Vicky HyunJin Lee, Violin
Founder/ Artistic Director of FNCMS, Violinist Vicky HyunJin Lee is a top prizewinner at the Osaka International Competition, MTNA National Solo Competition, ASTA National Solo Competition, and the Guri Symphony Orchestra Concerto Competition. She is a recipient of the Starling Violin Scholarship, and the R. Joseph Scott Award.
Also an active chamber musician, Dr. Lee has collaborated with members of the Emerson Quartet, the Tokyo Quartet and the Borromeo Quartet and has worked closely with prominent artists including Kyung-Wha Chung, Chee-Yun Kim, Peter Oundjian, and Joseph Silverstein.
She has appeared internationally in musical centers including New York, Boston, Seattle, San Francisco, and Seoul. Dr. Lee made her solo debut at age 12 with the Korean Symphony Orchestra in Seoul, performing Lalo’s ‘Symphonie Espagnole.’ Dr. Lee has performed live at the South Dakota's Public Broacasting, "Classical24," Seattle Classical KING FM 98.1 for their "Sunday at 7:00” Recital Series and “Martha Zeeman’s Classic Kid FM Show." The Seattle Times has described her playing as full of “authority and verve; she is an exciting young player.”
Last Summer, Dr. Lee has appeared as an Artist Faculty at the Rushmore Music Festival. She has served as a jury member for the New York International Music Concours and as a mentor and adjudicator for New England Conservatory's Preparatory School. Dr. Lee is currently on faculty at New York Conservatory and the Pace Institute of Music in New York.
She received both Bachelor's and Master's of Music degrees from the New England Conservatory and a Doctorate of Music Arts from Stony Brook University. Her teachers included Philip Setzer, Paul Biss, Ian Swensen, James Buswell, and Nam-Yun Kim. An avid traveller, she hopes to eventually visit all 50 states, as well as every country in Europe.
Sven Stucke, Violin
An active concertizing violinist, Sven Stucke has appeared with orchestras and chamber ensembles throughout Europe, United States and Asia. Winner of the Louise-Henriette International Violin Competition and the Queen Sophie Charlotte International Violin Competition, Mr. Stucke has been a scholarship recipient of the Maggini Foundation, International Association of Wagner Societies(Richard Wagner Association Magdeburg), Associazione Intonarumori and Doms Stiftung.
Mr. Stucke has made CD and radio recordings for RBB, WDR, MDR and SWR. As a young artist of Villa Musica and Yehudi Menuhin Foundation Live Music Now, he has collaborated in chamber music with worldwide renowned artists including Pinchas Zukerman, Vadim Gluzman, Rainer Honeck and Augustin Dumay. Highlights of his recent seasons include debuts at Bruno Walter Auditorium at Lincoln Center as well as Gezeiten Festival and Guangzhou Arts Festival.
He appeared with “Sound of Unity” Exhibit-In-Concert in New York, Brussels, Magdeburg, Chengdu and Guangzhou, China, and was invited as a special guest to perform at the 10th Chinese Golden Bell Award For Music. In summer 2014, he returned to Brussels for his 3rd solo recital appearance at the European Parliament. Among his teachers are Pinchas Zukerman, Victor Tretjakov, Pavel Vernikov and Jost Witter.
Currently, Mr. Stucke plays on a violin on loan by the Maggini Foundation in Switzerland and a bow made by Heinz Dölling.
Jay Chien-Fan Yiu, Viola
Triple-prized winner of the 2013 Lionel Tertis Competition, including Yuri Bashmet’s President Of The Jury Prize, Taiwanese-born Canadian Chieh-Fan Yiu has established himself as one of the most exciting young violists on the international stage today. His engagements as a soloist have included Aspen Festival Orchestra, Art Symphony Orchestra of New York, Vancouver Academy of Music Symphony, Vancouver Metropolitan Orchestra, Stony Brook Symphony, and UBC Chamber Orchestra.
As a recipient of the coveted Jerome L. Greene Fellowship, Mr. Yiu completed his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from The Juilliard School, and is a doctoral candidate in Stony Brook University, having been under the tutelage of mentors like Toby Appel, Heidi Castleman, Hsin-Yun Huang, Kim Kashkashian, as well as the great Emerson Quartet.
