Sakiko Ohashi, a native of Japan, began her piano studies at the age of four. By the time she was 10 years old, she was accepted to the Juilliard Pre-College Division as a student of Herbert Stessin. Since then, performances have taken her throughout the United States, Canada, Japan, and Europe.
Described as “deliberate yet thoughtful” by The South Carolina Free Times, pianist Sakiko Ohashi made her concerto debut at Lincoln Center in New York City in 1996. She performed the Bartok 3rd Piano Concerto with The Juilliard Symphony conducted by Otto-Werner Mueller, after winning the Juilliard Concerto Competition. She is also the winner of the 1993 E. Nakamichi Concerto Competition at the Aspen Music Festival where she appeared with the Aspen Young Artists Orchestra. She has appeared as a soloist with numerous orchestras including the South Carolina Philharmonic, Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra, and the South Dakota Symphony, among others. In New York, her solo and chamber music appearances have included venues such as Alice Tully Hall, Carnegie Weill Recital Hall, Juilliard Theatre, and The Harvard Club. In addition, she is featured in 3 CDs of Creole composers Gottschalk, Dede, and Lambert on the Naxos label, and her performances have been heard on radio broadcasts across the country.
Ms. Ohashi has attended numerous music festivals, including the Aspen Music Festival, Killington Music Festival, Orford Centre for the Arts, Banff Center for the Arts, Fontainebleau Music Festival in France, Glassboro Summer Session, and Mozarteum Summer Academy in Salzburg, Austria, studying with pianists such as Anton Kuerti, Philippe Entremont, Gaby Casadesus, Philippe Bianconi, Bernd Glemser, and Catherine Vickers. Her primary teachers include Herbert Stessin, Zitta Zohar, and Shizuko Kojima.
Since graduating from The Juilliard School with Bachelor and Master of Music, she has been a passionate educator and has taught at the Greenwich House of Music in New York, the Sewanee Summer Music Festival in Tennessee, Augustana College in South Dakota, Bard College in New York, and University of Miami in Florida. Ms. Ohashi also served as Assistant Chair of Music at The New Orleans Center for Creative Arts (NOCCA|Riverfront), where she directed the Classical Instrumental Division for five years. She also served as the Director of the Preparatory Division at The Bard Conservatory. Her students have won numerous competitions both locally and nationally. She currently resides in Miami.
Helen Hwaya Kim
Helen Hwaya Kim made her orchestral debut with the Calgary Philharmonic at the age of six and has gone on to become a respected and sought-after artist. She has appeared as a soloist with the Boston Pops at Boston's Symphony Hall, as well as with the Milwaukee and Atlanta Symphony Orchestras.
Ms. Kim earned her Bachelor and Master's Degree from the Juilliard School, where her teachers included Cho-Liang Lin and Dorothy DeLay. While at Juilliard, she served as Concertmaster of the Juilliard Orchestra and was the winner of the Juilliard Concerto Competition at both the pre–college and college levels. She is the recipient of more than one hundred national and international awards. She won the prestigious Artists International Competition in New York and, as a result, gave debut recitals at Carnegie Weill Hall and the Aspen Summer Music Festival.
A native of Canada, Ms. Kim has been engaged by many of Canada's leading orchestras, including the National Arts Center Orchestra, Montreal Metropolitan Orchestra, Vancouver Symphony, Calgary Philharmonic, McGill Chamber Orchestra, and the Windsor, Regina, Victoria and Prince George Symphonies. She has also appeared with the DeKalb, New Orleans, Aspen and Banff Festival Orchestras, and with orchestras in the United Kingdom, Germany and Poland.
Ms. Kim has toured extensively throughout Canada and the United States, including performances at Alice Tully Hall and the Santa Fe and La Jolla International Music Festivals, where she performed with Cho-Liang Lin, Gary Hoffman, Andre Previn, and the Orion String Quartet. She performed Bach’s Double violin concerto with Hilary Hahn at the Amelia Island Chamber music festival. She most recently made her debut performance at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, Netherlands. Other festival highlights include performances at the Highlands-Cashiers, Banff, Zenith, El Paso Pro Musica,Northwest Bach Festival, Serafin, St. Miguel De Allende and Sitka International Chamber Music Festivals.
An avid performer of new music, she can be heard on the recent CD release of the works of Alvin Singleton on Albany records. Helen performed the world premiere of the “Concertino” by Chen Yi, scored for solo violin and orchestra that was commissioned especially for her and the KSU Orchestra and was recently released by Centaur Records.
Ms. Kim currently resides in Atlanta, Georgia, where she served as Assistant and Associate Concertmaster for the Atlanta Symphony for three seasons. She is currently the Assistant Concertmaster of the Atlanta Opera Orchestra and serves as Professor of Violin and Chair of the String Department at Kennesaw State University.
Germán Marcano, Venezuelan cellists with one of the most versatile career in Latin American scene. He was principal cello with the Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra from 1985 to 97), and has been a regular guest soloist and conductor with Venezuela’s main orchestras. As a teacher Marcano held an important posts at the Simón Bolívar Conservatory (El Sistema), the Emil Friedman School, the Simón Bolívar University, and the Mozarteum Center’s Music School, and has been guest professor and lecturer in Grand Valley State University and Andrews University in Michigan, the San Diego Youth Orchestra, the University of Iowa, Louisiana State University and the Madison Cello Institute in Wisconsin. He has premiered works from renowned Latin American composers some of them composed specially for him. Among his publications we can count editions of cello works by Venezuelan composers and "A catalog of Latin American works for cello”, recently launched online by the Sphinx Organization and CelloBello. He has several recordings, some of devoted to folk Venezuelan music. Marcano holds a BMus degree from the University of Surrey, England, the Premier Prix diploma from the Guildhall School of Music in London, and Masters and DMA degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He currently teaches at Kalos Music Academy, Vivace Music Academy in Florida and plays regularly cello solo and chamber music with The Music in Miami series, FIU Concert Series, Atlantic Classical Orchestra and has been invited as principal cello with Palm Beach and South Florida Symphony Orchestras.
Winner of "Ettore Pozzoli" International Piano Competition in Italy, pianist Anna Stoytcheva is described this way: “Stoytcheva’s tonal palette was a whirl of fabulous colors. Her agility was stunning at lighting speed” (Coral Gables Gazette). Currently Ms. Stoytcheva is the Co-Chair of Executive Board of Bulgarian Concert Evenings in New York series. She is also the pianist of American Chamber Players five-member ensemble, which performs extensively throughout the United States. In New York City Ms. Stoytcheva has performed at Avery Fisher Hall, Weill Recital Hall, Zankel Hall and Stern Auditorium at Carnegie Hall, Alice Tully Hall and Merkin Hall. Ms. Stoytcheva has been a soloist with Orchestra del' Angelicum, The Juilliard Orchestra, The New World Symphony and Sofia Radio Orchestra among others. Some conductors she has worked with are Otto-Werner Mueller, Michael Tilson Thomas, Rossen Milanov and Alasdaire Neale. The Bulgarian National Television has made several documentaries about Ms. Stoytcheva and she has recorded two solo albums, available on Gega New label. Ms. Stoytcheva has attended Marlboro Music Festival, Classical Tahoe, Music Academy of the West, The Banff Center of the Arts, Pianofest, Kneisel Hall. She has collaborated with such distinguished artists as members of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, New York Philharmonic and several Young Concert Artists winners. Ms. Stoytcheva holds Bachelor and Master of Music Degrees in Piano Performance from The Juilliard School. Her teachers have been Seymour Lipkin, Veda Kaplinsky, Jerome Lowenthal, Julia Ganeva and Lidia Kuteva.