See individual workshop pages for this year's faculty at each venue.
Sarah Adams, viola, performs with the New York Chamber Ensemble, the Claring Chamber Players, the Sherman Chamber Ensemble, the Friends of Mozart, and the Saratoga Chamber Players. She is principal violist of the Brooklyn Philharmonic and the Riverside Symphony and the violist of the Roerich Quartet, performing and recording in NYC, upstate New York and Vermont. Formerly violist with the Cassatt Quartet and assistant principal violist with the Houston Symphony Orchestra, Ms. Adams is a member of the American Ballet Theatre, and performs with Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, the American Symphony Orchestra, the New York City Opera Orchestra, and the Orchestra of St. Luke’s, among others. She has performed as soloist with the Jupiter and Riverside Symphonies in Alice Tully Hall as well as in recital with the New York Viola Society. Ms. Adams’ festival appearances include the Bard Music Festival, the Cape May Music Festival, the Windham Music Festival, the Sherman Chamber Music Festival, and the Catskill Mountain Foundation concerts. Ms. Adams has been teaching viola and chamber music at Columbia University since 1993.
Violist Cathy Amoury is a teacher, performer, and chamber music coach in the DC area. She attended the University of Texas in Austin and the Aspen Music Festival. She studied with Donald Wright, Atar Arad and Harold Coletta. Cathy performs with the Arlington Symphony, the Alexandria Symphony, Baltimore Concert Artists and Baltimore Opera, and has appeared at the Wolftrap Festival and Kennedy Center. She toured with Yo-Yo Ma and the Silk Road Project in 2001.
Violinist Brenda Anna attended the Peabody Conservatory, where she studied with Yong Ku Ahn, Charles Libove, and David Geber of the American String Quartet. She has also studied and participated in workshops with Elisabeth Adkins and Arnold Steinhart. She currently serves as concertmaster of the Columbia Orchestra and is a member of the National Philharmonic. In addition, Brenda is a busy freelance performer in the Baltimore/Washington area. An avid chamber music performer, Ms. Anna plays with the Columbia Orchestra Piano Trio and has worked with the Dickinson Piano Quartet, the Gallery String Quartet, and the Riversdale Chamber Ensemble, which she also manages. Ms.Anna has performed as soloist with numerous local orchestras and teaches in her private studio.
David Bakamjian, Director
Cellist David Bakamjian performs regularly as a recitalist, ensemble player, and recording artist on both modern and baroque cello. In addition to appearances in New York's premiere concert halls, he has appeared several times on National Public Radio and WQXR, and was a winner or finalist in four international chamber music competitions. As a member of the Casa Verde Trio, he completed six critically acclaimed national tours and a month-long tour of China. He has performed as soloist with the Allentown Symphony, Philharmonia Virtuosi, Beijing Symphony, Early Music New York, Bachanalia Festival Orchestra, Musica Bella, the Hunterdon Symphony, and the Lehigh University Philharmonic, and he has served as principal cellist for numerous orchestras. On baroque cello, he performs with Concert Royal and the American Classical Orchestra, and he was principal cello of Early Music New York for several years. He is a founding member of the New York Classical Quartet and of Brooklyn Baroque, whose CDs were deemed a “must buy” by the American Record Guide. A dedicated teacher, he directs the Summer String-In, and the Play Week chamber music workshops for adult amateurs. He earned his B.A.at Yale, and his Master’s and Doctorate degrees at SUNY Stony Brook, and he was a faculty member of Lehigh University for eight years.
Ronda Brands, Assistant Director
Ronda serves as Play Week's assistant director. She is also an amateur violist and cellist and loves playing chamber music whenever she can! She is a garden designer and horticulturist during her "day job," with a love of and commitment to urban public spaces and pollinator habitat.
Phillip Coonce, violinist and violist, has studied with Leonard Felberg, Hiroko Yajima, Felix Galimir, Blanche Moyse and Raphael Bronstein. He earned a Bachelor of Music from the University of New Mexico, a Master of Music from SUNY at Stony Brook, and a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the Manhattan School of Music. He has performed with the New Jersey Symphony, Brooklyn Philharmonic, the Hudson Chamber Players and the Martha Graham Ballet. Dr. Coonce is former member of the New Mexico Symphony Orchestra and the Right as Rain Bluegrass Trio and has served on the faculties of the Joiner Academy, the Toronto School for Strings, Play Week, Summertrios, and the Chamber Music Conference at Bennington. He is also the author of Toquemos el Violín, and is the inventor of the Don’t Fret Finger Position Indicator.
