Port Townsend Chamber Music Workshop Artists

The Port Townsend Chamber Music Workshop is designed to serve the highest caliber of dedicated, emerging, pre-formed ensembles and pianists on a path to professional careers in music. Every year, two carefully selected string quartets and two up-and-coming concert pianists will be offered a rare opportunity to work with a world-renowned Quartet-in-Residence as well as Artistic Director Lucinda Carver.

Belka Quartet

Described in performance as “emotionally gripping” by ClevelandClassical, the Belka Quartet (Beatrice Hsieh and Charles Gleason, violins; Matthew Geise, viola; and Daniel Blumhard, cello) was established in the fall of 2014. In its first season together, the Belka Quartet won first place in the 2015 Darius Milhaud Performance Prize Competition, and was featured in the Music in the Galleries series at the Cleveland Museum of Art.

Beatrice Hsieh, violin
Violinist Beatrice Hsieh has been praised for her “mosaic of sensitive phrase shaping and emotional exploration” (The Reporter). She has performed at venues both in the United States and abroad, including the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, Severance Hall, the Kennedy Center, Royal Albert Hall, and the Mariinsky II Theatre. As the winner of various young artist competitions, Beatrice has made several solo appearances with orchestras in the United States; this past season, she soloed with the Coeur d’Alene Symphony Orchestra as winner of its National Competition, and with the Cleveland Institute of Music Orchestra, under Brett Mitchell, as winner of the CIM Concerto Competition. Other honors include the YoungArts Award for Classical Music, honorable mention at the Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition, and Grand Prize at the Darius Milhaud Performance Prize Competition. She has also been featured on National Public Radio’s “From the Top” and at the Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts.

Charles Gleason, violin
A native of Columbus, Ohio, Charles Gleason is an accomplished violinist skilled in both the classical and jazz genres. Charles began attending the Cleveland Institute of Music in fall 2014 to pursue his Bachelor’s in Violin Performance, studying with David Updegraff; since 2015, he has been a student of Joan Kwuon. In 2014, Charles was featured on National Public Radio’s “From the Top” as a member of the Bellaserelle Quartet. Today, Charles participates in the Cleveland Institute of Music Intensive Quartet Seminar as a founding member of the Belka Quartet, in which he is mentored by Peter Salaff and the Cavani Quartet. He has attended the Robert Mann String Quartet Institute and the Juilliard String Quartet Seminar, and has collaborated with Roger Tapping on Mozart’s C Major Viola Quintet. A fellowship recipient at Madeline Island Chamber Music this past summer, Charles studied with the Pacifica, Dover, Brentano, and Arianna quartets, among others, and also performed Mozart’s G minor Viola Quintet and Kevin Puts’ Arcana with Geoff Nuttall and Andres Diaz.

John Grigsby, viola
John Grigsby, a violist from Houston, Texas, is pursuing a diverse career in music around his interest in performing, teaching, composing, and outreach. An accomplished performer, Grigsby has performed throughout the United States in venues such as Carnegie Hall and Severance Hall.
He has studied under renowned pedagogues including Lynne Ramsey, Jeffrey Irvine, James Dunham, and Peter Salaff, and hopes to pass along their knowledge to a new generation through his own teaching. Upon completion of his BM in Viola at the Cleveland Institute of Music, Grigsby chose to pursue a Master’s Degree in Viola Performance at CIM under Lynne Ramsey. Grigsby performs with the Firelands Symphony Orchestra, and composes music for his peers. During his summers, he has participated in Kent/Blossom Music Festival as a fellowship recipient, the Robert Vernon-Heidi Castleman Viola Seminar, Sewanee Summer Music Festival, Castleman Quartet Program East, and Domaine Forget.

Daniel Blumhard, cello
Cellist Daniel Blumhard is a senior currently pursuing his Bachelor’s degree in Cello Performance under the tutelage of Dr. Melissa Kraut. Previous cello teachers include Stephen Geber, David Diehl and Jesus Morale. Blumhard is an alumnus of the Interlochen Arts Academy in Michigan, where he studied for three years with Crispin Campbell and graduated with honors. Blumhard has performed at such venues as Orchestra Hall in Detroit, the Symphony Center in Chicago, Constitution Hall, and Alice Tully Hall. While at IAA he was chosen to perform with the world-renowned Orpheus Chamber Orchestra.  A passionate chamber musician, Blumhard was a member of the Mazel Trio which received the Silver Medal in the Junior Division of the Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition. As a member of the Belka Quartet he has worked and studied with such notable chamber musicians as Peter Salaff, the Cavani Quartet, the Juilliard String Quartet, the Brentano String Quartet, the Pacifica String Quartet, the Dover String Quartet, and the American String Quartet. When not performing or studying, Daniel enjoys reading classic literature, hiking in the woods, playing Super Smash Bros Melee, and brewing a fresh cup of coffee.

