2020Summer String Academy Faculty 

Mimi Zweig, Program Director
Erin Aldridge
Andrew Braddock
Brenda Brenner
Amir Eldan
Roeland Jagers
Sarah Kapustin
Grigory Kalinovsky
Ching-Yi Lin
Susan Moses
Evan Rothstein
Peter Stumpf
Verona Quartet (Jonathan Ong, Dorothy Ro,Abigail Rojansky, Jonathan Dormand
Elizabeth Wright


Chih-Yi Chen
Aram Arakelyan
Futaba Niekawa
Justin Bartlett
Gulrukh Shakirova
Jeannette Koekkoek


Mimi Zweig Director of the Academy, Violin and Viola

Mimi Zweig is currently a professor of violin and director of the Indiana University String Academy. Since 1972 she has developed pre-college string programs across the United States. She has given master classes and pedagogy workshops in the United States, Mexico, Canada, Israel, Japan and Europe. She has recently produced, an innovative web-based teaching tool. In the spring of 2006, American Public Television released the documentary, "Circling Around-The Violin Virtuosi" which features String Academy students. The String Academy and Mimi Zweig are recent recipients of a Dorothy Richard Starling Foundation grant which supports the teaching of gifted violinists. Her students have won numerous competitions, and teach and perform worldwide.


Erin Aldridge, Violin
Erin Aldridge has won numerous awards as both soloist and chamber musician and has been featured throughout Europe, South America, and the United States. She is a highly sought-after performer and pedagogue, has been broadcast on National Public Radio, the BBC, Minnesota Public Radio, and Wisconsin Public Radio, and has several recordings, including her recording of Eugene Ysaÿe’s Six Sonatas for Solo Violin, Op. 27, and composer Justin Rubin’s Constellations for the MSR Classics label. In addition, she has done several recordings with acclaimed singer-songwriter Sara Thomsen as well as the Three Altos. Dr. Aldridge attended Indiana University where she received her Bachelor’s degree in Violin Performance. She received her Master’s degree and Performer’s Certificate in Chamber Music Performance from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and was a member of the Leonard Sorkin Institute of Chamber Music under the direction of the Fine Arts Quartet. She continued her studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison where she received her Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Violin Performance. Her primary teachers include Mimi Zweig, Josef Gingold, Nellie Shkolnikova, Rostaslav Dubinsky, Efim Boico, and Vartan Manoogian. In 2003, Dr. Aldridge joined the music faculty at the University of Wisconsin-Superior. She serves as Professor of Violin and Director of Orchestras. She is also the Concertmaster of the Duluth Superior Symphony Orchestra and is on the faculty of the Indiana University Summer String Academy.


Violist Andrew Braddock is currently on the faculty of Western Kentucky University (WKU) and the WKU Pre-College Strings Program.  He teaches viola at the university and maintains a full pre-college studio of young violinists and violists. Andrew has given masterclasses throughout the United States and abroad, at institutions such as the Xi’an Conservatory (China), the Da’an School (Taiwan), the Indiana University Summer String Academy, and Oklahoma University. He has presented pedagogy sessions at the Kentucky and Tennessee Music Educators Association conferences (KMEA and TMEA), and serves as the New Music Editor for the Journal of the American Viola Society. In addition to his many recital performances in the Kentucky area, Andrew has performed in Israel, Austria, Indiana and Colorado.  He currently serves as the principal violist of the Paducah Symphony Orchestra, and he has been a member of the Evansville Philharmonic and Owensboro Symphony Orchestras. Andrew studied violin and viola pedagogy with Mimi Zweig at Indiana University and has taught in the IU String Academy. He is in the process of completing a Doctorate of Musical Arts at the University of Kentucky. He holds a Masters in Viola performance from Indiana University, under the tutelage of Atar Arad, and a Bachelors of Music (summa cum laude) from Vanderbilt University, where he was awarded the Jean Keller Heard Prize for Excellence in string performance.  His principal teachers are Atar Arad, Kathryn Plummer, and John Graham.


