Wanchi Huang, born in Taiwan, started playing violin at age six and came to the U.S. at age 13 to study at the Peabody Conservatory and the Baltimore School for the Arts, soloing with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra under conductor Catherine Comet a year later. She went on to earn a Bachelor of Music from the Curtis Institute of Music, a Master of Music from The Julliard School, and a Doctor of Music from Indiana University. She has given highly acclaimed recitals, solo apearances with Orchestras, and collaborated with internationally renowned performing artists in chamber music performances throughout the United States, including at the Kennedy Center. She has served as an adjudicator at the Hong Kong Music School Festival multiple times and once at the International Violin Competition in Checng-Du, China. In the summers since 2008, she serves as a performing instructor/artist at the Bay View Music Festival in Michigan. She has presented at the ASTA National Conference on multiple occasions and her CD of Eugène Ysaÿe Sonatas for Solo Violin is being released in the fall of 2012 under the Centaur Records label. Her CD of Six Sonatas and Partitas for Solo Violin by J.S. Bach will be released in early 2015, by the same record company . A founding member of the Trio Sorpresa, a piano trio newly formed in 2013, Wanchi is looking forward to their scheduled concert tours in the near future.
She currently resides in Harrisonburg, Virginia, where she teaches a full violin studio at the James Madison University School of Music.
China-born Violinist Fangye Sun enjoys a multi-faceted career. An avid performing artist, she has concertized in Japan, Canada, the United States, Hong Kong, and throughout China, appearing as a soloist with numerous orchestras. The renowned musicians with whom she has collaborated include Ralph Votapek, Carl Topilow, Stephan Picard, Yuri Gandelsman, Suren Bargatuni, and members of Yo-Yo Ma’s Silk Road Ensemble. An enthusiastic chamber and orchestral musician, she has been featured in music festivals such as the Asian Youth Orchestra, Pacific Music Festival, National Repertory Orchestra, Pine Mountain Music Festival, Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp, and Lansing Symphony Chamber Series. A member of the Grand Rapids Symphony since 2011, she has also performed as Concertmaster of Lansing Symphony, Jackson Symphony, Southwest Michigan Symphony, Xi’an Conservatory of Music Symphony, and Michigan State University Symphony as well as Assistant Concertmaster of National Repertory Orchestra.
Dr. Sun joined the Central Michigan University faculty in 2013. Prior to moving to the United States, she was Assistant Professor of Violin at Xi’an Conservatory of Music in China where she was the recipient of the Excellence in Teaching Award in 2003. During the summers, she is often invited back to China to perform and present master classes at Universities and Conservatories. Her recent teaching engagements include masterclasses and recitals at Zhejiang Conservatory of Music, Xi’an Conservatory of Music, Shandong University, and Qufu Normal University. A dedicated and passionate pedagogue, her students have been named prize winners at national music competitions, made solo appearances with orchestras, performed in Carnegie Hall, and won full-scholarships to attend international music festivals. Alumni of her studio can be found in major orchestras in China as well as in undergraduate and graduate programs in the U.S., Germany, and Singapore.
Her early violin instruction started at the age four with her father. After winning the gold medal at the "Gao Hua" Chinese Youth Violin Competition at the age of eleven, she has won several prizes and been recognized internationally with the Best Performance Prize at the 7th Chinese National Youth Violin Competition, the Bronze Medal at the 3rd Chinese National "Golden Bell Award" Violin Competition, and Second Prize at the Marquette Symphony Young Artist Competition. Additionally, she was named winner of the Michigan State University Honors Concert Competition.
Dr. Sun received a Doctor of Musical Arts and Master of Music in Violin Performance from Michigan State University and a Bachelor of Music from Xi'an Conservatory of Music. Her mentors include Walter Verdehr, Yaoji Lin, Xie Min, and Qihua Li. During her studies, she had further opportunities to work with the Julliard String Quartet, Bergonzi String Quartet, David Kim, Paul Roczek, Alice Schoenfeld, Sergiu Comissiona, Charles Dutoit, Valery Gergiev, and Fabio Luisi. Her live performances and media appearances have been broadcasted on Blue Lake Public Radio, Colorado Public Radio, WAKR, WCMU, WDIY, WLNS, and Hanzhong TV Station.
