ORNA ARANIA, soprano
Ms. Arania is considered a leading singer and choral conductor in her native country, Israel. She has performed extensively as a soloist in concert series and festivals with Israel’s leading orchestras such as: Israeli Chamber Orchestra, Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra, Israel’s Kibbutz Orchestra and many more. She has performed under the direction of Joseph Flumerfelt, Salvador Mas Conde, Thomas Vashari, Avner Itai, Doron Solomon, to name a few, and toured as a soloist with various Israeli ensembles in Italy, Germany, Austria, Czech republic, Hungary, Denmark, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Thailand, Canada, and the United States.
Since arriving in the United States, she has performed in opera productions, recitals, and oratorio concerts, with orchestras such as the Peninsula Music Festival Orchestra, Elgin Symphony, Lima Symphony, Chamber Bach Ensemble, The Callipygian Players, Northwestern University Chamber Orchestra, Ohio University Symphony Orchestra and more. Her performances included the leading roles in Puccini’s Suor Angelica, Mozart’s Cosi Fan Tutte, and many oratorio parts, such as in Mendelssohn’s Hymn of Praise, and Psalm 42, Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 and Mass in C, Mozart’s Mass in C minor and Requiem, Faure’s Requiem, and Rutter’s Requiem. She also performed the American premier of Richard Blackford’s Mirror of Perfection, the world premier of Yeheskel Braun’s Qumodo Sedet Sola and the Illinois Premiere of Richard Danielpoor’s American Requiem. She recently had her Lincoln Center Debut as a soloist in Haydn’s Theresienmesse with Distinguished Concerts International Orchestra New York.
Ms. Arania has been a participant in the International Vocal Arts Institute’s Opera programs, taking place in Italy and in Israel, and has won prizes in singing competitions such as NATS, and the Bel Canto Foundation. She has also been the recipient of numerous scholarships from the America-Israel Cultural Foundation, both in voice and in choral conducting. She recently received her Doctor of Music degree in Voice and Opera Performance from Northwestern University.
After holding part time lecturer positions at Northwestern University and North Park University, Ms. Arania is currently a full time Assistant Professor of Voice at Northern Illinois University, and is also a faculty member in the prestigious summer program for singers, V.O.I.C.Experience, (Disney World, Orlando) led by Mr. Sherrill Milnes. She is also an assistant conductor and a singer in the Lakeside Singers.
STEPHEN NORTH BOE, violinist
Stephen Boe received his Bachelors and Masters degrees from Indiana University School of Music, where he served as assistant to Henryk Kowalski, Josef Gingold, and Franco Gulli. Stephen subsequently joined the IU School of Music faculty as an Assistant Professor of Violin. He has also been a member of the faculty of DePauw University and Ohio University.
As a chamber musician, Mr. Boe has performed in Avery Fisher Hall in Lincoln Center, as well as in venues throughout Europe, China, South America and the United States. In 1991, he was awarded a prize in the Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition. From 1993 to 1995 Mr. Boe performed as an Artist in Residence for the National Endowment for the Arts. He was also a founding member of the New Artists String Quartet and first violinist with the Brooks Unstrung Quartet. In chamber music collaborations, Stephen has worked with the Ying and Lark Quartets.
Mr. Boe has served as concertmaster for the Joffrey Ballet, the Chicagoland Pops, the Chicago Chamber Orchestra, the Muncie Symphony Orchestra, the Evansville Philharmonic and the Indiana University Festival Orchestra. In addition to serving as concertmaster, he has appeared as soloist with several of these ensembles.
Stephen has given masterclasses at many festivals and music schools, including the Beijing Central Conservatory and the Royal College of Music in Sweden. He has been a performer at numerous music festivals including Villa Musica in Germany, Festival Filarmonico in Ecuador, Sarasota Music Festival, Brevard Music Festival, and Indiana University summer festival. Stephen has been heard on National Public Radio’s “Performance Today” and live broadcasts on KUNI and WFMT.
