Isaac Sebenius is a sophomore at Harvard University. He began studying piano at the age of five at the New School of Music in Cambridge. In 2015, Isaac twice attended the Indiana University Piano Academy in Bloomington, and in 2015 spent the year studying piano in Israel with concert pianist Shira Legmann. He competed regularly in high school, winning top prizes in regional competitions – for which he was invited to perform at Symphony Hall. He continues his musical studies at the New School in the studio of Catherine Lawlor. Isaac is an avid runner and enjoys wilderness experiences with friends and family. Isaac joined the "Back to BACH" Project in the fall of 2017. He became the associate regional director in the spring of 2018. In the fall of 2019, he will be taking over as the regional director.
Member Since Fall 2016
Alyssa Kim, was accepted into the Manhattan School of Music Pre-College Division in 2009 as a violin and piano major, where she studied with Prof. Grigory Kalinovsky and Dr. Brandt Fredricksen. In 2013, she was accepted into the Juilliard Pre-College Division for violin under Prof. Naoko Tanaka. Previously, Alyssa has studied with Kurt Nikkanen and Dr. Yu Jeong Lee. Alyssa was a grand-prize winner of the Ensemble 212 Young Artist Concerto Competition and performed as a soloist with the Ensemble 212 Orchestra. In addition, she won first prize in numerous competitions including the New York International Artist Violin Competition, the International Grande Music Competition, the International Virtuoso Competition, and the New Jersey Intergenerational Orchestra Young Artist Concerto Competition. Alyssa performed as a featured soloist with the New Jersey Intergenerational Orchestra. Alyssa served as concertmaster of Manhattan School of Music’s Concert Orchestra and the New Jersey Intermediate Region I Orchestra, and principal for the World Youth Alliance Orchestra Ensemble and the Juilliard Pre-College Symphony. Her musical endeavors have led her to give performances from the Stern Auditorium at Carnegie Hall to local nursing homes and coffeehouses for fundraisers. Alyssa started playing the piano at the age of 8 and was a prize-winner for competitions like the KRB New York International Music Competition and the National Young Musicians Showcase Competition. She will assume the role of associate regional director in the fall of 2019.
Michael Won is excited to direct the Back to Bach Project in Boston! A cellist and a graduate of the Dalton School, he studied with Minhye Clara Kim at the Pre-College Division of The Juilliard School. He participated in the Pre-College Orchestra and the chamber music program. Michael was a 2016 National Youngarts Foundation Winner, and claimed first prize as a soloist in the Manhattan International Music Competition, National League of Performing Arts, American Protege, American Fine Arts Festival, and the East Coast International Competition. He is also a prize winner of New York Artists International Competition and the International Virtuoso Competition. He has performed in venues such as Steinway Hall; Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall; Merkin Concert Hall; DiMenna Center; and Paul Hall, Morse Hall, and Alice Tully Hall of Lincoln Center. Michael has previously studied with Ann Alton and Irene Sharp. He has attended the Meadowmount School of Music and Great Mountains Music Festival. His summer teachers include Hans Jorgen Jensen, Melissa Kraut, Lluís Claret and Ole Akahoshi. In his free time, he enjoys reading and exploring New York City. Michael is a founding member of the Heartstrings Cello Ensemble, and a sophomore at Harvard College. Michael joined the "Back to BACH" project in the fall of 2017.
Violinist Jeffrey Liu was born in Princeton, New Jersey. He started playing piano at the age of five and violin at the age of seven. Jeffrey was a student at The Juilliard School Pre-College Division for five years, studying under Dr. Ann Setzer. In 2015, he was a National Finalist in the highly competitive Music Teachers’ National Association Senior Performance Competition and won the National Merit Award at the national competition after winning the Eastern Competition and NY State Competition. Jeffrey has also won the top prizes of many other competitions, such as the American Protégé International Piano and Strings Competition, Lincoln Center Chamber Music Society Competition, International Virtuoso Competition, Rondo Young Artist Festival Competition, Wagner College Young Musicians’ Competition, and the New York Music Competition. He has also performed in many famous facilities, such as Carnegie Hall, Merkin Concert Hall, Alice Tully Hall, and Avery Fisher Hall. Originally from Chappaqua, New York, Jeffrey is currently a sophomore at Harvard College, where he studies Applied Math in Computer Science with a minor in Film Production.
