Lydia Chernicoff, violinist, is the Founder and Artistic Director of New Muse Concerts, a chamber music series taken out of the concert hall, defined by its daring programming and casual, lively atmosphere.
She has performed as a recitalist, chamber musician, and orchestral player throughout the US, and in Europe, China, and South America. In 2007, Lydia founded Trio Appassionata alongside cellist, Andrea Casarrubios, and pianist, Ronaldo Rolim. The trio joined the artist roster of the Odradek Records label in 2013, and released its debut CD of American piano trios, gone into night are all the eyes, the following year. The recording was praised by the International Record Review for its "complete dedication and assurance... [and for] music-making as impressive and dangerous as a granite cliff."
Lydia has collaborated with the PostClassical Ensemble, Baltimore Chamber Orchestra, INSCAPE Chamber Orchestra, Charleston Symphony Orchestra, and Alarm Will Sound. She has served on the chamber music faculty of Peabody Conservatory’s Preparatory Division, and as the director of the Homewood Chamber Music Program at Johns Hopkins University.
She received her Bachelor of Music and Master of Music degrees from the Peabody Conservatory as
a student of Violaine Melançon, and her Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of Maryland where she studied with James Stern.
Alva Anderson, voice/viola, was born in the Bronx to parents who fostered a great appreciation for the Arts, and began piano lessons at the age of 10. Her desire to be a part of the music program in high school led her to the viola. At the time, she didn’t know what a viola was but it soon became her ‘voice’.
Her other voice revealed itself while Alva was on tour in Europe with a chamber music ensemble. Late one night at a jam session in a jazz club in Switzerland, a good buddy invited her to the microphone. The song was “My Funny Valentine.” The feeling and audience responses were intoxicating. The message was clear; she was twice blessed.
With the acknowledgment of those gifts came the great joy, the responsibility to support, develop and share them with others.
Back in the ‘States’ Alva began to frequent jam sessions throughout New York City. She attended vocal and instrumental workshops with Barry Harris, Billy Taylor, Sheila Jordan, Jay Clayton, Jimmy Heath and Billy Mitchell, Frank Owens, John Blake, Turtle Island String Quartet and Jimmy Seigler. For more than 20 years Alva has shared her love for music with her students in the New York City public schools. Many of her students have gone on to become professional musicians and music teachers.
Alva has created two one women shows; The Elegant One, the Life in Music of Ella Fitzgerald and Fine “Brown” Frame, the Music of Ruth Brown.
Her band members Tom DiPietra, guitar; Jesse Crawford, bass and Charlie Taylor, percussion have performed these concerts in libraries, churches and schools in New York City. With this band Alva Anderson creates original music and puts her own spin on the music of these singers and the other singers who have fed her desire to sing.
arx duo aspires to expand the genre of percussion chamber music, and is dedicated to the creation and presentation of new works involving percussion, as well as the education of young artists striving
to engage with audiences through the creation of new works. They have had premiere performances throughout the globe, conducted workshops on three continents, and worked with a variety of composers and artists to bring new creations to audiences everywhere.
Recently the duo has had their Royal Albert Hall concert premiere in London, UK performing Dominic Murcott's "Harmonic Canon". This fall, they begin a residency at Boston Conservatory working with the composition students to create ten new pieces! They continually perform recitals and collaborative concerts throughout the U.S. As members of The Percussion Collective Robert van Sice, now in its opening season, they premiered Garth Neustadter’s Seaborne this year, and have presented concerts and master classes at multiple universities.
With a repertoire ranging from established masters to today’s newest compositional voices, arx duo has worked closely with composers such as Alejandro Viñao, James Wood, and Ted Hearne. Upcoming new commissions include duos from Robert Honstein and Ian Gottlieb, a large project with the Dover String Quartet and Steve Mackey, and concertos from Pascal Le Boeuf, Nick Diberardino, and Jonathank Bailey Holland.