Violist Kim Foster is a graduate of the Yale School of Music and is a frequent guest artist in demand across multiple genres with New York’s preeminent chamber ensembles from the Alaria Chamber Ensemble at Weill Hall to the FLUX Quartet at Roulette in Brooklyn. Passionate about psychology and well-being for the creative artist, Kim is a pioneer graduate of the first Certificate in Applied Positive Psychology course through the New York Open Center, and is the first classical musician to receive this certification. Her work with Positive Psychology translates to the field of music through Peak Performance topics. Kim serves as a faculty member of several chamber music workshops, including Summertrios, Princeton Playweek, Summer String-In and Music, Etc. She has also been a guest lecturer at both the Juilliard School and The Mannes School of Music in NY, speaking on private teaching studio creation as well as positive psychology and peak performance for audition preparation. She is designing a new course entitled Entrepreneurship 2.0 which combines positive psychology and entrepreneurship for today’s professional artists.
Cellist Julia Goudimova was born in Moscow. She began studying piano at the age of five and cello at the age of seven. After nine years of music school she studied at Tiraspol College of Music with Prof. G. A. Balykbaev. Julia received her master’s degree from Belarus Academy of Music under the instruction of E. L. Ksaveriev, professor of cello, who was a student of M. Rostropovich and N. Gutman. She has performed in recitals and chamber music concerts in Belarus, Moldova, Germany, South Korea, Bahrain and Saudi Arabia. Since moving to the United States, Julia has been actively participating in the music life of Western Virginia and is involved in symphony orchestra and chamber music performances in Lexington, Roanoke, Lynchburg, and Buena Vista, as well as Bath and Rockbridge Counties. Currently Julia is principal cellist of the University-Shenandoah Symphony Orchestra and a cello instructor at Washington and Lee University and Southern Virginia University.
Margaret Soper Gutierrez
Violinist Margaret Soper Gutierrez began her professional life in the Washington, D.C. area, performing as a member of the National Symphony Orchestra and touring extensively with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. Soper Gutierrez performed regularly as a soloist and chamber musician on concert series at the National Gallery of Art, the Holocaust Memorial Museum and the National Cathedral. She also served as concertmaster of the Washington Bach Consort and the Baltimore Opera Orchestra and performed with the Rochester Philharmonic, and the San Antonio Symphony. An avid chamber musician, Soper Gutierrez was a member of the Maia Quartet, the faculty quartet-in-residence at the University of Iowa. During her tenure with the quartet, she taught and performed at the Austin Chamber Music Festival, the Castleman Quartet Program and at the Interlochen Arts Academy and Summer Camp. She has also taught at the University of Memphis and the University of Northern Colorado. Soper Gutierrez is a member of the Colorado Chamber Players and is currently concertmaster of both the Opera Colorado orchestra and the Colorado Bach Ensemble. Numerous chamber music performances of hers have been broadcast on Colorado Public Radio and she has been featured in recordings on the Naxos, Crystal and Koch labels. Soper Gutierrez received degrees from the Eastman School of Music and the Cleveland Institute of Music. The major teachers who have inspired her teaching and playing include Donald Weilerstein, Charles Castleman, David Updegraff and Doris Preucil.
Martha Kessler, Staff Assistant
Martha assists Play Week staff in running the weeklong workshops, putting into play her myriad skills, including those acquired from running her own catering company. Martha is also an amateur cellist and participates in the workshops and plays chamber music whenever she can. She will be on site during PW Maryland and East to answer your questions and provide assistance throughout the week.
Living in New York for the past 30 years has given cellist Joseph Kimura a very diverse musical career. After earning his bachelor and masters degrees from Juilliard, he joined the Laurentian String Quartet, in residence at the Sarah Lawrence College and Ramapo College. He was subsequently appointed principal cellist of the Stamford Symphony Orchestra. He has recorded with EOS for the E.M.I. label and with the Riverside Symphony for the New World label. He has performed on live NPR broadcasts with the Opera Orchestra of New York, at Carnegie Hall. He is a member of Solisti New York and the Westfield Symphony and has performed as soloist with the Orchestra of the State of Mexico, the Stamford Symphony, the Gloria Chamber Orchestra, the Garden State Chamber Orchestra, the Korean Symphony of New York, and the Hoboken Chamber Orchestra. He has played on numerous movie and TV commercial orchestra sound tracks and has performed for many years with Tony Award-winning Broadway shows. For the past seventeen summers, he has taught at the Greenwood Junior Camp in MA. He studied with Paul Katz, Harvey Shapiro and Channing Robbins.
