Masterclass Al-Andalus

David Russell, Director

Masterclass Al-Andalus


Canadian violinist Natasha Hall has performed as soloist, chamber and orchestral musician in North America, Europe and Asia. She has appeared as soloist with the Oxford Sinfonia, City Chamber Ensemble (London UK), Calgary Civic Symphony, Symphony of the Kootenays, Carnegie Mellon University Baroque Ensemble and Selkirk Youth Orchestra. Currently based in London England, Natasha performs regularly as orchestral musician with the English Chamber and Royal Philharmonic Orchestras. She has also performed with the Royal Northern Sinfonia, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, Aurora and Bournemouth Symphony Orchestras. Natasha has received numerous awards for her violin performances and is a winner of the Calgary Concerto and Morningside Music Bridge Chamber Music Competitions. She has collaborated in performance with artists such as Rohan de Silva and Andres Cardenes and has appeared on CBC TV, “The Nature of Things”, with David Suzuki. Her interest in humanitarian work has led her to raise over $25,000 through solo benefit performances for charities in Canada, the United States, Georgia and Russia. Natasha grew up in the small mountain town of Nelson British Columbia. Initially having to take a plane to her violin lessons, she went on to study with William van der Sloot (Mount Royal University, Calgary AB), Andres Cardenes (Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh PA), Patinka Kopec (Manhattan School of Music, New York NY), Pinchas Zukerman (Ottawa ON), Rodney Friend (London UK) and So­ Ock Kim (London UK). Natasha gratefully acknowledges Jumpstart Jr. Foundation of the Netherlands for the generous loan of the 1680 Ruggieri violin she currently plays. In her spare time, Natasha enjoys spending time in nature,­ particularly skiing, hiking and paddle boarding, practicing yoga and meditation and studying psychology. Always passionate about learning, she is especially fascinated by the connections between nature, music, movement and mindfulness.  

Masterclass Al-Andalus Repertoire: 
Brahms: Concerto 1st mvt
Bach: Sonata No. 2 Andante and Allegro
Granados arr. Kreisler: Spanish Dance
de Falla arr. Kochanski: Suite Populaire Espagnole 
Kreisler: Farewell to Cucullain (Londonderry Air)
Massenet: Meditation from Thais
Chausson: Poeme
Mozart: Rondo in C Major
Beethoven: Sonata No. 8 in G Major
Alicia Venables, 24, was born in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. A winner of the Carnegie Mellon University Concerto Competition, she was also a first prize recipient at the Canadian National Music Festival and was featured with both the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra and the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra. Previously, Alicia has attended Music Academy of the West, the New York String Orchestra Seminar, and the National Arts Centre Program in Ottawa. Passionate about chamber music, she had the opportunity to perform Schumann’s Piano Quintet with Jeremy Denk at Music Academy of the West.  In 2017/18, she was a member of the CMU Honors String Quartet, where they traveled to Doha, Qatar as cultural ambassadors. She completed her Master of Music Degree at CMU in 2018 with Andres Cardenes and her Bachelor's Degree at San Francisco Conservatory of Music with Ian Swensen.

Masterclass Al-Andalus Repertoire:
Sibelius Violin Concerto
Bach sonata no.2 in a minor
Kreisler: Londonderry Air
Ysaye: Chant d'hiver
Beethoven Sonata no. 10 in G Major/Ravel Sonata
Sarasate Jota Navarra

Christin Danchi is a violinist with a passion for exploring connections between music and other disciplines. Her performance interests include solo, chamber and orchestral collaborations. She has performed at a variety of locations including the North Carolina House of Representatives, The Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., St. Patricks National Cathedral in Dublin, Ireland. Christin also enjoys southern and Irish fiddle music, as well as sacred collaborations in her church.

Growing up in Raleigh, North Carolina, Christin started playing violin at age four. She received her Bachelor's Degree in music with highest distinction at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and was Concertmaster of the UNC Symphony Orchestra for two years. She received a Master's Degree from Carnegie Mellon University in 2015 and completed post-graduated studies with Andres Cardenes in 2016.

