Regional DIrector Since Fall 2019
Violist Sofia Gilchenok is a student of Hsin-Yun Huang, Molly Carr, and Yi-Fang Huang. She has attended the Juilliard School’s Pre-college Program since 2013, where she serves as co-principal viola in the Pre-college Symphony. Sofia was chosen as the winner of the 2016 American Viola Society’s Solo Competition, Junior Division, and has appeared as soloist with the Ocala Symphony and the Willimantic Orchestra (April 2017). She was a finalist in the Ensemble 212 Young Artist Competition in 2015 and received an Honorable Mention in the Musical Club of Hartford High School Competition (2017). Sofia was the recipient of the NFMC’s 2015 National Wendell Irish Viola Award, Northeastern Division. She has participated in masterclasses with the Calidore Quartet, Sheila Browne, Kirsten Docter, Jeffrey Irvine, Juiliette Kang and Tom Kraines, Nokuthula Ngwenyama, Lynn Ramsey, Karen Ritscher, Carol Rodland, Peter Slowik, and Ivo-Jan van der Werff. Sofia is passionate about chamber music and considers her participation in Music@Menlo and Pinchas Zukerman’s Young Artists Program to have been among her favorite musical experiences. Her former teachers include Heidi Castleman, Steve Larson, Melinda Daetsch, and Kathy Almquist. Sofia is set to lead the Central Connecticut region in the fall of 2018.
Member Since Fall 2018, Co-regional Director since June 2019
A native of Orlando, Florida, Ramsey Reyes received a B.A. in Music with a certificate in French from the University of Pennsylvania in 2016. The following year he worked as a faculty member at The Philadelphia School, where he taught piano and helped lead the choirs, while also teaching Music, Spanish, and P.E. Currently, Ramsey is an MM student in Piano Performance at the Temple Boyer College of Music, where he studies under Charles Abramovic. Ramsey started playing piano in tenth grade and, after a year and a half of self-teaching, started taking formal lessons with Becky Lee, followed by Zalina Gurevich and Oleg Barsov in Orlando. His other teachers include Amy Yang, Mikhail Yanovitsky, and Michael Sheadel in Philadelphia. Ramsey's musical accomplishments include being Pi Kappa Lambda Competition prizewinner, Winter Park High School Concerto Competition winner, Finalist in the South Florida Young Artists Solo Competition, and Rollins Community Music School Piano Student of the Year. He has played in masterclasses with Dan Epstein, Amy Yang, Vadim Serebryany, and Ciro Fodere. He has also participated in such festivals as the Lee University International Piano Festival, Music Academy International Chamber Music Festival, and Curtis Young Artists Summer Program. Aside from music, Ramsey is fluent in five languages and is an avid athlete. After finishing his MM, Ramsey hopes to either apply for a DMA or begin working as a teacher. Longer-term, Ramsey hopes to teach private piano lessons, tutor languages, serve in a church, and coach volleyball in some capacity.
Member Since Fall 2014
At the age of 14, Sydney Lee made her solo debut with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, under the baton of Maestro Hong in Heinz Hall. She won 1st place in the senior division of the 10th International Antonio Janigro Cello Competition in Croatia and 2nd place in the 2014 Lennox International Young Artists Competition. She was selected as a 2015 National YoungArts Foundation finalist. In June of 2015, The White House Commission for Presidential Scholars and Department of Education named Ms. Lee a 2015 Presidential Scholar in the Arts. Subsequently she performed at the Millenium Stage, John F. Kennedy Center. Ms. Lee is the recipient of the 2015 Korean Honors Scholarship at the Embassy of South Korea, Washington DC. As the winner of numerous competitions, Ms. Lee was featured as a soloist with the following orchestras: Thurnauer Chamber Orchestra, NJ Philharmonic Orchestra, Duquesne Symphony, Ensemble 212, Bravura Philharmonic Orchestra, Juilliard Precollege Symphony the Zagreb Soloists and the Monmouth Symphony Orchestra. Ms. Lee has been featured on NPR's "From the Top", a national radio broadcast, as a soloist in 2012. Ms. Lee studied at the Juilliard School Pre-College Division with Richard Aaron. Ms. Lee is an undergraduate student at The Curtis Institute of Music, studying with Peter Wiley and Carter Brey. Sydney is a charter member joining the "Back to BACH" project in the fall of 2014.
Member Since December 2017
Sijia Huang, from Shenzhen, China, entered the Curtis Institute of Music in 2015 and studies timpani and percussion with Don Liuzzi, Eric Millstein, and Robert van Sice.
