Beatriz Helguera, pianist and Artistic Director
A native of Mexico City, Beatriz Helguera is an active performer as recitalist and chamber musician, and in great demand as a collaborative pianist. Prestigious concert venues include live performances for WFMT Radio in ChicagoPianoforte Chicago, Fullerton Hall of the Art Institute, Ganz Hall, Goodspeed Hall, Chicago Cultural Center and Depaul University. She is also a member of the Chicago Philharmonic Chamber Players. She holds a Master Degree in piano performance from Meadows School of the Arts at Southern Methodist University (where she received the Meadows Outstanding Achievement Award and the Epstein B'nai Brith Award)as a student of Dallas Symphony pianist Alfred Mouledous,and a Concert Pianist Diploma from the National Conservatory of Music of Mexico where she graduated with highest honors as a student of eminent pianist Maria Teresa Rodriguez.
In Mexico, Ms. Helguera has played as a soloist with the Orquesta Sinfónica del Estado de México, the Orquesta de Cámara de Bellas Artes, and others, and participated in master classes with pianists Jorg Demus, Paul Badura-Skoda, Jorge Bolet, Angélica Morales and more. She has played solo and chamber music recitals in all major recital halls of México City, including live broadcasts for Radio UNAM, IMER, and the Cultural TV station. Some venues: Sala Manuel M. Ponce of Bellas Artes, Sala Nezahualcóyotl, Sala Carlos Chávez, Palacio de Minería, Museo Nacional de Arte and many more.Beatriz was awarded a grant by FONCA (National Foundation for the Arts and Culture in Mexico) to record a double CD "Voices of Mexico Past and Present", Chamber Music of Mexico in the XX and XXI Centuries, which was recorded at WFMT studios in Chicago and released in 2015. The CD was presented in a concert tour in several cities of Mexico, and also presented in Chicago for the Latin MusicFestival (at WFMT and the Art Institute of Chicago Fullerton Hall) and in New York City for the Panamerican Musical Art Research. She has taught hundreds of young pianists over the last 25 years, as part of the faculty of Betty Haag Suzuky Academy, DePaul University Music Community Division, and her private piano studio, has coached chamber music for Midwest Young Artists and other music organizations and has been a collaborative pianist and accompanist for many music departments, festivals and competitions.
Andrew Snow, cello
Born in Chicago, Andrew Snow is a a Co-founder of Chicago Panamerican Ensemble, member of Chicago Sinfonietta, Chicago Philharmonic and Lake Forest Symphony, and the chamber group Chicago Ensemble.
He was the cellist of the Lyra Quartet for 10 years and also principal cello of Chicago Symphonic Pops, with whom he toured the Far East. Mr. Snow has performed in many of the major concert halls throughout Europe including the Gewandhaus, Frankfurt Opera House, and Zurich Tonhalle. He has played with the Milwaukee Symphony, Joffrey Ballet, Ravinia Festival, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Dallas Lyric Opera, Kenosha Symphony (principal cellist), Chicago String Ensemble, Fulcrum Point, American Ballet Theatre and many more. He is a graduate (BM) of Northern Illinois University, where he studied with Marc Johnson from the Vermeer Quartet, and Southern Methodist University, where he earned his Masters in cello performance studying with Russian cellist Lev Aronson.With his wife, Mexican pianist Beatriz Helguera, Andrew has performed extensively in most major concert halls in Mexico city (including live broadcasts for Radio and TV), Guadalajara, Morelia, Quéretaro and other cities. He recorded the cello works by Mexican composers for the Chicago Panamerican Ensemble CD "Voices of Mexico Past and Present".
He is a prestigious cello instructor and judge for young cellist competitions and coach for chamber music festivals and youth orchestras, and has taught hundreds of young cellists over the last 30 years.
Elena Snow, mezzo soprano
Elena Snow is a Mexican-American mezzo soprano raised in Chicago and currently based in Boston. A recent graduate of the New England Conservatory (Master in Vocal Performance), Elena received her Bachelors degree from DePaul University's School of Music, where she sang several roles including Amore in Monteverdi's Poppea and Nancy in Britten's Albert Herring. Other roles she performed in Chicago include the title role in Rossini's Cenerentola, Cherubino in Le Nozze di Figaro (Chicago Summer Opera) and Prince Orlofsky in Die Fledermaus. She has performed as a member of the Chicago Symphony Chorus (under Maestro Ricardo Muti) Boston Lyric Opera and Boston Baroque. As an Apprentice Artist, Elena sang with Chicago Opera Theatre, Sarasota Opera in Florida, and Caramoor Opera in New York City. Elena has been the recipient of several awards in the past few years, including placing in both the 2013 and 2015 Bel Canto Competitions and performing as a finalist for the 2016 Handel Aria Competition and 2017 Classical Singer Competition. While at NEC, Elena sang the role of Cenerentola for NEC's Outreach Opera Program, Dorabella in Cosi Fan Tutte, Nerone in Handel's comic opera Agrippina, and the role of the Wife in a workshop premiere of composer Scott Wheeler's new opera, Naga.
