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G U E S T  A R T I S T  B I O S

 

Oboist Kathleen McNerney has been hailed by critics for her ‘rich, full bodied tone’ and ‘attention to the natural, and enticing timbre of the instrument’. Kathleen finds chamber music to be the ideal outlet for her music making. The founding of VentiCordi has fulfilled a lifelong dream.

She currently teaches oboe at Bowdoin and Bates Colleges and is the woodwind chamber music coach at Bowdoin. She also teaches at the Portland Conservatory of Music. Kathleen has performed with many New England and Maine based performing organizations such as the Portland Symphony, PortOpera, Bay Chamber Concerts, Portland String Quartet, Maine Music Society, Maine Chamber Ensemble, New Hampshire Symphony, New Hampshire Bach Festival and New Hampshire Summer Music Festival.

Before moving to Maine, Kathleen lived in Los Angeles for nineteen years. During those years Kathleen enjoyed a prolific and varied playing career, working in many regional orchestras, playing all positions and appearing as soloist several times. In 2004, she premiered a commissioned piece for English horn, written for her, as a long standing member of the Orchestra of St. Matthews. 

She was oboist for two woodwind quintets, Imbroglio and Calico Winds and recorded with both groups. Her recording with Calico Winds was praised in the Los Angeles Times as ‘proceeds from Bach to Zappa…projecting solid musical values all the way…crossed all the style lines and gotten away with it.’ Additional playing experience includes opera, ballet, movie soundtracks and musical theatre.  Some of Kathleen's favorite work while in Los Angeles was playing for silent movies and with local pop artists.

While in California, Kathleen held teaching positions at Azusa Pacific University, La Sierra University and Glendale Community College.

Kathleen is a graduate of the Hartt School of Music, where she studied with Humbert Lucarelli, and the University of Southern California. Further studies were with Allan Vogel, former  Principal Oboe with the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra.

 

Violinist Dean Stein has performed throughout the world in recital, with orchestras, chamber music ensembles, and as soloist. His performances frequently garner critical acclaim, as in a recording of which ‘The Strad’ magazine wrote, “Dean Arthur Stein excels in the first violin’s improvisatory cadenza, his fierce yet luxuriant tone setting the mood...”

 A passionate performer and advocate for chamber music, Mr. Stein was honored to be chosen as first violinist of the Portland String Quartet in 2012, the first change of personnel in the distinguished PSQ’s history since it’s formation in 1969.

Recent performance highlights include performing Elvis Costello's, The Juliet Letters with the Rose Quintet, string quartet concerts with the PSQ on the Seine River in France, as well as Budapest and eastern Europe, a collaboration with Iraqi Oud virtuoso Rahim-al-Haj, and performing the 10 Beethoven Sonatas with pianist Chiharu Naruse at Bates College. 

In 2009, Mr. Stein, together with oboist Kathleen McNerney, created VentiCordi Chamber Music, focusing on combining wind and string instruments, and programming lesser known treasures of the chamber music repertoire. Their performances each summer in the Kennebunks have been enthusiastically received and critically acclaimed.

From 2003 - 08 Mr. Stein directed the Arcady Music Festival in Bar Harbor, Maine. At Arcady, he performed in chamber ensembles, brought internationally renowned artists to perform in Down East Maine, and gave high priority to educational programs, bringing musicians to perform directly for Maine schoolchildren.                                    

His passion for the solo violin music of Bach has resulted in many performances of Bach’s masterpieces, which one reviewer acclaimed as “a superb and impressive performance of the unaccompanied Chaconne from Bach’s Partita No. 2...”

Chamber music audiences have heard Mr. Stein in performances throughout Maine from Ogunquit to Orono, at Music Mountain, Eastern Music Festival, Harvard’s Paine Hall, Bowdoin and Bates Colleges and many more venues.

A highly sought after teacher and clinician, Mr. Stein is on the faculty of Bowdoin and Bates Colleges, coaches string quartets with the PSQ at Newagen Seaside Inn, St. Joseph’s College and Sabbathday Lake Shaker Village, and has taught at New England Conservatory’s Preparatory Division, and University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

He studied first with Margaret Berend at the Henry Street Settlement, then at the Juilliard School with Lewis Kaplan and Ivan Galamian, and at University of Maryland, College Park, with Gerald Fischbach and members of the Guarneri String Quartet. 