Brenda Brenner, Violin
Brenda Brenner is Associate Professor of Music Education in the IU Jacobs School of Music and Co Director of the IU String Academy. She specializes in the area of string music education, teaching applied violin and courses in violin and string pedagogy. Her String Academy students have been featured in concerts in major venues throughout the United States and Europe. Prior to her arrival at IU, Dr. Brenner was Assistant Professor of Music at Carleton College. Active as a performer, she received her Doctorate in Musical Arts in Violin Performance from the Eastman School of Music, where she studied with Sylvia Rosenberg, Donald Weilerstein, and the Cleveland Quartet. A member of the award-winning Augustine Quartet, she was a finalist or prize winner in several competitions, including the Banff International Quartet Competition, Concert Artists Guild, Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition, and Cleveland Competition, and has worked with the Cleveland, Tokyo, Juilliard, American and Emerson Quartets. She is currently President Elect of ASTA.


Amir Eldan performs as a soloist, chamber musician, and as guest principal cellist. In 2011-12, he served as principal cellist of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra by invitation from Zubin Mehta; a year later, he served as guest principal cellist with the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra. He was the youngest member of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra in New York when he won the position of associate principal cellist at the age of 22 and was invited by James Levine to perform with the MET Chamber Ensemble in Carnegie Hall. Eldan has performed at the music festivals of Aspen, La Jolla, Ravinia, Giverny (France), Prussia Cove (England), and in West Cork (Ireland). He also participated in the Marlboro Music Festival and toured with Musicians from Marlboro. Eldan has collaborated with members of the Guarneri, Juilliard, and Cleveland string quartets, Richard Goode, Kim Kashkashian, Joseph Silverstein, Midori, and Lynn Harrell. His performances have been featured on PBS and public radio, in concerts throughout the U.S., Europe, and Israel, and he has presented master classes in the U.S., Israel, and China. Eldan holds a doctor of music degree and master's degree from the Juilliard School, where he also served as a guest teacher. He received his bachelor cum laude from the Cleveland Institute of Music. In 2006, he was appointed to the faculty of the Oberlin Conservatory of Music and became the cellist of the Oberlin Trio.


William Harvey
Recently named concertmaster of Mexico's premier orchestra, the Orquesta Sinfónica Nacional, violinist, composer, conductor, and educator William Harvey has forged a unique international career that has taken him from Carnegie Hall to the jungles of Papua New Guinea to the streets of Kabul. From 2010 to 2014, he taught violin and conducted the orchestra at Afghanistan National Institute of Music on Afghan national television, for Carnegie Hall and the Kennedy Center. He has served as concertmaster of OSSLA (Mexico), Orquesta Sinfónica de la UNSJ (Argentina), and the Spokane Symphony (USA), as well as guest faculty at Indiana University String Academy, Myanmar Music Festival, and Mehli Mehta Music Foundation (at the invitation of Zubin Mehta), among others.

He holds a Masters from the Julliard School and Bachelors from Indiana University and has performed concerti with orchestras in the USA, Phillipines, Mexico, and Argentina. His compositions have received over a hundred performances worldwide, and as a conductor he has led youth orchestras in the USA, Mexico, Argentina, Zimbabwe, and Qatar, among others. As the founder and director of the non-profit Cultures in Harmony, he conducted nearly 40 cultural diplomacy projects in 16 countries form Pakistan to Cameroon. In 2016, he traveled to every US state for one week for Cultures in Harmony's "What is American culture?" project, soliciting answers to that question in the form of concerts, seminars, workshops, video interviews, and social media updates. Born in 1982 in Flint, Michigan, USA, William now resides in Mexico City and plays a 2001 Joseph Curtin violin.


Violist Roeland Jagers is a passionate chamber musician and was a founding member of the Rubens Quartet, laureate of several international competitions, including in Eindhoven (Tromp 2004), Prague (Spring Competition 2005) and Graz (Schubert Competition 2006). After completing its studies in Amsterdam and Berlin, the quartet enjoyed an active international career for 16 seasons in Europe, the United States and Israel. Currently Roeland is active as a member of the Rubens Consort, a flexible chamber music ensemble which has come into existence as a follow-up to the quartet. He is also a member of Metamorphoses, a trio made up of international chamber musicians (clarinetist Jean Johnson and pianist Ilona Timchenko). The ensemble has recently made a highly acclaimed debut album.