Eighteen year old violinist William Yao hails from Barrington, Rhode Island. A graduate of The Juilliard School Precollege Division, where he studied with Dr. Ann Setzer and Mr. Khullip Jeung, William has appeared in masterclasses for Yo Yo Ma, Augustin Hadelich, Robert Chen and the Emerson and Cavani String Quartets, among others. As a part of the National Youth Orchestra of the United States of America, William has toured extensively through Asia, Europe, Latin America and South America and performed in venues such as Carnegie Hall, the Royal Concertgebouw, the National Centre for the Performing Arts in Beijing and Teatro Mayor in Bogota. Besides violin, William enjoys distance running, napping, and computer programming. William is currently a freshman at Harvard studying Mathematics and performs with the Brattle Street Chamber Players (brattlestreetchamberplayers. com). William joined the "Back to BACH" Project in the fall of 2017.
At age 18, Evelyn Mo is currently a sophomore at Harvard University. She has studied with Dr. John O’Conor for the past three years. Most recently, she was a prizewinner in the 2016 New York International Piano Competition, the 2016 PianoArts North American Competition, and the inaugural Cliburn Junior International Competition. Evelyn has won first prizes at the 2014 David D. Dubois Competition, 2013 Lee University International Competition, 2013 Leschetizky Concerto Competition for Young Pianists, and 2012 Blount-Slawson Young Artist Competition. She was named a 2015 National YoungArts Winner and a full scholarship recipient from the Chopin Foundation of the United States. Evelyn has performed with the Montgomery Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra of Northern New York, Camerata New York, the Shenandoah Symphony Orchestra, and the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra. She has performed at Carnegie Hall, Merkin Hall, the Kennedy Center, and has appeared on WQXR’s ‘Piano Prodigies’ show and NPR’s ‘From the Top’ program. Evelyn also plays the violin, and has served as co-concertmaster of the American Youth Philharmonic and a member of the Harvard-Ratcliffe Orchestra. Evelyn spends her free time eating Korean marinated galbi at Koreana, where she hopes to be a manager one day. Evelyn joined the "Back to BACH" Project in the fall of 2017.
Winner of the Jury Discretionary Award at the 2015 Van Cliburn International Junior Piano Competition and a finalist in the 2016 Cooper International Piano Competition, Clayton Stephenson is a proud recipient of the Jack Kent Cooke scholarship and a 2017 U.S. Presidential Scholar in the Arts. Clayton began the 2016-17 with engagements to inaugurate the prestigious Kissinger Somer Festival in Bad Kissinger Germany; featured as a guest artist to play at Chicago sinfonietta season-opening concert in Chicago Symphony Center; invited to perform a solo recital at BeethovenFest in Bonn Germany. Previous highlights of Clayton’s burgeoning career include recitals at the Louis Vuitton Foundation in Paris, the Morningside Music Bridge Festival in Canada, Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, Ravinia Festival, and Chicago's Millennium Park Pritzker Pavillion. On the 69th U.N. Day, Clayton played with the International Youth Orchestra at the United Nations General Assembly Hall. Additionally, he has been a featured performer on NPR’s From the Top show and WQXR’s The Greene Space. Clayton was admitted into the Juilliard Pre-College at age ten, becoming the first and only African American pianist in history to ever be accepted. At the age of 13, Clayton won the Juilliard Pre-College Piano Concerto Competition and played his first orchestral debut at Lincoln Center's Peter Jay Sharp Theater. Clayton is enrolled in the Harvard-NEC Dual Degree Program.