 

Pianist Pamela Mia Paul is both a brilliant performer and a deeply dedicated teacher. On stage, she has performed with the world’s great orchestras. She has given concerts throughout the United States, and in Europe, the People’s Republic of China, South Korea and Turkey both as soloist and as chamber musician. In the studio, or in the setting of a masterclass, she is an internationally sought-after pedagogue whose students hold teaching positions throughout the United States and Asia, and who have participated in and won competitions including the Nina Widemann Competition and the Naumburg International Piano Competition. Ms. Paul has commissioned and premiered works for the piano; Robert Beaser’s Piano Concerto, which was written for her, had its world premiere in the United States with the St. Louis Symphony conducted by Leonard Slatkin, and in Europe with the Monte Carlo Philharmonic under the baton of American conductor Richard Dufallo. The Beaser Concerto had its New York premiere in 1992 at Carnegie Hall, with Dennis Russell Davies conducting the American Composers Orchestra. In 2012 Ms. Paul commissioned a concerto for piano and symphonic winds from Steven Bryant. The concerto was premiered with the UNT Wind Symphony conducted by Eugene Corporon and recorded for release on the Klavier label in December 2012.

Miss Paul has received critical acclaim for her appearances with orchestras in the United States and Europe, where her interpretations of both standard repertoire and twentieth-century piano concertos have garnered consistent critical praise.

Miss Paul's European orchestral appearances include the Vienna ORF Orchestra, Vienna Symphony, the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, Berlin Stadskapelle, and the Dutch Radio Symphony; her U.S. orchestral appearances include those with the New York Philharmonic, symphonies of Detroit, St. Louis, Pittsburgh, and Houston, American Composers Orchestra, Boston Pops, New York Pops, the Minnesota Orchestra, and Caramoor Festival Orchestra. In both orchestral performances and recitals, Ms. Paul has appeared in the world’s major concert halls including Alice Tully Hall and Carnegie Hall, Wigmore Hall, the Musikverein and Konzerthaus in Vienna, and the Concertgebouw of Amsterdam.

As a chamber musician, she has been an invited guest artist at the Salzburg and Bregenz festivals in Austria, Aspen Music Festival in Colorado, and at Music Mountain in Connecticut. Quartets with which she has performed include Cassatt, Penderecki, Borromeo, Chester, Orlando, Leontovich, Miro, DaPonte and St. Petersburg.

Summer programs at which Ms. Paul has taught include the Prague International Master Classes, The Institute for Strings, and the Vienna International Piano Academy. She has presented masterclasses in Europe, the People’s Republic of China, Turkey, South Korea, and throughout the United States. Pamela Mia Paul received the doctor of musical arts, master of music, and bachelor of music degrees from the Juilliard School. Dr. Paul has been selected as one of five judges for the international screening jury of the 2017 Van Cliburn International Piano competition and will be traveling around the world in early 2017 to audition prospective contestants in this renowned competition.

She is currently Regents Professor of Piano at the University of North Texas and is a Steinway artist.

 

As a soloist, and chamber musician, flutist Erin Lesser has been described as “superb”, “excellent”, “brilliant” and “elegant”. She has travelled to prestigious venues around the world including Carnegie Hall, Walt Disney Hall, the Muziekgebouw aan ’t IJ (Amsterdam) and Alice Tully Hall where she performed the American premiere of Morton Feldman’s For Flute and Orchestra with the Janacek Philharmonic. She has worked with some of the most prominent classical composers of today including Steve Reich, Beat Furrer, Helmut Lachenmann, Pierre Boulez, John Luther Adams, Charles Wuorinen, and David Lang, and experimental groups like Medeski Martin and Wood, and the Dirty Projectors. As a recording artist, Erin can be heard on Nonesuch, Cantaloupe, Carrier, Hat[now] Art, New Focus, Aeon, New Amsterdam, Albany and Capstone Record labels.

Erin is a member of Alarm Will Sound, a group that has been awarded the ASCAP Concert Music Award for “the virtuosity, passion and commitment with which they perform and champion the repertory for the 21st century” and which has been called the “future of classical music” by the New York Times. She is also a member of Wet Ink, a group that has been described as “thought-provoking and expansive and fearless in testing the limitations of what instruments or musical forms can be."  She has performed and recorded extensively with the Argento Chamber Ensemble and Due East flute and percussion duo.