Ms. Huang now serving as principal percussionist in the Symphony in C. Ms. Huang has attended the Juilliard Summer Percussion Seminar, The Brevard Music Center and Aspen Music Festival.
Ms. Huang began piano lessons at age three and percussion lessons at age eight. Her teachers have included Dao Ding of the Shenzhen Symphony Orchestra and Xiang Hao Chen of the Shanghai Philharmonic Orchestra.
Member Since January 2016
In 2011, William became a Fellowship scholarship student at the Aspen Music Festival and School, where he was the youngest full-time student at the Festival. William was selected to perform in Spotlight Recital at Aspen, and performed with the Aspen Concert Orchestra. William returned to Aspen for summer 2012, where he performed with Philharmonic Orchestra and was selected to perform at String Showcase Recital. In 2012, William won the Juilliard School Pre-College Open Concerto Competition. Additionally, William won the grand prize at the Ensemble 212 Young Artist Competition in 2012, and performed his solo concerto with Ensemble 212 at The Kaufman Center’s Merkin Concert Hall in New York City. In November, 2012, William made his Carnegie Hall debut, performing Paganini's Mose in Egitto. In October, 2013, William was the 1st Prize Winner in the Salome Chamber Orchestra Young Artist Competition in New York City. He also received the "Most Promising Young Artist" award with Salome. William performed Paganini with the Salome Chamber Orchestra at Carnegie Hall on February 21, 2014. In 2015, William was invited to solo with the Allentown Symphony, under the baton of maestro Diane Wittry. William was the Gold prize winner of 2017 Stulberg International String Competition and currently studies at the Curtis Institute of Music. William joined the "Back to BACH" project in January 2016.
Member Since Fall 2018
17-year-old Washingtonian Avery Gagliano is a full scholarship piano fellow at the Curtis Institute of Music, under the tutelage of Jonathan Biss and Gary Graffman. Avery is a young artist of the Artemisia Akademie at Yale, a three-year winner of the US Chopin Foundation Scholarship (2016 – 2018), a Young Scholar of the Lang Lang International Music Foundation (2014 – 2016), a nominated recipient of the Inaugural Outstanding Young Artist Achievement Award by the National Chamber Ensemble in 2016, and a Jack Kent Cooke Scholarship recipient from 2011 to 2016. She was invited to perform on National Public Radio’s (NPR) From The Top. As a soloist, Avery has collaborated with the Aspen Philharmonic Orchestra, MostArts Festival Orchestra, the Midwest Young Artists (MYA) Symphony Orchestra, the Capital City Symphony, and the National Chamber Ensemble, and will be soloing with the Tuscarawas Philharmonic in the spring of 2019. Avery won at the Aspen Music Festival concerto competition, the Grand Prize at the MostArts Festival, Third Prize and Best Solo Work Award at the Southeastern Piano Festival, Grand Prix at the Chopin International Piano Competition in Hartford, Connecticut, and being a finalist of the Philadelphia Orchestra Greenfield Student Competition. Prior to her study at Curtis, Avery spent eight years of piano study with Marina Alekseyeva and five years of violin study with Jorge Orozco at Levine Music.
Member Since Fall 2018
Violinist Emily Shehi will be serving as concertmaster and principal second of the Curtis Symphony Orchestra for its 2018-2019 season. Last March, she performed alongside Peter Wiley as part of Music for Food in Philadelphia. Her upcoming performances include a Masterclass with Miriam Fried and Mozart’s Viola Quintet in C major as part of a schoolwide project. This past summer, Emily studied chamber music with musicians of the Borromeo String Quartet, Miró Quartet and Brentano String Quartet as well as pianist Robert McDonald at the Taos School of Music.
