Luigi Mazzocchi [violinist] studied in the Venezuelan "El Sistema” and the Latin American Violin Academy with José F. del Castillo. He was a first violinist of the “Simón Bolívar” Symphony Orchestra and performed as soloist with the leading Venezuelan symphony orchestras. He attended international music festivals in Latin America, the US, Spain, France and Australia and is a prizewinner such competitions as the Venezuelan “Del Castillo” Latin American Competition and the 1999 FOSJA, performing in the Casals Festival. Mr. Mazzocchi studied with Liliana Ciulei and Helen Kwalwasser and has coached with M. Pardee, Z. Bron, O. Charlier, T. Tanaka, W. de Pasquale, L. Biava, and D. Arben. Currently, he is the Concertmaster of the Pennsylvania Ballet Orchestra, Co-Concertmaster of the Black Pearl Chamber Orchestra, Associate Concertmaster of the Delaware Symphony and a member of the Opera Company of Philadelphia, the West Jersey Chamber Orchestra, the Ocean City Pops, the Philly Pops and the Gaudeamus and Cachasa ensembles.
Distinguished performer Danijela Žeželj-Gualdi [violin] has appeared as a concert soloist, chamber and orchestra musician throughout Eastern and Central Europe and USA. Her assertive style and strong musical personality have thrilled audiences including Carnegie Weill Hall, Carnegie Isaac Stern Hall, Kennedy Center Millennium Stage, Schwartz Hall at Emory University, Legacy Hall in Columbus GA, Kolarac Belgrade Serbia, and in Vienna, Graz, Grumo Italy, Atlanta, Athens GA, Florence SC, Pittsburgh, Charleston, Savannah and Wilmington. Her concert tours included appearances in Croatia, Serbia, Montenegro, Austria, and Italy. As a concerto soloist she appeared with Wilmington Symphony Orchestra, DeKalb Symphony Orchestra and University of Georgia Symphony Orchestra. Her musical career is noted for collaborations with remarkable musicians, including Evgeny Rivkin, and Levon Ambartsumian, and contemporary composers Augusta Reed Thomas, James MacMillan. Žeželj-Gualdi earned her Violin Diploma with highest honors at the Academy of Arts in Novi Sad, Serbia. While in the U.S., she earned a Master Degree at Carnegie Mellon University, and a Doctorate of Musical Arts at the University of Georgia. Žeželj-Gualdi worked extensively with Eugenia Tchougaeva, Irina and Marina Jashvilli, Manana Dugladze, Cyrus Ferough, Carolyn Huebl, and Michael Heald and took part in master classes with Andres Cardenes, Thimothy Baker, Pamela Frank, and Misha Emory among others. In January 2008 she became a founding member of the Balkan Quartet, a string quartet which focus is to involve and inspire composers to create new music that would use an indigenous Balkan language, reviving the rich Balkan folk heritage on a high artistic level. Dr. Danijela Žeželj-Gualdi serves as a Violin and Viola Instructor and an Artistic Director of the Community Music Academy at the University of North Carolina Wilmington, as well as an Artistic Director and founder of the Ronald Sachs International Music Competition. She plays on a Pellacani violin lent to her by Ronald Sachs Violins.
Anne Stevenson Stohl [violinist] is a member of the Wilmington Symphony Orchestra. She has played with the WSO since 1990 and currently sits on the WSO Youth Outreach Committee. She also became a member of the Tallis Chamber Orchestra in 2007 and holds a position on the board. She has been a soloist with the TCO many times over the past 10 years. She also played with the Long Bay Symphony from 1997-2004 and has performed with many artists such as Ray Charles, Edwin McCain, Kanye West, Sister Hazel and Vanessa Carlton to name a few. In addition to maintaining an active performance schedule, Anne has a full studio of violin and viola students. She directs an advanced tour group of students with her sister Shelly DiLoreto. TheStevenson Stohl Suzuki tour group was founded in 2003 . They have toured and performed regularly all over the Southeastern United States and perform locally. She also mentors a student-run summer camp call Fiddler's by the sea. This Camp allows students who are interested in pursuing music as a career, to work with children before attending College to see if it is something they can envision for their lives. Anne is a member of the Suzuki Association of America. She has served as a guest clinician at many institutes and workshops throughout the US and was a guest artist and teacher at the state-wide Suzuki festival in 2004 at Duke University.