Lesser completed a two-year fellowship with The Academy, a program run by Carnegie Hall, the Juilliard School and the Weill Music Institute. She is now a member of Decoda, an affiliate ensemble of Carnegie Hall, whose work often takes them beyond the concert hall and into the broader community.

A graduate of the University of Ottawa (BM) and the Manhattan School of Music (MM, DMA), Erin is proud to have serve on the faculty at Lawrence University. Through a partnership between Lawrence University and Decoda, Erin is co-founder of Music for All, a program which brings music into new and/or underserved venues throughout the Fox Valley community in Wisconsin.  Ms. Lesser is a Pearl Flute Performing Artist.

 

Cellist Katherine Cherbas has performed solo and chamber music recitals throughout the U.S. and has received particular acclaim for her performances of new music.  Ms. Cherbas, whose sound has been described as “fresh and full” (Strings), has performed at all of New York’s major halls and has been heard on WNYC and BBC3 radio and the NBC, PBS, and Bravo television networks. 

In addition to the standard cello repertoire, Ms. Cherbas enjoys playing contemporary music.  She has worked with numerous living composers and been involved in performances of dozens of first performances.  Her world-premiere recording of Milton Babbitt’s String Quartet No. 6 with the Milton Quartet (Tzadik Records, 2003) was critically acclaimed for its display of “staggering…technical control, understanding, depth, passion, and brilliance of…playing” (Tempo) and “impeccable tuning, timing and precision of color and phrasing” (New York Times).

As an orchestral musician, Ms. Cherbas has performed with the Orchestra of St. Luke’s, the New European Strings, and the New Jersey, American, Westchester, Riverside, and Princeton Symphonies.  She is a member of the Radio City Christmas Spectacular orchestra and also frequently can be heard in the ensemble for such Broadway shows as Wicked and Phantom of the Opera. 

Ms. Cherbas studied at the Indiana University School of Music with Helga Winold and Tsuyoshi Tsutsumi; she received a B.A. from Columbia University and the Master of Music degree from The Juilliard School, where she was a fellowship recipient and a student of Joel Krosnick.  In 2001, she received the President's Award for Distinguished Graduate Students, given to five graduating doctoral students each year at SUNY-Stony Brook, where she studied with Timothy Eddy and earned the Doctor of Musical Arts degree. 

Ms. Cherbas lives in New Jersey with her husband and son. 

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Cellist Ashima Scripp has toured extensively throughout the United States and abroad as a soloist and chamber musician. She has appeared at New York's Carnegie Hall, Tokyo’s Opera City, Boston's Symphony Hall, Chicago's Symphony Center and Boston's Jordan Hall. Ms. Scripp’s performances have been described as “expressive and nuanced” and she is considered one of the nation’s most versatile chamber artists. She has been invited to perform live on Los Angeles' KMozart, Boston's WGBH, Chicago’s WFMT and Texas Public Radio and given recitals at the Phillips Collection in Washington, DC, the Fazioli Salon Series in Chicago and at Highfield Hall.
A dedicated and sought-after chamber music collaborator, Ms. Scripp has performed hundreds of works from Bach to Schoenberg for audiences around the country and been invited to perform as part of the New Hampshire, North Country Chamber Players, VentiCordi, Hot Springs and Kneisel Hall chamber music festivals. In 2004 she was invited to join the critically acclaimed Walden Chamber Players, and became the ensemble’s Artistic Director in 2012. With Walden Ms. Scripp performs a variety of classical and contemporary works on chamber music series nationwide. Walden is also well known for their work in chamber music education and Ms. Scripp has been central to the creation of many of the ensemble’s successful chamber music residency programs.
Ms. Scripp has served on the cello and chamber music faculty of the Longy School of Music and Concord Academy as well as the Killington Music Festival, the Chamber Music Conference and Composer’s Forum of the East, and the International Summer Music Academy in Regensberg, Germany. Passionate about creating unique learning opportunities for musicians of all ages she is the co-founder of the “Cellobration Festival” in Cambridge, MA, now in its 5th year and “Music at the Lake”, a workshop for amateur adult cellists in Meredith, NH. She has also been invited to give master classes at the Killington Music Festival, the University of Idaho, Longy School of Music and Bowdoin College.
Ms. Scripp has been the recipient of numerous awards and scholarships including a Presidential Scholarship, an Ekenstein Fund Grant, the Union League Civic and Arts Foundation Scholarship, the Mittenthal Scholarship and the Eleanor Thaviu String Scholarship. Ms. Scripp received her Bachelor of Music degree from the Manhattan School of Music as a student of Alan Stepansky and her Master of Music degree from Northwestern University as a student of Hans Jensen.