Member Since March 2019
Albert Seo, from Vancouver, B.C., entered the Curtis Institute of Music in 2016 and studies with Carter Brey, principal cello of the New York Philharmonic, and Peter Wiley, former cellist of the Guarneri Quartet. All students at Curtis receive merit-based, full-tuition scholarships, and Mr. Seo is the Nellie Lee Bok Fellow. Mr. Seo is the recipient of numerous awards, including first prizes at the Vancouver Women's Musical Society Scholarship Competition and the Vancouver Youth Symphony Orchestra Concerto Competition. He won the senior division of the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra School of Music Future of Excellence, gaining a chance to perform with the VSO; and received the Loyal Protestant Association Scholarship at the 22nd Annual Bjorn and Lori Hareid Senior Secondary Competition. In 2015, Mr. Seo was a finalist at the Johansen International Competition for Young String Players and was a semifinalist at the Stulberg International String Competition, where he also won the Bach Award. Mr. Seo has performed as a soloist with the Vancouver Youth Symphony Orchestra and the Philharmonia Northwest Orchestra. As a chamber musician, he was part of the winning ensemble at the Friends of Chamber Music Scholarship Competition and the 2014 Kelowna Kiwanis Festival. Mr. Seo has attended the Aspen Music Festival and School and the Domaine-Forget Academy in Quebec. He has participated in master classes with Lluis Claret, Phillipe Muller, Raphael Wallfisch, Paul Watkins, Paul Marelyn, Roman Borys, and Maximilian Hornung. Mr. Seo began cello lessons at age seven. His previous teachers include Cristian Markos, Joseph Ellsworthy, Ariel Barnes, and Sung Yong Lin.
Member Since April 2019
Haram Kim, from Seoul, Korea, began playing the violin at age six and went on to win many awards under his "rst mentor HaeYup Yang including the Kukmin Daily News National, Strad National and Yejin National Competition in Korea. His concert experience includes performances of the Wieniawski Violin Concerto No. 1 and the Paganini Violin Concerto No. 4 with the Sengham Philharmonic at the age of 10. Haram entered the Curtis Institute of Music in 2016 and studies violin with Ida Kavafian and Aaron Rosand. Mr. Kim is the Tobe Amsterdam Fellow.
Member Since June 2019
Fifteen-year-old violist Alessandra Yang is from Philadelphia and began on violin at age four and switched to viola when she was eleven. She is currently a student at Friends Select School and studies viola with Carol Rodland at Juilliard Pre-College. Previous teachers include Kerri Ryan (The Philadelphia Orchestra) and Gerry Rice. Alessandra has performed as part of the Juilliard Pre-College Symphony, Temple University Pre-College Orchestra, Philadelphia Young Artists Orchestra, and Musicopia String Orchestra, as well as in chamber groups at Juilliard and Temple University pre-colleges. In 2018 she performed in Boston's Jordan Hall at New England Conservatory. Alessandra has attended Greenwood Music Camp and Kinhaven Music School. She has a keen interest in mathematics and is an avid cook.
Member Since May 2019
Michelle Wee is a 15-year-old cellist who attends Wissahickon High School in Ambler, Pennsylvania. At age 7, she began studying under Curtis graduate, Ju Song. In 2014, Michelle was awarded first place in the Korean Youth Music Competition. In 2016, she won third place in the American Protégé International Piano & Strings Competition. In 2017, Michelle performed for the Good Neighbors Foundation, raising money for those in need of medicine. In 2018, she won second place in the Nancy W. Hess Concerto Competition held by Boyer College’s Center for Gifted Young Musicians. At the start of 2019, Michelle was apart of PMEA’s district orchestra. She currently sits first chair in Wissahickon High School’s orchestra and is a member of Boyer College’s Center for Gifted Young Musicians, Youth Chamber Orchestra. Additionally, Michelle has traveled to Iceland to take part in a musical and cultural exchange. In her free time, she enjoys performing in senior living centers as well as drawing.
Member Since April 2019
Milo is a high school student at Garfield High School in Seattle, and a semi-professional classical percussionist. Milo currently plays with, and is principal percussionist of, both the Seattle Youth Symphony Orchestra and the Garfield High School Symphonic Orchestra. He has performed multiple times side by side with the Seattle Symphony, along with playing in the Rising Star Project pit orchestra at the 5th Avenue Theater. Milo has also performed with Philharmonia Northwest, Puget Brass, Ballard Civic Orchestra, the Kirkland Choral Society, and Orchestra Seattle.
Madalyn studies with Alisa Seavey and is a member of the Delaware County Youth Orchestra and the Ambler Symphony. She has attended many music festivals, and this summer will be attending the 2019 Green Mountain Chamber Music Festival as a student of Sheila Browne, Lila Brown and Basil Vendryes. She will be soloing with the Ambler Symphony in winter of 2019. She has recently been accepted into the Philadelphia Sinfonia. Madalyn is a musician with Holisticare Hospice where she plays music for Hospice Patients in the Philadelphia Area to help them through Music Therapy. Madalyn joined the Back to Bach project in the summer of 2019. Outside of music, Madalyn is editor of the arts and entertainment column of her school’s newspaper, where she interviews artists in the Philadelphia area.