The name "arx duo" comes from the artists’ desire to forge new connections and artistic pathways or "arcs" within the genre, expanding the opportunities for their music to reach new audiences.
Mari and Garrett both proudly endorse Adams Instruments, Pearl Drums, Zildjian Cymbals, Evans Drumheads, and Vic Firth Sticks and Mallet
Hilary Glen, cellist, has been praised as a “standout performer” who has successfully “taken on the demanding and most expressive responsibilities assigned to [her] instrument.”
As an enthusiastic performer, she enjoys a varied career that has taken her from the Italian Alps,
to Carnegie Hall, and many places in between. She has collaborated with musicians including
Gil Shaham, Gary Hoffman, Yefim Bronfman, and The Who.
Formerly a cellist with the New World Symphony, Dr. Glen currently performs as the Assistant Principal in the Atlanta Opera Orchestra, Principal of the Columbus Symphony Orchestra, and is a section member of the Atlanta Ballet Orchestra and the Des Moines Metro Opera.
Dr. Glen is a devoted teacher and believes that music provides a crucial outlet for creativity and expression. She recently completed a one-year position at the University of Alabama where she helped increase the visibility of the cello program by starting the first-ever Cello Day at the school.
Dr. Glen completed her BM at Indiana University, studying under Janos Starker. She earned her MM and DMA, studying under Alan Harris, at the Eastman School of Music. When not playing the cello, Dr. Glen can be found singing, exploring the outdoors, and/or dancing.
Dr. Ismar Gomes is a chamber musician, recitalist, baroque cellist, and orchestral player. Recent performance highlights include recitals as a member of Duo Sorolla across the United States, as well as collaborations with members of the Pittsburgh Symphony, Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, the Emerson, and the Johannes Quartets. A member of the Virginia and Richmond Symphonies he frequently performs with the Baltimore Symphony.
As a baroque cellist, Dr. Gomes is a member of Mélomanie and is a regular guest with several early music ensembles. Dr. Gomes has worked with noted composers including George Walker, Aaron Jay Kernis, Marc Neikrug, James Lee III, and David Lang and has commissioned and championed works by today’s leading and emerging composers. As a recording artist Dr. Gomes has recorded with the Harlem Quartet and recently released two albums with Mélomanie, as well as live recordings of works by Larry Nelson, Mark Hagerty, and others.
Formerly Visiting Assistant Professor of Cello at Luther College, he currently serves as Adjunct Assistant Professor of Cello at Gettysburg College, and recently presented masterclasses at Georgetown, Towson, and Duke Universities. Prior faculty appointments include the Cleveland Institute of Music Summer Chamber Music Festival, StringFest at Merkin Hall, the Performing Arts Institute, and the Three Bridges Festival. Ismar attended the Peabody Conservatory, studying with Alison Wells and Amit Peled. Previous teachers include Marc Johnson and Clive Greensmith of the Vermeer and Tokyo Quartets. He earned his Doctor of Musical Arts Degree from Stony Brook University, under the tutelage of Colin Carr.
Ian Gottlieb, composer/cellist (b.1990) is a Los Angeles-based composer and cellist whose music grapples with nostalgia, mysticism, folk tradition, and eclecticism. His music has been performed by ensembles and artists including Sandbox Percussion, Ensemble dal Niente, Le Nouvel Ensemble Moderne, Hilary Summers, Antico Moderno, Triple Helix, and Palaver Strings.
Recent commissions include works for Contemporaneous, Arcomusical, and arx duo. His work has received support from the Fulbright Commission in Brazil, The World Music Institute, New York State Council for the Arts, The Foundation for Contemporary Arts, and ASCAP. A Los Angeles native, he holds degrees from the Yale School of Music, Boston University, and Crossroads School for the Arts and Sciences.
Pamela Hentges, violin, has recently “retired” to Charleston after a fulfilling career as a professional violinist. During that time, she held the Assistant Principal Second Violin chair of the National Symphony Orchestra, Washington, D.C. for twenty-one years, Principal Second Violin chair of the Richmond Symphony Orchestra, Richmond, VA for fourteen years, and a Section Violin chair in the Kennedy Center Opera House Orchestra, Washington D.C., for two years. Pam has also performed with many chamber music groups and has appeared frequently as a solo recitalist.