Laurielle Warren began her serious musical studies with Sheridan Kamberger Currie and earned a Bachelor of Music degree at the University of Cincinnati’s College-Conservatory of Music (CCM), where she studied under Masao Kawasaki, Dr. Catharine Carroll, and Dr. Dominic DeStefano. She continued her studies with Dr. Misha Galaganov while earning her Master of Music degree at Texas Christian University (TCU), where she served as the Graduate Assistant for the program. Laurielle is an active pedagogue and performer, teaching on the faculty of the TCU Music Preparatory Division and at the Fort Worth Suzuki School, and currently performing with The Jackson Symphony (TN). Laurielle has performed in several orchestras in five states.
Laurielle enjoys performing as a chamber musician and has performed in chamber music groups in the United States and in Italy. Currently, she performs with The Jackson Symphony String Quartet and with her husband, a clarinetist, in the Warren Trio. Laurielle coaches in the Fort Worth Youth Orchestra chamber program, which prepares students to perform string quartet repertoire in the United States and abroad. In the summer, Laurielle serves as a Faculty Artist at the Bay View Music Festival in Bay View, Michigan, teaching and performing in the Bay View Faculty String Quartet.
Laurielle is also the director and co-founder of a teaching business in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex called DFW Strings & Piano. (https://citystrings.com/dfw/)
Libor Ondras is a viola recitalist, conductor and educator. Dr. Ondras began his studies as a recipient of the Slovak Ministry of Culture fellowship to study viola at the prestigious Moscow Conservatory with Yuri Bashmet. To further his career and experience, Ondras continued his studies at the Academy of Music Arts in Prague, and completed his M.M and D.M.A. degrees at the University of Houston. Among the highlights of his graduate studies years are fellowships at the Pacific Music Festival established by Leonard Bernstein (Japan), the Aspen Music Festival, the National Orchestral Institute (University of Maryland), Encore (Cleveland Institute of Music), and Sir George Solti's Carnegie Hall Project.
Dr. Ondras has performed with major orchestras throughout the US and Europe including Florida Orchestra, Utah Symphony, Houston Grand Opera, Vienna Philharmonics... He has given lectures and played recitals for the American Viola Society and International Viola D'Amore Society. His research and scholarly writings were published in the Journal of American Viola Society. Ondras' conducting engagements include Music Director of the Kent Philharmonic Orchestra of Grand Rapids and Great Lakes Chamber Orchestra of Petoskey and a guest conductor for the Slovak State Opera.
Prior to coming to MI, Dr. Ondras served as a Director of Orchestras at the University of Tampa, FL, where he also founded and lead Quartet-de-Minaret. Among their frequent chamber music appearances and residencies are such festivals as Haydn International Festspiele (Austria) and Sarasota International Chamber Music Festival. Dr. Ondras currently serves as a Director of Orchestras and String Specialist at Grand Rapids Community College.
Daniel Tressel, composer and cellist, divides his time among composing, performing, and teaching. After receiving a Master’s and Bachelor’s degree in cello performance from University of Nevada and University of Illinois, respectively, Daniel went on to receive his Doctor of Musical Arts in music composition from Michigan State University where he studied under Dr. Ricardo Lorenz. As a composer, Daniel has written numerous works for orchestra and various chamber ensembles. He has received commissions from the Verdehr Trio, Livingston Symphony, Jackson Symphony, Jackson Youth Symphony, and Mason Symphony Orchestra. In 2011, he was named the winner of the Merle J. Isaac Composition Contest for his orchestral work Sunday Stroll.
