Fitz Gary, viola & co-founder
Violist Fitz Gary has already begun transforming the role of the musician in our society. An active performer and social activist, in 2012 he founded Music Feeds Us, a concert series designed to promote classical music and hunger relief, which has raised over 140,000 meals to date for food banks in Virginia. A graduate of The Juilliard School and the Cleveland Institute of Music, Fitz studied with Heidi Castleman, Hsin-Yun Huang, and Jeffrey Irvine.
Fitz is a native of Charlottesville, Virginia, and has performed across the United States, Europe, and in Asia in such venues as New York’s Carnegie Hall and Avery Fisher Hall, London’s Royal Albert Hall, Vienna’s Konzerthaus, and Japan’s Suntory Hall. Fitz’s passion for chamber music has led to studies with members of the Artemis, Cleveland, Juilliard, Jupiter, Keller, Miró, and Takács Quartets. As a teaching artist, Fitz has been on faculty at the Bay View Music Festival, the Hampton Roads Chamber Players, taught in the Charlottesville High School Orchestra program as the Boyd Tinsley String Mentor, and given masterclasses and presentations to students of all ages.
Selected as a 2013-2014 Fulbright Scholar, Fitz studied with Barbara Westphal at the Lübeck Musikhochschlule in Germany. The school subsequently awarded him the prestigious 2014-2015 DAAD prize for an outstanding international student, as well as his second masters degree. While in Germany, Fitz completed the Akademie with the Grammy-Award-winning NDR Sinfonieorchester (Elbphilharmonie) in Hamburg.
Currently, Fitz is a freelance musician based in Norfolk, Virginia. He performs regularly with the Virginia Symphony Orchestra, is president-elect of the Feldman Chamber Music Society, and serves as a Clinician Ambassador for D’Addario Orchestral.
Jinjoo Cho, violin
Critically acclaimed violinist Jinjoo Cho has established herself as one of the most vibrant, engaging and charismatic violinists of her generation. Gold Medalist of the 2014 Ninth Quadrennial International Violin Competition of the Indianapolis, Jinjoo made her first appearance on the international music scene when she garnered the First Grand Prize and Radio Canada’s People’s Choice Award at the 2006 Montreal International Musical Competition at age 17. Times Argus of Montreal proclaimed her performance of Shostakovich Violin Concerto as possessing “an undeniable charisma and depth…with an intense lyricism and heartfelt tenderness that sent shivers up the spine.”
Since then, she has won numerous international awards including the First Prize and Orchestra Award at the Buenos Aires International Violin Competition in 2010, 2nd Laureate at the 2011 Isang Yun International Music Competition, First Grand Prize at the Alice Schoenfeld International String Competition, and the Dorothy DeLay Award at Aspen Music Festival.
Jinjoo has concertized throughout North and South America, Asia, and Europe, performing as a soloist with such prestigious orchestras as The Cleveland Orchestra, Orchestre symphonique de Montréal, Orchestre symphonique de Québec, Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Orquesta Sinfónica Nacional (Argentina) among many others. She has been privileged to perform with renowned artists Kent Nagano, Peter Oundjian, Michael Stern, Yoel Levi, James Gaffigan, Robert McDuffie, Jaime Laredo, Sharon Robinson, Paul Neubauer, Roger Tapping and Anton Nel. She has appeared in international venues and festivals including Carnegie Hall, Severance Hall, the Herkulessaal of Munich, Teatro Colón of Buenos Aires, Seoul Arts Center, Aspen Music Festival, Schwetzingen SWR Festipiele, Festival de Lanaudière, Cleveland Chamberfest, Kentucky Center for the Performing Arts, Seoul Spring Chamber Music Festival, and Tongyeong International Music Festival.
Recent and upcoming engagements include her Carnegie Hall Stern Auditorium concerto debut with the New York String Orchestra in addition to appearances with the Greensboro, Grand Junction, North Carolina, Indianapolis, Vermont, Phoenix, KBS (Korea) and Orquestra Sinfônica de Minas Gerais (Brazil) symphonies. Jinjoo’s recitals at Bard College, Brattleboro Music Center, Dame Myra Hess, Indiana University, Mercyhurst University, La Jolla Music Society, Linton Chamber Music, Chamber Music International, Rockefeller University and the Mainly Mozart Festival in Miami will culminate in a Carnegie Hall Stern Auditorium recital debut in June 2016.