Roeland performs regularly in concert halls such as the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, the Tonhalle Zürich, the Konzerthaus in Vienna and the Philharmonie in Berlin. He also appears as a guest in international festivals such as Mecklenburg Vorpommern and Schleswig Holstein (Germany), Larzac (France), Kuhmo (Finland), El Paso Pro Musica, Sitka Music Festival and Indiana University Festival of the Arts (US).

Roeland studied viola with Gisella Bergman and Ferdinand Erblich. In 2001 he received his Bachelor of Music diploma with honors, and continued on to receive a Master of Music in 2004 with Vladimir Mendelssohn, also with honors, at the Royal Conservatory in The Hague.

As a soloist Roeland has appeared with several ensembles. In past seasons he performed the Solo Sonata by György Ligeti throughout Europe and the US with great success; this sonata is one of the highlights of the viola repertoire, and yet is considered by many to be unplayable. Between 2013 and 2017, Roeland was principal violist of the chamber orchestra Sinfonia Rotterdam. He plays regularly with Amsterdam Sinfonietta and with the Radio Philharmonic Orchestra.

Roeland is actively associated with the prestigious Indiana University Jacobs School of Music (Bloomington, US) as a regular chamber music coach of the Summer String Academy. He has extensive teaching experience, working regularly with all levels from amateurs and students to aspiring professionals. In 2014 he wrote a chamber music method specifically meant for amateur musicians, in which subjects such as score study, leadership and rehearsal techniques are addressed.

In addition to his activities as a violist, Roeland also studied piano at the Brabant Conservatory, where he received his Bachelor of Music diploma in 2003. Roeland plays a Giovanni Pistucci viola, on loan to him from the Nationaal Muziekinstrumenten Fonds in Amsterdam.


Sarah Kapustin, Violin
Sarah Kapustin’s musical activities have taken her across North America, Europe, Asia and Australia in performances as both soloist and chamber musician. Born in 1981 in Milwaukee, WI, she has performed with such orchestras as the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, Juilliard Symphony, Pasadena Symphony, and the Vogtland Philharmonie in Germany. Ms. Kapustin has received prizes and honors in numerous competitions, including 1st prize of the International Instrumental Competition in Markneukirchen. She has appeared in such prestigious concert venues as New York's Alice Tully Hall and Carnegie Hall, Cité de la Musique in Paris, the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam and Mexico City’s Sala Nezahualcoyotl. A devoted and passionate chamber musician, Ms. Kapustin has appeared at various international festivals. She was formerly a member of the Atlas Trio and the Dubinsky Quartet, prizewinner at the Fischoff and Coleman Chamber Music Competitions. She has performed duo recitals with pianist Jeannette Koekkoek; in April 2010 the duo released the complete recordings of the ten Beethoven Sonatas for the Olive Music label which has received international praise. Ms. Kapustin received a Masters degree in violin performance at The Juilliard School with Robert Mann in May 2005. She previously received a Bachelor of Music and an Artist Diploma from Indiana University as a pupil of Mauricio Fuks, and formerly studied with Mimi Zweig and James Przygocki at the String Academy of Wisconsin.  Since 2008 Ms. Kapustin resides in the Hague, the Netherlands, where she was 1st violinist of the Rubens Quartet, and since 2011 she is a professor of violin and chamber music at the ArtEZ Conservatorium in Zwolle, the Netherlands. She also performs and tours regularly with the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra. Ms. Kapustin plays on the ”Nico Richter and Hetta Rester” G.B. Rogeri, Brescia, ca. 1690, on loan to her from the Nationaal Muziekinstrumenten Fonds in Amsterdam.


Grigory Kalinovsky, Violin
Grigory Kalinovsky is professor of violin at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music. He, along with violinist Joseph Swensen, holds one of two inaugural Starling Professorships, appointed in fall 2014.

Hailed by critics as a “superior poet” (Vancouver Sun) and praised for his “heart and indomitable will” (Gramophone), he has performed at some of the world’s major venues, from all three stages of Carnegie Hall in New York to Musikhalle Grosser Saal in Hamburg. As a recitalist and avid chamber musician, he has performed at numerous concert series and festivals, including the Asheville Chamber Music Series, Lyric Chamber Music Society of New York, Lucas Foss’s Festival at the Hamptons, Newport Music Festival, and Pavel Vernikov's festival, “Il Violino Magico” in Italy, collaborating with such renowned musicians as Pinchas Zukerman, Shmuel Ashkeniasi, Ralph Kirshbaum, Miriam Fried, James Buswell, Dora Schwarzberg, and Paul Coletti, among others.