Mr. Boe is currently on the Violin Faculty at the Music Institute of Chicago.
WAGNER CAMPOS, clarinet
Born in Heredia, Costa Rica, Wagner Campos studied at Baylor University with Dr. Richard Shanley and at DePaul University with Larry Combs and John Yeh. He performs regularly with groups such as the Joffrey Ballet Orchestra, Chicago Sinfonietta, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Chicago Chamber Musicians, CSO MusicNow, The Callisto Ensemble, Ondas Ensemble, Broadway in Chicago and the Fulcrum Point Project.
His love for teaching has brought him to the faculties of the Costa Rican Youth Symphony, Colombian Youth Symphony, Chicago Merit Music Program, Lake Forest Academy, and the Sherwood Conservatory. He has given master classes in Bogota, Colombia; San Jose, Costa Rica; and in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
As a guest artist outside Chicago, Wagner has participated in concerts with The Milwaukee, Alabama, and Charleston Symphonies. He has toured with The Chicago Symphony Orchestra in different tours, The Philadelphia Orchestra, The New World Symphony, and The Galicia Symphony Orchestra. In 1998, he was invited to join the San Francisco Ballet Orchestra for a full season as Principal Clarinetist.
In addition to his own recording, Romantic Songs for Clarinet and Piano, under the Southport Label, he has also recorded with The San Francisco Ballet Orchestra, The Chicago Symphony Orchestra, and St. Charles Chamber Singers.
Currently Wagner Campos serves as Clarinet and Chamber Music Instructor at DePaul University.
MARGARET DALY, cellist
Margaret Daly studied in Indiana University and in Freiburg, Germany. She is a member of the Lake Forest Symphony and principal cellist of Chamber Opera Chicago. She plays frequently with Chicago Opera Theater, Lyric Opera of Chicago and the Grant Park Symphony. After completing her studies in Freiburg,Germany she also played in the Freiburg Philharmonic Orchestra in both symphonic repertoire and operas. Margaret has played in various chamber groups on WFMT and WBEZ in Chicago and on Public Radio stations in both Wisconsin and Kansas. She maintains a private teaching studio as well.
KARL DAVIES, violin, viola
Karl Davies,a native of Wales,began his violin studies in Cardiff and London. He completed his studies in Freiburg, Germany,and went on to post-graduate work with Joseph Suk in Vienna. He has played in the Theater Orchestras in both Freiburg and Passau in Germany and is now a member of the Grant Park Symphony (violin) and the Lyric Opera of Chicago Orchestra where he plays viola. He is also a sought-after teacher of both instruments. Karl has performed in chamber settings both in live performance and on many radio stations around the country.
LESLIE GRIMM, clarinet
Leslie Grimm is one of Chicagoland's most prominent freelance clarinetists and has worked as an extra player in all of the area’s great orchestras such as the Chicago Symphony, the Lyric Opera of Chicago, the Grant Park Symphony, the Ravinia Festival Orchestra, the Chicago Sinfonietta, the Joffrey Ballet and the Chicago Philharmonic.
She has also performed and recorded with both the St. Louis Symphony and Milwaukee Symphony Orchestras. In Milwaukee, she held the second/E-flat clarinet contracts in both 1990 and 1991. Additionally, she participated in their East Coast tour including performances in Carnegie Hall and the Kennedy Center.
Leslie Grimm is active in local studio and commercial recording venues and has performed on television/radio commercials for such companies as United Airlines, McDonald's Corporation, General Motors, Anheuser-Busch, Kellogg, GTE, Allstate and Arthur Anderson.
Leslie holds her Masters degree from Northwestern, studying with Robert Marcellus and has been on the faculty of Northwestern University for thirteen years. Previously, she taught in Northern Illinois University and the University of Wisconsin – Whitewater.
Leslie grew up in Fort Lauderdale, Florida and is an avid fan of the outdoors. She lives with her husband, son, and two stepchildren.
