Violinist Lydia Chernicoff is the Founder and Artistic Director of New Muse Concerts, a chamber music series defined by its daring programming and lively, casual atmosphere.
As an advocate for reframing classical music as an inclusive art form, and for promoting creative collaboration across the arts, Lydia has been featured in Charleston Magazine’s Arts Profile, The Post & Courier, Charleston City Paper, and as a presenter at PechaKucha 39 — a speaker series spotlighting members of Charleston’s creative community.
Lydia has performed as a recitalist, chamber musician, and orchestral player throughout the US, and in Europe, China, and South America. In 2007, she founded Trio Appassionata alongside cellist, Andrea Casarrubios, and pianist, Ronaldo Rolim.
Lydia has collaborated with the Crescent City Chamber Music Festival, PostClassical Ensemble, Baltimore Chamber Orchestra, INSCAPE Chamber Orchestra, and Alarm Will Sound, and 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 performs regularly with the Charleston Symphony and Chamber Music Charleston.
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 as a student of James Stern.
Danielle Cho, cello, joined as Assistant Principal Cellist of the Kennedy Center Opera House Orchestra in 2021.
She is a co-founder of Sound Impact, a collective of musicians dedicated to empowering youth through innovative music programs in schools, juvenile detention centers and international communities. Danielle has led Sound Impact’s international programs in Costa Rica and Panama. This passion was instilled in her after studying in Barcelona as a Fulbright Scholar, after which she was invited to play with the Orquesta de la Comunitat Valencia where she toured internationally under Lorin Maazel and Zubin Mehta. She was also a featured soloist at the 2014 TedxFulbright Conference and the first Fulbright alumni to be selected to serve on two missions with the Youth Orchestra of the Americas (YOA) Global Leaders Program in Argentina and Haiti.
Highlights of Danielle’s career have been solo appearances with the Erie Chamber Orchestra and the Festival Filharmonica Juvenil (Argentina) and festival appearances in Europe and the US including IMS Prussia Cove, Spoleto, Music in May, the Holland Music Sessions, Taos, Sarasota, and Schleswig-Holstein. Additionally, Danielle performs regularly with the American Pops Orchestra, the Eclipse Chamber Orchestra, and the National Symphony Orchestra.
She holds degrees from the University of Southern California and the New England Conservatory. In her spare time, Danielle enjoys photography, hiking and boxing.
Romanian born guitarist Silviu Ciulei began his musical training at an early age, and was soon winning prizes in national and international competitions, first in Europe and then in the United States. His interest in Flamenco was first awakened while on a family holiday in Spain. It was not long before he moved to Cadiz, Andalusia, the heartland of flamenco. There he began several years of intense study of flamenco guitar, which he brought with him to Tequila, a group that gained national attention in his native Romania.
Silviu graduated with his Ph.D in classical guitar performance under the tutelage of Bruce Holzman, Director of the Guitar Program at Florida State University's College of Music, one of the leading figures of guitar teaching in the US. Silviu is currently the Director of Guitar Studies at the University of Florida. Visit silviuciulei.com for more information on Silviu.
Bassist David Cobb began his musical journey in the middle school brass section but was soon lured by the sound of strings and began teaching himself guitar and electric bass, expanding his classical background into the American styles centered around these instruments: blues, rock, jazz, and soul.
A xenophile from an early age, David has always sought out sounds from around the world and his compositions and playing embody that journey. The feel of soul, a wealth of Latin American/Caribbean rhythms and melodic sensibilities from Africa, Western Asia, and Eastern Europe are reflected in his style. David earned his Master's degree in musicology from Florida State University, with an emphasis in ethnomusicology. His master's thesis dealt with experiences of musical ecstasy, particularly the moments of duende in flamenco performance. David is currently an adjunct professor of music at Palm Beach State College. Visit treespeechmusic.com for more information on David.
Based in Bologna, Italy, Caroline Halleck is a free-lance saxophonist and teacher from the United States. Caroline has performed concerts throughout the United States, Italy, France, Croatia, Cyprus and San Marino. In the past few years she has appeared in festivals such as Spoleto Festival dei Due Mondi, Spinacorona Festival, Lago Maggiore Musica, Festival Novecento and Paesaggi Musicali Toscani as well as with associations such as the Amici della Musica, Associazione Musicale Etnea, and Fondazione Gioventù Musicale d’Italia.
Caroline holds first prizes in numerous competitions as a soloist including the University of Georgia’s Concerto Competition, and in chamber music including Italy’s Premio delle Arti, Chamber Music Division.