A devoted educator, Kalinovsky joined the Jacobs School of Music faculty in the fall of 2013 and continues to teach at the Pinchas Zukerman Young Artists Program in Canada and the Heifetz International Music Institute. Previously a faculty member at Manhattan School of Music, he has taught at many summer music festivals, such as Keshet Eilon Mastercourse in Israel, Bowdoin International Music Festival in Maine, Soesterberg International Music Festival in Holland, Summit Music Festival in New York, “Il Violino Magico” in Italy, and Manhattan in the Mountains, where he was also one of the founding artistic directors.

He has presented master classes at many major U.S. festivals and music schools, including New England Conservatory, the Colburn School, Meadowmount, University of Maryland, San Francisco Conservatory, and Seattle Conservatory, and at numerous European and Asian institutions, such as the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki, Buchmann-Mehta Scool of Music and Jerusalem Music Center in Israel, Lübeck Academy of Music in Germany, Beijing Central Conservatory in China, Seoul National University and Korea National University of Arts in Seoul.

His students have won top prizes at national and international competitions, including the Menuhin Young Artists Competition in England, Andrea Postacchini Young Violinists Competition in Italy, and Fischoff International Chamber Music Competition in Chicago, and have gone on to study at institutions such as Curtis, Colburn, Juilliard, Yale, New England Conservatory, Manhattan School of Music, and Indiana University, among others.

His recording with pianist Tatiana Goncharova featuring Shostakovich’s Violin Sonata and Twenty-Four Preludes transcribed for Violin and Piano by Dmitri Tziganov—with several of the transcriptions commissioned by Kalinovsky from the celebrated composer Lera Auerbach—was released by Centaur Records to great critical acclaim and hailed by the composer's son, conductor Maxim Shostakovich, as “a must-have for any Shostakovich music connoisseur.” The duo’s recording of the complete set of sonatas for violin and piano by Mieczysław Weinberg was recently released on Naxos label.

Kalinovsky started his music education with Tatiana Liberova in his native St. Petersburg, Russia. After coming to New York, he continued his studies with Pinchas Zukerman and Patinka Kopec at Manhattan School of Music, where he served as a faculty member shortly after graduating and until his move to Indiana University.


Ching-Yi Lin is Assistant Professor of Violin and Director of the WKU Pre-College Strings Program at Western Kentucky University.  Recent performances and masterclasses have taken her to the Barratt Due Institute of Music in Norway, Shenyang and Xi’an Conservatories in China, Northwestern University, University of British Columbia, and Louisiana State University.  During the summer months, Lin serves on the faculty at the Indiana University Summer String Academy, String Explosion (WKU), and has also served on the faculty of the Sommersymfonien i Kristiansand in Norway.  

She is actively engaged in presenting seminars at various conferences such as the American String Teacher’s Association National conference, the Kentucky and Tennessee Music Educator’s Association conferences.  Lin earned her BM, MM, and DM in Violin Performance at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, and studied in the Vienna Conservatory from 2001–2003.  Her principal teachers include Mauricio Fuks, Boris Kuschnir, Fredell Lack, and Nelli Shkolnikova.


Susan Moses, Cello
Susan Moses earned her degrees with the highest honors at Indiana and Yale Universities before completing her studies at the renowned Jascha-Heifetz-Gregor Piatigorsky Master Classes at the University of Southern California. She was awarded a Ford Foundation Prize and has performed throughout the world in recital, with orchestra and as the solo violoncellist of the celebrated I SOLISTI VENETI. While living in Europe she taught for Boston University, in the Conservatoires Regionales de France and founded the Chicago String Trio that was awarded a special Prize by the University of Milan for outstanding contributions in chamber music. She records for ERATO and CONCERTO and was nominated for a Grand Prix du Disque. Susan also was recognized by the University of Padua for her outstanding research on the school of Giuseppe Tartini in the 1700's and created for Trinity College a special music program for their Italian Elderhostel where she is principal lecturer and performer. She currently heads the cello department of the String Academy at Indiana University, has been on the faculty of Oberlin College and represents the United States in International cello competitions.