KURT LINK, Bass
A winner of the Metropolitan Opera, Liederkranz, Opera Index and Sullivan competitions and featured by Opera News as a singer to “Keep Your Eye On”, Kurt Link has earned a reputation as one of America’s finest basses, both in opera and oratorio.
Mr. Link has won critical acclaim for a repertoire that has embraced major operatic roles from Purcell to Henze, and from Mozart to Wagner. He has sung Baron Ochs, Daland, Figaro, Leporello, Osmin, Rocco, Sarastro, Ramfis, Colline, Mephistopheles and other major bass roles with companies such as the Metropolitan Opera, New York City Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, La Monnaie, Santa Fe Opera, Houston Grand Opera, Canadian Opera Company, Washington Opera, Dublin Grand Opera, Florida Grand Opera, Atlanta Opera, New Israeli Opera, the opera companies of Portland, Minnesota, Michigan, St. Louis, Arizona, Utah, Edmonton and the opera festivals of Chautauqua, Wexford (Ireland), Hong Kong, Wolf Trap, Glimmerglass and Spoleto (USA and Italy).
He is equally at home in symphonic works, and has sung The Creation, St. Matthew Passion, Missa Solemnis, the Requiem Masses of Verdi, Mozart and Fauré, Bach’s Mass in b minor, Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony and many other works with the orchestras of Chicago, Philadelphia, Montreal, Tokyo, Baltimore, St. Louis, Atlanta, Florida, Israel, Minneapolis, San Diego, Indianapolis, Charleston, Phoenix, San Antonio and Milwaukee, as well as the Aspen, Chautauqua, Spoleto, Finger Lakes and Grant Park festival orchestras. He has appeared as orchestral soloist with such distinguished conductors as Claudio Abbado, Daniel Barenboim, Charles Dutoit, Margaret Hillis, Erich Leinsdorf, Ricardo Muti, Eugene Ormandy, Leonard Slatkin, Sir Georg Solti, Edo de Waart, and David Zinman.
Mr. Link is heard on the Grammy Award winning recording of Schoenberg’s Moses and Aaron with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Sir Georg Solti.
JANICE MACDONALD, flute
Janice MacDonald is currently principal flute of the Chicago Sinfonietta and is solo piccolo of the Lake Forest Symphony. She performs regularly with Chicago Opera Theater and the Grant Park Symphony, and appears with the Ravinia Festival Orchestra and the Ars Viva Orchestra, among many others. She is also a member of the new music ensembles Fulcrum Point New Music Project and PINOTAGE. She has also performed as principal flute of the Joffrey Ballet Orchestra.
Ms. MacDonald is a founding member of the chamber ensemble PINOTAGE, a quartet formed in 1998 consisting of mezzo soprano, flute, viola and harp which specializes in works written after 1900. PINOTAGE has performed in recital and at numerous new music festivals, including such prestigious venues as the Chicago Museum of Contemporary Art, the Sacramento New Music Festival and the Jewel Box series at Northeastern University, broadcast live on WFMT.
She is also an active theater musician having appeared in the pit orchestras of several productions including Wicked, Aida, Jekyll & Hyde and The Wizard of Oz. An active studio musician, she has recorded numerous radio and television commercials.
Ms. MacDonald performs both nationally and internationally. As a member of Trio Chicago, she toured Ethiopia and Mali including the first performance of an American classical group in Timbuktu. Her European appearances include performances in Italy with the Parnassus Orchestra of London where she also appeared as both a soloist and chamber musician. She participated in two
tours of Switzerland and Germany as a member of the Chicago Sinfonietta and during the summer of 1990, while based in London, she toured Greece and Britain, and appeared with the Regent Quintet.
Ms. MacDonald holds degrees from DePaul University and the California Institute of the Arts. Her private instructors include Donald Peck, William Bennett, David Shostac and Keith Underwood.