She continues to maintain a private studio where she teaches violin students and coaches many musicians, on all instruments, during their preparation for professional orchestral auditions.
Pam began studying violin at the age of four with George Perlman in Chicago. She received both her Bachelor and Master of Music degrees from Catholic University of America, studying with Robert Gerle as a full scholarship student.
She is thrilled to have been welcomed into the music scene in Charleston, and is honored to be collaborating with the musicians of New Muse Concerts as they build new relationships with the Charleston community through music!
Natalia Khoma is an internationally renowned cellist. Since winning the All-Ukrainian competition, Khoma has won top prizes at the Budapest Pablo Casals International Competition, Markneukirchen Competition in Germany, and the Tchaikovsky International Competition in Moscow, as well as First prize at the Belgrade International Cello Competition.
The first and only Ukrainian cellist to become a laureate of the Tchaikovsky Competition, Natalia Khoma has since distinguished herself as a recitalist and soloist with orchestras throughout Russia,
as well as the U.S., Canada, South America, Germany, Norway, Belgium, Italy, France, Spain, Switzerland, Eastern Europe, South Africa and the Middle and Far East.
She has performed as a soloist with such leading ensembles as the Berlin Radio Orchestra, Moscow Radio Orchestra, Belgrade Philharmonic Orchestra, Budapest Philharmonic Orchestra, Ukrainian National State Symphony Orchestra, Johannesburg Philharmonic Orchestra, Chamber Ensemble
of New York City Symphony Orchestra, Franz Liszt Chamber Orchestra.
In 2010 Natalia was featured on a Grammy nominated CD for the Dorian Sono Luminus label. Natalia Khoma is an Honorary Professor of Lviv State Academy of Music, Odesa State Music Academy and Tchaikovsky National Music Academy of Ukraine (Kiev Conservatory).
In addition to her performing activities, Natalia is an Associate Professor of Cello at the College
of Charleston in Charleston, SC and Director of the Charleston Music Fest.
Dr. Kari Kistler is an in-demand performer of oboe and English horn repertoire, based in the Southeast. She is a core member of the Charleston Symphony Orchestra, and also freelances in the greater region.
Kari has performed all over the US, including at the Tanglewood Music Center, Aspen Music Festival, Brevard Music Festival, and Music Academy of the West. Prior to moving to Charleston she was a Fellow with the New World Symphony (NWS) in Miami Beach, FL. She performed multiple times under the baton of Michael Tilson Thomas while at NWS, as well as many other prestigious conductors—Christoph von Dohnanyi, Susanna Mälkki, Peter Oundjian, and John Adams, to name a few.
Kari has performed recently with the New York Philharmonic, the Charlotte Symphony, the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra, the Sarasota Orchestra, the Virginia Symphony, and the Savannah Philharmonic.
She earned her Bachelors of Music, summa cum laude, and her Doctor of Music degrees from The Florida State University, her Masters of Music from the Cleveland Institute of Music, and her Performance Diploma from Boston University. Her main teachers were John Ferrillo, John Mack, Robert Sheena, and Dr. Eric Ohlsson.
Lenora Cox Leggatt Originally from Rochester, New York, violinist Lenora Cox Leggatt began studying
at age 7and made her solo debut with the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra at 16. She earned her
Bachelor of Music degree from the Eastman School of Music studying with Catherine Tait and Zvi Zeitlin, and Master of Music degree from the Cleveland Institute of Music with Donald Weilerstein.
Lenora served as concertmaster for The Cleveland Opera Orchestra for eight years, and for the former Ohio Chamber Orchestra and Cleveland San Jose Ballet. She has appeared as concertmaster under conductors such as Leonard Slatkin and Andre Previn, and as soloist under Peter Bay and Leslie Dunner. Ms. Leggatt has enjoyed performing in the violin sections of the Cleveland Orchestra, Rochester Philharmonic, Charlotte Symphony and San Diego Symphony, and was a tenured member of the Calgary Philharmonic for three years.
