Recital Orchestra is:
1st Violin – Benjamin Ash, Gokce Erem; 2nd Violin – Amber Chang, Michael Kropf; Violas – Pedro Vallejos, Isabela Quines; Cellos – Ray Lin, Nick Jozwiak; Double Bass – Tim O’Hara; French Horns – Ilana Faibish, Janelle Francisco; Trumpet – Daryl Yang; Tuba – Andrew Niess; Flute – Caryn Freitag; Clarinet – Samuel Marques; Oboe – Amy Yamashiro; Bassoon – Kevin O’Brien; Harp – Kristine Sung; Piano – Jeremy Rafal; Percussion – Max Yassky, Adam Holmes.
Matthew Entwistle is an award-winning British film and concert composer, accompanist and experienced performer in classical/modern piano based in New York City. He is currently double-majoring in Physics and Music Composition at New York University, with a minor in Astronomy. Since entering NYU, he has composed and directed music for musical theatre, dance, film, concert, arrangements of popular music, and has had his music read and recorded by the NYU Symphony. Matthew has worked on numerous student film projects with NYU Tisch, has been awarded for his scoring in and outside of Tisch, and is a reputable member of the NYU undergraduate film-scoring community. Outside NYU, Matthew has worked with New York City-based political musical comedy troupe Political Subversities and NBC’s Saturday Night Live. In August 2013, Matthew’s composition Return to Venezia won first place in the Robert Avalon International Competition for Composers, university/emerging artist division.
Carlos Arata is a NYU Tisch School of the Arts “Film & Television” senior, and former Syracuse University, College of Visual and Performing Arts “Film” major. Currently going onto his second semester as an Intern with the Condé Nast Entertainment Group, Carlos spent August through December of 2012 successfully researching, creating, and pitching concepts for television programs. In the summer of 2011, Carlos was the Sound Designer and Production Assistant for Kimi Takesue’s short film, That Which Once Was (Winner of the 2011 FUTURESTATES Audience Award; Aired on ITVS, as part of the FUTURESTATES series: Season 2).
Ben Ash is a composer and violinist from Seattle, Washington. He has performed with the Seattle Youth Symphony and NYU’s Symphony Orchestra, collaborated with the Seattle Symphony, and has performed in other types of ensembles, including This Ambitious Orchestra, a rock-and-roll group with strings and brass. Ben has also performed in various experimental settings, including a food-art demonstration by renowned chef Jordan Kahn at the International Chef’s Congress. His compositions have been recorded and performed in New York and Italy, and has had symphonic pieces recorded by the NYU symphony two years in a row. Ben has also scored numerous films for NYU Tisch students and projects outside the school environment.
Born in Istanbul, Alev Gökçe Erem began her studies at the ITU Turkish Music State Conservatory in 1994. The following year, she continued her training under Venyamin Varsavsky at the Istanbul University State Conservatory. Gökçe received her master of music degree from Venyamin Varsavsky’s violin class at the Istanbul University of State Conservatory in June 2011. As a current resident of New York, Gokce continues her studies at NYU-Steinhardt with Prof. Kikuei Ikeda and Prof. Naoko Tanaka with a scholarship in performance program for the Advanced Certificate Diploma. She gives concerts with NYU Symphony Orchestra as the concertmaster(2013-present), One World Symphony (As Principal 2.Violin) , The Chelsea Symphony Orchestra,Kamerata NY and Staten Island Philharmonic Orchestra.
Ilana Faibish, from Long Island, New York, is an undergraduate student at NYU studying French horn performance. She has performed in a variety of orchestra pit and classical productions such as Beauty and the Beast, Bye Bye Birdie, The Wizard of Oz, Kiss Me, Kate, Cinderella, and Into the Woods. Ilana currently studies with the principal horn of The Metropolitan Opera, Joseph Anderer. When not playing horn, she enjoys revisiting her roots as a piano player and spends some time arranging. She aspires to someday reach the orchestra pits of Broadway and beyond.
Janelle Francisco is a sophomore at NYU Steinhardt pursuing a B.M. in French Horn Performance under the instruction of Ann Ellsworth. She previously attended the University of Redlands where she studied with Laura Brenes. She is part of the NYU Symphony Orchestra, Philharmonia, West Fourth Winds, and various other chamber ensembles. Prior to NYU, she played in the Los Angeles area with groups including the Pacific Symphony Youth Orchestra and the Voyageurs International Music Ambassadors. In the future, Janelle hopes to be able to manage the business side of the music industry and be a part of the Hollywood studio scene.