Philip Singleton [violinist], born in Bowling Green, Ohio, received his Bachelor of Music degree from Bowling Green State University in 1982. He continued on to receive his Master of Music degree in Violin Performance from the University of Georgia in 1986. Since that time he has been involved in several aspects of violin instruction and performance including teaching positions at Arkansas State University, the University of Georgia and the University of North Carolina Wilmington. Upon relocating to Wilmington in 2000, he began teaching orchestra classes for the New Hanover County Schools. During that time he also founded the Tallis Chamber Orchestra (2005), a Wilmington based chamber orchestra that performs predominately without a conductor. In the fall of 2008 he joined the faculty of Cape Fear Community College and is currently teaching Music Appreciation, Music Fundamentals, and applied strings. Mr. Singleton also conducts the CFCC Orchestra and CFCC Continuing Education Studio Orchestra.
Clark Spencer [violinist/violist] is an active solo, chamber, and orchestral performer living in Wilmington, NC. He is currently assistant principal viola of the Oregon Mozart Players and a founding member of the Blue Box Ensemble. Clark has performed with the Fayetteville Symphony (NC), Long Bay Symphony Orchestra (SC) Eugene Symphony, Eugene Opera, the Corvallis Symphony, Newport Symphony, and the Oregon Bach Festival. He has had the privilege of performing under the batons of Andrew Litton, Marin Alsop, Jeffrey Kahane, Helmut Rilling, and Gunther Schuller. Originally from Lancaster, PA, Clark earned his Bachelor's and Master's degrees in performance from Boston University, where he studied viola with Michelle LaCourse and violin with Peter Zazofsky. He recently completed his Doctorate in Performance and Pedagogy from the University of Oregon where he studied Dr. Leslie Straka. His doctoral research on the Sonata in G by Paul Ben-Haim culminated in a new edition for solo viola. Clark has also studied with Martha Strongin Katz and Jeffrey Irvine. He has performed in masterclasses with Kim Kashkashian, Arnold Steinhardt, Roger Tapping, Pamela Frank, the Ying String Quartet, the American String Quartet, the Orion String Quartet, and the Muir String Quartet. Clark is an experienced violin and viola teacher and currently teaches at St. Mary Catholic School in Wilmington, NC. He completed his long term Suzuki training with Karin Hallberg and Louise Scott during his studies at the University of Oregon. In addition to his own studio, Clark has taught for the University of Oregon's Community Music Institute, where he taught group classes, coached chamber music and conducted a middle school string orchestra. He also coached violin and viola sections of the South Salem High School Chamber Orchestra and the Salem Youth Orchestra. During the summers of 2009 and 2010, Clark served on the faculty at the Vermont Youth Orchestra's Summer Program, Reveille. Dr. Spencer is on the string faculty at UNCW.
Maria Mazzocchi [violist] was born in Venezuela, where she studied viola with Javier Bulosa in the Venezuelan Youth Orchestra, also known as "El Sistema." She was a founding member of the "Orquesta Sinfónica de los Llanos" as principal viola. In Caracas, Mrs. Mazzocchi studied with Jesús Alfonzo, principal viola of "Simón Bolívar" Symphony Orchestra. She won the position of associate principal viola of the "Ayacucho" Symphony Orchestra, while continuing music studies at the "Simón Bolívar" Conservatory. She also joined the "Jovenes Arcos" Chamber Orchestra and played as soloist with the Chamber Orchestra of Venezuela. She won scholarships to study with Gerárd Caussé in his Viola Summer Academy in Caracas for three years. In 1994 Mrs. Mazzocchi joined the viola section of the "Simón Bolívar" Symphony Orchestra, with which she performed regularly with renowned International conductors. With this orchestra, she toured Europe and Latin America, and recorded a series of CDs of Latin American music with conductor Eduardo Mata for Dorian Records. In the US, Mrs. Mazzocchi studied viola with C.J. Chang, principal of the Philadelphia Orchestra. While teaching viola in her private studio, She completed her Bachelors of Nursing from Thomas Edison University and is currently getting her Master degree from Chamberlain College. Mrs. Mazzocchi works as a nurse home visitor for Nurse-Family Partnership and enjoys playing the viola as a freelancer in Philadelphia.