Evan Vietorisz is a sophomore at Harvard College dual enrolled in the New England Conservatory, where he is a candidate for a Masters of Music in Jazz Performance. Since beginning the dual program, he has studied jazz guitar with Brad Shepik and simultaneously studied upright bass with Gregory Ryan. In 2015 and 2016 Evan attended the Skidmore Jazz Summer Jazz Institute, where he studied with guitarists Vic Juris and Paul Bollenback and worked closely with Michael Dease, Sean Jones, and Gary Smulyan, among others. In addition to gigging professionally, he currently participates in small ensembles under the direction of Vijay Iyer and Jason Moran, as well as the Harvard Undergraduate Jazz band under Yosvany Terry. In the past year the band presented concerts with vocalists Dena DeRose and Cassandra Wilson and capped the summer with a tour in Havana, Cuba.
18 year-old Max Bobby is a freshman at Harvard University. He studied cello at the Juilliard Pre-College Division with Richard Aaron and Sieun Lin. Max was a YoungArts 2018 finalist and was invited to Miami for YoungArts week. He was also winner of the 2015 Juilliard Pre College Concerto Competition, a semi-finalist at the Stulberg International String Competition and winner of the concerto competition at Indiana Summer Strings Academy. Max has won top prizes at other national and international competitions, including the International Virtuoso Competition (grand prize), New York Music Competition (gold prize), Stamford Young Artists Concerto Competition (first prize), American Fine Arts Festival Competition (gold prize), American Protege Concerto Competition (gold prize), the Morningside Music Bridge Chamber Competition (second prize), Yonkers Philharmonic Concerto Competition (second prize) and the Pasadena Chamber Music Competition (Beethoven prize). In past summers, he has attended the Indiana Summer Strings Academy, Meadowmount School of Music, Morningside Music Bridge, Bowdoin international Music Festival, and Music@Menlo.
Member Since Fall 2014
Noah Lee, one of three cellists and his family, is passionate about music and the arts. He captured first prize at the 7th Tchaikovsky for Young Musicians in Montreux, Switzerland and grand prize at the 10th International Antonio Janigro Cello Competition in Porec, Croatia, becoming the first and only US cellist to be given these distinctions. Noah is the 2016 Davidson fellow, an award given by the Davidson institute for talent development for demonstration of an extraordinary accomplishment. He was selected as a 2017 YoungArts finalist by the National Foundation of the Advancement of the Arts competition. He participated in 36th annual YoungArts week in Miami where he was awarded their highest $10,000 gold award. He is a US 2018 US Presidential Scholar in the Arts, selected by The White House Commission on Presidential Scholars and Department of Education. Additionally, he was named a 2017 nominee of the International Classical Music Awards in Europe. He was invited as a soloist to perform with the Ensemble Esperanza at the 2017 Next Generation Festival in Bad Ragaz, Switzerland. Noah is a founding member and principal cellist(2015-2018) of the award winning Heartstrings Cello Ensemble, a group dedicated to providing concerts and performances to positively impact local and global communities. He studied with Richard Aaron from 2012-2018 at the Juilliard School, pre-college division. Other influential teachers include Soo Lee, Hans Jensen and Julie Albers. Noah is a freshman at Harvard College. Noah has been involved in the "Back to BACH" Project since its inception.
Member Since Fall 2018
Esther Yu is a 18 year old cellist who graduated the Juilliard School Pre-College.