 

Originally from Long Island, NY, double bassist Anthony D’Amico is in demand as a freelance musician throughout New England. He is a member of Camerata New England, the Rhode Island Philharmonic, and the Portland and Springfield Symphonies, as well as serving as principal bass of the Boston Modern Orchestra Project, the Boston Philharmonic, and Opera Boston. During the summers he has recently served as principal bass of the New Hampshire Music Festival orchestra, and currently participants in the Sebago-Long Lake Chamber Music Festival of Maine. His recording of the Elliot Schwartz Chamber Concerto I with the Boston Modern Orchestra Project is being released this fall on the BMOP/Sound label.

A versatile artist, Mr. D’Amico’s career routinely encompasses a myriad of styles including symphonic orchestras, chamber music, jazz ensembles and musical theater productions. He is a dedicated educator, and serves on the faculties of the New EnglandConservatory of Music Preparatory Division, the Walnut Hill School, and Project STEP. Mr. D’Amico is an alumnus of the Hartt School of Music in Hartford, CT, and the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston, MA.  He has toured the States and Japan with the Boston Pops Esplanade Orchestra, and appeared on their nationally televised 4th of July special for several years, performing with Steven Tyler and David Lee Roth, among others.

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A musician who enjoys performing music of our time, pianist Bridget Convey has found much fulfillment in collaborating with living composers.  She has been fortunate to work with composers such as Morton Subotnick, Mel Powell, James Tenney, Daniel Sonenberg, Gia Comolli, Richard Nelson, Vineet Shende, Elliott Schwartz and many others. As a soloist and ensemble musician, Bridget has been heard at venues such as Lincoln Center (NYC); Dorothy Chandler Pavilion (Los Angeles, CA); Ojai Music Festival (CA); Maybeck Performing Arts Studio (Berkeley, CA); Percussive Arts Society International Convention (Columbus, OH); among many others. She received her Diploma from Mannes College of Music, NYC (Pre-college Division) 1989; BFA from State University of New York at Purchase 1993; and MFA from the California Institute of the Arts 1997. Currently, she performs regularly with the Maine Music Society Chorale, percussionist Lynn Vartan, mezzo-soprano Joelle Morris and the VentiCordi Chamber Ensemble. Bridget currently serves as adjunct faculty at Bates College. Bridget can be heard on Navona, Cuneiform, Independent and Nataraja labels.

Clarinetist Catherine Hudgins began her career in Caracas, Venezuela with the Orquesta Filarmónica de Caracas, later with the Sinfonica Municipal de Caracas, the Charleston Symphony, and the Boise Philharmonic. She has performed throughout North America, Europe, South America, the Caribbean, Africa, and Asia. Currently serving as principal clarinetist with the Plymouth Philharmonic and Eb clarinetist for the Portland Symphony, she frequently performs as an extra musician with the Boston Symphony Orchestra. She performs with husband William Hudgins as a duo-soloist, most recently presenting Daniel Crozier’s Spirit premier. She has performed chamber music at Assisi Performing Arts, Spoleto, Rockport, and Scotia Festivals, Ensemble Chamarré (dedicated to Messiaen’s Quartet for the End of Time), and West Stockbridge Chamber Players, a group that she founded in 2010.  She has performed in Japan with Saito Kinen Festival Orchestra, Tokyo Opera Nomori, and Mito Chamber Orchestra, led by Seiji Ozawa. As principal clarinetist for the 75th anniversary tour of Gershwin's Porgy and Bess, she toured much of the eastern half of the United States.  Her chamber music performances have been broadcast on NPR, German Radio, RAI, SCETV, and the CBC, among others.  She can be heard on recordings by Chandos, Decca, Deutsche Grammophon, and BSO Classics labels, including three Grammy winners. www.catherinehudginsclarinet.com

 
 

Violist Kallie Sugatski is a member of Hotel Elefant, and performs regularly with International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE), Pittsburgh Symphony, New York City Ballet, New Jersey Symphony, New York City Opera, Riverside Symphony, Talea Ensemble; and at Lion King and Dear Evan Hansen on Broadway.  A fierce advocate for contemporary music, she works with today’s leading composers, and has performed over 300 new works and more than 150 world premieres.

