A recipient of an Avery Fisher Career Grant, cellist Sophie Shao was the winner of top prizes at the Rostropovich and Tchaikovsky competitions. Highlights of last season include the premiere of film composer Howard Shore’s concerto “Mythic Gardens” with the American Symphony Orchestra, the complete Bach Suites (in one evening) at Union College, recitals at Middlebury College and the Philadelphia Chamber Music, and her annual “Sophie Shao and Friends” performances from Brattleboro, VT to Sedona, AZ. Highlights of this season include a two-week American tour as soloist with the BBC Concert Orchestra and Keith Lockhart, a recording with Grammy-winning producer Adam Abeshouse of the complete Bach Suites, and performances throughout the country. Ms. Shao attended Curtis at thirteen and continued her studies at Yale, receiving a B.A. in Religious Studies and an M.M. from the Yale School of Music. She is on the faculty of Vassar College and the Bard Conservatory and plays on an 1860 cello by Honoré Derazey once owned by Pablo Casals.
Violinist Frank Huang was appointed concertmaster of the Houston Symphony in 2010. First Prize-winner of the 2003 Naumburg Competition and the 2000 Hannover International Violin Competition, he has also taken top prizes in the Premio Paganini, Indianapolis, Irving M. Klein and the D’Angelo international competitions. Recent concerts include debuts in Wigmore Hall, Salle Cortot, Kennedy Center, Herbst Theatre and a second recital in Alice Tully Hall, which featured the world premiere of Donald Martino’s Sonata for Solo Violin. His commitment to chamber music, has taken him to the Marlboro, Caramoor and Seattle festivals and Ravinia’s Steans Institute. He frequently participates in Musicians from Marlboro tours, and was selected by the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center to be a member of their Chamber Music Two program. Mr. Huang studied with Robert Mann at Juilliard and Donald Weilerstein at the Cleveland Institute.
Swiss-born American pianist Gilles Vonsattel is the recipient of an Avery Fisher Career Grant and winner of the Naumburg and Geneva competitions. He recently made his Boston Symphony, Tanglewood, and San Francisco Symphony debuts, while performing recitals and chamber music at the Tonhalle Zürich, Wigmore Hall, the Gilmore festival, Ravinia, and at the Munich Gasteig. 2012-13 highlights include a return to the San Francisco Symphony, regular appearances at the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center as an artist member, and solo debut recitals in Wigmore Hall and the Lucerne Festival. Mr. Vonsattel has given two Alice Tully Hall solo recitals and appeared with the Warsaw Philharmonic, the Calgary Philharmonic, l’Orchestre de Chambre de Genève, the Musikkollegium Winterthur, and at international festivals such as Rockport, Angelfire, Ottawa, Seattle, Caramoor, West Cork, Archipel, and la Roque d’Anthéron. He has collaborated with artists such as Kim Kashkashian, David Shifrin, Gary Hoffman, Heinz Holliger, Jörg Widmann, and Yo-Yo Ma, as well as with the Borromeo, Orion, Pacifica, and Ebène quartets. He has recorded for the Pan Classics and Deutsche Grammophon (iTunes) labels to critical acclaim. His most recent solo album for the Honens label was one of TimeOut New York’s top classical albums of 2011. Mr. Vonsattel is an assistant professor at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.