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guest artists

Our internationally-renowned Guest Artsts visit ECCF for performances and masterclasses, where they work with and inspire our students. We are very happy to welcome them back this summer!

Sibbi Bernhardsson, violin

Photo of Sibbi Bernhardsson

Sibbi Bernhardsson began playing violin at the age of 5 in his native Iceland. During his 17-year tenure as a member of the Pacifica Quartet, he performed over 90 concerts a year worldwide in many of the leading concert halls in the United States, Europe, and Japan, including Wigmore Hall, the Vienna Konzerthaus, the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, and New York’s Alice Tully Hall and Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Bernhardsson has performed at festivals including the Edinburgh Festival, Ravinia, Music@Menlo, and the Iceland Art Festival. Collaborations include those with Menahem Pressler, Yo-Yo Ma, Jörg Widmann, the Emerson Quartet, and members of the Guarneri and Cleveland Quartets.

He has appeared on television on the Tonight ShowSaturday Night Live, and the MTV Europe Music Awards with award-winning rock artist Björk.

Bernhardsson gives regular recitals and master classes in Iceland and in the United States. He has appeared as a soloist with the Iceland Symphony Orchestra and the Reykjavik Chamber Orchestra. His teachers include Gudny Gudmundsdottir, Almita and Roland Vamos, Matias Tacke and Shmuel Ashkenasi.

He previously served on the faculty at Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music and the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana. He also was an artist in residence at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Kathryn Lockwood, viola

Kathryn Lockwood has been distinguished as a violist of exceptional talents in reviews around the country. The Cleveland Plain Dealer proclaimed, “...Lockwood played the vociferous viola cadenza with mahogany beauty and vivid character.” 2005 marked the release of Kathryn’s solo recital CD of Viola Music by Inessa Zaretsky, “Fireoptics”, which Strad declared “Lockwood is absolutely inside the music's idiom finding appropriate tonal shadings”.  Kathryn is a member of the internationally renowned Lark Quartet, and has been guest artist with ensembles such as Trio Solisti, The Muir Quartet, and Triple Helix, and has collaborated with artists Branford Marsalis, Cho-Liang  Lin, and the Bill T Jones Dance Company. A native of Australia, Kathryn moved to the US in 1991 and captured solo awards at the Primrose International Viola  Competition, and The Washington International Competition for Strings. As a  founding member of the Pacifica Quartet, she was heard live in residence on National Public Radio's "Performance Today" and on the stages of Carnegie Hall,  Alice Tully Hall, and at The Ravinia Festival.  She has recorded for  Cedille records, including a collaboration with Guarneri String Quartet violist  Michael Tree and for Arabesque and Bribie Recordings.  Recent faculty positions include University of Massachusetts, Amherst, Boston University Tanglewood Institute, and in the past, Northwestern University, University of Chicago, Interlochen Academy, Music Institute of Chicago, and National Music Camp in Australia. She earned her master's degree with Donald McInnes at the University of Southern California and her Bachelor of Music degree from the Queensland Conservatorium of Music  with Elizabeth Morgan.
Described by critics around the world for their “superb” and “extraordinary” musicianship, Kathryn Lockwood and Yousif Sheronick join forces in a rare combination of viola and percussion.  With heritages stretching as far as Australia, Lebanon and the United States, duoJalal is truly a duo of the world.  Drawing from their melting pot home of New York City, duoJalal has commissioned composers in the fields of Jazz, European Classical and World Traditions encompassing diverse and creative repertoire that is both aurally and visually alluring. Along side the viola, the percussion batterie includes the durbahek (goblet drum) and riq (tambourine) from the Middle East as well as the West African djembe and frame drums from around the globe.  www.larkquartet.com

Blair McMillen, piano

Blair McMillen has established himself as one of the most sought-after and versatile pianists today.  His repertoire spans from late-medieval keyboard manuscripts to the 21st century.  Recent performances include solo appearances with the American Symphony Orchestra in Carnegie Hall, the Albany Symphony, Juilliard Orcehstra, Miller Theatre, the Orchestra of St. Luke’s, Caramoor, CalArts, the Institute for Advanced Study, and “Music for the New Century” at ColumbiaUniversity.  His first CD “Soundings;” featuring music of Debussy, Scriabin, Liszt, and Bolcom; was released to wide critical acclaim.  Other recent solo recordings include “Powerhouse Pianists” on Lumiere, “Concert Music of Fred Hersch” on Naxos, and “Multiplicities: Born in ‘38” on Centaur.   Mr. McMillen recently made his Carnegie Hall debut as soloist, under the baton of David Robertson. 