Caryn Freitag grew up in Saratoga Springs as a classically trained flutist. Freitag discovered her passion of contemporary music in her first semester at SUNY Fredonia after joining their Wind Ensemble. At Fredonia, Freitag was a member of Ethos New Music Society, whose goal is to advocate contemporary concert music in Western New York State. After moving to New York City for graduate school at NYU, Freitag continued performing new music. Standout performances include a Piece for Flute and Interactive Computer System by Robert Rowe, and multimedia work, Speak, premiered at the Apollo Theater and written by MTV Movie Award nominated filmmaker and composer, William Caballero.
Frédérique Gnaman is a violinist living and working in New York City. She started violin at the age of 9 and by 11 was accepted into the New England Conservatory Preparatory School where she studied with Matthew Green. She then went on to study violin under Gregory Fulkerson at New York Unversity’s Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development. She graduated in May 2013 with a Bachelor of Music Degree at NYU and currently works as a freelance musician in New York City.
Henry Hernandez is a New York based woodwind musician and copyist. A former Navy musician, Henry has also performed in over 40 musical theater productions in Texas, New England, New York and Beijing.
Michael Kropf is a New York based composer and violinist. His works have been premiered by a number of performers and groups in NYC, including Duo Anova, Hulda Jónsdóttir, and David Bloom. Born in Danbury CT, he currently studies composition with Justin Dello Joio as an undergraduate at NYU.
Ray Lin has studied cello since he was 4 years old, attending preparatory programs at New England Conservatory and The Colburn School. Most notably he has performed the Elgar Cello Concerto with the Serenata Chamber Orchestra and in venus such as Carnegie Hall and Boston Hatch Shell. Ray has also recorded and performed extensively in the Jazz and Choral genres. He currently studies cello with Clive Greensmith of the Tokyo String Quartet.
Samuel Brandão Marques, clarinetist, was born in Portugal in 1992, where he began his studies at the age of five with Nelson Aguiar (Aveiro Music Conservatory), followed by António Saiote (Music and Performing Arts College – Porto). He continued his studies in NYC with Stanley Drucker, Pascual Martínez-Forteza and Dennis Smylie (NYU Steinhardt School), obtaining a Masters degree at the age of twenty. At NYU he is also an Adjunct Instructor. Samuel was awarded in several competitions in Portugal, Spain and the US. He is also Bass Clarinetist in the International Mahler Orchestra (Germany). During the present year, Samuel was selected to the National Repertory Orchestra (Colorado), the Castleton Festival Orchestra, the World Peace Orchestra and the New York Youth Symphony.
As a young musician, clarinetist Ricky McWain sat 2nd chair Bass Clarinet at All-State Band for Bass Clarinet and played 2nd Clarinet in the inaugural Macy’s Great American Marching Band as one of four representatives from the state of Kentucky. At NYU, Ricky has played principal clarinet on Le boeuf sur le toit by Darius Milhaud and other works in NYU’s Philharmonia as well as performed in chamber recitals at The White Box Gallery and Gallery onetwentyeight. He now works for NYU Residential Life as an Resident Assistant, and is finishing a B.A. in Music with a double major in Romance Language at NYU’s Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development. He studies privately with Dr. Esther Lamneck.
Saxophonist Nick Mula hails from Chicago, Illinois, where he received his Bachelor of Music degree from the Chicago College of Performing Arts with a major in clarinet performance. He is currently pursuing his Master of Music degree at New York University, studying clarinet with David Krakauer, bass clarinet with Dennis Smylie, and saxophone with Dr. Timothy Ruedeman. He has played various woodwinds with notable ensembles such as the Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestra, Civic Orchestra of Chicago, Salt Creek Ballet Orchestra of Chicago, Melos Music Contemporary Ensemble, Orchestra of St. Peter’s Church of New York City, and numerous Broadway and Off-Broadway musicals in both Chicago and New York City.
