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KK 2018 Musicians


Ellen Jewett


Violinist, Ellen Jewett has performed in Europe, Japan, Africa, New Zealand, Canada and throughout the US in major venues such as Carnegie Hall, Alice Tully Hall, Merkin Hall and the Kennedy Center, both as recitalist and with groups such as Ensemble X, Taliesin Trio, American Chamber Players, New York Chamber Soloists the New York Chamber Ensemble, Apple HIll Chamber Players and the Mark Morris Dance Company. For 11 years Ellen Jewett was a member of the prize-winning Audubon Quartet. Hailed by the New York Times for their “strikingly beautiful, luminescent sound” the quartet performed for 37 years throughout the US and abroad and coordinated an intensive string quartet seminar every summer at the Chautauqua Institute. They held their final concert there in the summer of 2011. Other chamber music collaborations include performances with Yo Yo Ma, Maxim Vengerov, James Buswell, Colin Carr, Eugenia Zuckerman, Anthony Newman, John O'Conor, Marcus Thompson, James Campbell, Eli Eban, Rusen Gunes, Johannes Moser, Idil Biret and Lydia Artymiw. An avid performer of contemporary music, she has performed many premiers and worked closely with such composers as Phillip Glass, Sir Michael Tippett, Leon Kirchener, John Harbison, Steven Mackey, Steven Stucky, and Joan Tower and has performed with important NY-based contemporary music ensembles such as Continuum, Sequiter and Ensemble X. She received her BM at Indiana University and MM at State University of New York, Stony Brook where her major teachers were Joyce Robbins, James Buswell and Josef Gingold. She worked intensively with members of the Julliard, Tokyo and Budapest string quartets and was privileged to perform under Leonard Bernstein and Seiji Ozawa. Ellen Jewett performed as one of the concertmasters of the Borusan Philharmonic for 3 years under the invitation of Gurer Aykal, has been a guest concertmaster of the Istanbul State Orchestra and Bilkent Orchestra in Ankara and is currently the founder and artistic director of Klasik Keyifler, a chamber music festival in Cappadocia. She has served on the faculties of McGill University, SUNY Stony Brook, Ithaca College, and Ankara University. Ms. Jewett has recorded for Centaur, Chandos, Albany and Newport Classics

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Gökhan Bağcı


Gökhan Bağcı, cello

Bağcı was born in Antalya in 1990 and enjoys a varied career throughout Turkey and abroad. Currently he is the principal cellist of the Gedik Philharmonic Orchestra and is a permanent member of the Borusan Philharmonic Orchestra, both based in İstanbul-Turkey. In 2012 Bağcı joined Turkey's premier contemporary group Hezarfen Ensemble, and has performed many premieres including the Turkish premier of Michael Ellison’s contemporary opera “Mevlana, Say I am” at the Istanbul Festival, and the world premier at the Rotterdam Operadagen. He also performed for the CD recording of this opera. He performed a number of concerts as part of a European tour of Hezarfen Ensemble including the MaerzMusik Festival in Berlin, the Roma Goethe Institute and the Würzburg. Theather am Neunerplatz. Bağcı has attended master classes with artists such as Peter Bruns, Johannes Moser, Jean-Guihen Queyras, Markku Lulojan-Mikkola, Wolgang Boettcher, Ruth Phillips, Mauro Valli, Benyamin Sonmez, Cağ Ercağ, Şölen Dikener and Harald Herzl. As a graduate of Bilkent University, he was a principal cellist of the Turkish Youth Orchestra and was awarded a scholarship to study in Leipzig from the prestigious 'Young Artists on the World Stage" founded by the Pekinel piano duo. He has performed chamber music with Tatjana Masurenko, Emre Elivar, Ellen Jewett, Özcan Ulucan, and Ruşen Güneş, and regularly joins concerts with Klasik Keyifler. He is a founding member of the Trio Ba, and Begoa Ensemble (where he is the letter G). He is the co-artistic director of Klasik Keyifler