Christin is an active freelance performer, and currently works as Philanthropy Assistant for the North Carolina Symphony.  When not busy with music, she can usually be found taking care of her rose bushes, watching college basketball, or playing with her 5-year-old puppy Riley.

Masterclass Al-Andalus Repertoire:

  • Poldini/Kreisler: Dancing Doll 
  • Granados/Kreisler: Andaluza (Spanish Dance #5)
  • Rodolfo Halffter: Capricho, Op. 40
  • Bach A minor Sonata: Andante and Allegro
  • Korngold Violin Concerto 1st movement

Violinist and Conductor Alyssa Wang has traveled the world for Music.She has played in venues internationally in Qatar, Great Britain, Spain, Germany, Austria, Canada, and Norway. In 2016 she earned her Bachelor of Music Degree from Carnegie Mellon University, under the tutelage of Andres Cardenes. She was the winner of the Carnegie Mellon Concerto Competition, the Carnegie Mellon Women's Award,and the Senior Leadership Award.  She won first Prize at the Silberman Chamber Music Competition, and was the recipient of the 2015 Presser Undergraduate Scholar Award, Harry G. Archer Award,, and Paul J. Baum Fund Award. During her Senior year in college, she helped to run the Heritage Scholarship Campaign, which raised over $180,000 to start a substantial undergraduate merit scholarship for future School of Music students at Carnegie Mellon University. Currently, Alyssa is pursuing two Master's Degrees in violin and conducting from the New England Conservatory, where she has won fellowships with Grammy nominated Ensemble A Far Cry, and the Boston Chamber Music Society.  In the summer of 2016 she began her conducting studies at the Pierre Monteux School.  In November of 2017, she made her Jordan Hall conducting debut in the Gunther Schuller Memorial Concert.  This summer she will study conducting with Gerard Schwartz at the Eastern Music Festival and act as assistant conductor at the Colorado College Summer Music Festival.

Masterclass Al-Andalus Repertoire: 

Sarasate: Caprice Basque

Granados: Violin Sonata.

Prokofiev: Concerto No. 1

Bach: B minor Partita 

Kreisler: Schon Rosmarin

Eighteen-year-old violinist Evan Johanson made his orchestral debut with the Seattle Symphony after winning the Seattle Symphony Young Artist Award in 2015. Evan was the recipient of the 2016 Music of Remembrance/David Tonkonogui Memorial Award, first place winner of the 2016 Simon-Fiset SMTA, and the winner of the Seattle Young Artist Concerto Competition.  Other concerto appearances include the Seattle Youth Symphony, and Seattle Festival Orchestra. He is a member of the American Youth Symphony in Los Angeles, and has performed as a substitute violinist with the Seattle Symphony.  He has spent his summers touring Latin America, Europe, and China with the National Youth Orchestra of the United States of America, serving as Concertmaster in 2016-2017. Evan was selected to participate in the the New York String Orchestra Seminar under the direction of Jaime Laredo. He is an avid chamber musician, and recently performed the Mendelssohn Octet in a performance with celebrated violinist Janine Jansen.  He has attended the Meadowmount School of Music, and is currently in undergraduate study at the Colburn School in Los Angeles,California, studying with Robert Lipsett.

Masterclass Al-Andalus Repertoire:
Falla-Suite Populaire Espagnole
Barber: Violin Concerto
Bach: Partita No. 2 in D Minor 

Juliette Greer, 19, grew up in State College, Pennsylvania in a musical family and began playing the violin when she was four.  Her teachers were Russian violinist Max Zorin (at Penn State University) and Daniel Han from the Philadelphia Orchestra. She currently attends the New England Conservatory in Boston, where she studies with Soovin Kim and Ayano Ninomiya.  Her passion for chamber music was ignited when she was 14 at the Castleman’s String Quartet Program in New York. Since then, she has devoted all her summers to chamber music. In summer 2017, Juliette attended Kneisel Hall, a highly regarded 100-year-old Chamber Music Festival in Maine, where 48 musicians, collaborate and perform.  This past January, Juliette and her piano trio appeared on the inaugural “Emerging Artists” concert of the Chamber Music Society of Fort Worth in Texas. Last season, Juliette was selected in a national competition to perform with the New York String Orchestra Seminar, NYSOS, led by Jaime Laredo in two concerts at Carnegie Hall in December 2016.  She has also participated in festivals such as the Rencontres Internationales Musicales de Graves in the south of France for 3 years, 2ndo Festival Internacional de Musica in Cordoba, Argentina, and the Miami Music Festival among others.  

