another national audition, and appointed assistant principal bass.
He has performed extensively throughout the United States, Europe, Japan and China with the National Symphony Orchestra, the Schleswig Holstein Musik Festival Orchestra (Germany) and the Grand Teton Festival Orchestra (Wyoming), under conductors such as Lorin Maazel, Christoph Eschenbach, Sir George Solti, Valery Gergiev, Christoph von Dohnanyi, Kurt Masur and Ivan Fischer. In Washington, he appears regularly with the 21st Century Consort, the Eclipse Chamber Orchestra and the Fessenden Ensemble.
Barber was born into a family of musicians and educators. His father performed professionally, while also acting as chairman of the music department of a high school of 5,000 students. His mother taught flute privately and continues to sing professionally. His sister, a teacher, is an avid musician. Barber plays an Italian instrument made c. 1620 by the Brescian master Giovanni Paolo Maggini. He lives in Maryland with his wife, mezzo-soprano Marta Kirilloff Barber, and their two children.
Daniel Pesca, pianist and composer, is a passionate advocate for contemporary music. He has played the world premieres of over one hundred solo and chamber works, many composed for him. In the process, he has shared the stage with leading ensembles, including Ensemble Signal, the Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble, and the Aspen Contemporary Ensemble. He has performed at the Library of Congress, the Kennedy Center, NYC’s Miller Theatre, at June in Buffalo, and at international festivals devoted to contemporary music. Daniel has appeared as soloist at Carnegie Hall and the Aspen Music Festival, and with the Eastman Wind Ensemble, Oberlin Sinfonietta, and Slee Sinfonietta. His recordings include CDs from Urtext Classics, Centaur Records, and Oberlin Records, with new solo recordings slated for release on Nimbus and Albany this year.
Daniel is Assistant Professor of Piano at University of Maryland, Baltimore County. Prior to his appointment at UMBC, Daniel was Artist-in-Residence and Director of the Chamber Music Program at the University of Chicago. He is the pianist of the Grossman Ensemble, the resident new music ensemble at UChicago. He is also co-founder, co-director, pianist, and composer of the Zohn Collective. Daniel holds a doctorate from Eastman.