John Illingworth [cellist] holds a music degree in cello performance from the University of Wisconsin and later studied with George Neikrug of Boston University. While pursuing a separate career in business John played professionally with many orchestras and chamber ensembles in Wisconsin. Since moving to Oak Island in 2009 John has played with the Long Bay Symphony, Fayetteville Symphony, Wilmington Symphony, Tallis Chamber Orchestra, and the RiverSea Chamber Arts Trio.
Jim Candido [double bassist] began his musical career in 1963, performing with the Don Shirley Trio. Columbia Artists Management programmed over 200 concerts for the trio across the US and Canada each year. In 1965 he free-lanced in New York City, working on off-Broadway shows and performing with symphonic orchestras. In 1966, he won an audition for a position with the New York Philharmonic, and was appointed to the bass section by Leonard Bernstein. His position with the New York Philharmonic lasted until 2003. During his tenure with the orchestra, he performed throughout Asia, Europe, South America, Canada, the Far East, Russia and China. During this time, he performed with the world’s greatest conductors and soloists. He also performed chamber music concerts in South America and Europe. In 2003 he retired and moved to Wallace, NC. Since then, he has performed with chamber and choral groups, ballets, orchestras in Pinehurst, Wilmington and Fayetteville. He also teaches violin (his original instrument) and currently has a position at the Duplin Music Academy, assisting up to 15 students.
Proclaimed “a virtuoso of a high order” by the Baltimore Sun, Kyle Engler [mezzo soprano] has been praised for her extreme versatility in opera, oratorio, and chamber music. As a performer on the opera stage, she has sung the roles of the Secretary in Menotti’s The Consul, Charlotte in Werther, Dorabella in Cosi fan tutte, Lucretia in The Rape of Lucretia, Mercedes in Carmen, and Cherubino in Le nozze di Figaro to name a few. In January, 2005, Ms. Engler was cast by Placido Domingo to premier the role of Lydia Dudley in Washington National Opera’s production of Democracy, An American Comedy by Scott Wheeler, garnering rave reviews in major publications around the country. She also premiered the role of Retinue in Augusta Read-Thomas’ opera Ligeia, conducted by Mstislav Rostropovich, in Evian, France. Ms. Engler has been a featured soloist with many orchestras most recently performing Beethoven’s 9th Symphony with the Lancaster Symphony. An advocate of contemporary chamber music, Ms. Engler has collaborated with the Ravel Trio, the Morpheus Trio, the New Horizons Chamber Ensemble, and celebrated pianist Andre Watts. Ms. Engler, who earned a Master of Music degree from the Peabody Conservatory of Music, is the Director of Vocal Studies at McDaniel College and also teaches voice at Towson University.
Nick Karageorgiou [tenor] has both established himself as a formidable chamber musician and soloist. A native of the Twin Cities, MN, he spent a bulk of his schedule last year touring and performing with The Rose Ensemble, dabbling in Medieval, Renaissance, and Baroque chamber music. A current and new resident of Philadelphia, PA, Nick has quickly plugged into the chamber music scene on the East Coast, performing in groups such as The Choir of Trinity Wall Street, The Crossing, and The Thirteen. With The Choir of Trinity Wall Street, Nick performed the large ensemble works of Bach’s B Minor Mass and the complete Christmas Oratorio; most recently he finished singing under Julian Wachner and the newly commissioned Time’s Arrow Music Festival. Recently, Nick stepped in as a substitute for MN-based vocal ensemble Cantus for a month long memorized concert tour. As a soloist, Nick has been heard tackling the works of Bach under Matt Glandorf and Choral Arts Philadelphia. On NYE, Nick sang as the tenor soloist in Bach’s complete Christmas Oratorio, in addition to a handful of secular and sacred Bach cantatas in October. Nick has also been heard as tenor soloist in the Mozart Requiem with Exultate.