An accomplished performer, collaborator, teacher and instrumentalist, cellist Katharine Knight co-founded the Colorado-based Da Vinci Quartet, with whom she performed and recorded extensively from 1980 to 2005. For the past two decades she has coached string quartets and other chamber ensembles as a member of the faculty of the University of Denver’s Lamont School of Music. She has served as a faculty member at the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs and Colorado College as well as teaching as a visiting artist at many colleges and universities throughout America while on tour. Her advocacy for chamber music engagement extends to musicians of all levels of expertise and age. While maintaining a private studio of adult cello students, she supports avocational as well as professional ensemble work, coaching groups from many of the Denver area orchestras, such as Evergreen Chamber Orchestra, the Arapahoe and Denver Philharmonic Orchestras.
Cellist and conductor Jason Love has been Music Director of the Columbia Orchestra (MD) for twenty-one years. Praised for his “intelligent and innovative programming,” the Baltimore Sun has called the orchestra “Howard County’s premier ensemble for instrumental music,” noting that “Love has the musicians playing not only with verve and passion, but with an awareness to enter into the emotional core of the works they perform.” His many recognitions include the American Prize for Orchestral Programming, and a Peabody Alumni Award for Outstanding Contributions to Music in Maryland. As cellist, Love gave the American Premiere of Guillaume Connesson’s Cello Concerto in 2019 and had previously given the North Carolina premiere of Tan Dun’s cello concerto The Map. He has recently performed concertos by Haydn, Shostakovich, and Dvořak with groups including the Piedmont Symphony, the Frederick Orchestra, and the Columbia Summer Strings. He performs chamber recitals with the Franklin-Love Duo and the Columbia Orchestra Piano Trio. For five years he was Music Director of the New Horizons Chamber Ensemble, a contemporary chamber ensemble in Baltimore, and now maintains a private cello studio.
The violist Lois Martin is originally from York, Penna. After graduating from the Eastman School of Music, she moved to New York for graduate studies at The Juilliard School. She is a founding member of the Atlantic String Quartet, which is dedicated to the performance of newly written compositions. Her continuing commitment to contemporary music includes performances with the Group for Contemporary Music, the ISCM Chamber Players, the Ensemble Sospeso, Ensemble 21, the New York New Music Ensemble, Speculum Musicae, the Composers’ Guild, the Da Capo Chamber Players, the Composers Forum and Steve Reich and Musicians. Currently, she is principal violist for the Stamford Symphony, OK Mozart Festival and The Little Orchestra Society, and is a member of the Orchestra of St Luke’s. She is also on the faculty of the Composers Conference at Wellesley College and has taught at Princeton University. Throughout her career, she has recorded more than sixty chamber music pieces in many different genres including the GRAMMY® Award-winning CD Wide Angels, with Michael Brecker.
For eighteen years, Margaret Miller was violist of the Da Vinci Quartet, touring throughout the United States. The quartet won both the Naumburg and Shostakovich Quartet Competitions and recorded the chamber music of Arthur Foote and Charles Martin Loeffler for Naxos American Classics. She holds degrees from Indiana University and the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and a certificate from the Chamber Music Institute at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Current positions include Assistant Professor of Viola and Chamber Music at Colorado State University, performance faculty at Pikes Peak Community College and the Colorado Springs Conservatory. Ms. Miller received the 2010 Outstanding Teacher Award from the Colorado American String Teachers Association, Inc.
