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JVNY Musicians

Blanca Cecilia Gonzalez, violin
Co-Concertmaster

Violinist Blanca Cecilia Gonzalez is originally from Bogota, Colombia. In addition to serving as a co-concertmaster of JVNY, Ms. Gonzalez is the concertmaster of the Reona Ito Chamber Orchestra, and has served as the concertmaster of the Queens College Symphony Orchestra.  Together with pianist and composer Jesse Elder, she created the collaborative project 1in2. They released their debut album Creature Ventures in March 2012, after which the ensemble made their first concert tour in Chicago and Michigan.  The group performs regularly in the New York City area. 

Ms. Gonzalez has won several competitions, including the 2009 Queens College Concerto Competition, the 2008 LIC International Music Competition (NY) (2nd prize), the 2006-2007 La Guardia Concerto Competition, and the 2007 Ambler Symphony Concerto Competition (PA) where she was a recipient of the Elmer & Louise Menges scholarship award.  As a winner of these competitions, she has performed as a soloist with the Queens College Orchestra (Paganini Concerto), the Philadelphia Orchestra Society (PA), the Ambler Symphony, and the La Guardia Highschool for the Performing Arts Orchestra. She has attended Music@Menlo (CA), the Killington Music Festival (VT) and the Green Mountain Chamber Music Festival (VT). She has participated in masterclasses with Donald Weilerstein, David Finckel, Wu Han and Charles Castleman among others, and has performed in many prestigious venues in New York, including Carnegie Hall, Avery Fisher Hall and the Blue Note. 

In May 2014, Ms. Gonzalez received her MM degree from the Juilliard school.  There she was a student of Lewis Kaplan while simultaneously continuing her studies with Arik Braude, which home she has studied since 2002.  She holds a bachelor degree in violin performance from the Aaron Copland School of Music at Queens College (NY) where she was a student of Arik Braude.  Ms. Gonzalez has been a member of JVNY since 2007.

Allyson Tomsky, violin
Co-Concertmaster

Allyson Tomsky, is an active freelance musician and chamber music artist in NYC.  She has been playing the violin since the age of four, and studied with Arik Braude since the age of 9.  Allyson has played in the Orchestra of St. Lukes, the Strathmere Orchestra and the Scandia Orchestra.  In the fall 2010, Allyson appeared as a soloist with the Mainz Kammerorchester in a series of concerts in Germany, for which she received some stunning reviews.  She has served as concertmaster of the Mannes Philharmonic and the New York Youth Symphony, among others.  In 2007, she appeared on national television as part of the PBS series "From the Top at Carnegie Hall," collaborating with pianist Christopher O'Riley. Allyson has also soloed with the Mannes Philharmonic and Ambler Symphony Orchestra as the winner of their concerto competitions. Since 2007, Allyson has performed frequently throughout the French Alps as a co-concertmaster of the "Jeunes Virtuoses de New York".  In 2009, Ms. Tomsky performed as a soloist with the Fetes Musicales de Savoie Orchestra, playing "Introduction and Rondo Capriccioso" by Saint-Saens.  She has participated in music festivals such as Music@Menlo, the Killington Music Festival, Green Mountain Chamber Music Festival, Interharmony International Music Festival and Bowdoin International Music Festival.  Her chamber music coaches haved included David Finckel, Wu Han, Laurence Dutton, David Ying, and Lewis Kaplan among others.  She has been a first violinist of the Juilliard Orchestra and has performed in Avery Fisher Hall and Carnegie Hall under the direction of James DePreist, Nicholas McGegan, Alan Gilbert and Michael Tilson Thomas.  She has attended the Juilliard School where she was a student of Lewis Kaplan.  Allyson has been a member of JVNY since 2007.

"Allyson Tomsky, the 20 years old New Yorker played looking not at the music but rather into the depth of her soul.  Her performance was very mature, filled with strong articulation and exquisite shifing; her dramatic and wistful expressiveness was irresistible."
Mainzer Allgemeine Zeitung, December 1, 2010