Since entering the Pre-College Division of the Juilliard School at age 11, Esther Yu has been firmly establishing herself as a soloist, chamber musician, and orchestral musician. Some of her accomplishments include winning the third prize at the Johansen International Competition in Washington D.C, in March 2015. In addition, she was twice-featured in National Public Radio’s “From The Top” show: the first time performing Elgar Concerto with the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra at Kodak Hall at the Eastman Theatre, and the second time performing Beethoven Piano Trio No.3 with her piano trio in New York City. As an orchestral musician, Esther has served as principal cellist of the Juilliard Pre-College Orchestra. She was also selected for National Youth Orchestra of the United States of America and performed in various venues in Mexico, Ecuador, and Colombia. In addition, she was 2017 All-National Honor Ensembles Principle Cellist. More than just her achievements, Esther is passionate about the opportunities that music gives to affect social change, as she was invited to perform in the Intrepid Museum of NYC for the “Remembering Our Fallen” veterans’ 9/11 memorial in 2016. She has also been a member of the Heartstrings ensemble since 2015, whose goal is to benefit domestic and international missions as they perform at hospital, nursing homes, and churches. She has also been performing monthly at the drug rehabilitation center of the Mount Sinai Hospital in NYC since 2014. In addition to Esther’s studies with Minhye Clara Kim, she has had the privilege of having masterclasses with Jian Wang, Hans Jensen, Myung-Wha Chung, Philippe Muller, Ole Akahoshi, and Edward Arron. Esther studies at Harvard University since 2018.
Member Since January 2016
Andrew Lee is currently a student at Harvard University, since the fall of 2017. He was a member and assistant regional director of the "Back to BACH" Project: San Francisco from January 2016 until May 2017. He will re-join the Boston team in the fall of 2018.
Member Since Fall 2018
Violinist Julian Rhee has been establishing himself as a prominent musician and performer across the United States. The first prize winner of the Johansen International Competition, Julian was also awarded the Solo Bach, Commissioned Work, and the Elaine H. Klein Prize at the Irving M. Klein International String Competition. In January of 2018, Julian was named a Finalist of the National YoungArts Foundation, and performed at the New World Center in Miami. Subsequently, Julian appeared at the John F. Kennedy Center as a Presidential Scholar in the Arts, and received his medal at the White House. An avid soloist, Julian has performed with orchestras including the Milwaukee Symphony, San Diego Symphony, Pittsburgh Symphony, Eugene Symphony, Wisconsin Philharmonic, and Madison Symphony. He has performed in an array of venues including Ravinia Bennett Gordon Hall, Benedict Music Tent, Overture Center for the Arts, Musikverein in Vienna, and Bartok Hall in Hungary. A passionate chamber musician, Julian’s performance on violin and viola earned him and his String Quartet Gold Medals at both the Fischoff and the M-Prize Chamber Competitions. Julian studied with Almita and Roland Vamos as a scholarship recipient at the Music Institute of Chicago Academy. He is a graduate of Brookfield East High School as Class President and Valedictorian. He is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Music degree with Miriam Fried at the New England Conservatory.
Member Since April 2019
Originally from Colorado Springs, Colorado, Jessica Shand currently resides in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where she is pursuing a B.A. in Mathematics and Music with a secondary field in Computer Science at Harvard University and an M.M. in flute performance at the New England Conservatory. Jessica has performed at a number of summer music festivals, including the Aspen Music Festival and School in 2018 and the National Youth Orchestra of the USA in 2016 and 2017. She has been featured as a solo artist on NPR’s From the Top and Colorado Public Radio and with such ensembles as the Pikes Peak Philharmonic and Denver Young Artists Orchestra. In the summer of 2019, she will join the teams at New Amsterdam Records and the International Contemporary Ensemble in Brooklyn, NY. Jessica was the youngest semifinalist in the 2018 National Flute Association Young Artist Competition after winning its High School Soloist Competition and the Deveau Scholarship for the Best Performance of a Newly Commissioned Work in 2017. She is a 2018 Concert Artists Guild Victor Elmaleh Competition semifinalist, 2017 National YoungArts week finalist, and the winner of the 2016 Music Teachers National Association Senior Woodwinds competition. Jessica currently studies with international flute soloist Paula Robison. Other major influences include Claire Chase and Brook Ferguson. Jessica is a Wm. S. Haynes Co. Young Artist.