Artist-in-residence in New Asia Chamber Music Society as well as PhiloSonia concert series, Mr. Yiu's chamber music has taken him around the world in festivals such as Sounds of Lyons, Music@Menlo, Moritzburg, Verbier, Aspen, and Sarasota Music Festivals. Mr. Yiu is also a founding member of the Ben Feng Music Festival in Taiwan, a chamber music series currently in its third season that has been recently hailed as a “classical music gem” by Liberty Times. He has collaborated with such esteemed artists as, Colin Carr, Nicholas Cords, Pedro R. Díaz, Alan Kay, Tessa Lark, Frank Morelli, Paul Neubauer, Sasha Sitkovetsky, Josu De Solaun, Carol Wincenc, as well as the Volta Piano Trio and the Emerson Quartet, in venues including Alice Tully, Avery Fisher/David Geffen, and Carnegie Hall. Media coverage of Mr. Yiu’s performances and interviews include Music@Menlo Live, medici.tv’s broadcast from Switzerland, and BBC News in the UK. Mr. Yiu’s live recording of Nataliya Medvedovskaya’s Fantasy for Viola and Piano can be heard on WQXR Radio and ArkivMusic.
Brett Walfish, Viola
Violist Brett Walfish has performed as a soloist and chamber musician in the United States, Ireland, Italy, and Israel. Praised by conductor David Effron for a warm sound full of a “myriad of colors” Brett is an expressive, charismatic performer. Currently working towards a Doctorate of Musical Arts from Stony Brook University’s School of Music, he holds a Masters Degree and Graduate Diploma from the New England Conservatory and a Bachelor of Music from the Indiana University Jacob’s School of Music in Bloomington. His primary teachers include Lawrence Dutton, Nicholas Cords, Martha Katz, and Atar Arad. Brett has also attended summer festivals including the Encore School for Strings, the Heifetz Institute of Music, and the Keshet Eilon Summer Mastercourse.
An avid chamber musician, Brett performs often with the Stony Brook Chamber Ensemble. As he is dedicated to bringing Classical music to newer and younger generations, he particularly enjoys performing for Living Room Chamber Music Parties with the newly founded organization, Groupmuse. He has also studied chamber music with the Emerson String Quartet, Atar Arad, and Jorja Fleezanis. Further, Brett has collaborated with artists including Atar Arad, Shmuel Ashkenasi, Stephan Barratt-Due, Annie Fullard, Michael Klotz, Rudolf Koelman, Misha Vitenson, and Hillel Zori. He has also performed with the highly acclaimed conductorless chamber orchestra A Far Cry.
Raised in South Florida, Brett began playing the violin at age three. His primary teachers were Carole Cole, Stephanie Firdman, and Michael Klotz. In his free time, he enjoys playing Ultimate Frisbee, computer programming, playing with dogs and his cat, Maple.
Ismar Gomes, Cello
Award winning cellist, Ismar Gomes, performs across the US and Europe as soloist, recitalist and chamber musician. Hailed for his “impressive virtuosity, energy, and a handsome tonal range” (Berkshire Review), Mr. Gomes has established himself as a captivating young artist with a commanding voice and a growing reputation for delivering exciting performances and innovative programming.
Mr. Gomes’ busy international performance schedule includes dozens of solo and duo recitals, concerto performances, chamber music, early music and new music. Most recently, Mr. Gomes has appeared at the Walla Walla Chamber Music Festival, Evolution Contemporary Music Series, String Fest, Le Petit Salon, Early Music at St. Mark’s, and Old Town Hall Concerts, among others, including many appearances with his Duo partner, pianist Wan-Chi Su, with whom he has been touring for several seasons. Aside from his regular work as a recitalist, chamber musician and orchestral cellist, Mr. Gomes has given 50+ world premiere performances, and is engaged in several commissioning projects. Recent collaborators include members of the Pittsburgh and Baltimore Symphonies, as well as members of the Johannes, and Brentano String Quartets. During the 2015 – 2016 season, Mr. Gomes will serve as Fellow of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. He is a member of the Virginia Symphony.
On faculty at Loyola University of Maryland and Notre Dame of Maryland University, Mr. Gomes has enjoyed teaching young musicians for well over a decade, offering guest master classes at universities and in preparatory programs around the country. Most recently, Mr. Gomes was a faculty member and guest artist for StringFest at Merkin Hall, the Performing Arts Institute at Wyoming Seminary, and the CIM Summer Chamber Music Program, as well as a Young Artist at the Three Bridges International Music Festival – he is currently a Faculty Artist at the Rushmore Music Festival. In 2014, Mr. Gomes traveled to Africa for a series of Chamber Music concerts in Cameroon.