A three-year fellowship student at the Aspen Music Festival, she has also performed in the music festivals of Tanglewood, Basel, and London where she gave a world premiere performance with her twin sister—oboist, Johanna Cox Pennington. In addition, Lenora and Johanna’s Carnegie Hall performance of the music of Dinos Constantinides was critically acclaimed as “the highlight of the concert”.
Ms. Leggatt currently resides in Charlotte
Duda Lucena, voice/guitar Inspired by his father’s guitar serenades with friends and family Duda began to compose his first songs at the age of 12. From there, his most powerful music experience was being backstage listening to the rehearsals of the Pernambuco Symphonic Orchestra in Recife, Brazil.
In his 20’s, Duda studied classical guitar and received his musical training from the distinguished Conservatório Pernambucano de Música. He held his first concert at Museu da Cidade do Recife. Next he performed at the Teatro do Parque and Valdemar de Oliveira Theatre. Seeking more musical knowledge, he moved to Rio de Janeiro, studying harmony, arrangement and composition at Centro Ian Guest de Aperfeicoamento Musical, a music school based upon the Berklee College of Music.
On tour in Mexico, he fell in love with his wife who introduced him to her hometown, Charleston, SC. After more than ten years in the South, Lucena is recognized as a pivotal force of Brazilian music on the jazz scene.
Recently, Duda has been a featured guest with the Charleston Symphony Orchestra, Charleston Jazz Orchestra, performed at events such as the Charlotte Jazz Festival, THE JAZZ ROOM Premiere Thursdays, Cola Jazz Fest, and Savannah Jazz Series.
Percussionist Dan Morris recently moved to Charleston to continue his dynamic career as a performer and educator. After completing a fellowship with the New World Symphony in 2017, he spent three years as a member of the Kansas City Symphony.
Morris holds degrees from Indiana University and the Manhattan School of Music. After completing school, he moved to Washington to study with the Seattle Symphony Principal Percussionist Michael Werner. His summer engagements have included Spoleto Festival USA, the Colorado Music Festival, Chautauqua Music Festival, and Music Academy of the West.
Morris has been passionate about inspiring younger generations of musicians, this year teaching and coaching students at the Charleston Jazz Academy and Charleston County School of the Arts. In addition to his classical and teaching career, Dan loves playing jazz, chamber music, and has spent much of the past year building a home recording studio in Park Circle.
Cellist Daniel Mumm began his studies at age 10 in New Jersey and shortly thereafter attended the pre-college program at the Manhattan School of Music. He subsequently received a Bachelor of Music degree from Indiana University and did doctoral studies at Rutgers University.
An accomplished orchestral cellist, Daniel is a member of the Virginia Symphony and has served as principal cello of the Asheville Symphony and Augusta Symphony orchestras. He has performed with many well-respected ensembles including the Charlotte Symphony, Charleston Symphony, Arkansas Symphony, and Symphony in C.
His recent concert engagements have included solo appearances with the Orchester der Künstuniversität Graz (Austria) and the Augusta Symphony. Daniel has extensive experience with contemporary music, including performances of the works of Harry Partch featuring the composer’s original instruments.
He is also an active studio musician and has recently recorded music for NFL films. In addition to his career as a performer, Daniel is a passionate music educator. He has served as adjunct professor at Seton Hall and William Paterson Universities and as cello instructor at the Rutgers University extension division. Daniel currently lives in Charleston, SC with his wife Mitsuko, son Keijo, and dog Winston.
Sadie Nichols has been playing violin and viola in the Charleston area since moving to the Lowcountry in 2001 to join the Charleston Symphony as Assistant Principal Viola.