Evan Rothstein, Chamber Music
Evan Rothstein studied chamber music with members and ex-members of the Cleveland, Tokyo, Juilliard, Fine Arts and Borodin string quartets. A grant from the Foundation des Etats-Unis gave him the opportunity to study in Paris with famed pedagogue Veda Reynolds, and he afterwards performed on French radio and in major festivals in France and across Europe. After completing his doctorate at Indiana University and several degrees in musicology, he was named instructor at the University of Paris 8 - Saint Denis, and has been invited for lectures and residencies internationally. In 2004 he was appointed as pedagogical consultant to the Pro quartet-European Center for Chamber Music. In 2009, he was elected to a three-year term as Chairman of the European Chamber Music Teachers Association (ECMTA). He is currently Deputy Head of Strings at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama in London.


Jeannette Koekkoek graduated in 1988 as a student of Jan Wijn at the Amsterdam   Conservatory. She continued her studies in the United States with Aube Tzerko   and Menahem Pressler. She was a prize winner at renowned competitions and now   performs as a soloist, accompanist and in ensembles in Europe, US and Asia. She   teaches at the Indiana University String Academy in Bloomington.

Jeannette Koekkoek founded of the Netherlands Piano   Quartet, the Sagee Piano Trio, the Trompenberg Ensemble, and the   Koekkoek-Schatborn Duo. Ms. Koekkoek has also appeared as featured artist with   the Fine Arts Quartet, the Florida Philharmonic Chamber Ensemble, and as recital   partner with Ronald Hoogeveen, Janine Jansen, Catherina Bevacqua, Jill Feldman,   Howard Klug, and Jaap van Zweden.

As a soloist, Jeannette Koekkoek has performed in Holland, Germany, Italy,   France, Turkey, Pakistan, China, and throughout the United States, playing,   among others, concertos by Mozart, Saint-Saens, and Rachmaninoff. As a solo   recitalist, she has appeared in the Netherlands, including the Concertgebouw in   Amsterdam, The Kurhaus in Scheveningen, and in Aspen, Colorado, USA., as well as   regularly on the Dutch Radio Network.

Included among her many awards are the Laureate Tromp International Music   Competition, The International Piano Competition in Zaragoza, Spain (with   special mention for her interpretation of Spanish repertoire) and the Friends of   the Concertgebouw and Concertgebouw Award.

Early in her career she devoted her energies to the development of young   talented pianists and violinists, founding her own private studio in Amsterdam.   She also worked with acclaimed violin pedagogue Coosje Wijzenbeek, coaching and   partnering young artists on tour in Holland, Germany, England, Pakistan, Turkey,   China, and the United States. Subsequent pedagogical experiences include those   at the Amsterdam Conservatory, the New England Conservatory, The New World   School of the Arts, and the Indiana University Summer String Academy, in   association with Mimi Zweig, Menahem Pressler, Gabriel Chodos, and Carol   Cole.Currently based in Tuscany, Italy, fluent in English, German, Italian,   French, as well as her native Dutch, Jeannette Koekkoek has established the   Tuscan Chamber Music Academy, where she teaches master classes in piano and   chamber music.


Peter Stumpf is professor of cello at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music. Prior to his appointment, he was principal cellist of the Los Angeles Philharmonic.

Stumpf's tenure in Los Angeles followed 12 years as associate principal cellist of the Philadelphia Orchestra. His professional orchestral career began at the age of 16 when he joined the cello section of the Hartford Symphony Orchestra. He received a bachelor's degree from the Curtis Institute of Music and an Artist's Diploma from the New England Conservatory.