MATTHEW MANTELL, violin
Violist Matthew Mantell holds a Bachelor of Music degree in viola performance from the American Conservatory of Music, at which time he studied the violin with George Perlman and viola with Richard Ferrin and Adia Ghertovici. He is currently principal violist with the Elgin Symphony Orchestra and the Illinois Philharmonic Orchestra and assistant principal violist with the Chicago Sinfonietta. He also performs with the Lyric Opera and the Joffrey Ballet. In addition to a busy performance schedule, Mr. Mantell is instructor of violin and viola and string ensemble at Trinity Christian College (in Palos Park) and maintains a large teaching studio of both violin and viola students at his home in Orland Park. Each summer, Mr. Mantell and his wife, Emily Lewis Mantell (a cellist) enjoy teaching at Birch Creek Music Festival in Door County, Wisconsin. He has also taught and performed at the Beverly Hills International Music Festival in California. His daughter Sonia is also a cellist, and is currently a freshman at New England Conservatory in Boston, MA.
GREGORY MAYTAN, violin
Gregory Maytan is a member of the Valparaiso University faculty and performs regularly as a soloist chamber and orchestral musician. Maytan has performed extensively in Europe and the US, playing about 50 recitals a year. Upcoming engagements include multiple performances of the Paganini Violin Concerto no 1 with orchestras in Nevada, Indiana, Sweden and China and participation in the prestigious chamber music festivals ‘Musikveckan’ in Junsele, Sweden and the InterHarmony International Music Festival in Schwarzwald, Germany.
Maytan’s recent CD, consisting of music from his native Scandinavia was lauded by the Classical Voice of North Carolina for its ‘great artistry’ and noted that the performance is ‘as polished as any listener could desire’. It was selected by The Strad is the top recital CD of April, 2009 and highly praised by Strings Magazine. Maytan was recently a semi-finalist in the Schadt competition in Pennsylvania.
He has participated in the International Chamber Music Festival in Vienna, Austria, where he was a featured prize winner and has placed and been awarded significant cash awards in the Swedish Royal Academy’s competition for post-graduate violinists during the years 2006, 2007 and 2008. He has performed and toured with numerous orchestras, and his concerts have been broadcast on radio and television in the U.S. and Europe. He has participated in masterclasses with Zakhar Bron, Leonidas Kavakos and Michela Martin.
He earned his doctorate in violin performance from the Indiana University School of Music in Bloomington, where he studied with the renowned violinists Miriam Fried and Paul Biss. Other teachers include Igor Petruschevski (London), Federico Agostini (Bloomington) and Alexander Kerr (Bloomington). He performs on a Stefano Scarampella violin from 1896.
ALAN SNOW, Violin
Alan Snow has been the recipient of several prizes and scholarships: As a soloist he was the overall winner of the Walgreens National Midwest Young Artists competition, playing Saint Saens Introduction and Rondo Capriccioso; twice a winner at the DePaul Festival for young performers playing Kabalevsky and Bruch concertos with the Oistrach Symphony Orchestra; winner of the Birch Creek Music Festival competition, concertmaster of IMEA (Illinois Music Teachers Association), and more. As first violin of the Contrapunctus string quartet, he won first prize at the St. Paul Strinq Quartet Competition, 1st prize at the Chicago Discover competition, 2nd prize at the Rembrandt Players competition and Honorable Mention at the prestigious Fischoff competition. He was featured at WFMT Radio in Chicago for the program "Introductions" 3 times: with Bruch concerto and the Oistrach Symphony Orchestra, at a complete live violin and piano recital and with his quartet Contrapunctus at a live recital.
