Andrew Waggoner, composer and violin

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Andrew Waggoner, composer and violin
Andrew Waggoner was born in 1960 in New Orleans. He grew up there and in Minneapolis and Atlanta, and studied at the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts, the Eastman School of Music and Cornell University. Called "the gifted practitioner of a complex but dramatic and vividly colored style" by the New Yorker, his music has been commissioned and performed by the the Academy of St. Martin's-in-the-Fields, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Saint Louis, Denver, Syracuse, and Winnipeg Symphonies, the Cassatt, Corigliano, Miro, and Degas Quartets, the Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble, the California EAR Unit, pianist Gloria Cheng, violist Melia Watras, 'cellist Robert Burkhart, the Bohuslav Martinu Philharmonic of Zlin, Czech Republic, Sequitur, the Empyrean Ensemble, Buglisi-Foreman Dance, the Athabasca Trio, CELLO, Flexible Music, Ensemble Nordlys, of Denmark, and Ensemble Accroche Note, of France. He has received grants and prizes from ASCAP, Yaddo, The New York State Council on the Arts, Meet the Composer, New Music Delaware, the Eastman School of Music and Syracuse University. Andrew Waggoner has also been awarded the Lee Ettelson Composer's Award from Composers Inc., in San Francisco, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and the Roger Sessions Prize for an American composer by the Liguria Study Center in Bogliasco, Italy, where he was in residence at Bogliasco in the spring of 2008. In 2009 he received an Academy Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Andrew has two CD's on CRI, both now available on the New World label, and can also be heard on the Vienna Modern Masters Music From Six Continents series, as well as on solo CD's by violist Melia Watras and 'cellist Robert Burkhart. In addition to his concert works, Waggoner has also composed extensively for theatre and for film, and is an active violinist. He was a founding Director of the Seal Bay Festival of American Chamber Music in Vinalhaven, Maine, and is currently Composer-in-Residence at the Setnor School of Music of Syracuse University, teaching regularly also at NOCCA Riverfront in New Orleans.

Michael Jinsoo Lim, violin
Violinist Michael Jinsoo Lim has been praised by Gramophone for playing with “delicious abandon” and described as “bewitching” by the Seattle Times. Acclaimed for his role as concertmaster of the Pacific Northwest Ballet Orchestra in Seattle (“beautifully executed, clear violin solos”—Dance International), Lim is also in demand as a chamber musician and as a performer of new and experimental music (“a formidable violinist who gave a knockout reading of Davidovsky's Synchronisms No. 9” –The Stranger). As co-founder of the renowned Corigliano Quartet, Lim has performed in the nation’s leading music centers, including Carnegie Hall, Weill Recital Hall, and the Kennedy Center, and has won numerous awards, including the Grand Prize at the Fischoff Chamber Music Competition and the ASCAP/CMA Award for Adventurous Programming. The quartet’s Naxos label CD was named as one of The New Yorker’s Top Ten Classical Recordings of the Year. Lim has recorded for Naxos, DreamWorks, Albany Records, CRI, Bayer Records, and Aguava New Music, and appears on numerous television and film soundtracks, including the Oscar-winning score to Brokeback Mountain. Lim’s theater appearances include a starring role in director Nick Schwartz-Hall’s Tempo of Recollection, a stage performance about the life and work of composer Erwin Schulhoff. He has served as music consultant for Seattle Repertory Theatre and has performed onstage at the Vail International Dance Festival with Pacific Northwest Ballet in George Balanchine’s Duo Concertante. An alumnus of the Juilliard School and Indiana University, Lim currently serves on the faculty of Cornish College of the Arts, where he teaches violin and chamber music.

Melia Watras, viola
Described as “staggeringly virtuosic” by The Strad, violist Melia Watras ( has distinguished herself as one of her instrument’s leading voices: as a soloist, recording artist, and co-founder of the acclaimed Corigliano Quartet. An accomplished and adventurous performer, Watras has championed the works of living composers throughout her career. She has commissioned, premiered and recorded numerous new compositions, while appearing onstage at prestigious venues such as Carnegie Hall, Weill Recital Hall, and Alice Tully Hall. Watras’s expanding discography has garnered considerable attention and praise from the media. Of her debut solo CD, Viola Solo, Strings remarked, “Watras is a young player in possession of stunning virtuosic talent and deserving of the growing acclaim,” while The Strad called her “excellent” and “authoritative.” For the CD, Watras adapted John Corigliano’s Fancy on a Bach Air for viola. Her edition of this work is published by G. Schirmer, Inc. Watras’s second solo CD, Prestidigitation, features world premiere recordings of five works written especially for her and was described by Strings as “astounding, and both challenging and addictive to listen to.” This season will feature the release of her third solo CD, Short Stories. An enthusiastic collaborator, she has appeared as violist/dancer at the Merce Cunningham Studio in New York City, served as music consultant at the Seattle Repertory Theatre and had music from her Viola Solo CD featured in a production at Intiman Theatre. Watras is currently Associate Professor of Viola, chair of Strings, and a Donald E. Petersen Endowed Fellow at the University of Washington School of Music.

