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A dedicated chamber musician and soloist, pianist Vladimir Valjarevic has been praised for his “caressing legato,” “silk-on-velvet seductiveness” (Fanfare Magazine), “beautiful lyricism and . . . wide variety of tones and colorings, perceptively applied with care” (All Music Guide). He has also been called “an outstandingly responsive partner and superb tonalist” (The Strad). His performances have taken him throughout America, Europe, and Asia, and have garnered enthusiastic critical acclaim. Valjarevic has collaborated with numerous contemporary composers in various projects, including commissions, recordings, and world premiers. He has recorded for Labor Records, Romeo Records, Centaur Records, Blue Griffin, and MSR Classics. He has performed and recorded extensively with violinist Miroslav Hristov as a member of the Kaleidos Duo.Valjarevic studied in his native Bosnia, at Belgrade Conservatory (Serbia), Mannes School of Music (BM & MM), Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University (DMA) and at Geneva Conservatory in Switzerland, where he was a Fulbright Scholar. His primary piano instructors are Pavlina Dokovska, Pascal Devoyon, Susan Starr, and Planinka Jurisic-Atic. Valjarevic is on piano faculty at Mannes School of Music (College, Prep) and Mason Gross School of the Arts, and teaches piano pedagogy and piano literature at both schools. His festival affiliations include Beijing International Music Festival and Academy in China, Round Top in Texas, International Institute for Young Musicians in Kansas.
Cellist Nathan Jasinski has given solo performances in Germany, Switzerland, Austria, and throughout the United States. A recent highlight includes a performance of Dvorak’s Cello Concerto with the Keweenaw Symphony in Michigan. He performs regularly with the Appalachia Piano Trio, as continuo/solo cellist with the Kentucky Bach Choir, and as a solo recitalist. Jasinski earned degrees in cello performance from Brigham Young University and Arizona State University, and his doctorate from the University of Michigan.
An enthusiastic educator, Jasinski frequently gives cello and chamber music master classes at educational venues throughout the country. He joined the music faculty at Eastern Kentucky University in 2006. Prior to this appointment, he taught at Bowling Green State University in Ohio and Snow College in Ephraim, UT. His love of teaching has led to his working with young musicians at the Interlochen and Steven Foster music camps. He is currently president of the Kentucky Cello Club, an organization that promotes cello playing and teaching throughout the lower Midwest.
A sought-after soloist, recitalist and pedagogue, Ana Ruth Bermudez studied cello performance at the Amadeo Roldan Conservatory of Music and the Instituto Superior de Arte de La Habana, Cuba. She specialized in cello performance for three more years at the Tchaikovsky Conservatory of Moscow.
Bermudez has appeared as a soloist and chamber musician in Cuba, Russia, Spain, Venezuela, Brazil, Mexico, England, Japan, and all over the United States. She has recorded for television, theater, radio and cinema in Cuba, Spain, Venezuela, and the US, and has played with numerous orchestras, such as the Moscow International Chamber Orchestra, Caracas Municipal Symphony Orchestra, Milwaukee Ballet, and the Bell Canto Symphony Orchestra, among others. She was the principal cello of the Havana Chamber Orchestra from 1986 to 1993, and artistic director in 1991.
A committed teacher, Ana Ruth Bermudez has taught at the Escuela Nacional de Musica and at the Instituto Superior de Arte, both in Havana, Cuba, and at the Simon Bolivar Conservatory of Musicand the Instituto Universitario de Estudios Musicales, bothin Caracas, Venezuela.
From 1993 to 2000 she was a part of the Sistema de Orquestas Juveniles de Venezuela. From 2000 to 2009 Bermudez continued her teaching activity at the Wisconsin Conservatory of Music and at Alverno College in Milwaukee, WI, where she was also principal cello with the Skylight Opera Theater. From 2009 to 2012 she taught at various music schools in Philadelphia and New York City and became a member of the Fundacion Musica de Camara's Chamber Orchestra.
