MARTIN CHALIFOUR began his tenure as Principal Concertmaster of the LA Philharmonic in 1995. The recipient of various grants and awards in his native Canada, he graduated with honors from the Montreal Conservatory at the age of 18 and then moved to Philadelphia to pursue studies at the Curtis Institute of Music. In 1986 Chalifour received a Certificate of Honor at the Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow; he was a laureate of the Montreal International Competition the following year. Since then he has concertized extensively, playing hundreds of concerto performances from a repertoire of more than 50 works. He has appeared as soloist with conductors such as Pierre Boulez, Charles Dutoit, Christoph Eschenbach, Sir Neville Marriner, and Esa-Pekka Salonen. Outside the U.S., he has appeared as a guest soloist with the Auckland Philharmonia, the Montreal Symphony, the Hong Kong Philharmonic, the National Orchestra of Taiwan, and the Malaysian Philharmonic, among others. Martin is a professor at the USC’s Thornton School of Music. He records for the Yarlung label; his latest album was released in September 2011, and features solo music composed by Esa-Pekka Salonen and Steven Stucky as well as Mozart and Lutoslawski concertos with the LA Philharmonic recorded live at Walt Disney Concert Hall.
Cellist BEN HONG joined the LA Philharmonic in 1993, at age 24. Born in Taipei, Taiwan, Hong won his native country’s National Cello Competition three years in a row before leaving home, at age 13, for the Juilliard School. Later he studied with Lynn Harrell at the USC School of Music before joining the LA Phil. In addition to serving as Assistant Principal Cello with the LA Phil, he also performs frequently as soloist and as a member of chamber music ensembles. Ben has collaborated with such artists as Emanuel Ax, Yefim Bronfman, Lynn Harrell, Janine Jansen, Lang Lang, Bobby McFerrin, Christopher O’Riley, Sir Simon Rattle, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Lars Vogt, and Long Yu. In June of 2000, he gave the U.S. premiere of Mark-Anthony Turnage’s cello concerto Kai, with Rattle conducting the LA Phil at the Ojai Music Festival. Other recent appearances include the LA Phil premieres of Sofia Gubaidulina’s In Croce on the Green Umbrella series at Walt Disney Concert Hall and Tan Dun’s Crouching Tiger Concerto, conducted by Long Yu at the Hollywood Bowl. Also, Hong was hired by DreamWorks to train several members of the cast of the 2009 movie, The Soloist, including Jamie Foxx and Tom Hollander. In addition, he served as an on-set technical advisor for the film and was the featured soloist on the soundtrack, which was released on the Deutsche Grammophon label.
Victor de Almeida
A double prize winner at the 2008 Primrose International Viola Competition, Victor has been Principal Violist of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra under Maestro Paavo Järvi (including two European Tours and for the Beijing Olympics celebrations) and Associate Principal Violist of the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra. While studying at the Peabody Institute of Music of the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Victor served as Principal Violist of the Annapolis Symphony and substitute regularly with the Baltimore Symphony. Victor was recently Guest Principal Violist of the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, Principal Violist for the Castleton Opera Festival in Berkley under the baton of Lorin Maazel, and Guest Principal of the New West Symphony. He has taught Master Classes at the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music and is currently on the faculties of Mount Saint Mary’s College in LA and the Beverly Hills School of Music. Mr. Almeida was born into a Brazilian-American musical family in Adelaide, Australia where his parents were the Principal and Assistant Principal cellists of the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra; like most leading virtuosos, Victor began early, playing violin and piano at the age of three.
Dynamic violinist JIN-SHAN DAI has performed extensively throughout North America, Europe, and Asia. He was a member of the Toronto Symphony from 2004 to 2010, and made his debut as a soloist with the Toronto Symphony in 2008 playing Vivaldi’s Four Seasons. Dai is the recipient of numerous prizes and accolades, among them top prizes in the 2000 Emerson International Chamber Music Competition and the 2000 Van Rooy National Violin Competition. Dai performs frequently as a chamber musician, and has collaborated with such artists as Mstislav Rostropovich, Lowell Liebermann, and members of the Emerson Quartet. His chamber music performances have brought him to the Taos Chamber Music Festival in New Mexico and the Pacific Music Festival in Sapporo, Japan, as well as the Music Academy of the West in Santa Barbara, California. Dai was also a member of the Bach Consort ensemble, a charity organization that performs exclusively works by J.S. Bach to raise money for charities that provide scholarships for students and money for hospitals. Dai has held leading positions in festival orchestras such as the Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival in Germany, the Jerusalem International Music Festival in Israel, and the Spoleto Festival in Charleston, South Carolina. He was also a member of the New Haven Symphony and the Hartford Symphony in Connecticut. In 2006 and 2009, Dai was invited to play in the Worldwide Chinese Orchestra for their New Year’s concert in Shanghai, which was broadcast on radio and television for an audience of more than 100 million listeners.