In the summer of 2017 Elena was awarded a fellowship as a Grant Park Music Festival Project Inclusion Fellow, participating in the Grant Park Chorus for several concerts at Millenium Park in Chicago.
She also performed the role of Bradamante in Boston area opera company, Opera del West's production of Handel's Alcina. She is currently working as a teaching artist in Boston for the Metropolitan Opera Guild.
Elena recorded the vocal works by Mexican composers for the Chicago Panamerican Ensemble CD "Voices of Mexico Past and Present".
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Alan Snow, violin
Alan Snow was appointed Concertmaster of the Evansville Philharmonic Orchestra and first violin of the Eykamp String Quartet in June of 2018. Since his performance as a soloist with the Oistrakh Symphony Orchestra at age 13, Alan has performed solo and chamber works throughout the USA and Mexico, including appearances at Chicago’s Symphony Center, the Sarasota Opera House, Cathedral Basilica of St. Augustine, the University of Alaska Anchorage, la Sala Manuel M. Ponce in Mexico City, and others throughout the continent. He recently played as a member of the London Symphony Orchestra under Sir Simon Rattle, as a MAX Keston Fellow of Music Academy of the West.
As a member of the Chicago Panamerican Ensemble, Alan recorded an album titled, “Voices of Mexico Past and Present,” and subsequently toured the US and Mexico with the program. In addition, Alan and pianist, Joanne Chang won the 2016 Latin American Music Center Recording Competition through Indiana University and released another album of Mexican music titled, “Dialogos.”
Alan has also won several other competitions as soloist and with his quartet Contrapunctus (2011-2013), including grand prize at the Walgreens National Concerto Competition, the DePaul Festival for Young Performers, the Saint Paul String Quartet Competition, the Discover Chamber Music Competition, second prize at the Rembrandt Chamber Players and honorable mention at the Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition. Previous chamber collaborations include performances with James Buswell, Martin Chalifour, Desmond Hoebig, Jorja Fleezanis, Robert Vernon, Steve Wyrczynski, and Eric Kim.
In addition to being the current concertmaster of the Evansville Philharmonic, Alan was concertmaster for Terre Haute Symphony Orchestra and Columbus Indiana Philharmonic, Alan has also served as concertmaster at the Music Academy of the West, the Festival Napa Valley Orchestra, Indiana University’s top orchestras, and the conductorless Indiana University Sinfonietta, which prepared a concert with Joshua Bell. Alan has also served on faculty at the Anchorage Chamber Music Festival, an intensive chamber music festival in Alaska.
A Chicago native, Alan participated at Midwest Young Artists for nine years, where he received intensive orchestral and chamber training. He studied with Gerardo Ribeiro at Northwestern University before receiving his Bachelor of Music degree from Indiana University under Sibbi Bernhardsson of the Pacifica Quartet and Alexander Kerr, concertmaster of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra.
Some of our Guest Artists:
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 in Chicago. Wagner recorded the clarinet works for the Chicago Panamerican Ensemble CD "Voices of Mexico Past and Present".
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. She recorded the flute works for the Chicago Panamerican Ensemble CD "Voices of Mexico Past and Present".
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 in Chicago (violin) and the Lyric Opera of Chicago Orchestra (viola). He is also a sought-after teacher of both instruments. Karl has performed in chamber settings extensively both in live performances and Radio stations around the USA.
MATTHEW MANTELL, viola
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.
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.
Nicholas Tocci, baritone
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.
Nicholas Tocci has already become a sought after baritone upon graduating from New England Conservatory this past year. A native of New Hampshire, Nicholas has found success singing in many areas of New England. Recently, he has performed the roles of Yamadori/Bonze in Madama Butterfly, Vater in Hansel and Gretel, Nardo in Mozart’s la finta giardiniera, and Benoit/Alcindoro In la Bohème. This year he is set to performer as Bob in The Old Maid and the Thief, Germont in la traviata, Mr. Lindquist in A Little Night Music, Guillermo in cosí fan tutte, and Ferrando in il trovatore. Mr. Tocci currently resides in Boston, Massachusetts.