Caroline Stinson, cello
Praised for her vibrant lyricism, fresh interpretations and expressive performances, cellist Caroline Stinson is sought after by orchestras and fellow musicians in the US, Canada and Europe as a soloist, recitalist and chamber musician for concerts of both traditional and contemporary repertoire. Ms. Stinson's solo invitations include the Museum of Modern Art's Summergarden Series, Poisson Rouge and Bargemusic in New York; Cité de la Musique Strasbourg and the Lucerne Festival in Europe, and the Centennial Centre and Winspear Halls in Canada. As a soloist she has performed with the Banff Festival and Cleveland Institute of Music Orchestras, the Alberta Baroque Ensemble, and the Interlochen World Youth and Syracuse Symphonies. A champion of contemporary music, Ms. Stinson has commissioned concerti from Steven Bryant (Cornell Wind Ensemble) and Andrew Waggoner (Syracuse Symphony), works for cello with electronics from Patrick Carrabre and John Link, in addition to chamber music with the Lark Quartet and her new music and improvisation group, Open End. Performance highlights include Elliott Carter's "Triple Duo" with conductor Pierre Boulez in New York and Europe, the premiere of Paul Moravec's Piano Quintet with Jeremy Denk and the Lark Quartet in New York, and performing Esa-Pekka Salonen's "YTA III" for solo cello, at the composer's recommendation at Scandinavia House in New York. Caroline's début CD, Lines, was released late this summer on Albany Records and was reviewed in Fanfare: "She has it all, fabulous tone, great technique, innate musicality, and a real sense of how to project a wide variety of contemporary music." Caroline holds degrees from the Cleveland Institute where she studied with Alan Harris, the Hochschule für Musik Köln with Maria Kliegel and a Master's and Artist Diploma from The Juilliard School where she studied with Joel Krosnick. Caroline is a teaching assistant to Joel Krosnick at the Juilliard School and is on the cello and chamber music faculty of the Setnor School of Music at Syracuse University.

Molly Morkoski, piano
Pianist Molly Morkoski has performed as soloist and collaborative artist throughout the US, Europe, and Japan. Molly Morkoski’s playing has been recognized by the New York Times as “strong, profiled, nuanced……beautifully etched.” In 2003, she performed on the inaugural concert of Carnegie’s Zankel Hall under the direction of John Adams. And, in June of 2007, she made her solo debut on Carnegie’s Stern Auditorium/Perelman stage. Ms. Morkoski’s performances include appearances at Carnegie's Weill Hall, Lincoln Center's Alice Tully Hall, Merkin Hall and Miller Theater in NY, Le Poisson Rouge in NY, Boston's Gardner Museum and Jordan Hall, St Louis’ Pulitzer Museum, Portland’s Newmark Theater, Washington D.C.'s Smithsonian, Strasbourg Conservatoire, and the US Embassies in Paris and Nice, France.  She has appeared as soloist at the Tanglewood, Bang-on-a-Can, and Pacific Rim festivals, and performed concertos with the Raleigh, Asheville, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Tuscaloosa Symphony Orchestras, and Moravian Philharmonic Orchestras. An avid chamber musician, she is a member of the Zankel Band, Open End Ensemble, and Meme; she has also collaborated with the NY Philharmonic Chamber Players, the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, St. Louis Symphony Chamber Players, New World Symphony, Speculum Musicae, Brooklyn Chamber Music Society, and Orpheus Chamber Orchestra; and has collaborated with some of today’s leading musicians including Dawn Upshaw, John Adams, John Corigliano, and David Robertson. Ms. Morkoski was a Fulbright scholar to Paris, France where she was apprentice with the Ensemble Intercontemporain.  She is also a recipient of the Teresa Sterne Career Grant and the Thayer-Ross Awards.  Her principal teachers were Michael Zenge, Leonard Hokanson, and Gilbert Kalish and she holds degrees from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Indiana University-Bloomington, and SUNY-Stony Brook.  She currently resides in New York City and is Associate Professor at CUNY’s Lehman College in the Bronx.
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