Feminist Counterpoint, Kallie’s solo project, champions music written in her lifetime by women, trans, and nonbinary composers.  Through this project, she amplifies underrepresented voices by commissioning new works, reinforcing the existing repertoire, and reaching new audiences through lecture/recital style installations in nontraditional venues.  Feminist Counterpoint concerts have included a standing room only performance at the 2018 New Music Gathering, an amplified recital in Times Square, a concert/workshop at Girls Rock Camp, and a two week West Coast tour.  This year’s solo shows feature works for viola and electronics at Symphony Space’s Bar Thalia series, and music for viola with projections at Areté Gallery.

Kallie’s 2018-2019 season includes performances and masterclasses as guest artist of the Arthur Russell Festival for Creative Music Making, traditional Cuban music concerts as guest violist of Toomai Quintet, and the release of Forrest Pierce’s string trio for New Focus Recordings.  Performances outside of NYC include a Pacific Northwest tour with Gyda Valtysdottir, workshops and residency at DePauw with ICE, and concerts with Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra.

 An avid chamber musician, Kallie is the violist of Osso String Quartet and a founding member of the Fair Trade Chamber Music Society.  She appears often with Toomai String Quintet, Ensemble LPR, and the Fair Trade Trio. She was a member of New World Symphony, where she was co-principal violist under the baton of Michael Tilson-Thomas, and gave her solo debut as part of their John Cage festival.  A creative and enthusiastic improvisor, Kallie also enjoys playing, singing, and recording non-classical music with artists such as Ben Folds, Norah Jones, Ray Lamontagne, Ambrose Akinmursire, Snarky Puppy, Andrea Bocelli, and Stevie Wonder. She has been featured on NPR twice, both as a soloist and chamber musician.

 Kallie is a native of Portland, Maine and holds degrees from Oberlin Conservatory and Manhattan School of Music studying with Karen Ritscher.  In her spare time she is an ultralight long-distance backpacker, apartment gardener, and Citi Bike enthusiast.

 
 

Clarinetist Gary Gorczyca began his musical career on the heels of an education from New England Conservatory, Boston University and Indiana University of Pennsylvania. Shortly afterward he received fellowships to attend the Norfolk Chamber and Contemporary Music Festival and the Tanglewood Music Center, where he was awarded a Jackson Prize for outstanding musical achievement. When not performing, he volunteers for many causes, including the Pan Mass Kids Ride, Hingham Interfaith Food Pantry, Boy Scouts of America, and recently donated his time to do a David Bowie/Phillip Glass benefit concert for cancer research with the Ambient Orchestra at MIT.

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Flutist Alex Lehmann is a member of the Portland Youth Symphony Orchestra, and the Portland Youth Wind Ensemble. He is a student of Ona Jonaityte and has previously studied with Krysia Tripp, Gisela Mashayekhi-Beer in Vienna, Austria, and Jean-Michel Tanguy in Mannheim, Germany. He has attended the 2019 Boston University Tanglewood Institute in both the two-week Flute Workshop and four-week Young Artists Wind Ensemble. In May of 2021, he played Mozart’s Flute Concerto in G Major with the Bangor Symphony Orchestra as soloist. He also played principal Flute in the University of Southern Maine’s production of The Magic Flute. He has also attended the Southern Maine Music Academy and has played with the North Shore Philharmonic Orchestra. This fall, Alex will be pursuing a degree in Flute Performance from the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York where he will be studying with Bonita Boyd.

Honors include: 2021 “Maine Outstanding Student” for the concert series by Venti Cordi, Featured guest artist for the concert series by Musicians for Equality, Being selected to participate in the 2019 Maine All State Orchestra, Principal Flute of the MMEA District 1 Honors Band, and 1st Place Winner of the Bangor Symphony High School Concerto Competition.

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