Flutist Jayn Rosenfeld plays with the League of Composers/ISCM Ensemble and the Washington Square Contemporary Music Society. She has taught flute at Princeton University for more than 35 years, and coaches chamber music there, runs PUO wind rehearsals, and performs with the Richardson Chamber Players, the faculty instrumental ensemble. She formed and led the Flute Workshop at Greenwich House for nearly a decade, and conducts flute workshops privately. Ms. Rosenfeld was the flutist and executive director of The New York New Music Ensemble for many years, and first flute of the Princeton Symphony Orchestra. She gives master classes in flute and chamber music at Westminster Choir College , around the country and abroad, most recently in Phnom Penh, Cambodia and. Notre Dame University. She has recorded concerti by Cimarosa, Steiger, Kraft, Gilbert, et al, the flute chamber music of Albert Roussel, and many contemporary chamber works and is active on the boards of the League of Composers and the New York Flute Club.
Violinist Sebu Sirinian was born in Bucharest, Romania, and has toured internationally. He held residences at Queens College, Bard College, and the Turtle Bay Music School as the first violinist of the award-winning Meridian String Quartet. He has won distinctions at the Evian International Competition and Chamber Music America and has performed chamber music with Paul Neubauer, Seymour Lipkin, Daniel Phillips, and William Sharp. He has performed as soloist with the New York Chamber Orchestra, Bach Aria Festival Orchestra, and the Barbad Chamber Orchestra. Mr. Sirinian has performed as a principal player for the American Symphony Orchestra, Stamford Symphony, and the Princeton Chamber Orchestra, and is a member of Brooklyn Philharmonic and Amici New York. He is on the faculty of the New York Youth Symphony Chamber Music Program and has been heard on WQXR and WNYC. His chamber music recordings can be heard on LRC, Liquid Silver, Midder Music Records, Capstone, and Arizona Records. Sebu Sirinian earned his BA and MA from the Juilliard School, and has studied with Joey Corpus, Ivan Galamian, Lewis Kaplan, Joyce Robbins, Gerald Beal, and the Juilliard Quartet.
Violist Willy Sucre is a member of the New Mexico Philharmonic and the driving force behind the “Willy Sucre & Friends” concerts. Born in La Paz, Bolivia, Sucre studied at the Conservatorio Nacional de Musica in La Paz, Colby College Chamber Music Institute in Waterville, Maine, Mannes School of Music in New York, and the Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore, Maryland. He has been conductor and Music Director of the Albuquerque Philharmonic Orchestra, assistant conductor and principal viola of the Canada Symphony Orchestra in Montreal, assistant conductor and assistant principal viola of the New Mexico Symphony Orchestra, principal viola and guest conductor of the National Symphony of Bolivia, the Chamber Orchestra of La Paz, and the Albuquerque Chamber Orchestra. As a chamber musician, Sucre was the founder of the Cuarteto Boliviano and for ten years the violist of the Helios String Quartet. He has performed, recorded, and lectured throughout South, Central and North America. Sucre frequently travels to South America to find new works of chamber music by modern composers and to encourage composers both here and in South America to write new pieces.
Violist Lisa Suslowicz was born in Chicago and grew up in Miami, Florida. She began playing the piano at age six and picked up the viola for the first time at nine years old. Lisa attended Indiana University School of Music in Bloomington, where she studied with Abraham Skernick and James Buswell. She later attended the New England Conservatory in Boston where she completed both Bachelor and Master of Music degrees. Lisa participated in the Juilliard Seminar, the Pensacola Chamber Music Festival, Bach Aria Festival, and in 1989, Lisa co-founded the Griffon String Quartet, Grand-Prize Winner of the 1991 Fischoff Chamber Music Competition. Lisa has been the Principal Violist with the Boston Philharmonic Orchestra since 1993 and is a frequent substitute violist with the Boston Symphony and Boston Pops Orchestras. Ms. Suslowicz is an active and dedicated teacher in viola and chamber music as member of the viola faculty at the New England Conservatory Preparatory Division and School of Continuing Education where she has maintained a private teaching studio since 1993.