Justyna Jara, violin
Guest Concertmaster

Justyna Jara, Co-Concertmaster

Justyna Jara began her violin studies at age 7 in her hometown in Poland. Prizes include twice laureate of the Aleksandra Januszajtis National Violinists Contest in Gdansk (1999 – 3rd prize, 2001 – 2nd prize), the 4th award in G.P. Telemann Violinists Contest in Poznan (2004), 2nd (2002) and 1st (2005) prizes in H. Wieniawski – S. Serwaczynski Young Violinists Contest in Lublin, and 4th (2003) and 2nd (2006) prizes in the Karol Lipinski and Henryk Wieniawski International Competition for Young Violinists in Lublin. She has performed as a soloist and chamber musician in many European countries, including Spain, the Netherlands, Germany, France, Austria, Scotland, Sweden, Denmark, Ukraine and Switzerland, as well as in Poland in such venues as the National Philharmonic in Warsaw, Zielona Gora Philharmonic, Lower Silesia Philharmonic, Lublin Philharmonic, Royal Castle in Warsaw, The Fryderyk Chopin Academy of Music, the Castle Balroom and little Romantic Castle in Lancut, Atma (Karol Szymanowski Museum in Zakopane), the Witkacy Theater and the Wladyslaw Hasior Gallery in Zakopane. She has attended festivals such as the Zenon Brzewski International Music Courses in Lancut, (Poland), Summer Academy in Salzburg (Austria), Bowdoin Music Festival in Maine (USA) and Fontainebleau Summer Music Program (France).  Currently Justyna Jara studies at the Juilliard School as a student of Lewis Kaplan.  She joined JVNY as a co-concertmaster in summer 2011.

Nicolas Apter-Vidler, violin

Nicolas Apter-Vidler is presently a sophomore at Princeton University, where he is studying music and liberal arts.  He studied at the Mannes College of Music Preparatory Division as a student of Arik Braude since 2003 to 2010, and was admitted into the Prep’s Honors program in 2007.  In the spring 2011, Nicolas' piano trio won the AMTL Young Artist Competition, and as a result performed in Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie hall.  During Nicolas' senior year at Mannes Prep, he served as the concertmaster of the Philharmonic Orchestra, with whom he performed in Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center. He has twice been a finalist in the Mannes Prep Concerto competition, and has performed the Mendelsohn Piano Trio No 2 in Steinway Hall with his ensemble “The Deceptive Cadence”. Nicolas has performed in student recitals at the Green Mountain Chamber Music Festival (VT) which he has attended from 2006 to 2009, and at the Sulzbach-Rosenberg International Music Festival in 2006 (Germany). Nicolas is a graduate of the United Nations International School.  He has been a member of JVNY since 2007.

Delaney Harter, violin

DeLaney Harter was introduced to the violin at the age of three. She studied with Betty Haag Khunke for thirteen years, and was touring soloist with the Betty Haag Academy Magical Strings of Youth. She also studied with David Yonan in Chicago and Peter Zazofsky in Boston.   Currently, DeLaney studies violin with world-renowned violinist Aaron Rosand and Christina Khimm.  DeLaney is a graduate of Mannes College in New York, and of Walnut Hill School for the Arts in Natick, Massachusetts. She was a member of the Youth Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Benjamin Zander.  She toured China with the Manhattan Symphonie for their most recent tour of China. DeLaney continues to perform with The New York Chamber Players, The Gateway Classical Orchestra, and the Chelsea Symphony. She is proud to have performed at the White House, The Hannah Neil Children’s Awards, Chicago Tonight, WGN News, Korean Morning News, The Portugal Tonight Show, and WTTW Public Radio. DeLaney has been the recipient of many honors and awards including the Chinese Fine Arts Society Concerto Competition, the Grandquist Concerto Competition, Walgreen’s National Concerto Competition, Lima Symphony Young Artists Competition, Harper Concerto Competition, and the Philharmonic Society of Arlington. She has performed solos at the Chinese Embassy in Rome, various Chinese Fine Arts Society events, the Chicago Cultural Center, Music in the Mountains, The Music Academy at Schloss Ort in Austria, Master Classes Internationales at Chateau de Champs Sur Marne with Edward Wulfson, The Summit Music Festival Gala, The Ottawa Chamber Orchestra, the Young Steinway Series, the Brian Lewis Young Artist Program, for Joseph Suk and the Royal Lobkowicz family in Prague, and The Pinchas Zukerman Young Artist Program at the National Centre for the Arts. DeLaney was also honored to have been selected to perform with the Youth Music Initiative Orchestra conducted by Gustavo Dudamel at Chicago Symphony Center. Most recently, she played for the TV pilot “Mozart in the Jungle” along the premier celebration. DeLaney is a current instrumentalist member for “Cover Girls Live” and the AEon  chamber ensemble. She also has a special interest and passion for playing baroque violin, and has participated in Baroque Music Festivals at Oberlin College and The International Baroque Institute in Boston, as well as  performing groups at Mannes.  Delaney Harter has been a member of JVNY since 2014. 