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Önder Baloğlu


Born in 1988 in Adana/Turkey, Önder Baloglu started his musical career with violin lessons from Ferhang Huseynov and has been continuing his studies at the Folkwang Art University in Essen, Germany under Nana Jashvili, Pieter Daniel and Andreas Reiner, as well as having had the chance to work with renowned musicians such as Vadim Gluzman, Gordan Nikolic, Ivry Gitlis and Patricia Kopatchinskaja. He performed as a soloist with the Turkish state orchestras of Bursa, Antalya, Adana and Izmir, the Bilkent Symphony in Ankara and abroad he performed with the Folkwang Symphony, the Koblenz Rheinische State Philharmonic Orchestra, the Bochum Symphonic, the Duisburg Philharmonic and the Ensemble Folkwang Modern. He was also featured on broadcasts by the Turkish TRT and the German ZDF and WDR3. In addition to his solo appearances, he moved his passion for chamber music into a different aspect by conducting orchestras from concertmaster position such as Bilkent Symphony, Württembergisches Kammerorchester Heilbronn, Ensemble Ruhr, Duisburg Philharmonic or his own „Les Essences“. Önder plays in a number of chamber ensembles; Duo BalKan, Quart.essence, Ensemble Turquoise and others throughout Europe and in Turkey at venues and organisations such as the Philharmonie Essen, Tonhalle Düsseldorf, Konzerthaus Berlin, the Istanbul-Essen European Cultural Capitals events, Young Euro Classic Festival in Berlin, Musiquem Lleida International Music Festival in Spain, Festival "NOW!" in Essen, the Duisburger Akzente Festival, Klasik Keyifler International Music Festival in Cappadocia/Turkey, Kuhmo Chamber MusicFestival in Finland. Since 2015, Önder has been the artistic director of the chamber music festival „Klassisch.Unterirdisch. - das Underground-Festival der Klassik“ which he began at the Katakomben Theater in Essen.  While pursuing his studies focusing on his solo and chamber music career at Folkwang UdK Essen, Baloglu became a concertmaster at Duisburger Philharmoniker and Deutsche Oper am Rhein Düsseldorf-Duisburg at the age of 24. Along with the Duisburger, as concertmaster at various Turkish, German and international orchestras, and as a member of the KlangVerwaltung Orchestra he performed in some of Germany’s most prestigious concert halls and in many countries such as Turkey, Austria, Switzerland, Spain, USA, Canada, France, China, India, Korea, Russia, Argentina, Brasil and Peru. Önder Baloglu holds a teaching position at the Folkwang University of Arts in Essen and performs on a violin by Rafaelle & Antonio Gagliano of Napoli from 1850

Photo by © Ulrike von Loeper.

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Elizabeth Simkin


Cellist and teacher, Elizabeth Simkin has been on the faculty at the IC School of Music since the fall of 1994.  She has played and recorded with many groups, including the Sheherezade trio with Susan Waterbury and Jennifer Hayghe, the Mellits Consort featuring the music of Marc Mellits, Ensemble X founded by Steven Stucky and Xak Bjerken, and most recently a duo for cello and bass with Nicholas Walker.  Past projects include seven years on artist faculty at the Bowdoin International Music Festival, serving as US artistic ambassadors with her current dean, pianist Karl Paulnack, and return appearances at summer festivals such as Garth Newel, Olympic, Skaneateles, Heifetz, Chenango, Tanglewood, Spoleto, Chautauqua and others. As a teacher, she strives to liberate her students towards ever deeper experiences of the magic of music.  She carries and passes on some of the wisdom of her own teachers such as Carla Lumsden via Shinichi Suzuki and Toby Saks in childhood and Steven Doane, at Eastman and Oberlin. Just before coming to Ithaca, she studied with and served as teaching assistant, her mentor the late master, Janos Starker.  Alumni from Elizabeth’s 24 years of professional teaching are now spread far and wide, carrying music in many ways; Orchestras, chamber music, conducting, composing, new music, improvising, playing in bands, teaching in public schools and privately and frequently touching base back to Ithaca.  In addition to her work at Ithaca College, she enjoys working with younger students and leads the advanced cello program at the Ithaca Suzuki Institute each summer. She has become increasingly interested in contemplative and service-oriented dimensions in music, and has nurtured this interest through exploring playing at the bedside for health care patients and their families, providing music for spiritual occasions and life transitions, collaborating with a storyteller, Regi Carpenter, and lots of lullaby-singing.  For four years now, in partnership with Jayne Demakos, she has taught a course, “Exploring Music as Medicine” at IC.

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Xak Bjergen


Pianist Xak Bjerken has appeared with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Spoleto Festival Orchestra, Thailand Philharmonic Orchestra, the Schoenberg Ensemble, and the Los Angeles Philharmonic in Disney Hall. He has performed at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, Glinka Hall in St Petersburg, the Konzerthaus in Berlin, and for many years performed throughout the US as a member of the Los Angeles Piano Quartet. Bjerken has worked closely with composers Győrgy Kurtag, Sofia Gubaidulina, Steven Stucky, and George Benjamin, and over the next two years, will be presenting premieres of piano concertos by Stephen Hartke, Elizabeth Ogonek, and Jesse Jones. He is Professor of Music at Cornell University where he co-directs Mayfest, an international chamber music festival with his wife, pianist Miri Yampolsky. Bjerken studied with Aube Tzerko at the University of California at Los Angeles and received his Master’s and Doctoral degrees from the Peabody Conservatory as a student of and teaching assistant to Leon Fleisher.