Elizabeth Younan (1994) is a composer from Sydney, Australia, currently living in Philadelphia, USA. Most recently Elizabeth was a featured Australian composer of Musica Viva’s 2018 International Concert Season, where her Piano Sonata was premiered and broadcast around Australia by Grammy-nominated classical pianist and Van Cliburn silver medalist Joyce Yang.
Elizabeth holds a Bachelor of Music in Composition with First Class Honours (2015) and a Master of Music (2018) from The Sydney Conservatorium of Music, The University of Sydney (“The Con”), where she studied with composer Carl Vine AO under the Australian Postgraduate Award. Elizabeth currently studies as an Artist Diploma student under full scholarship at the Curtis Institute of Music, where she holds the Jimmy Brent Fellowship. She studies with Dr. Jennifer Higdon, Dr. David Ludwig, and Dr. Richard Danielpour. Elizabeth is the first female Australian composer to ever be admitted to Curtis (and second Australian composer overall). Elizabeth is also an avid chorister, having sung soprano with Gondwana Choirs and the Choir of Christ Church St. Lawrence. Elizabeth also loves to read, and is currently reading the work of George Orwell and Flannery O’Connor.
Andres Sanchez, from Lansdale, Pa., entered the Curtis Institute of Music in 2013 and studies cello with Carter Brey and Peter Wiley. All students at Curtis receive merit-based, full-tuition scholarships, and Mr. Sanchez is the Horace W. Goldsmith Fellow.
Mr. Sanchez has appeared frequently as a soloist with ArCoNet and the Kutztown University Chamber Players. He has attended the Banff Centre’s master class program, where he studied with Denis Brott, Colin Carr, Andres Díaz, and Raphael Walfisch; and Music from Angel Fire, where he performed alongside artists including Ani Kavafian, Ida Kavafian, Steven Tenenbom, and Peter Wiley.
Kathryn Rebecca Epperson, from Layton, Utah, entered the Curtis Institute of Music in 2015 and studies viola with Roberto Díaz, president of Curtis and former principal viola of the Philadelphia Orchestra. All students at Curtis receive merit-based, full-tuition scholarships, and Ms. Epperson is the Syde Hurdus Annual Fellow. Ms. Epperson has appeared as a soloist with the American Fork and Utah symphonies, and has attended the Intermountain Suzuki String Institute, the Performing Arts Institute at Wyoming Seminary, the Young Musicians' SummerFestival at Brigham Young University, and the Sid and Mary Fougler International Music Festival. She has performed with many renowned musicians, including Barlow Bradford, Leon Fleisher, and Joseph Silverstein; and won first place in the American Fork Symphony Concerto Competition and the American String Teachers Association Competition at Weber State University. She was also a finalist for the Jack Kent Cooke Young Artist Award on NPR's From the Top. Ms. Epperson's teachers have included Karen Child and Elizabeth Kuefler Wallace. She has participated in master classes with Jenny Oaks Baker, Barbara Barber, Andres Cardenes, Roger Chase, Roberto Díaz, and the Fry Street Quartet. Ms. Epperson began violin lessons at age three and viola at age twelve. In her spare time, she enjoys writing and studying physics and chemistry.
Cherry Choi Tung Yeung is a Hong Kong born violinist. Cherry started playing the violin at the age of 6. Later got accepted to college in the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts at the age of 14. Cherry transferred to The Juilliard School, where she has been admitted to the highly selective accelerated program, finishing both Bachelor’s and Master’s Program in four years. Before graduating with a Master Degree, Cherry declined an associate principal position in one of American’s Top 20 orchestras to begin studies in the Artist Diploma program at the legendary Curtis Institute of Music at the age of 22. After attending Juilliard, Cherry starts to explore more. Her love for orchestra repertoire starts growing as much as her love for solo and chamber repertoire. She later serves as co-concertmaster of The Curtis Symphony Orchestra and The Juilliard Orchestra and was one of the winners of the New York Philharmonic Global Academy. Cherry was frequently invited to play with the New York Philharmonic, Princeton Symphony Orchestra, Symphony in C and New Jersey Festival Orchestra. Cherry has awarded numerous awards including the Hudson Valley Philharmonic String Competition, The Juilliard School Violin Concerto Competition, New York Philharmonic Global Academy, Alice & Eleonore Schoenfeld International String Competition, Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts Concerto Competition and the Hong Kong Youth String Competition.