2017 Guest Artists


Sirena Huang, violin

Praised by The Baltimore Sun for her “impeccable technique…deeply expressive phrasing…personality and poetic weight," Sirena Huang made her solo debut with the National Taiwan Symphony Orchestra at the age of nine. Since then, she has performed in fifteen countries across three continents, and has been featured as a soloist with more than forty orchestras including the New York Philharmonic, Shanghai Symphony Orchestra, Singapore Symphony Orchestra, Cleveland Orchestra, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, Staatskapelle Weimar in Germany, and Russian Symphony Orchestra. 

Huang is the First Prize Gold Medalist of the 6th International Tchaikovsky Competition for Young Musicians. In 2011, she won First Prize and the Audience Award at the Cooper International Competition. That year, she was also named the first Artist-in-Residence of Hartford Symphony Orchestra. In 2013, she was awarded the Hannloser Prize for Violin at Verbier Music Festival in Switzerland. More recently, she won Third Prize at the 2015 Singapore International Violin Competition and Third Prize at the 2016 Shanghai Isaac Stern International Violin Competition. 

Huang has been selected three times as one of ten "Exceptional Young Artists" worldwide at the “Starling-DeLay Symposium for Violin Study” at Juilliard School. In 2006, she received the honor of playing for His Majesty King Abdullah II of Jordan and thirty Nobel Prize Laureates at the World Peace Conference held in Petra. In 2007, under the invitation of former Czech Republic President Havel, she played in the Opening Ceremony of “Forum 2000 World Conference” in Prague. In 2008, she was invited to perform during the ceremony in which the Elie Wiesel Foundation for Humanity presented its Humanitarian Award to President Sarkozy of France. 

She has been featured as a guest artist at the Aspen Music Festival, Eastern Music Festival, Verbier Music Festival, Ravinia Music Festival, Sarasota Arts Series, Albuquerque Chamber Music Festival, “The Great Music for a Great City” series in New York City, and many others. 

Raised in South Windsor, Connecticut, Huang is a recent graduate of the Juilliard School, where she studied with Mr. Itzhak Perlman and Ms. Sylvia Rosenberg. She is currently an artist under Columbia Artist Management.


Matthew Zalkind, cello

Praised for his “impressive refinement, eloquent phrasing, and singing tone” by The New York Times, American cellist Matthew Zalkind has performed throughout the United States and abroad as a recitalist, soloist and chamber musician. 

Mr. Zalkind was awarded First Prize in the Washington International Competition, as well as top prizes in the Beijing International Cello Competition, Korea’s Isang Yun Gyeongnam International Competition and the Juilliard School Competition. He also won distinction as the top-ranked American and one of the final eight concerto semi-finalists in the International Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow. 

As a soloist, Mr. Zalkind has performed concerti with such organizations as the Moscow Chamber Players, the Albany Symphony, the Hongzhou Philharmonic, the Utah Symphony, the Tongyeong International Music Festival Orchestra, the Music Academy of the West Festival Orchestra and the Juilliard Symphony Orchestra. Mr. Zalkind has performed concerti with conductors Ludovic Morlot, Thierry Fischer, Giancarlo Guerrero, David Alan Miller and several others. 

Mr. Zalkind has given recitals at the Phillips Collection in Washington, DC, the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, MI, Gardner Hall in Salt Lake City, UT, the Moscow Conservatory in Moscow, Russia, The Dame Myra Hess series in Chicago, The Juilliard School in New York, the Kennedy Center’s Terrace Theater in Washington, DC and the Beijing Concert Hall in Beijing, China. 

An active chamber musician, Mr. Zalkind has participated in numerous music festivals, including Marlboro and “Musicians from Marlboro” tours, Music from Angel Fire, Olympic Music Festival, Innsbrook Institute, Twickenham Festival, and Ravinia’s “Steans Institute.” Mr. Zalkind has performed chamber music at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall, the Kennedy Center’s Terrace Theater, New York’s Alice Tully Hall and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. As a member of the acclaimed Harlem String Quartet, Mr. Zalkind toured internationally with jazz legends Stanley Clarke, Chick Corea and Gary Burton. 

Mr. Zalkind has a strong interest in teaching and outreach. He was awarded a Gluck Community Service Fellowship at The Juilliard School for four years, performing concerts at treatment facilities throughout the five boroughs of New York City. Mr. Zalkind is now an Assistant Professor at the University of Denver’s Lamont School of Music. 

A Salt Lake City native, Mr. Zalkind’s primary mentors included Richard Hoyt, Pegsoon Whang, Timothy Eddy, Richard Aaron, and Hans Jørgen Jensen. Mr. Zalkind has Bachelors and Masters degrees from Juilliard, and a Doctorate of Musical Arts from the University of Michigan. Mr. Zalkind plays on a rare Italian cello made by Florentine Maker Luigi Piatellini in 1760.


Aeolus Quartet

Nicholas Tavani and Rachel Shapiro, violins * Gregory Luce, viola * Alan Richardson, cello

Formed in 2008 at the Cleveland Institute of Music, the Aeolus Quartet has been praised by Strad Magazine for their “high-octane” performances and by the Dallas Morning News for their “Sophisticated and committed” music-making. The Aeolus Quartet completed their tenure as Graduate Resident String Quartet at the Juilliard School in 2016 and since has been Quartet-in-Residence at Musica Viva of New York. Luke Quinton of the Austin-American Statesman writes, “The Aeolus Quartet is a powerful and thoughtful group of young musicians who are plotting an ascending course…this vibrant group shows great promise.”

The Aeolus Quartet are Grand Prizewinners of the 2011 Plowman Chamber Music Competition and 2011 Chamber Music Yellow Springs Competition. They were awarded First Prize at the 2009 Coleman International Chamber Ensemble Competition, and Silver Medal at the 2011 Fischoff International Chamber Music Competition. Highlights of the 2016-17 season include residencies at Texas Performing Arts, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Chamber Music Tulsa, as well as performances alongside the Mark Morris Dance Group and James Dunham.