Gloria Engle

Pianist Gloria Engle’s recent professional engagements include the premiere of Anne LeBaron’s Radiant Depth Unfolded, which won her praise in the LA Times for “capturing exquisite intricacies of sonorities.”

As a vocal accompanist, Gloria received the prestigious Stern Fellowship for two consecutive years at SongFest at Colburn School, fellowship at the Fall Island Vocal Seminar founded by Stephanie Blythe as well as the Hidden Valley Winter Intensive where she closely worked with Sir Thomas Allen and Graham Johnson on Schubert Lieder.

As a chamber musician, Cloria appeared at the Aspen Music Festival, Colorado College Summer Music Festival, Interlochen Summer Arts Academy, and Mimir Chamber Music Festival. Gloria attended University of Texas at Austin (BM) and Rice University (MM) as a full scholarship recipient.

She is currently pursuing her DMA at Eastman School of Music, where she was awarded the Accompanying Excellence Award in 2017.

Carissa Kim

Carissa Kim is a pianist who has thrilled audiences with her captivating performances in venues including the Walt Disney Concert Hall, the Robert Schumann Saal, the Berlin Philharmonic’s Karajan Saal, and Royce Hall. She was most recently invited to Chicago’s Cultural Center for the Dame Myra Hess recital series, and has previously been invited to perform in world tours including New York’s Avery Fischer Hall, Brooklyn’s National Sawdust, four major cities of South Korea, including Pusan and Seoul, cities throughout Germany, Lausanne Switzerland, and the Netherlands.

Ms. Kim has also had opportunity to work with many prominent artists such as Yefim Bronfman, Arie Vardi, John Perry, John Kimura Parker, Paul Badura-Skoda, and Richard Goode.

Born and raised in Los Angeles, California, Ms. Kim completed her undergraduate studies at the University of California, Los Angeles with renowned pianist Vitaly Margulis, and graduated with her Masters from the Juilliard School in New York City with Professor Jerome Lowenthal. She is currently pursuing her Doctoral degree at the University of Southern California with renowned pianist and conductor, Jeffrey Kahane, and was previously studying with the celebrated pianist, Norman Krieger. She presently holds the position as Teaching Assistant to the Keyboard Department and has had the privilege of passing on learned knowledge to students of various backgrounds, ranging from the age of four to sixty-five years. Ms. Kim believes that sharing music is an essential part of the development of a community and it allows for a richer experience in one’s own life.

Rose Quartet

The Rose Quartet is excited to make its debut at the Port Townsend Chamber Music Festival. Our members have played with one another in a variety of chamber settings, including Le Domaine Forget, the New World Symphony and Englewood Arts Series.

The quartet musicians have extensive backgrounds in chamber music and orchestral playing, holding positions with the Lazarus String Quartet, the Salzburg Philharmonie, the Colorado Symphony, Central City Opera, the New World Symphony, and the Civic Orchestra of Chicago. They have participated in festivals and masterclasses such as IMS Prussia Cove, Britten-Pears, Lucerne Festival Academy, Tanglewood Music Center, Pacific Music Festival, and the Banff Centre residencies.

The Rose Quartet was inspired by a shared joy for reading chamber music together and performing works that span different eras, cultures, and styles. Our repertoire includes the classic works of Beethoven, Brahms, Mozart, and Shostakovich, as well as Ljova’s Clarinet Quintet, Marc Anthony Turnage’s Piano Quintet, George Crumb’s “Black Angels,” and two world premieres from composers Abby Swidler and Sahba Aminikia.

Hanna Rose Nicholas, viola
A member of the New World Symphony from 2014-17, Philadelphia native Hannah Rose Nicholas was appointed Principal Viola of the Central City Opera Orchestra in Colorado this past January. She has been a featured artist with O, Miami Poetry Festival and SoFar Sounds Miami, and on New World Symphony’s Inside the Music and Solo Spotlight series.