A dedicated chamber music musician, he is a member of the Johannes String Quartet and has appeared on the chamber music series at Carnegie Hall, Kennedy Center, the Boston Celebrity Series, the Da Camera Society in Los Angeles, Walt Disney Concert Hall, Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, Casals Hall in Tokyo, and at the concert halls of Cologne. He has performed with the chamber music societies of Boston and Philadelphia and at the Casals Festival in Puerto Rico as well as the Festivals of Marlboro, Santa Fe, Bridgehampton, Ottawa, Great Lakes, Ojai, Spoleto, and Aspen. He has toured with Music from Marlboro, the Casals Hall Ensemble in Japan, and with pianist Mitsuko Uchida in performances of the complete Mozart Piano Trios. He has collaborated with pianists Leif Ove Andsnes, Emmanuel Ax, Jorge Bolet, Yefim Bronfman, Radu Lupu, Wolfgang Sawallisch, Andras Schiff, Jean Yves Thibaudet, Mitsuko Uchida, and with the Emerson and Guarneri String Quartets. Most recently, the Johannes Quartet has collaborated with the Guarneri Quartet on tour in performances including commissions from composers William Bolcom and Esa Pekka Salonen.

Concerto appearances have been with the Boston Symphony, the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Boston Philharmonic, the Virginia Symphony, the Vermont Symphony, the Connecticut String Orchestra, the Chamber Orchestra of the South Bay, the American Youth Symphony, and at the Aspen Music Festival. As a recitalist, he has performed at the Universities of Hartford, Syracuse, and Delaware, at Jordan Hall in Boston, and at the Philips and Corcoran Galleries in Washington, D.C. Most recently, he performed the Six Suites for Solo Cello by J. S. Bach on the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society Series and on the Chamber Music in Historic Sites Series in Los Angeles. His awards include first prize in the Washington International Competition, the Graham-Stahl Competition, and the Aspen Concerto Competition and second prize in the Evian International String Quartet Competition.

As a former member of the Boston Musica Viva, he has explored extended techniques, including microtonal compositions and numerous premieres. As a teacher, he has served on the cello faculty of the University of Southern California, Hartt School of Music at the University of Hartford, the New England Conservatory, and guest artist faculty at the Curtis Institute of Music as well as at the Yellow Barn Music Festival and the Musicorda Summer String Program. He has conducted master classes at the Hong Kong Academy of Performing Arts, Manhattan and Mannes Schools of Music, Iowa and Pennsylvania State Universities, the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto, Seoul National University, Temple University, and at the Universities of Delaware and Michigan.


Taiwanese pianist Chih-Yi Chen's versatile qualities as a collaborative pianist, chamber musician, and soloist have distinguished her as a rarity amongst pianists. Her work with the talented young violinists of the Indiana University Violin Virtuosi, directed by Mimi Zweig, garnered her recognition as a specialist in violin repertoire, and she has since become a sought-after collaborative pianist. Among the numerous musicians with whom she has collaborated are Jaime Laredo, Liviu Prunaru, Barnabás Kelemen, Augustin Hadelich, Atar Arad, Sharon Robinson, Peter Stumpf, Howard Klug, William Ludwig, and the Rubens Quartet. Recent solo appearances include Gershwin's "Rhapsody in Blue" and Stephen Paulus's piano concerto with the IU Wind Ensemble. Chen received her Bachelor of Music, Master of Music, and Doctor of Music degrees at Indiana University, where her teachers were Lev Vlasenko and Luba Edlina-Dubinsky. She is on the faculty of the IU Jacobs School of Music, where she teaches piano accompanying. She is also a faculty member of the IU Summer String Academy. 


Armenian pianist Aram Arakelyan performs as a collaborator throughout the United States, Europe, and Asia. He wears many hats, from collaborative partner to chamber musician, to orchestral and choral keyboardist, arranger, ballet class pianist, and even a graphic designer.

He has been a pianist for the 2014 Primrose International Viola Competition and the 2015 International Horn Symposium. He also has been on staff at the Colburn School in Los Angeles and the Meadowmount School of Music in upstate New York. He has been one of the primary pianists in the viola studio of Donald McInnes. For the past three years, Arakelyan was the pianist for the University of Southern California (USC) Thornton Chamber Singers, under the direction of Jo-Michael Scheibe, with which he performed at the 10th World Symposium on Choral Music in Seoul, Korea, and the 12th China International Chorus Festival in Beijing, China.

He earned degrees from the University of Utah, University of Texas at Austin, and USC. His mentors include Susan Duehlmeier, Anne Epperson, Norman Krieger, and Alan Smith.


Pianist Futaba Niekawa is a postdoctoral scholar and visiting assistant professor of strings/collaborative piano.