Caroline holds degrees from the University of Georgia, Conservatorio di Musica “F.A. Bonporti” di Trento, and the Fondazione Accademia Internazionale di Imola “Incontri col Maestro”. Her primary teachers include Marco Albonetti, Connie Frigo, and Marco Zuccarini.
Greg Hankins is a collaborative pianist at the University of Georgia where he is on staff for the UGA Opera Theatre. His recital partners have included members of the New York Philharmonic, Philadelphia Orchestra, The Canadian Brass, Metropolitan Opera, Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony, Cleveland Symphony, Boston Symphony, Sao Paulo Symphony, St. Louis Symphony, Atlanta Symphony, Pittsburgh Symphony, Sydney Symphony, and solo artists and faculty of universities and conservatories around the world.
As an active jazz pianist, Greg also writes and arranges for several ensembles. Since 2012, he has served on the faculty of the New York State Summer School for the Arts School of Choral and Vocal Studies.
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.
Maharajah Flamenco Trio is a unique Flamenco Nuevo group, who fuses the art of flamenco with jazz, classical, and world music. Through their dynamic and engaging performances, the Trio’s aim is to encourage audiences to build awareness and empathy for the many forms of music, cultures, and people.
The international Trio, composed of GRAMMY award-winning guitarist and founder Silviu Ciulei, soulful bassist David Cobb, and percussionist and digeridoo virtuoso Ramin Yazdanpanah, have creatively been blending their worldly performance style to Ciulei’s compositions, since 2011.
In 2013, they released their first studio album “Encuentro” that transports the listener on a musical journey around the world, and even introduces an innovative flamenco version of Bach's Prelude from the 2nd Lute Suite.
In 2022, their second album “Felices Días (Happy Days)” won a Bronze Medal at the prestigious Global Music® Award for Nuevo Flamenco. The album was produced by GRAMMY winning producer José Valentino who also plays multiple instruments on the record.
Over the years, the Trio have performed at various theatres, universities, museums and festivals across North America. They also repeatedly participate as guest speakers and provide musical workshops to groups of all ages, in order to support the spread of the Flamenco musical language across the country.
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.
Brazilian pianist Ronaldo Rolim is acclaimed for his “special ability to present touching interpretations” (El Norte), “consummate elegance” (New York Concert Review) and “mastery of phrasing, agogic accents, and dynamics” (Oberbaselbieter Zeitung).
A winner of the 2017 Astral Artists National Auditions, he has performed extensively over four continents as a guest soloist, recitalist and chamber musician. Ronaldo has captured top prizes at numerous international competitions, including Géza Anda, James Mottram, Bösendorfer, San Marino, Lyon, and Teresa Carreño, and performed with groups such as the Tonhalle Orchester Zürich, Concerto Budapest, St. Petersburg State Capella Orchestra, Louisiana Philharmonic, Phoenix Symphony, and the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, as well as many of Brazil’s foremost ensembles.
A passionate advocate of chamber music, he is the founding member of Trio Appassionata, and greatly enjoys working with diverse chamber musicians, having performed with the Jasper, Aizuri and São Paulo quartets, and members of Ensemble Connect, the Baltimore Symphony, the Brazilian Symphony, and Bronx Arts Ensemble.
In 2019, Ronaldo released his latest album on Odradek Records, "Szymanowski - The Wartime Triptychs", devoted to the programmatic works the Polish composer wrote during World War I. The topic was extensively discussed in Mr. Rolim's doctoral thesis, completed in 2016 at Yale University.
Born in 1986, Ronaldo began his musical training at the age of four and was a student of the Magda Tagliaferro School in São Paulo. In 2005, he moved to the United States, where he studied with Flavio Varani, Benjamin Pasternack and Boris Berman.
Claire Marie Solomon is a dynamic chamber, solo, and orchestral musician based in Charleston, SC. She performs regularly with the Charleston Symphony and Sarasota Orchestra. She toured the United States with the Weimar Staatskapelle, and has spent many summers performing in the Aspen Music Festival. She frequently collaborates with preeminent musicians, including as part of the Gossamer Trio with harpist Nancy Allen and flutist Carol Wincenc. Solomon is a graduate of the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University, where she won the 2017 Cello Competition to perform the Saint-Saëns Cello Concerto No. 1. She earned a Bachelor's degree in psychology from Yale University, where she was co-Principal Cello of the Yale Symphony Orchestra, and played with the all-cello rock group Low Strung.