Jinjoo’s biggest passion is arts education and audience engagement. As a result, she is the founder of a new chamber music program for high school and college students in Cleveland, Ohio named the Encore Chamber Music Institute. The institute will have its inaugural season in the summer of 2016. Starting with the 2015-16 school year, Jinjoo has also accepted a part-time appointment at Oberlin Conservatory teaching violin and coaching chamber music. Another project of hers on the opposite side of the globe is Classical Revolution Korea, where musicians travel all across Korea to give free concerts and meet audiences in cafés. The programs in 2015 include performances in Seoul and Jeju Island. Recently, she also started writing a column in the performing arts magazine, Auditorium, titled “The Art of Practice.”
Born in Seoul, Korea, Jinjoo moved to Cleveland, Ohio at the age of 14 to study at
the Cleveland Institute of Music as a Young Artist Program student. Within a few years of arriving in the United States, she had won most of the local competitions for both high school and collegiate level students, including the Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra’s concerto competition and the Cleveland Institute of Music’s collegiate level concerto competition. One of the jurors at the Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra competition was the legendary oboist John Mack, who later became very closely tied to Jinjoo’s musical development. At age 16, she was awarded the Gold Medal at the Stulberg International String Competition. Additionally Jinjoo served as concertmaster of the Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra and later, the New York String Orchestra Seminar. The New York Timesdescribed her concertmaster solos as “rich and open…finely polished, (and) focused.”
A passionate advocate for community outreach and education, Jinjoo has performed at over 100 venues, giving master classes, presenting showcases, and delivering lecture recitals. Her ties to the Cleveland community are especially apparent as she performs often for local organizations such as the Cleveland Women’s Orchestra, the Beachwood Arts Council, the Cleveland Clinic, the Women’s Committee at CIM, Arts Renaissance Tremont, the Tuesday Musical Association of Akron, CityMusic Cleveland, and more.
Jinjoo finished her Bachelor of Music degree both at the Curtis Institute of Music and the Cleveland Institute of Music (CIM) with Joseph Silverstein, Pamela Frank, and Paul Kantor, who has been her mentor since 2001. She also received her Master of Music and Professional Studies from CIM, having studied with Jaime Laredo. She has coached with the Cavani String Quartet, Peter Salaff, Gilbert Kalish, Itzhak Perlman, Donald Weilerstein, David Finckel, Wu Han, and Mark Steinberg, and participated in masterclasses given by the Takács Quartet, Arnold Steinhardt, Peter Wiley, Samuel Rhodes and Zakhar Bron, with whom she worked at Kronberg Academy’s Masterclasses Program. Jinjoo has spent the summers at the Aspen Music Festival, Perlman Music Program Chamber Music Workshop, Music@Menlo and the Chamber Music Residency Program at The Banff Centre with her pianist Daniel H.S. Kim as Duo Istas. Duo Istas regularly tours in North America with intensely creative programs that features seldom played works and contemporary repertoire.
Eric Wong, violin
Celebrated for a “tone like toasted caramel. Amazing.” (Musical Toronto), Eric Wong was previously the violist of the Afiara Quartet, Ensemble-in-Residence at the Royal Conservatory of Music and prizewinners of the Concert Artist Guild, Munich ARD, and Banff International String Quartet Competitions. He is currently on faculty at the Cleveland Institute of Music as a member of the Cavani String Quartet.
As a member of the Afiara Quartet, Mr. Wong has had equal footing in both the worlds of Mozart and Beethoven and those of hip-hop and experimental multimedia. The Quartet’s album “Spin Cycle”, a collaboration with four young Canadian composers and DJ Skratch Bastid, was named one of Forbes Magazine’s ‘Best Classical Recordings of 2015’ and CBC’s ‘Best Classical Albums of 2015’. “The Guardian” called the Afiara’s contribution to the multimedia adaptation of DJ Kid Koala’s graphic novel ‘Nufonia Must Fall’ “emotionally stirring, [...] lighthearted and humorous”. In addition to the Quartet’s duties at the Royal Conservatory in Toronto, it has also been ensemble-in-residence of McMaster University’s Department of Neuroscience. Studies by McMaster’s neuroscientists and the Quartet have been featured on the Discovery Channel and other national publications. The Afiara is also a proud member of the Health Arts Society of Ontario whose mission is to bring live performances to audiences in chronic care residencies that have limited budgets to provide quality-of-life programs.