Dedicated to new and groundbreaking projects, Blair McMillen is intensely committed to performing the music of today.  He has premiered hundreds of pieces, and constantly works with both established and emerging composers in commissioning new works for the piano.  Pianist for the Naumburg Award-winning Da Capo Chamber Players, Mr. McMillenplays regularly with the downtown-NYC based Avian Orchestra, the Locrian Chamber Players, and the American Modern Ensemble, among others.  He is a graduate of the Juilliard School, Oberlin College, and the Manhattan School of Music. An active educator, improviser, and self-taught jazz pianist, he serves on the faculty at BardCollege and Conservatory.   www.blairmcmillen.com

Joan Panetti, piano & composition

Joan Panetti, garnered first prizes at the Peabody Conservatory and the Conservatoire de Musique in Paris. She received her B.A. degree from Smith College before coming to the Yale School of Music, where she received the D.M.A. in 1974. Her principal mentors were Olivier Messiaen, Yvonne Loriod, Wilhelm Kempff, Alvin Etler, Mel Powell, and Donald Currier. She has toured extensively in the United States and Europe and performs frequently as a soloist and in chamber music ensembles. Most recently, she recorded a disc of works by Schumann, Schubert, Debussy, and Gershwin with her faculty colleague, violinist Syoko Aki, for the Epson label. Joan Panetti's recent compositions include three fantasies (violin and piano, oboe and piano, and cello and piano) as well as songs for mezzo-soprano and piano. In 2004-2005 she performed her piano quintet, In a Dark Time, the Eye Begins to See, with the Tokyo Quartet in Pasadena, San Francisco, at the College of Arts and Architecture at Penn State, and at Lincoln Center's Alice Tully Hall in New York. The work, commissioned by Music Accord, received wide acclaim. Her piano trio, The Instant Gathers, commissioned by the St. Luke's Chamber Ensemble, was premiered in June 2006 at the Chelsea Art Museum with the composer at the piano. Her most recent composition, A gust inside the god, for chorus and chamber ensemble was commissioned by the Norfolk Chamber Music Festival for its centenary and premiered in August 2006. Ms. Panetti has served for the past thirty years on the faculties of Yale College and the Yale School of Music, where she has developed a nationally recognized course, Hearing, that emphasizes the interaction between performers and composers. She was also on the faculties of Swarthmore College and Princeton University. In January 2007, Ms. Panetti conducted an interactive workshop on Hearing at the Chamber Music America National Conference in New York. In May 2007, she also taught aspects of the Hearing program, coached chamber music, and gave composition classes at the Central Conservatory in Beijing, China. Ms. Panetti was director of the Norfolk Chamber Music Festival and The Yale Summer School of Music and Art from 1981 to 2003. She is the recipient of the Luise Voschergian Award for excellence in teaching from Harvard University, the Nadia Boulanger Award from the Longy School in Boston, and the Ian Mininberg Distinguished Alumni Award from the Yale School of Music. She was named the Sylvia and Leonard Marx, Jr. Professor of Music at Yale University in 2004. www.yale.edu/music/faculty.html

Wendy Sharp, violin

Wendy Sharp, award-winning violinist, performs frequently as a recitalist and a chamber musician. In demand as a teacher and chamber music coach, she is on the faculties of the Yale School of Music and California Summer Music, and maintains a private studio. At Yale, Ms. Sharp teaches Music 221-The Performance of Chamber Music, coordinates the School of Music Chamber Music program and has a studio of undergraduate violinists. For nearly a decade, Ms. Sharp was the first violinist of the Franciscan String Quartet. As a member of the Quartet, she toured the USA, Canada, Europe and Japan, and was honored with many awards including first prize in the Banff International String Quartet Competition and the Press and City of Evian Prizes at the Evian International String Quartet Competition. A native of the San Francisco Bay area, she attended Yale University, graduating summa cum laude with Distinction in Music and received her Master of Music degree from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. Ms. Sharp has served on the faculties of Mannes College, Dartmouth College, the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, and Choate Rosemary Hall, and has participated in the Aspen, Tanglewood, Chamber Music West, Norfolk, and Music Academy of the West festivals. http://music.yale.edu/faculty/sharp-wendy/