Member Since Winter 2015
Isaiah Kim debuted with the Philadelphia Orchestra at the age of 11 as a winner of the Children’s Division of the Albert M. Greenfield Student Competition. Isaiah has performed as a soloist with the Warminster Symphony, the Bucks County Symphony, the Old York Road Symphony, Ambler Symphony orchestras and the Lansdowne Symphony Orchestra. Isaiah was also the first place winner in the junior strings division of the Tri-County Youth Festival and in March, 2014 Isaiah took top honors as the national winner at the MTNA National competition in Chicago, IL. Isaiah was recently featured on NPR’s "From the Top", a national radio broadcast, as a soloist performing live. Isaiah has been studying the cello for ten years and he currently studies with Priscilla Lee. He is a member of the Youth Chamber Orchestra at the Temple University Music Prep’s Center for Gifted Young Musicians. Isaiah attended the Meadowmount School of Music, the Heifetz International Music Institute, and the Harpa International Music Festival in Reykjavík, Iceland. Isaiah has performed at master classes with Melissa Kraut, Hans Jensen, Lynn Harrell, Peter Stumpf and Timothy Eddy. Isaiah plays a John Juzek cello made in 1939, generously loaned to him by the Carlsen Cello Foundation. Isaiah joined the "Back to BACH" project in the winter of 2015, as a member and regional director. He will be joining the Boston team in the fall of 2019.
Recently awarded the 2018 National YoungArts Foundation Merit title in Classical Music, David Kwak is a rising young violinist of extraordinary potential. A top prize winner in the 2017 International Grande Music Competition, David has performed in internationally acclaimed venues such as Carnegie Hall, Merkin Concert Hall, Alice
Tully Hall, and Jordan Hall. David has claimed first and grand prizes of many violin competitions such as New York International Artists Association Violin Competition,
Camerata Artists International Concerto Competition, Ensemble 212 Young Artist Competition, Four Seasons Orchestra Vivaldi Solo Competition, American Protégé International Concerto Competition, and Phoenix Youth Symphony Young Musicians Competition. Accepted into the prestigious Perlman Music Program in 2015, David
has also been an active member in serving his community, with the Good Neighbor Ensemble where he currently serves as concertmaster, and the ”Back to BACH” project since 2016. David currently plays on a 1868 Bernardel violin on loan from the Juilliard School, where he also studies with Li Lin in the Juilliard School Pre-College Division. David currently is a senior at Cresskill High School in New Jersey. David joined the Boston region in the fall of 2019.
Member Since Fall 2015
Eric Chen, born in Princeton New Jersey, had his first solo violin performance with the Livingston Symphony Orchestra at the age of eight. That same year, he was accepted to the Juilliard Precollege and began his studies with Naoko Tanaka. Currently, Eric is a student of Ms. Tanaka and Mr. Cho-Liang Lin. His other mentors have included Stefan Jackiw, Shih-Kai Lin, and Jinwoo Lee. Eric has performed in the master classes of Eric Wyrick, Cho-Liang Lin, and Gil Shaham. He was the first place winner of the first biannual Sylvia Lee Young Violinist Competition in Taipei (2016), the Grand Prize winner of the George Nelson Memorial Concert Series Young Artists Competition (2015), a winner of the Camerata Artists International Competition (2016), and the Monmouth Symphony Orchestra Young Artist Concerto Competition (2015), among others. Most recently, Eric was the first place winner of the Juilliard Precollege Chausson Poeme competition and has performed with the Juilliard Precollege Orchestra this past May at the Peter Jay Sharp Theater of Lincoln Center. Eric has performed chamber and solo recitals at the Juilliard Precollege, Aspen Music Festival and School, the International Youth Festival of the National Taiwan Symphony Orchestra, the Young Artist Scholarship Invitation Festival of Suburban Music Study Club, and the George Nelson Memorial Concert Series in Virginia. His future performances include a recital in December 2017 at the Eslite Performance Hall in Taipei. Eric is currently a 10th grade honor student at Princeton Day School, where he is a member of student government and a member of an a cappella group.
Member Since Spring 2018