Juliette has a string quartet at NEC that is also committed to community outreach projects in the Boston area, including schools, homeless shelters, and hospitals.

Immediately following Masterclass Al-Andalus, she will travel to Argentina, invited by the country’s Pro Arte Fundaciòn, to present violin-piano recitals in Cordoba and surrounding cities with pianist Cecilia Dunoyer.  Juliette is a dual citizen of France and the U.S. In her free time, Juliette is an avid tennis player and enthusiastic traveler.

Masterclass Al-Andalus Repertoire:
Mozart 4th concerto

Prokofiev 1st concerto 3rd movement

Bach D minor Partita

Ysaye Ballade

Ravel Habañera

Tarrega/Ricci “Recuerdos de la Alhambra”

Debussy: "The Girl with Flaxen hair"

Kyoko Inagawa, age twenty, is a junior violin performance major at Carnegie Mellon University . A native of Palo Alto, California she has been playing the violin since the age of five, and currently studies under Andrés Cárdenes. She attended the San Francisco Conservatory of Music at the age of seven as a pre-college student, and became a member of the San Francisco Symphony Youth Orchestra in 2011, touring with them for two summers. Kyoko made her Carnegie Hall debut in 2012, winning second place in the American Fine Arts Festival. She has attended several music festivals including Music@Menlo, Aspen Music Festival and Prague Summer Nights. Kyoko has spent many summers in Europe and hopes to pursue her career there.
Masterclass Al-Andalus Repertoire:
-Stravinsky: Suite Italienne
-Ysaye: Chant d’Hiver
-Franck: Sonata
-Tchaikovsky: Violin Concerto
Sarasate: Zigeunerweisen

Born in Asheville North Carolina, Taya Ricker began her violin studies at the age of four. While growing up in Asheville, she performed with the Hendersonville Symphony Orchestra and the Asheville Symphony Youth Orchestra as winner of their annual concerto competitions. As an orchestral musician Ms. Ricker has been a member of the Winston-Salem Symphony Orchestra and also served as Associate Concertmaster in the Western Piedmont Symphony. She has also performed in the violin sections of the Hendersonville, Asheville, and Richmond (Virginia) Symphony Orchestras. In 2010, Taya, along with Pianist John Salmon, began a concert series in Greensboro North Carolina in collaboration with the MacKay Foundation for Cancer Research with all proceeds going to Wake Forest University School of Medicine section on Hematology and Oncology. The MacKay Foundation concerts continue to bring together notable jazz and classical musicians who have donated their time, energy, and talent. Taya Ricker is a high school graduate of the University of North Carolina School of the Arts. She holds her Bachelor of Music and a Master of Music in Violin Performance from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro under the instruction of Dr. Fabian Lopez. She also holds a Post Baccalaureate Certificate in Jazz Studies from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro under the instruction of Professor Chad Eby. Taya currently resides in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania where she is pursuing an Advanced Music Studies Certificate at Carnegie Mellon University under the instruction of Andrés Cárdenes.