Hannah has premiered and collaborated on new works incorporating visual art and poetry –  her own own as well as a commission from Miami poet Mario Ariza. She plays alongside members of the Colorado Symphony on the Englewood Arts Series, and has performed as principal viola with the New World Symphony on highlighted concerts including Strauss’ Don Quixote. Hannah was a soloist with the Lucerne Festival Academy Orchestra in 2015.

In addition to the Rose Quartet, Hannah is also a founding member of the indie-folk trio The alt Default, winner of the Knight Arts Challenge and finalist in the 21CM Emerging Artist Competition. The trio is currently working on an album of their original music.

Hannah earned her Masters in Music at New England Conservatory, where she studied viola performance under Kim Kashkashian, and her Bachelor of Arts in Modern Middle Eastern Studies at the University of Pennsylvania.

Maya Cohon, violin
Born and raised in Seattle, Maya Cohon now lives in Miami and is a member of the New World Symphony.  Maya received her B.M. degree from Northwestern University where she studied with Almita Vamos.  In the past few years, Maya has performed with the Seattle Symphony, St. Louis Symphony Orchestra, and Civic Orchestra of Chicago.  She has spent recent summers at Tanglewood Music Center, Music Academy of the West, Pacific Music Festival, and Aspen Music Festival.

Maya is from a musical family and grew up playing chamber music with not only her immediate family, but her cousins, aunts, and uncles as well.  She loves exploring new cultures and cities, and has enjoyed performing chamber and orchestral music all over the world, from Suntory Hall in Tokyo, to Carnegie Hall in New York, to small churches in Northern Italy.  In addition to playing music, Maya loves running, hiking, and swing dancing.

Freya Rose Creech, violin
British/Canadian violinist, Freya Creech, combines a busy and varied performance schedule as a soloist and chamber musician together with her studies. She regularly performs in venues across the UK, which have included appearances at Royal Festival Hall, Cadogan Hall and Queen Elizabeth Hall, as well as throughout Europe, in such concert halls as the Festspielhaus (Salzburg), Herculessaal (Munich), Sendesaal (Bremen) and Brucknerhaus (Linz). She has appeared as a concerto soloist on a number of occasions,  including performing Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto with the Prince Regent’s Musicians, and has given many performances at the Edinburgh Fringe, Aldeburgh and Brighton Fringe Festivals.  Freya has also held several orchestral positions, including with the Salzburg Philharmonie and the European Union Youth Orchestra, and has played in a wide range of chamber ensembles, most notably as first violinist of the Lazarus String Quartet.  She is incredibly excited to be joining the newly formed Rose Quartet.

Born in 1991, Freya grew up in the West of Ireland, where she learnt the violin with her mother. After moving to the UK at the age of ten, she entered the Junior Department of the Royal Academy of Music, London, studying with Igor Petrushevski.  Freya pursued her studies with Petrushevski as an undergraduate student at the Royal Academy, where she was awarded the Sir Elton John scholarship, and completed her Bachelor of Arts degree with a 1st class distinction as a student at the Mozarteum, Salzburg, with Professor Klara Flieder.  Freya went on to study in the prestigious Masters degree programme in Kammermusik at the Hochschule für Musik, Hannover, and is currently completing her solo Masters degree with Professor Flieder at the Mozarteum.

Austin Barker Fisher, cello
Appointed Assistant Principal Cello of the Colorado Symphony in 2015, Austin Fisher was named Acting Principal Cello for the 2016‐17 Season. He made his solo debut with the Symphony last October, performing Saint‐Saëns’ Cello Concerto No. 1.

An active soloist and chamber musician, Mr. Fisher has been praised for his virtuosity, refinement, and style. He has performed Schumann’s Cello Concerto with the New World Symphony and the Lakewood Symphony in Colorado. Austin is a regular performer on the Englewood Arts Chamber Music Series in Colorado and is engaged to perform Schoenberg’s Verklarte Nacht with the Miami String Quartet at the Off The Hook Arts Festival.

Mr. Fisher has attended festivals and master classes around the world, including IMS Prussia Cove, London Master Classes, and the Pacific Music Festival in Japan. He is Co-Principal Cello at the Lakes Area Music Festival in Minnesota, and performs with the Strings Music Festival in Steamboat Springs, Colorado.

Mr. Fisher holds degrees from Northwestern University and the Eastman School of Music, studying under Hans Jørgen Jensen and Steven Doane. He plays on a French cello made by Francois Caussin, 1830.