Mr. Wong is a frequent guest educator and has given masterclasses and lectures in many institutions of higher learning in North America and Europe including Yale University, American University, the University of Iowa, the Royal Academy of Music of Århus, Middlesex University, and the University of Toronto. He is also active in collaborating with directors of several up-and-coming chamber music festivals including the Geneva Music Festival (genevamusicfestival.com) and the humanitarian initiative “Music Feeds Us”.
In addition to touring worldwide with the Afiara, Mr. Wong has performed on the most iconic stages around the world including Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Severance Hall, Kings Place, Koerner Hall, and as a featured guest artist at the Aspen Ideas Festival. His chamber music collaborators have included the Tokyo Quartet, Sharon Isbin, Itzhak Perlman, Richard Stoltzman, Donald Weilerstein, and pianist and former US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, among others. Mr. Wong previously served as principal violist of CityMusic Cleveland, Assistant Concertmaster of the Akron Symphony Orchestra, and Associate Concertmaster of the Canton Symphony Orchestra.
He received both Bachelor and Master of Music degrees from the CIM, studying violin with Paul Kantor and viola with Kirsten Docter and Lynne Ramsey. Other coaches and mentors have included Peter Salaff and the Cavani and Tokyo Quartets.
Off the clock, Mr. Wong enjoys cooking and classic television.
Madeline Fayette, cello
Praised by the Sarasota Herald-Tribune for her “charisma... lovely tone and phrasing”, cellist Madeline Fayette is building a career as a versatile musician, at home both as both a soloist and collaborator. Ms. Fayette made her Lincoln Center debut at the age of fourteen with the Juilliard Pre-College Symphony. Currently, Madeline is a member of the Hudson Valley Philharmonic, New York Classical Players, and Symphony in C. She has also appeared with Ensemble Échappé, Metropolis Ensemble, and New Jersey Symphony. Most recently, Madeline joined the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra on a nine city tour of Japan.
Highlights of past seasons include a performance of Brahms Double Concerto with her sister Elizabeth Fayette and Long Island’s Sound Symphony, chamber music performances on "Wednesday's at one" at Alice Tully Hall, multiple appearances on Long Island’s Piano Plus Concert Series, and featured performances on WQXR’s Young Artist Showcase. In the role of a principal cellist, Ms. Fayette has been praised by the New York Times for her leadership of the “excellent cello section” during a performance led by Maestro Alan Gilbert. In this role, Ms. Fayette has also worked with conductors Edward Gardner, Larry Rachleff, Robert Spano, and David Zinman.
Ms. Fayette has appeared at the Yellow Barn, Sarasota, and Kneisel Hall Music Festivals. As a chamber musician, she has collaborated and performed with violinists Lucy Chapman, Curtis Macomber, Nicholas Mann, Violaine Melançon, and Donald Weilerstein, violists Maria Lambros and Roger Tapping, and clarinetist Alan Kay. In 2012, Ms. Fayette was selected as a participant in the Robert Mann String Quartet Institute, where she worked with Mann and members of the American Quartet. Additional chamber music performances have included appearances at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Rhinebeck Chamber Music Society. In 2015, Madeline was invited to participate in a special ‘Celebration of Women’ performance as part of the Rhinebeck Chamber Music Society’s season, collaborating with Victoria Bond, Babette Hierholzer, and Eugenia Zuckerman. She has participated in the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center’s master class series with pianist Leon Fleisher and the Orion Quartet.
Currently, Ms. Fayette is a fellow of Ensemble Connect, a program in collaboration between Carnegie Hall, The Juilliard School, and the Weill Music Institute in partnership with the New York City Department of Education that combines musical excellence with teaching, community engagement, advocacy, entrepreneurship, and leadership. As part of her fellowship, Ms. Fayette is partnered with a high school in Queens, New York.
Ms. Fayette holds a Bachelor and Master of Music from the Juilliard School where she studied under the guidance of Natasha Brofsky and Bonnie Hampton.