As a cellist, Daniel won third prize at the Reno Chamber Orchestra Concerto Competition and has made solo appearances with the Livingston Symphony, University of Nevada Symphony and Glenbrook Symphony Orchestra. As a founding member of Duo Piacevole and the Armonia String Quartet, he is an active chamber musician. Daniel currently teaches cello at Albion College and the Jackson Symphony Orchestra Community Music School.
Cellist Theodore Buchholz has been lauded by newspaper critics as a “Virtuosic cellist,” an “Outstanding performer,” and a “Wonderful musician.” Debuting in New York’s Merkin Hall, and this season he will perform as recitalist and chamber musician in Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center, Tokyo, Idaho, Massachusetts, Montana, Utah, Vermont, Michigan, and as a faculty collaborative artist. Theodore served as a professional orchestral musician for ten years, and has collaborated in chamber performances with members of the world’s leading ensembles. He is a member of True Concord whose recent recording is currently nominated for a Grammy Award. Dr. Buchholz studied at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and the Manhattan School of Music. His principal teachers include Nathaniel Rosen, Bonnie Hampton, and Sadao Harada of the Tokyo String Quartet. As a nationally recognized researcher, Dr. Buchholz serves as the Cello Forum Editor for the award-winning journal American String Teacher. Dr. Buchholz’s research accomplishments include publications in the Journal of Historical Research in Music Education, American String Teacher, and frequent presentations at national conferences. His current research is focused on historical cello treatises, and he edited the technique book Exercises and Etudes for Elegance of Sound and Form in Cello Playing. As a leader in music education, Theodore Buchholz regularly appears as a guest artist, teacher, and clinician across the country. Dr. Buchholz is a voting member of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (Grammy Awards). He currently serves as President of the American String Teachers Association of Arizona and is the Director of the Tucson Cello Congress. Dr. Buchholz is the String Area Coordinator, Chamber Music Coordinator, and Cello Professor at the University of Arizona. During the summers he performs and teaches at the prestigious Killington Music Festival in Vermont and the Bay View Festival in Michigan.
Philip Alejo is the Assistant Professor of Bass at the University of Arizona. Previously he performed as Associate Principal Bass in the Quad City Symphony Orchestra, taught at St. Ambrose University, and served as Visiting Professor of Bass at the University of Michigan. A former member of the Chicago Civic Orchestra and an orchestral mentor with the Detroit Civic Orchestra, Philip has played with Phoenix Symphony, Tucson Symphony, Ensemble Dal Niente, Flint Symphony, and Ann Arbor Symphony.
As a chamber musician, Philip collaborates regularly with harpist Claire Happel in River Town Duo. River Town Duo recently premiered newly commissioned works by Pulitzer Prize winner Caroline Shaw and Yale composer Hannah Lash during appearances at the International Society of Bassists 2015 Convention and the American Harp Society 2015 Summer Institute. Philip’s additional performances have taken place alongside Menahem Pressler, Yehonatan Berick, Martin Beaver, Paul Coletti, the Prazak Quartet, the Jasper Quartet, Maiya Papach, Spencer Myer, Katinka Kleijn, and David Bowlin.
Philip has performed at numerous music festivals, including Spoleto Festival USA (SC), Lucerne Festival (Switzerland), Swannanoa Chamber Music Festival (NC), Mackinac Island Music Festival (MI), Oaxaca Instrumenta (Mexico), Aldeburgh Festival (England), Tucson Winter Chamber Music Festival (AZ), Pacific Music Festival (Japan), and Aspen Music Festival (CO). As a fellow at the Center of World Performance Studies at the University of Michigan, Philip studied tango performance during a residency in Buenos Aires with bassist Horacio Cabarcos.
He teaches at the Milt Hinton Institute at Oberlin College, AZ ASTA Bass Jam, and the Richard Davis Conference for Young Bassists at the University of Wisconsin. Philip holds degrees from Oberlin College (BA, BM), Yale University (MM), and the University of Michigan (DMA), where his principal teachers included Diana Gannett, Donald Palma, Peter Dominguez, and Thomas Sperl.