Masterclass Al-Andalus Repertoire:
Brahms: Violin Concerto
Ysaye: Sonata #3 Ballade
Tchaikovsky: Serenade Melancolique
Granados Spanish Dance #5 "Andaluza"

Violinist Agata Miklavc was born in Ljubljana, Slovenia in 1992.  She began studying violin at the age of 3 at "Music Studio Tartini".  At age 5 she first performed as soloist in the Great Hall of Cankarjev Dom in Ljubljana. She graduated from a classical high school with a special focus on foreign languages (English, German, French). In 2011 she was accepted into the Academy of Music in Ljubljana, and studied for two years in the studio of Vsevolod Balzalorsky.  After two years, she moved to Sarajevo in order to study with Professor Violeta Smailovic-Huart at the Academy of Music in Sarajevo.  She graduated from both Academies in 2015.  In 2017, she earned a Performance Diploma from the Meadows School of the Arts of Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas, in the studio of Professor Emanuel Borok.

She performs regularly as a soloist, chamber and orchestral musician in Slovenia, Croatia, Austria, Italy, France, the United States, and Cuba.  For the last six years she has participated in the "Music on the String" festival in Sarajevo. There, she has served as Guest Artist, Teaching Assistant, and Team Coordinator.  She has also participated in several national and international competitions:  In 2002, she won the "Borsa di Studio" award at the "Concorso Internacionale Giovani Violinisti", and has won the Gold Medal at the Temsig Competition on several occasions.

She is currently studying in the Master of Music program in the studio of Professor Emanuel Borok at the Meadows School of the Arts in Dallas, Texas. She performs as a member of a new music ensemble called SYZYGY, and also gives solo and chamber music recitals. She recently performed three world premieres, and performed the Mendelssohn Double Concerto with pianist Victor Diaz Hurtado.  She has collaborated with outstanding musicians such as Aaron Boyd, Andres Diaz, Violeta Smailicic-Huart, and the Escher Quartet.

Masterclass Al-Andalus Repertoire:
Bach Partita # 3 in E Major
Mozart Concerto #5 in A Major
Debussy La Valse  plus que lente
Falla/Kreisler Spanish Danse
Sarasate: Romanza Andaluza
Ysaye: Poem Elegiaque

Violinist Erin David completed her Bachelor’s degree at Lynn University in Boca Raton, Florida, under the tutelage of Elmar Oliveira, and spent one year performing with The Orchestra Now at Bard College. She has performed concerti with the Alhambra Orchestra, the Miami String Project, New World School of the Arts Symphony Orchestra and New York University Philharmonia and has served as concertmaster for the Alhambra Orchestra, New World School of the Arts Symphony Orchestra, Lynn Philharmonia, The Orchestra Now, CMU Philharmonic, and the Florida All-State Symphony. In 2015 her quartet won the Lyric Chamber Competition and performed in the Mainly Mozart Festival. In 2018 she was selected to perform Barber Violin Concerto as soloist with the CMU Philharmonic. Erin is a student of Andrés Cárdenes in the Advanced Music Studies Certificate Program.

Masterclass Al-Andalus Repertoire:

Barber Violin Concerto
Ysaye Solo Sonata No. 2
Lutoslawski Subito
La Gitana
Leonardo Balada’s Caprichio
Fauré Violin Sonata in A Major.

14-year old violinist Cedar Rose Newman is from Wollongong, Australia. Currently a student in the Pre-College Division of the Manhattan School of Music, she studies with noted violinist, composer and conductor Albert Markhov.  Cedar has performed as soloist with orchestra, in chamber music and orchestral concerts in Australia, the United States and Europe. She has recently premiered a contemporary work by composer Ann Carr-Boyd. She has attended several summer festivals including Riverina Summer School for Strings (Australia), and Language and Music for Life programs across Europe.  Also a gifted pianist, Cedar studies Piano with Gian-Franco Ricci, and hopes to attain her Associate Diploma this year. In addition to her instrumental studies, Cedar has studied composition, conducting, has sung in choirs, and now enjoys teaching a few students of her own. Her other interests include photography, law, dog walking, yoga and cooking.

Masterclass Al-Andalus Repertoire:

Vieuxtemps: Concerto #5

Bach: Partita #2 in D minor

Falla/Kreisler: Danse Espanole

Prokoffiev: Sonata # 2 in D Major

Massenet: Meditation from Thais

Kreisler: March Miniature Viennoise