A versatile interpreter of music from the Baroque to the 21st century, Brian Chu [baritone] has been hailed for his “rich, authoritative tone" (Kansas City Metropolis) and as "an impressive performer of wide range, agility, and expressive storytelling ability”(Monterey Herald). Mr. Chu has distinguished himself as a soloist with early music ensembles around the country, including The King’s Noyse, Brandywine Baroque, Portland Baroque, Piffaro, The Dryden Ensemble, Spire Baroque Ensemble, Philadelphia's Choral Arts Society, the Bach Choir of Bethlehem, and the Carmel Bach and Philadelphia Bach Festivals. His performances encompass the oratorio repertory: the title role of Mendelssohn’s Elijah, the Bach St. John, Matthew, and Mark Passions, Haydn’s Creation, the Brahms, Mozart and Verdi Requiems, and Handel’s Messiah on three continents. Equally adept as a stage actor, he has performed numerous operatic roles with companies from New York to LA, including signature roles as Marcello in La Bohème, the Count in Le nozze di Figaro, Silvio in Pagliacci, Leporello in Don Giovanni, and the title role in Rossini’s The Barber of Seville. He recently debuted the title role of Anton Rubinstein's rarely-heard opera The Demon at the Academy of Vocal Arts in Philadelphia. As an advocate for contemporary vocal music, he has been regular guest artist with the Philadelphia''s Network for New Music, and has been lauded for his “sterling performances” (Washington Post) and “vocal and interpretive confidence” (Philadelphia Inquirer) premiering music of eminent composers Daniel Asia, William Bolcom, Aaron Jay Kernis, Lori Laitman, and Steven Stucky, . He has been heard in recital at Carnegie’s Weill and Merkin Halls in New York, the Annenberg Center for the Arts, Washington's Phillips Collection, and twice as a US Embassy Cultural Artist, in French West Africa and Vienna, Austria. This spring, he premiered the role of Rudyard Kipling in John Muehleisen’s new oratorio for the World War I centenary, A Kipling Passion, to critical acclaim. Mr. Chu did his graduate studies in voice and opera at Peabody Conservatory, and holds a degree in architecture from Cornell University. He has taught on the voice faculty of Muhlenberg College since 2005.
Daniel Lau [pianist/harpsichordist] has received enthusiastic press notices for both his solo and chamber performances. The Washington Post praised his "exemplary artistry;" the Baltimore Sun noted "Lau's beautifully shaded playing;" the Intelligencer Journal (Lancaster, PA) lauded his "flair, great technical proficiency and expressiveness;" and La Liberté (Fribourg, Switzerland) cited "playful nuances, translucent phrasing, and miraculous sonorities." He has appeared in recitals and with orchestras throughout North America and Europe. He collaborates frequently with singers internationally and is a sought-after chamber musician. With soprano Sabrina Coleman Clark, he has performed a multimedia show, "Marian Anderson - A Legacy of Hope," to thousands of school children. He is a founding member of the Ravel Trio praised recently by the Swiss Journal du Jura, "Splendid interpretation, vigorous and nuanced playing." Since 2006, he has released half a dozen recordings with a variety of artists, including a CD with award winning engineer Marc Arbort and a self-produced solo CD "Transcendent Colors." With a special interest in Asian American and African American composers, Lau is committed to the performance of living composers. He has premiered many solo and chamber music works and can be heard on a number of recordings of works by contemporary living composers. A versatile pianist, violinist and conductor, Daniel has served as Music Director for performances of Manon, Amahl and the Night Visitors, The Merry Widow, and The Magic Flute, among others. Lau attended Loma Linda University, where he served as concertmaster of the orchestra and 1st violinist of the LLU String Quartet. Graduating with a Bachelor of Music Degree in Piano Performance - high honors, he won the coveted Dean's Award. He then attended the Peabody Conservatory of Music, becoming a member of the Pi Kappa Lambda honorary society while earning masters and doctoral degrees. His major teachers include Lillian Freundlich, Anita Norskov Olsen, Samuel Sanders, and Jerome Lowenthal. Dr. Lau is a dedicated educator of music and has given masterclasses and clinics throughout the United States. He serves as Chair of the Maryland State Music Teachers Association Chamber Music Festival and Competition Coordinator for the American Liszt Society Liszt-Garrison International Piano Festival and Competition. He has taught at the Pennsylvania Academy of Music, the College of Notre Dame of Maryland and is currently Associate Professor & Chair of Music at Washington Adventist University.