Yousif Sheronick, percussion

Yousif Sheronick has performed around the globe to critical acclaim, genre hopping with leading artists in the classical, world, jazz and rock music arenas. The New York Times hails Yousif for his “dazzling improvisations” and his “wizardry on a range of humble frame drums”. Of Lebanese descent, Yousif is considered one of the world’s most versatile percus- sionists. His influences are far reaching as he grew up playing rock and roll drum set, studied classical percussion through a masters degree at Yale University and went on to study music from Brazil, India, Africa and the Middle East. These combined influences propelled Yousif into performances with Philip Glass, Yo-Yo Ma, Lark Quartet, Ethos Percussion Group, Bran- ford Marsalis, Sonny Fortune, Cindy Blackman Santana, Glen Velez and Paul Winterhttp://yousifsheronick.com

Wei-Yi Yang, piano

Pianist Wei-Yi Yang has earned worldwide acclaim for his captivating performances and imaginative programming. Winner of the gold medal in San Antonio International Piano Competition, he has appeared on the stages of Lincoln Center, the Kennedy Center, and major venues across America, Asia, Europe and Australia. Most recently, he was praised by the New York Times in a “sensational” performance of Messiaen’s Turangalîla-Symphonie at Carnegie Hall.

Born in Taiwan of Chinese and Japanese heritage, Mr. Yang studied first in the United King- dom, and then in America with renowned Russian pianists, Arkady Aronov at the Manhattan School of Music and Boris Berman at Yale. Mr. Yang has also worked with eminent pianists Claude Frank, Peter Frankl, Vera Gornostaeva, Hans Graf, Byron Janis, and Murray Perahia. Mr. Yang’s performances have been featured on NPR, PBS, ARTE (Association Relative à la Télévision Européenne), and ABC (Australian Broadcasting Company), and on recordings by Ovation, Albany Records, Renegade Classics, and the Holland-America Music Society. A dynamic chamber musician, Wei-Yi Yang is a frequent guest artist at festivals across the United States, from Norfolk to Napa Valley and abroad, including Germany, Serbia, Mon- tenegro, and Mexico. Recent master classes and performances have brought Mr. Yang to Scotland, Ireland, Hong Kong, Taiwan, China, and Korea. He has adjudicated at the Isidor Bajic Piano Memorial Competition, the San Antonio International Piano Competition, and the Concert Artists Guild auditions. In 2004, Mr. Yang received his doctorate from Yale, where he joined the faculty in 2005. http://music.yale.edu/faculty/yang-wei-yi/

Guest Ensemble, duoJalal

Racing along with our new global society, duoJalal surprises the music world with their diverse and stunning artistry. duoJalal “are fearless seekers and synthesizers of disparate instruments and cultures” raves the Toronto Star.  Like the marriage between Kathryn Lockwood and Yousif Sheronick, their music represents an organic amalgam of cultural traditions and musical styles. Audiences are enthralled as a classically trained violist from Australia ignites her instrument with passion - one minute embodying a gypsy violinist, the next a Middle Eastern reed flutist. Yousif, of Lebanese descent, dazzles as he manipulates sound by simply snapping his fingers at the edge of an Egyptian frame drum or dragging his foot across the Peruvian cajon. From their chamber music foundation, duoJalal moves from Classical to Klezmer, Middle Eastern to Jazz, with a skillful confluence that is natural, exploratory and passionate. Inspired by their namesake, 13th century poet Jalal a din Rumi, whose visions and words brought together people of different religions, cultures and races, duoJalal opens their doors to all communities for a diverse and stimulating inter-cultural experience.

For the past five years duoJalal has performed throughout the United States, Australia and Brazil regularly performing world premiers of works composed or arranged for the group by Philip Glass, Derek Bermel, Kenji Bunch, David Krakauer and Giovanni Sollima. Their latest project “The Rumi Experience” was premiered at the Williams Center in Easton PA.  The premier included a new work composed for the “Experience” by Evan Ziporyn and coupled spoken Rumi poetry with each work.  duoJalal released their first CD on Innova Recordings titled “A Different World”. Critics hail the CD as an “exhilarating sonic and somewhat mystical experience” (Jordon Times). The Toronto Star exclaims "If this is what the world music's future holds, bring on the party." Always eager to collaborate, the duo also offers two additional programs, one with piano trio and another with dancers. The duo premiered a new work with piano trio in San Antonio TX by composer Jack Stamps and also created a wonderful program with two dancers at UMASS/Amherst.

Also known for their outstanding teaching skills, duoJalal offers masterclasses and clinics for string soloists and ensembles as well as world drumming to both children and adults. Recent masterclasses were held at Manhattan School of Music, New York University and the Percussive Arts Society’s International Convention. http://www.duojalal.org/duoJalalAbout.htm