In 2012 she returned to the Sistemaand began an intense artistic and pedagogical project at the Academia Latinoamericana de Violoncello. Since 2014 Bermudez has resided in Miami, is a member of the Florida Chamber Orchestra, and is a faculty member at Belen Jesuit Preparatory School.
José R. López is associate professor and coordinator of the keyboard department at Florida International University in Miami, Florida as well as the president of the South Florida Chapter of the American Liszt Society and board member of the United Kingdom’s Alkan Society. He has performed throughout the United States, Italy, Central and South America as a recitalist and chamber musician. He is a founding member of the Deering Estate Chamber Ensemble and co-founder of The Deering Estate “Chamber Concert Series:” collaborative concerts revolving around environmental and preservation themes involving historians, living composers, literary and visual artists, in its 11th anniversary season. A versatile pianist and enthusiastic performer of chamber music, López’s interest in contemporary music has resulted in frequent world premieres and collaborations with composers along with the keen pursuit of resurrecting rarely heard works by Romantic and Classical composers. His recent CD releases on Toccata Classics (Complete piano works by Riccardo Malipiero; Alkan transcriptions and pieces by 19th century Cuban composer José Comellas) have received praise in The London Times, Baltimore Sun, Music Web International and Fanfare magazine, among others. López received his MM and DMA from the University of Miami School of Music, where he studied with the late Rosalina G. Sackstein, a former pupil of Rafael de Silva and Claudio Arrau. He has recorded for SNE, Albany, Innova and Toccata Classics record labels.
Victor Chávez, Jr. is a Mexican-American, fifth-generation musician from El Paso, Texas. In 2014, he was appointed assistant professor of clarinet at the University of Tennessee and currently holds tenured orchestral positions with the Johnson City Symphony Orchestra in Johnson City, Tennessee and the TriCities Opera Company in Binghamton, New York.
He has been a guest clinician for KMTA/TMTA, various universities and secondary education institutions throughout the United States as well as lectured and performed at the International Clarinet Association Festivals in Baton Rouge, LA 2013; Madrid, Spain 2014; Lawrence, Kansas 2015; and the College Music Society Conference. He has worked with Clarinets for Conservation in Moshi, Tanzania, teaching and advocating for greater awareness and preservation of African Blackwood (mpingo) used to make clarinets. His solo performances can be heard on WUOT 91.5 FM, Knoxville. This past June, Victor debuted at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall.
He has performed with the The Cleveland Orchestra, Knoxville Symphony Orchestra, Waco Symphony Orchestra, Binghamton Philharmonic Orchestra, Erie Chamber Orchestra, Belton Symphony Orchestra, Oak Ridge Symphony Orchestra, Symphony of the Mountains, and Murfreesboro Symphony Orchestra Chamber Series.
Victor earned various prizes as a performer: twice at the El Paso Artists Guild Concerto Competition, twice at the Entergy Young Texas Artists Competition, Baylor University Concerto Competition, the International Sorantin Concerto, DePaul University Concerto Competition, and the Round Top Festival Concerto Competition. He has attended the Brevard Music Festival, Blossom Music Festival, and Round Top Music Festival and has earned degrees from Baylor University-BME, DePaul University-MM, and The Eastman School of Music-DMA. His primary pedagogues include Larry Combs, Guy Deplus, Jon Manasse, Julie Deroche, Kenneth Grant, Richard Shanley, Dan McKelway, Alan Olson, and Vin Richards.
In 2006, Victor was awarded the prestigious Fulbright Lusk Fellowship, allowing him to study in Paris, France, under the tutelage of Guy Deplus. While in Paris, Victor conducted his Fulbright research in pedagogy, performance practice, organology and literature.
Victor was recently awarded the artistic directorship for the International Clarinet Association’s ClarinetFest®2019 at the University of Tennessee.
Victor is a Buffet Crampon Artist and exclusively plays on Buffet Crampon clarinets.