 

Hana Miyamoto Mundiya, violin

Hana Miyamoto Mundiya, age 14, began playing the violin at age 3 and became a student of Sophie Arbuckle one year later.  Since 2008 she has been concurrently studying with JVNY artistic director, Arik Braude. In December 2010, Hana had her solo debut with the New York Philharmonic at Avery Fisher Hall as a part of the New York Philharmonic's Young People's Concerts. In March 2011, Hana performed as a soloist at Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, as a guest of the New York Piano Society.  This fall Hana appeared as a soloist in a series of concerts with the Mainz Kammerorchester in Germany and in August 2011 she performed in a JVNY showcase concert in Blyes, France.  Past solo performances include Lalo's Symphonie Espagnole with the Minsk Festival Orchestra (2009), and the Mozart Sonata in E Minor as a guest of the New York Piano Society (audible at the Society’s website at www.newyorkpianosociety.com). Hana has performed in masterclasses for Lawrence Dutton and Rachel Barton-Pine.  She has participated in many benefit concerts and recitals for the School for Strings where she studied for 9 years as a student of Sophie Arbuckle. Hana attends the United Nations International School in New York City, where she has been  privileged to have given performances for numerous visiting foreign heads of state.  She attended the "Jeunes Virtuoses de New York" junior workshop in 2007, and has since appeared in numerous JVNY concerts both as a soloist and as JVNY’s youngest member. 

Nina Paul, violin

Nina Paul, 15, is from Friedrichshafen, Germany, and has been playing the violin since the age of 6.  She was a student at the Wells Cathedral School/GB for two terms as a music major, where she studied with Matthew Souter. During that time she performed as a soloist with the Wells Virtuosi.  She has won several competitions, including the Vivaldi Competition at Wells and prizes at "Jugend musiziert", a national competition in Germany. She has been playing in the "Jugend Sinfonieorchester Friedrichshafen" since she was 10, and became a member of the "Landesjugendorchester" (Baden-Württemberg, Germany). Nina also plays in the Chamber Orchestra „Il Giardino“. 

Ms. Paul has participated in several music festivals, during which she studied with Sophie Arbuckle and Arik Braude, including the Killlington Music Festival (2005 & 2006), the Sulzbach Rosenberg Music Festival and the Hinterzarten Music Festival (2007 & 2008).  She has also attended the Idyllwild Chamber Music Festival.   Nina Paul is currently a student of Prof. Rampf in Tettnang, Germany.  She will be joining JVNY for their France summer 2011 tour.

David Roberts, violin

Violinist David Roberts will be a junior in Harvard as of this fall 2014.  He grew up in New York City where he attended the Collegiate School.  David studied with Arik Braude at Mannes Prep from 2005 until his freshman year in Harvard. There he was in the Honors Program and acted as concertmaster of the Mannes prep Philharmonic Orchestra. David is the winner of several competitions, including the 2008 Mannes Prep Concerto Compeition.  In addition, he won the Grand Prize in the 2011 Wagner College Young Musicians' Competition, second place in the 2010 New York State Music Teachers Association Competition, and was a finalist in both the 2010 Greenwich Village Orchestra Concerto Competition and the 2011 NYCP Young Artists' Competition.  He has been a featured soloist with the New York Piano Society, the Mannes Philharmonic Orchestra, the Ambler Symphony Orchestra, where he was a recipient of the 2010 Elmer & Louise Menges Scholarship Award, and the Bard Music Festival of the Hamptons (NY).  David has recorded unaccompanied violin music for an international podcast of Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine. His piano trio at Mannes Prep was selected to participate in a chamber music master class taught by the ETHEL string quartet. David is the fiddler with The Stately Gentlemen, a bluegrass band in New York City. He has attended the Interlochen Center for the Arts (Michigan) and participated in the Green Mountain Chamber Music Festival (VT) from 2006 to 2012. His YouTube channel is noxrubbish. David has been a member of JVNY since 2007.