Ms. Solomon's cello mentors have included Eric Kim (Jacobs School), Richard Aaron (Juilliard), Alan Harris (Eastman), Maria Kisoupolos (NY Philharmonic), Eric Bartlett (NY Philharmonic), and Wolfram Koessel (American String Quartet).
Ms. Solomon has taught for over 10 years, beginning with local community service and growing to maintain a full private studio online. While specializing in classical, she is passionate about all genres of music, and has an established online presence with both covers and original music under the handle Clairemarie.cello. She plays a 2011 William Whedbee cello and an 1840s Knopf-Bausch bow.
Canadian violinist Jessica Tong has garnered international acclaim as a soloist, recitalist and chamber musician, having been described as an "outstanding talent" (Performing Arts in Canada) with "keen sensitivity and receptivity" (Bloomington Herald Times), who "allow[s] us to savour her sense of ardour and intensity, but never at the detriment of her tonal beauty." (ClassiqueInfo France) A recipient of a Canada Council Grant for Musicians and a DAAD scholar, she has been a top prizewinner at the Eckhardt-Gramatte, Toronto Symphony, Canadian Music, and Yellow Springs International Competitions, as well as the recipient of the David Ouchterlony Award for Outstanding Artist.
A devoted chamber musician, Ms. Tong's performances have taken her to Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center, Merkin Hall, les Invalides in Paris and the Gewandhaus in Leipzig, and led to collaborations with artists such as Leon Fleisher, Pamela Frank, Cho-Liang Lin and members of the Cleveland, Vogler, Brentano and Borromeo Quartets. She has served as the first violinist of the Vinca and Larchmere String Quartets, holding the post of Artist-in-Residence at the University of Evansville and concertmaster of the Evansville Philharmonic Orchestra in Indiana. She is currently Artistic Director of the chamber music residency organization Music Beyond the Chamber, Chamber Music Director for the Composers Conference at Brandeis University in Massachusetts, and Assistant Professor of Violin at the State University of New York at Fredonia.
A pupil of Pamela Frank, Jessica has also studied with Kathleen Winkler, Donald Weilerstein, and Zhang yun Zhang, and has been mentored as a chamber musician by members of the Alban Berg, Vogler, Artemis and Brentano and Cleveland Quartets.
Dan Urbanowicz, 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.
A winner of the 2017 Naumburg International Piano Competition, Chinese pianist Xiaohui Yang was hailed as a “magician of sound and virtuosity” (La Libre Belgique), having been featured in performances throughout four continents, including in venues such as Carnegie Hall, Ozawa Hall, New Jersey Performing Arts Center, Tel Aviv Museum of Art and the Seoul Arts Center.
Ms. Yang has been a soloist with ensembles such as the Louisiana Philharmonic, Milwaukee Symphony, New Jersey Symphony, Curtis Symphony, Baltimore Chamber Orchestra, and Poland’s Capella Bydgostiensis. Solo and collaborative performances include recitals for Portland Piano International, Shriver Hall Concert Series, Union College Concert Series, Dame Myra Hess Memorial Concerts and Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts.
Ms. Yang has been in residence at important music festivals, such as Marlboro, Tanglewood, Ravinia and Taos. She has also been invited to perform on tours with Ravinia’s Steans Music Institute and Curtis on Tour at concert halls in the United States, Korea, and Greece. Ms. Yang is a founding member of the Steans Piano Trio, alongside Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra violinist Eunice Kim and Boston Symphony Orchestra Assistant Principal cellist Oliver Aldort.
She studied at the Curtis Institute of Music with Ignat Solzhenitsyn and at the Juilliard School with Robert McDonald, and currently she is pursuing her Doctor of Musical Arts degree under tutelage of Boris Slutsky at the Peabody Conservatory.
Rounding out the rhythm section of the Maharajah Flamenco Trio, percussionist Ramin Yazdanpanah’s sounds echo the Outback, the Silk Road, the Caribbean, and his native Florida home. Ramin expresses the soulful and passionate rhythms of his Cuban-Iranian heritage on cajón, dumbek, and a variety of percussion from around the globe. His skill on the Australian didjeridoo has redefined the possibilities of Flamenco. He has performed and recorded with numerous artists in numerous musical forms, ranging from classical, jazz, and folk, to funk, Latin, and hip-hop; from the east coast to the west coast and beyond. Ramin received his Ph.D. in International Development and Education from Florida State University where he conducted research on developing intercultural competence through focused cultural exchange. Ramin is the Director of Full Circle Language Learning and Teaching, LLC. Visit fullcirclelanguage.com for more information