Serving as Principal Cellist with the Harrisburg Symphony, Maryland Lyric Opera, and cellist of the Mendelssohn Piano Trio, Fiona Thompson has become known among devoted audiences for what one Washington Post critic has described as her “eloquent,” “radiant” and “unfailingly handsome” sound. She has performed across the US, Europe and Asia with the Mendelssohn Piano Trio and has recorded over a dozen CD's on Centaur Records with them, including the complete Haydn Piano trios. All of these recordings are frequently heard on radio stations across the country. The Trio's live performances have been heard on NPR's Performance Today as well as WETA's Front Row Washington. Fiona's other chamber music experience includes performances with pianist Andrew Harley, Market Square Church Summermusic Series, Harrisburg Symphony Chamber Players, the Melos Ensemble of D.C, the Cygnus Chamber Ensemble and the Rasumovsky Quartet As a sought after orchestral cellist in addition to her principal positions, Fiona is active with a number of well-known groups, including the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra; the Kennedy Center Opera House Orchestra, including the opera’s 2002 tour in Japan; the Metropolitan Orchestra, as principal cellist on its Arlo Guthrie tour at Kennedy Center and Carnegie Hall; the Washington Ballet Orchestra; the Wolf Trap Orchestra; and the National Philharmonic. Fiona studied at Chetham’s School of Music and the Royal Northern College of Music (graduated with honors), both in Manchester, England, and received a full scholarship to the University of Southern California (USC) Thornton School of Music. She has studied with many fine teachers, including Elizabeth Wilson, Gillian Thoday, Moray Welsh, Leonid Gorokov and Ronald Leonard. Fiona’s background and performance experience has also contributed to her role as a music educator. She has given master classes in the US and abroad, is currently an Artist in Residence at Messiah College in Pennsylvania, and has been a regular coach and adjudicator for Levine School of Music. Fiona Thompson plays on a cello by Paolo Testore, circa 1750.
Violinist, Lisa Tipton, a vibrant, versatile musician, contributes as a performer, educator mentor, arts administrator and advocate. The seed for Lisa's love of chamber music germinated while growing up in a musical family. After several years studying science at Cornell University, the seed sprouted and blossomed when she caught the chamber music bug one summer at Kneisel Hall. Lisa, co-founder of the award-winning Meridian String Quartet, has toured internationally, held residencies and has won distinctions from the Evian International Competition, Artists International, and Chamber Music America. As a devoted interpreter of new music, Ms. Tipton established the "Made in America" series at Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall. This season Lisa, along with colleagues Adrienne Kim and Lisa Kozenko, launched the The NY Chamber Music CoOP, a new creative performance collaborative in New York City. Lisa's critically acclaimed recording of the Ives' violin sonatas was released in 2006 on Capstone Records. She is the Director of the New York Youth Symphony Chamber Music Program and on the faculty of The School for Strings and New York Summer Music Festival. She earned a B.A. from Cornell University, an M.A. from the Aaron Copland School of Music at Queens College, and is currently a D.M.A. candidate at the CUNY Graduate Center. Photo: Noah O'Leary
Violinist Fiona Vanderspar-Simon was born in England, and studied there with Szymon Goldberg. Numerous competition successes include prizes in the Carl Flesch and Jacques Thibaud competitions, and the GLAA Young Musician of the Year Award. She has performed as a member of the Academy of St. Martin's in the fields, and the English Chamber Orchestra, and has soloed with the Fires of London. As a recitalist, she has broadcast extensively on the BBC, and performed all over Europe. She has made concerto appearances with the Liverpool Philharmonic, The London Mozart Players, L’Orchestre de la Garde Republican, The New York Philharmonic, and with the London Chamber Players on their tours of China, South Africa and Spain. In addition to her solo work she has made innumerable chamber music appearances, Currently, she is a member of the first violin section of the New York Philharmonic. Mrs. Simon has recorded for Argo Records, English Decca, CBS, and EMI records. "One of England's finest talents."
Violinist Masako Yanagita, winner of top-honors in international competitions including Paganini (Italy), Munich (Germany) and Carl Flesch (England), has concertized around the world. At present, she is the concertmaster of the Springfield Symphony Orchestra in Massachusetts as well as the Queens Symphony in New York and is active as a chamber musician, teacher, and coach. She has performed at many chamber music festivals including frequent appearances at Mohawk Trail Concerts. Masako coaches chamber music at the Bennington Chamber Music Conference, Greenwood Music Camp and Princeton Play Week. Masako beginning her violin studies in Japan, she came to the United States on Fulbright and J.D. Rockefeller III Grants to study with William Kroll at The Mannes College of Music. She has recorded many chamber music and solo works, including the entire Schubert repertoire for violin/viola and piano with her late husband, pianist Abba Bogin, as well as two Schumann piano trios with the West End Trio (both for Town Hall Records). She resides in both New York City and Charlemont, MA.