Sadie grew up in Hershey, PA where she started her musical studies at the age of three from her mother. Graduating with performance degrees from Indiana University and University of Maryland, Sadie has since played regularly with the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra, Northeastern PA Philharmonic, Harrisburg Symphony, and various opera orchestras and chamber music groups from around the world including the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival and Breckenridge Music Festival.
Sadie is an avid early music enthusiast and knitter extraordinaire. Sadie resides in Summerville with her husband Brandon and daughter Autumn.
Bassist Mary Reed, a native of Charleston, was brought up in a musical family, attended Charleston County School of the Arts, and participated in the Charleston Symphony Youth Orchestra. She studied bass performance at the Peabody Conservatory and the University of Southern California, with additional studies at Brevard Music Center and the Aspen Music Festival.
Since completing her education, Reed has performed with some of the finest orchestras in the country including the National, Colorado, St. Louis, and Kansas City Symphonies and was a fellow at the New World Symphony in Miami Beach, Florida from 2015 to 2017. Mary returned to South Carolina in the fall of 2020 to serve as Acting Principal Bass with the Charleston Symphony.
Kirsten Swanson The Classical Voice of North Carolina described violist Kirsten Swanson as a “stunning musician with flawless technique combined with that unique ‘viola’ sound that can melt your soul.” Feeling equally at ease with “new” and “old” music, in an orchestra or solo, Dr. Swanson enjoys a diverse career that takes her all over the world.
As an orchestral musician, Dr. Swanson held the position of Assistant Principal viola with the Charlotte Symphony from 2005-2007, a position she returned to in the ’19- ’20 season. She had previously been appointed acting Section viola with the North Carolina Symphony and won positions in the Winston-Salem Symphony and Greensboro Symphonies. She is frequently invited to sit guest Principal viola with the Amarillo Symphony in Amarillo, Texas.
An experienced chamber musician, Dr. Swanson has collaborated with such artists as Schlomo Mintz, Garth Knox, Jon Nakamatsu, and members of the JACK, Pacifica, and Ciompi String Quartets. She is the violist of the Madison Park and Central string quartets and can frequently be heard performing in and around North and South Carolina. During the summers, she is on faculty of Chamber Music on the Hill (Cmoth), a chamber music intensive music festival for teens and college students, in Spartanburg, NC.
A committed teacher, Kirsten has studied Suzuki pedagogy with Joanne Martin, Betsy Stuen-Walker, James Hutchins, and Joanne Bath and holds a Graduate Certificate in Suzuki Pedagogy from East Carolina University. She has taught violin and viola at Wake Forest University and Elon College. She holds degrees from the Eastman School of Music, the Longy School, and the University of North Carolina in Greensboro. Currently, she is the adjunct viola professor at the University of North Carolina-Charlotte and maintains a thriving private studio of enthusiastic violinists and violists at her home.
Dan Urbanowicz, viola, is currently a violist in the Sarasota Orchestra. He performs regularly with the Jacksonville Symphony, Southwest Florida Symphony, and the Charleston Symphony Orchestra. Dan has played with the New World Symphony at Carnegie Hall, the Boston Philharmonic Orchestra, the Atlantic Symphony, the Canton Symphony Orchestra, the Firelands Orchestra, and the Plymouth Philharmonic. He has served as principal violist of the Augusta Symphony, Charlottesville Opera, Gulfshore Opera, Venice Symphony, Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival in Germany, the Pacific Music Festival in Japan, and the Chautauqua Music School Festival Orchestra.
Dan also enjoys playing the viola d’amore. As a viola d’amore player he has been featured with the Colorado Chamber Players, Tafelmusik Baroque Summer Institute, College of Charleston’s Second Monday Series, and Augusta University as a guest lecturer and recitalist.
His principal teachers include Martha Katz and Jeffrey Irvine. Dan holds a master’s degree from the New England Conservatory of Music and a bachelor’s degree from the Cleveland Institute of Music.
He plays on a 2017 Robert Clemens viola and his viola d’amore is from the 19th century and is of unknown origin.