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Sabina Torosjan, violin

Sabina Torosjan
Violinist, Sabina Torosjan, has been an active performer in the Tristate area for the past few years. Originally from Tartu, Estonia, she started playing violin at age 7. She was a winner in regional and national Estonian competitions. After moving to the United States, Ms. Torosjan attended Laguardia High school for the Performing Arts, and the Mannes Preparatory Division, where she served as concertmaster in her senior year. Ms. Torosjan is a recipient of the Gluck Community Fellowship and the The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center Award. She is a founding member of Duo Accord with guitarist Vilian Ivantchev. In her previous summers Ms. Torosjan attended the Meadowmount School of Music and the Green Mountain Chamber Music Festival. Sabina Torosjan has recently graduated from the Juilliard School where she studied with Sally Thomas and Lewis Kaplan. She became a member of JVNY in the summer 2010.

Xingyuan Xu, viola

Xingyuan Xu was born in 1993 in China, and began to play the violin at age 6 as a student of Shenghua Liu.  In 2006, he was admitted to the middle school of the Central Conservatory of Music (CCOM) of China, where he studied viola as a student of Professor Shaowu Wang.  During this time, Xingyuan played principal viola in the China Youth Chamber Orchestra.  He was a participant in the Beijing Great Wall International Music Academy in 2006 and 2009, during which he played principal in the orchestra in 2009.  Solo appearances include a concert in Beijing with the China National Broadcast Symphony Orchestra in 2009.  Xingyuan holds a third prize from the 10th International Viola and Cello Competition in China (2008).  He has participated in masterclasses with Pinchas Zukerman, Maxim Vengerov and Ivry Gitlis.  Festivals include "Musica Mundi" (Belgium).  Xingyuan was recently admitted to Juilliard pre-college, where he will study with Toby Appel in the fall 2011.  Xingyuan  joined JVNY for their summer 2011 France concert tour.

Drew Youmans, violin

Drew Youmans graduated in May 2014 from the Aaron Copland School of Music where he studied with Dr. Chin Kim and Daniel Philips. He has attended several festivals including the Green Mountain Chamber Music Festival and the Summit Music Festival where he studied with Dr. Kim.  Drew has attended the Mannes Pre-College Program, also as a student of Dr. Kim. Awards include runner-up in the Stringendo Concerto Competition, finalist in the Mannes Prep Competition, finalist in the 2011 ACSM Concerto Competition, and winner of the Hudson Valley Philharmonic Young Artists Competition, resulting in a subsequent concert series with the Philharmonic. As a chamber musician, Drew has performed in such venues as Steinway Hall and Weill Recital Hall in New York.  Drew has been a member of JVNY since 2011.

Kathryn Noe Grice, viola

Kathryn Noe Grice, initiated her violin studies at the age of 6 and began studying with Sophie Arbuckle one year later, when she moved to New York. She has attended the Mannes College of Music Preparatory Division, and has served as Principal 2nd violin at the Interschool Orchestra. She has been attending the Green Mountain Chamber Music Festival in Burlington, Vermont since the summer of 2008. Kathryn recently became interested in the viola, and was accepted in September 2009 to the Juilliard Pre-College as a student of Sophie Arbuckle. She concurrently studies with JVNY artistic director, Arik Braude. Kathryn recently served as principal viola of the Juilliard Pre-College Symphony. She is currently a sophomore at Williams College in Massachussetts.  Kathryn became of member of JVNY in the spring of 2010.

Melanie Tomsky, viola

Melanie Tomsky, 19, began her viola studies at the Mannes College of Music Preparatory Division where she studied with Sophie Arbuckle and Arik Braude. She has served as the principal violist of the Mannes Prep Philharmonic Orchestra and was a member of the honors program.  Prior to Melanie’s viola studies, she had been a piano student of Genya Paley at Mannes Prep. Melanie attended the Green Mountain Chamber Music Festival from 2007 - 2012.   Melanie Tomsky is currently pursuing her Bachelors' degree at the Mannes College of Music where she is a student of Ira Weller.  She has been a member of JVNY since 2008.

Nicole Wright, viola

Nicole Wright is a master's viola student at the Mannes College of Music.  She holds an undergraduate degree from the School of Music at Ithaca College with a dual major in performance and music education. She recently conducted Mozart’s 25th Symphony at Stuyvesant High school. Ms. Wright studied with Arik Braude and Sophie Arbuckle from age 11 to 18 at the Mannes College of Music Preparatory Division, and since then in the summers, at the Green Mountain Chamber Music Festival (VT), the Killington Music Festival (VT), and Festival des Arcs (France). Upcoming performances include a solo performance at fashion week, on the BCAT television station, and at a benefit concert to bring awareness to Dementia and Alzheimer’s. Ms Wright has been a member of the New York Youth Symphony.  She has been a member of JVNY since 2007.