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Lauma Skride


Awarded the Beethoven Ring in 2008, Lauma is highly acclaimed for her interpretations of Germanic classical and romantic repertoire. In recent seasons, Lauma Skride has appeared with Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra, Hamburg Symphony Orchestra, Dresden Philharmonic, and the Orquesta de Gran Canaria. Lauma Skride performs with such conductors as Andris Nelsons, Kristjan Järvi, Anu Tali, Muhai Tang, Peter Ruzicka, John Storgårds, Pedro Halffter, André de Ridder, Yan Pascal Tortelier and Cornelius Meister.

Lauma Skride is also committed to the long established duo with her sister, violinist Baiba Skride. In October 2011, the duo premiered Hans Abrahamsen’s double concerto with the Royal Danish Orchestra in Copenhagen and the Swedish Chamber Orchestra – a work that was composed for the pair.

Passionate energy, youthful vigour and musical sensitivity have become the trademarks of the Skride duo. Other chamber music partners of Lauma Skride include cellist Daniel Müller-Schott, Sol Gabetta and Julian Steckel, as well as Jörg Widmann and Christian Tetzlaff and the Armida Quartett.

Lauma Skride recorded Fanny Hensel’s piano cycle Das Jahr for Sony in 2007 and received an ECHO Classic Award as Best Young Artist for this recording.



Tatjana Masurenko 


Tatjana Masurenko is one of the leading viola players of our time. Her distinctive style is shaped by her expressive playing and her thorough and intensive musical studies. Her charisma and natural stage presence are captivating. Alongside the great viola concertos by Walton, Bartók and Hindemith, Tatjana’s wide-ranging concert repertoire also includes modern classical works such as Schnittke, Gubaidulina and Kancheli and the rarely performed viola concertos by Hartmann and Bartel. Tatjana Masurenko has made solo appearances with orchestras including the Gewandhausorchester Leipzig, the Radio Symphonie Orchester Berlin, the NDR Radiophilharmonie and other leading orchestras in Europe and Asia. She has been a welcome guest at major international festivals as both soloist and chamber musician for many years.

Born in Dushanbe (Tadzhikistan), she grew up in a family of Russian academics and jazz musicians. Her musical path began in St Petersburg where she was able to benefit from the traditional St Petersburg school with the best teachers of her time. She continued her musical studies in Germany with Kim Kashkashian and Nobuko Imai. Her search for new forms of expression on the viola and new techniques and tonal concepts were encouraged and influenced by encounters with figures including Boris Pergamenschikow, György Kurtág, Brigitte Fassbaender and Herbert Blomstedt. Currently, Tatjana Masurenko focuses intensively on historical performance practice in her CD recordings, not only within the context of Baroque music, but also the Romantic repertoire of the 19th century.  Tatjana Masurenko employs great dedication and patience in the nurturing of young musical talent. In 2002, she was appointed professor for viola at the internationally renowned University of Music and Theatre “Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy” Leipzig. She also gives masterclasses abroad in Spain, Canada, Scandinavia and other countries and is also the artistic director of the International Viola Camp in Iznik (Turkey) and the masterclasses in Leipzig und Düsseldorf.

Tatjana Masurenko plays on a viola by P. Testore, Milan, 1756.


Rebekka Hartman


Rebekka Hartmann was born in Munich in 1981. At the age of 5 she started playing the violin with the Suzuki-pedagogue Helge Thelen. She studied in Munich with Prof. Andreas Reiner and in Los Angeles with Prof. Alice Schoenfeld. After attending international master classes for example with Rainer Kussmaul and in cooperation with Josef Kröner she gained impetus and developed her skills.

Rebekka Hartmann is the winner of several national and international awards, for example the International Henri Marteau Violin Competition in Lichtenberg (2005), the international music contest „Pacem in Terris“, Bayreuth (2004) and the „Jascha Heifetz Scholarship“, USA (2002).

Her solo performances take place in diverse countries and continents such as Switzerland, Great Britain, Austria, Asia and the US. She also plays at renowned festivals like the  Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival and the Weilburger Schlosskonzerte. The violinist enchants her audience and musical publications with her performances with famous orchestras like the Bamberg Symphony Orchestra, the Aachen Symphony Orchestra, the Württemberg Chamber Orchestra Heilbronn and the German Chamber Orchestra. She is often seen in collaboration with the Orchestra of the Klangverwaltung/Munich and performs Solo- and Duo-recitals.

In 2012 Rebekka Hartmann was awarded the ECHO Classic-Prize in the category „Best solo recording of the year” for her CD „Birth of the Violin“(2011, Solo Musica). The Baroque works of German, Italian and French composers are, except for a few tracks, world premier recordings.

Her latest CD was released in May 2015 by Musiques Suisses in cooperation with the Swiss Radio. It comprises the complete works of Paul Juon for the unusual combination of two violins and piano.

Rebekka Hartmann performs on an Antonio Stradivarius violin from 1675.

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