Andrew Niess is a sophomore pursuing a Bachelor of Music in Music Education at NYU Steinhardt. He studies tuba with Marcus Rojas. In September 2013, Andrew was awarded the Robert L. Poster Apprenticeship in conducting with the New York Youth Symphony, where he studies alongside other young conductors under the tutelage of Joshua Gersen. Andrew is a founding member and conductor of the West Fourth Wind Ensemble, whose mission is to bring high quality wind-band music to both NYC public schools and the metropolitan community at large. Andrew is a budding ethnomusicologist with a passion for South-East Asian music education practices and culture.
Tim O’Hara is a senior in the bass performance program at Steinhardt, where he studies with Joseph Bongiorno. He has been playing bass for 12 years, and has performed in such venues as Carnegie Hall and NJPAC. He is also a composer and his music has been played throughout the tri-state area.
Isabela Quines is a New York native who began her journey into the arts at the age of four. She started playing the violin and began doubling on viola when she was fourteen. Isabela competed with the Komar String Quartet in the Fischoff Chamber Music Competition, jr. semi-finals and placed 3rd in the SPSQC in 2012. Currently, Isabela is pursuing her Bachelors in viola performance with teacher Karen Ritscher, while continuing her studies in acting and voice at NYU Steinhardt. Isabela performs regularly with the NYU orchestras, her NYU string quartet and newly formed pop/indie rock band Like Fake Humans.
Born in the Philippines and raised in Hawaii, pianist Jeremy Rafal has performed across the United States, Europe, and Asia. He is now a New York based musician, working as a soloist, collaborative artist, music director, teacher, and composer. Jeremy is a prizewinner in several competitions including the first prize of the Brevard Music Center Piano Competition, the Indiana State MTNA Collegiate Performance Competition, the second prize of the Shostakovich International Piano Competition of St. Petersburg, Russia, among others. He is currently focused on working collaboratively with other artists, from theater to visual art. He holds a master’s degree from University of Cincinnati, and a doctorate from Indiana University.
Kristine Sung is currently a senior pursuing a Bachelors of Music in Harp at NYU Steinhardt. She is an active member at NYU performing in various ensembles including all of NYU’s Orchestras, NYU Musical Theater productions and various other chamber groups. Kristine has also participated in the collaborative Mix Nouveau Project, where she worked side by side with composers creating and performing new solo pieces for the Harp. This past year Kristine and her peers created a new youth group called MetroHarp Young Harpists Alliance, for which she currently holds a leadership role as Communications Secretary. This group strives to help young harpists become confident in all aspects of performance and create a community of support. In June 2013, Kristine also had the opportunity in to participate in the Inaugural birth of the International Harp Academy of the Pacific located in Powell River, British Columbia.
A native of Rosario, Argentina, Pedro Vallejos works both as a music educator and active freelancer. As part of the Brandy String Trio he has performed all over New York, premiering and reviving many works for the oft-neglected configuration. He has performed recitals in Argentina, China, and the United States. Over the past two years he has worked hand-in-hand with the Association of Classical Dominican Artists to enrich the Washington Heights community by providing affordable education and concerts.
Stela Xhiku is a multimedia journalist. Her art & culture website, The Fly By Night, is a toast to good taste and playfulness.
Amy Yamashiro is a multi-instrumentalist and educator currently residing in New York City, and teaches high school music at Harvest Collegiate High School in Manhattan. Over the years, Amy has performed with various orchestras throughout the city, including the Broadway Bach Ensemble and the New Amsterdam Summer Orchestra, and is now the principal oboe for the 2013 – 2014 season with the Centre Symphony Orchestra. She has also played with the William D. Caballero orchestra in his production of “SPEAK! So the World Will Listen: Uganda,” a documentary that was screened with a live orchestra. Amy holds a B.M. in Music Education from New York University where she studied with oboist Matt Sullivan. Her past instructors include Dr. Stephen Caplan, Dr. Jacqueline Leclair, and Susan Ochi-Onishi.
Max Yassky‘s compositions and performances have spanned a wide variety during his young professional career. His performance accomplishments include holding the position of Principle Timpanist for the Western Region Symphonic Orchestra for two years, working as a session drummer for the recording of the Off-Broadway musical, “Honestly Abe,” and a performance in Italy to benefit victims of the Rome earthquake in ’08 with the Jim Royle Percussion Ensemble. Two years ago, he formed an ensemble comprised of virtuosic NYU performers called The Bunch, which has played at local venues around New York, and they are set to release their first full length album in Spring ’14.