As a recording artist, Mr. Gomes recently made the premiere recording of a chamber opera by Pulitzer Prize winning composer, David Lang, in collaboration with the Harlem Quartet, and looks forward to recording his Duo’s debut album in the summer of 2016. He appears on Naxos and Cantaloupe Records.
Mr. Gomes attended the Peabody Conservatory where he studied with Alison Wells and Amit Peled. Prior to his time at Peabody, Mr. Gomes was a student of Marc Johnson, long time cellist of the Vermeer Quartet. Further studies were undertaken with Clive Greensmith and most recently with Colin Carr. Mr. Gomes has appeared in Masterclasses for eminent cellists including Steven Doane, Janos Starker and Steven Isserlis, in addition to being mentored in chamber music by members of the Vermeer, Jerusalem, Brentano, Juilliard, Tokyo and Emerson String Quartets.
Please visit www.ismargomes.com for up to date information about Mr. Gomes’ projects.
Javor Bračić, Piano
The Croatian pianist Javor Bračić was hailed by New York Concert Review for “deep, genuine musicianship and an outstanding technique” at his solo Carnegie Hall debut recital presented by New York Concert Artists. His CD album Tribute to Haydn was released by Labor Records, and his performance was broadcast on WQXR in the McGraw Hill Young Artists Showcase. He was the first prize winner of international piano competitions Luigia Stramesi and Citta’ di Minerbio in Italy, Les Rencontres des Jeunes Pianistes in Belgium, Zlatko Grgošević in Croatia, and New York Concert Artists’ Carnegie Recital Debut Audition.
Mr. Bračić was invited to perform at the Beijing International Music Festival & Academy, Festspiele Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, the Dubrovnik Summer Festival, Salzburg Summer Academy, Music Academy of the West, and other festivals in Russia, Norway and Hungary. He was invited as faculty and artist in residence to the Rushmore Music Festival in South Dakota, and the Karwendel Music Festival in Germany. Mr. Bračić performed with the Zagreb Soloists, the Zagreb Youth Chamber Orchestra, and the Croatian Radio-Television Orchestra. He has collaborated with conductors such as Eduard Zilberkant, Hikaru Ebihara, Zlatan Srzić, and Vladimir Kranjčević.
Mr. Bračić gave solo recitals at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall, Steinway Hall, Austrian Cultural Forum, Polish Consulate in New York, Bohemian National Hall, Rhinebeck Chamber Music Society, and the EUNIC series at the Austrian Embassy in Washington, DC. As a member of chamber music ensembles, he performed at Kennedy Center’s Millennium Stage, New York Historical Society, and Merkin Hall. He performs regularly at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in the Ethel Foundation series. In his programs, he frequently includes works by Croatian composers.
Mr. Bračić has started a series of conversation-recitals under the title The Art of Listening in order to promote the understanding and appreciation of classical music. He has given over thirty such recitals and was praised by the audience for his “contagious enthusiasm” and “unique ability to elucidate imagery both as a performer and teacher.” He also gave a series of concerts at hospitals and nursing homes in Austria as a member of the humanitarian organization Yehudi Menuhin's Live Music Now.
Mr. Bračić was born in Zagreb, Croatia, where he took lessons from Jelica Kuzmin at the Pavao Markovac Music School. He earned his Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees at the University of Mozarteum Salzburg, in the class of Karl-Heinz Kämmerling. He received another Master’s Degree and a Professional Studies Diploma under full scholarship at Mannes College The New School for Music in New York as a student of Pavlina Dokovska. He was awarded the Graduate Center Fellowship to pursue a Doctorate of Musical Arts at the City University of New York, in the class of Ursula Oppens, Richard Goode, and Norman Carey. His approach to music was also influenced by the teaching of Alexander Mullenbach, Jerome Lowenthal, Thomas Riebl, Irena Grafenauer, Cordelia Höfer-Teutsch, Mark Shapiro, Marc Ponthus, Carl Schachter, Raymond Erickson, and members of the Hagen Quartet, the Orion Quartet, and the Takacs Quartet.