Marcel Krasner , cello

Marcel Krasner has been studying cello since the age of 7. He has played with numerous orchestras including the InterSchool Orchestras of New York, the New York Youth Symphony, the Juilliard Pre-College Symphony Orchestra, and the Juilliard Pre-College Orchestra. Marcel was accepted to the Pre-College Division of The Juilliard School in 2004, where he studied with Jerome Carrington for 3 years, and then later with Andre Emelianof. He has participated in a number of music festivals such as the Bulgarian Music Festival in Plovdiv, Bulgaria in 2004, the Maine Chamber Music Festival in 2006, the Rondo Music Festival in Bennington, Vermont in 2003 and 2006, and the Festival Val Morel Savoie in France in 2009. Marcel is also a prominent cellist and activist with the nonprofit “Tunes for Tots and Teens,” in which volunteer musicians play concerts for disadvantaged children. Marcel’s goal for his future is to inspire people and open people’s eyes about the importance of classical music. He is currently entering his sophomore year at Brooklyn College, where he is a double major in music performance and business.  Marcel has been a member of JVNY since 2009.

Benjamin Larsen, cello

Cellist Benjamin Larsen is an avid chamber musician, whose mentors include members of the Emerson, American, and Tokyo String Quartets, and many others. He has studied cello with Eric
Dahlin, David Finckel, Julia Lichten, and Clive Greensmith. He holds a Bachelors and Masters degrees from Manhattan School of Music, and was the recipient of the Hans and Klara Bauer Scholarship and the Pablo Casals Award. Ben has participated in Music@Menlo, Norfolk Chamber Music Festival and Pacific Music Festival, and has played with Manhattan School of Music orchestras the City Chamber Orchestra of Hong Kong and Opus Nine chamber players. He is also currently the Artistic Director of
the new chamber music series, Concerts in the Slope in Brooklyn. Benjamin became a member of JVNY in the fall 2011.

Kacper Nowak, cello

Kacper Nowak, age 23, was born in Poland and started playing the cello at age 8. A year later, he obtained the third prize in the International cello competition in Liezen (Austria). Four years later, he entered the National School of Music “Fryderyk Chopin” in Posen as a student of D. Taczanowska. After having been a laureate at various national and international competitions, including Kosice, Slovakia; Bach Competition, Poland; Posen and Bydgoszcz, Lodz, he was accepted at the National Foundation for Gifted Children in 2000 and in the same year, played as a soloist with the Wilanow Quartet. At age 15, Kacper moved to Brussels and began his studies with Jean Van den Doorn (Brussels Royal Conservatory). He also took part in masterclasses with Justus Grimm. In 2005, he won first prize in the international cello competition “Prix Edmond Baert” in Brussels. Kacper entered the Royal Conservatory of Brussels at age 18, where he began his studies with Didier Poskin. He has participated in masterclasses with Edmond Baert, Claudine Steeenakers and Walter Grimmer. He was invited in 2009 to play as the first cello of the “Mainzer Kammerorchester”. In the fall 2010, he entered the class of Maria Kliegel at the Musikhochschule fur Musik in Koln. Kacper has been a member of Jeunes Virtuoses de New York since 2008.

Xinchi Wang, cello

Xinchi Wang, born in Harbin, China in 1993, began playing piano at age 6 and switched to cello at age 12.  In 2006, she was admitted to The Central Conservatory of Music and studied with Professor Yu Mingqing.  In 2008, Xinchi was placed fifth in the 6th National Youth Cello Competition of China.  That same year, she also won first prize in The Great Wall International Music Festival Concerto Competition.  In 2010, she also won fourth prize in The National Cello Competition.  From 2008 to 2010, Xinchi has performed with the Beijing Symphony Orchestra in the Beijing Concert Hall as well as with the Xiamen Symphony Orchestra.  She was the principal of China Youth Chamber Orchestra in 2007 and the co-principal of China Youth Symphony Orchestra in 2009.  In July 2010, she participated in the Morningside National Music Bridge in Canada with full scholarship.  In August 2010, she also performed several concerts in Taiwan and Beijing as the principal cellist of the National Taiwan Symphony Orchestra. She has been attending the Juilliard School Pre-College since September 2010 and will enter the Juilliard College in September 2012.  Xinchi is a student of Andre Emelianoff. She has been a member of JVNY since the spring 2011.

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