He has attended several music festivals such as Meadowmount Music Festival, The Quartet Program in the University of Colorado and the Music Academy of the West in Santa Barbara, California, where he was chosen as concertmaster for the Opera production of Bizet's "Carmen". He also received a fellowship for the Aspen Music Festival. He currently studies his Bachelor degree in violin Performance at Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University with Sibbi Bernhardsson from the Pacifica Quartet, and he is currently concertmaster of Concert Orchestra at IU. He also studied with Northwestern University professor Gerardo Ribeiro for several years, and has played for master classes for Vadim Gluzman, Midori, Rami Solomonov, Shmuel Ashkenase (from the Vermeer Quartet). Stefan Milenkovich, Joshua Bell (with whom he was selected as his stand partner to perform Tchaikovsky Serenade for Strings, and also as concertmaster of a chamber orchestra to accompany Joshua Bell in Bach E major concerto); Linden String Quartet, Charlie Pikler (principal violist of Chicago Symphony Orchestra), and many more.
ELENA SNOW, mezzo soprano
Elena Snow holds a Bachelor of Arts in Vocal Performance from DePaul University in Chicago, and a minor in Spanish and Photography. She has studied under the direction of Metropolitan Opera mezzo soprano, Jane Bunnell, Israeli soprano Orna Arania, Northwestern University Professor Bruce Hall, and the Summer of 2011 with Bass Eric F. Halvarson, in Perigueux, France, and with Julia Failkner, director of the Ryan Center of Lyric Opera of Chicago. . Elena is a member of the Chicago Symphony Chorus, Chicago Opera Theatre, section leader and cantor at St. Josaphat Parish Church Choir, and a member of the Alioni Georgian Ensemble. She has had extensive choral experience as a member of DePaul's A Capella group and University Singers, where she was also a soloist for Bach Cantata BWV 187 and Zelenka's Missa dei Filli. Some of her operatic roles include "Nancy" from Benjamin Britten's "Albert Herring," "Amore" in "L'incoronazione di Poppaea," "Pitti-Sing" in "The Mikado," and "Lily" in "The Secret Garden."
In the Spring of 2013, she played the role of Prince Orlofsky for the American Chamber Opera production of "Die Fledermaus" and recently played "Cherubino" in Mozart's "The Marriage of Figaro" at the Chicago Summer Opera production, and the role of "Cenerentola" (Cinderella) in Rossini's Opera " La Cenerentola" for the Candid Concert Opera production. She won the voice category at the Walgreens concerto competition, and received an award at the 2013 Chicago Bel Canto Competition.
She currently attends the New England Conservatory in Boston pursuing her Master Degree in Vocal performance, under the direction of acclaimed soprano Jane Eaglen. In the Spring of 2015 she will play the role of "Dorabella" in Mozart's "Cosi Fan Tutte"
MATHIAS TACKE, violin
Mathias Tacke was the second violinist of the acclaimed Vermeer Quartet, Chicago from 1992 until 2007. He is Professor of Violin and Chamber Music at Northern Illinois University and Guest Lecturer for String Chamber Music at Northwestern University. With the Vermeer Quartet Mathias Tacke gave performances in practically all of the most prestigious festivals, including Tanglewood, Taos, Ravinia, South Bank, Lucerne, Berlin, Schleswig-Holstein and Edinburgh, to name a few. Three of the Vermeer Quartet recordings were nominated for the Grammy Award.
Mathias Tacke appears internationally as a soloist and chamber player, performing a wide range of repertoire from the Baroque to music of our time. A native of Germany, Mathias Tacke studied with Ernst Mayer-Schierning in Detmold, Germany, with Emanuel Hurwitz and David Takeno in London, and with Sandor Vegh in Prussia Cove, Cornwall. He won first prize in the German National Youth Competition and graduated from the Musikakademie Detmold, where he was later appointed to the faculty.
From 1983-1992 Mr.Tacke was a member of the Ensemble Modern Frankfurt, one of the most important professional groups specializing in the performance of contemporary music. In this capacity he gave countless first performances, including works by most of today’s leading composers. He has made numerous recordings for such labels as Sony, ECM. Harmonia Mundi, Naxos and Cedille.