YANA REZNIK, Pianist WWW.YANAREZNIK.COM
Russian-born classical pianist Yana Reznik has stunned the audiences across the globe with her passionate, captivating performances. Not only a pianist but an ambassador and entrepreneur, she believes in presenting classical music to broader audiences by creating inspiring programming and breaking the boundaries between the performer and the listener. Michael Walsh of Time Magazine wrote of her that “having heard every great pianist active since 1971, including Horowitz, Rubinstein, and Serkin, I can confidently say that Yana is determined to follow in their footsteps; indeed, think of her as a young Martha Argerich and you will have some idea of the experience that lies in store for you.” In 2011 Yana was named an honorary “Artist of the Year” by Roland Corporation, US. In October 2010, Yana was invited to be a soloist and actress with the LA Philharmonic for their special Toyota Symphony Concerts and Phil the House Concerts at Disney Concert Hall. A winner of the Artists International Competition, she gave a sold-out Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall Debut in New York in 2004. As the only classically endorsed pianist for Roland Corporation US, Yana has presented the World Premier concert of V-Piano Grand at LA’s Zipper Hall and Lincoln Center in March 2011. As an inspirational thinker, Yana was invited to speak at TEDx Skid Row in 2012. In addition to performances with orchestras, Yana has performed solo recitals at Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall, Santiago’s Gabriela Mistral and the Grand Hall of the Moscow Conservatory, Thayer and Steinway Halls in Los Angeles, and has as well been presented by the Jacaranda, LA Bach Festival, the Maestro Foundation, Laguna Beach Live, Sundays Live at Four (KUSC), the Sunset Series in Los Gatos, Classical Underground, the Colburn Chamber Music Series, the Huntington Arts Festival in New York, Classical Music Encounters of Orange County and the Western Society of Chamber Music to name a few. In 2008, as a Founder and Artistic Director of the Southern California Brahms Festival, Ms. Reznik performed the complete piano chamber works of Johannes Brahms. Born in Moscow, she holds a bachelor of music degree from the Manhattan School of Music, a Master of Music degree from the University of Southern California, and a professional studies certificate from the Colburn Conservatory of Music, where she was under the tutelage of Phillip Kawin and John Perry. She has also studied at the Rachmaninoff School of Music in Moscow, Russia with Raisa Bekerman and at the Interlochen Arts Academy with Stephen Perry. Some of the many festivals she has participated in include the Aspen Festival, where she studied with Yoheved Kaplinsky, the Tanglewood Festival where she worked with the Mark Morris Dance Company and others, the Yale summer music festival at Norfolk (Connecticut), the Cleveland summer music festival at Kent Blossom (Ohio), the Sarasota Festival (Florida), Piano Summers at New Paltz (New York) and the International Academy of Music in Russia to name a few. In 2000 Ms. Reznik became an assistant conductor to Maestro Glen Cortese and served as pianist, harpsichordist, and organist for the East-West International Symphony Orchestra and Academy in Altenburg, Germany. She also conducted the Academy Orchestra from the harpsichord in a performance of Bach's complete Brandenburg Concertos. Since becoming a church music director at the age of 19, Yana has organized and conducted numerous choirs and has been the director of music programming at many houses of worship in New York and Los Angeles. As a humanitarian, Yana Reznik created the 'Artistic Voyage' concert series, a visionary gathering of musicians and artists to benefit worthwhile charity organizations around the world. As the series Founder, Director and pianist, she has been joined by members of the LA Philharmonic and Los Angeles Chamber Orchestras, the New York based Biava String Quartet and musicians and faculty from the Colburn Conservatory of Music. Each concert has also included exhibitions by leading painters and photographers, providing grateful audience members with an unforgettable experience. One of Yana’s most celebrated achievements has been her work as Artistic Director, pianist and host for the 'Live at the Lounge' – a weekly concert series that featured over 130 world class performers over the last year, who collaborated with Ms. Reznik. Currently she is on tour in the United States and South America with the V-Piano Grand as a Roland Artist.