Known for her verve and sensitivity, she is versatile as a soloist, collaborator, improviser, and harpsichordist. She has given performances in renowned venues and festivals such as Merkin Hall in New York, Jordan Hall in Boston, Banff Centre for the Arts in Canada, National Hall in Taiwan, Sumida Triphony Hall in Japan, Conde Duque in Spain, the Hamamatsu International Piano Academy, and the Prussia Cove International Musicians Seminar.

Her numerous collaborative engagements led to working relationships with such musicians as Jean Barr, Charles Castleman, James Buswell, Roger Tapping, Carol Rodland, Steven Doane, Paul Katz, Laurence Lesser, and the Lafayette and Borromeo quartets. She regularly performs with her duo partners across several continents. She is a founding member of duo526, a violin-piano duo that released its debut album, Ballade, through PARMA recordings in 2014. Her discography also includes the world premiere recording of “Twenty-Five Preludes” by pianist/composer Hwaen Ch'uqi.

Niekawa earned her doctorate degree from the Eastman School of Music under the mentorship of Natalya Antonova, for whom she served as a teaching assistant. Niekawa has conducted master classes at institutions such as the University of Northern Colorado, Middle Tennessee State University, University of Calgary, and Brandon University.


A native of North Carolina, Elizabeth Wright received her B.A. in Cello Performance from the University of California, Los Angeles in 1996, where she studied with Ronald Leonard. Currently, she performs with the New West Symphony, the Long Beach Symphony, the Long Beach Opera, the Long Beach Ballet, and the chamber music series, Jacaranda.  A versatile performer, Ms. Wright has shared the stage with Zubin Mehta, Michael Tilson-Thomas, David Zinman, Ivan Fischer, John Williams, John Clayton, Vince Mendoza, David Newman, Jerry Goldsmith, Elmer Bernstein, Christian McBride, Tony Bennett, Johnny Mandel, Terence Blanchard, Billy Childs, Ben Harper, Kelly Clarkson and Whitney Houston among others.  She is also an active studio musician for film and television; her work includes The Simpsons, Family Guy, King of the Hill, American Dad, American Idol, The Voice and X-Factor. In 2000, she earned her M.M. in Orchestral Conducting from UCLA and concluded six years of directing the Westwood Chamber Orchestra, which she founded in 1994.  Soon after she became the Associate Music Director of the Henry Mancini Institute. She has attended festivals at Tanglewood and Aspen, and studied conducting under Mehli Mehta, Gustave Meier and Larry Rachleff. Always a passionate educator, Ms. Wright has served on the cello faculty at the Colburn School for the Performing Arts since 2012.  At Colburn, she maintains a large private studio, teaches group classes, and coaches chamber music through the Ed and Mari Edelman Chamber Music Institute. A native of North Carolina, Elizabeth Wright received her B.A. in Cello Performance from the University of California, Los Angeles in 1996, where she studied with Ronald Leonard. Currently, she performs with the New West Symphony, the Long Beach Symphony, the Long Beach Opera, the Long Beach Ballet, and the chamber music series, Jacaranda.  A versatile performer, Ms. Wright has shared the stage with Zubin Mehta, Michael Tilson-Thomas, David Zinman, Ivan Fischer, John Williams, John Clayton, Vince Mendoza, David Newman, Jerry Goldsmith, Elmer Bernstein, Christian McBride, Tony Bennett, Johnny Mandel, Terence Blanchard, Billy Childs, Ben Harper, Kelly Clarkson and Whitney Houston among others.  She is also an active studio musician for film and television; her work includes The Simpsons, Family Guy, King of the Hill, American Dad, American Idol, The Voice and X-Factor. In 2000, she earned her M.M. in Orchestral Conducting from UCLA and concluded six years of directing the Westwood Chamber Orchestra, which she founded in 1994.  Soon after she became the Associate Music Director of the Henry Mancini Institute. She has attended festivals at Tanglewood and Aspen, and studied conducting under Mehli Mehta, Gustave Meier and Larry Rachleff. Always a passionate educator, Ms. Wright has served on the cello faculty at the Colburn School for the Performing Arts since 2012.  At Colburn, she maintains a large private studio, teaches group classes, and coaches chamber music through the Ed and Mari Edelman Chamber Music Institute.