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Frisson Ensemble, string and wind sextet

 Frisson Ensemble, string and wind sextet

Frisson is an explosive group of rising classical stars who are the best of the recent graduates of the top music schools including Juilliard, Curtis and Yale. Led by Director and oboist Thomas Gallant and Associate Director and violist Caeli Smith, the musicians were chosen through auditions in New York City and the group already has a busy tour schedule all across the U.S. Individually the musicians all have impressive resumes and each has already performed in such places as Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center. Frisson performs music with different combinations of strings and winds and programs include classical works for strings and winds by Beethoven and Mozart, a traditional Celtic music suite and Ennio Morricone’s Gabriel’s Oboe from the film The Mission.

Praised as "outstanding enough to grace the stages of the world’s great orchestras” by Straits Times, violinist Adelya Nartadjieva has performed throughout Asia, Europe, Russia, and the United States. A dedicated chamber musician, Adelya has performed at Yellow Barn, the Heifetz International Music Institute, and Four Seasons. She has collaborated with Leon Fleisher, Gil Shaham, and members of the Emerson and Juilliard String Quartets. She is currently a member of Sejong Soloists and the Jupiter Symphony Chamber Players. A native of Tashkent, Uzbekistan, Adelya holds a Master’s degree from the Yale School of Music, and a First-Class Honors Degree from the Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music in Singapore. Her recent awards include first prize at Yale’s Woolsey Concerto Competition, an Education Grant from the Rachel Barton Pine Foundation, and The Broadus Erle Prize from the Yale School of Music. Adelya is an Ensemble Connect fellow the prestigious Carnegie Hall program for 2016-2018.

Caeli Smith, viola and Associate Director, was called "intense, precise, and full of personality" by OperaClick after her concerto performance with The Juilliard Orchestra. She has performed at venues including Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center, National Sawdust, Bargemusic, and the BBC Proms. At age ten, Caeli made her debut as an orchestra soloist with the Philadelphia Classical Symphony. She was the Roving Reporter on NPR’s From The Top for four years, and appeared frequently as a performer on the radio and TV show. Caeli is a Teaching Artist for the New York Philharmonic, the New York City Charter School for the Arts, and is on the faculty of the HeifetzPEG program. Caeli has performed as a principal of both the Verbier Festival Orchestra in Switzerland and the Juilliard Orchestra. Caeli holds bachelor's and master's degrees from The Juilliard School. She has performed at Ravinia’s Steans Music Institute and the Perlman Music Program’s Chamber Music Workshop.

Oboist and Artistic Director for Frisson, Thomas Gallant is First Prize Winner of the Concert Artists Guild New York Competition. He has performed solo and chamber music concerts at Alice Tully Hall and the Frick Collection in New York City, in Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia, and at the Mostly Mozart Festival at Lincoln Center. He has appeared as guest soloist with the Kronos Quartet at the Ravinia Festival and has collaborated with flutist Jean-Pierre Rampal, Cuarteto Casals, the Calder and Lark Quartets, and Cuarteto Latinoamericano. Mr. Gallant has given the Washington, DC premiere of Elliot Carter’s Oboe Quartet at the Library of Congress and the New York premiere of Penderecki’s Capriccio for oboe and strings at Weill Recital Hall. Recent concerts include tours across the United States as soloist with Camerata Bariloche from Argentina and the String Orchestra of New York performing concerti by Bach, Bellini, and Mozart. Mr. Gallant is a member of Ensemble Schumann and leader of Oboe Fusion.

Cellist Julian Schwarz was born to a multigenerational musical family in 1991. Since making his debut at age eleven with the Seattle Symphony, he has toured internationally as soloist, recitalist, and chamber musician. In 2013, he won first prize in the professional cello division of the Schoenfeld International String Competition in Hong Kong, and in 2016 won first prize at the Boulder International Chamber Music Competition’s “The Art of Duo” with Canadian pianist Marika Bournaki. During the 2017-18 season, Mr. Schwarz will premiere a concerto by Lowell Liebermann with a consortium of six orchestras, and maintain an active performance calendar as a member of New York Classical Players, Solisti Ensemble, and at Bargemusic. Julian serves as Asst. Professor of Cello at Shenandoah Conservatory, and on the faculty of Eastern Music Festival, Lunenburg Academy of Music Performance, pianoSonoma, and the Juilliard School assisting Joel Krosnick. Mr. Schwarz plays on a Neapolitan cello made by Gennaro Gagliano in 1743, is an active contributor to Strings Magazine’s Artist Blog, and sits on the music committee of the National Arts Club.

Ji Weon Ryu is the principal flute of the Albany Symphony Orchestra and she has appeared as principal flute of the New York String Orchestra Seminar in Carnegie Hall, and has performed under the batons of Alan Gilbert, Fabio Luisi, David Zinman, David Robertson and Matthias Pinstscher. Ji Weon made her solo debut with the Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra at the age of 12. Her recent solo engagements include Kumho Asiana Cultural Foundation’s Young Artist Concert Series, which aired on KBS Classic FM in Korea. Ji Weon was the winner of the Artur Balsam Duo Competition, the New York Flute Club Young Artist Competition, and the 38th National Flute Association Soloists Competition, where she also received the Best Performance of the Newly Commissioned Piece Award. Ji Weon is a graduate of the accelerated Bachelors and Masters degree programs at The Juilliard School, and is currently studying Orchestral Performance at Manhattan School of Music.

Originally from Maryville, TN, Bixby Kennedy is currently a fellow of Ensemble Connect where he performs in Carnegie Hall and Juilliard, is a teaching artist in the public schools, and presents community engagement concerts throughout New York City. Admired for his “suppleness and beauty of tone” (Allan Kozinn, Portland Press Herald) Bixby has performed concerti with the Minnesota Orchestra, Houston Symphony, Bloomington Sinfionetta, and Indiana University Symphony. Additionally, he has garnered prizes from the Minnesota Young Artist Competition, ECSO, Hellam, Ima Hogg, Boston Woodwind Society, and Indiana University competitions. As a chamber musician, Bixby has performed throughout the US and Europe making appearances in Carnegie Hall, Alice Tully Hall, The Kennedy Center, Music from Angel Fire, and Caramoor. On period instruments, Bixby performs classical repertoire on period instruments and replica instruments throughout the US with Grand Harmonie Orchestra. He is the Associate Principal Clarinet in the New Haven Symphony Orchestra and Principal Clarinet in Symphony in C.

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Caeli Smith

violist and associate director

Thomas Gallant

oboist and artistic director

Bixby Kennedy