Nick Dinnerstein, cellist and organizer of Composer Focus, has had a wide
variety of musical experiences, classical and otherwise. In addition to performing
recitals of repertoire ranging from Bach to contemporary composers, he has
recorded on over a dozen albums of local songwriters and bands, performing
most recently with songwriter, Mary Bichner, as well as the band, Cake in the
Dungeon. He is a former member of the chamber ensemble, Symphony Nova.
Mr. Dinnerstein also plays baroque cello and teaches privately.
A member of the Boston String Quartet since 2005, violist
Chen Lin, has performed at venues such as Carnegie Hall,
Boston Symphony Hall, Jordan Hall, and Troy Music Hall. She
has collaborated with Turtle Island Quartet, Mark O’Connor,
Ryland Angel, and Orla Fallon. Described by the Boston Globe
as “exploring different ways of sparking musical interest,” Ms.
Lin’s Quartet frequently concertizes in the New England area,
and has created its educational programs in collaboration with
high school and college music departments throughout the
United States. As an orchestra musician, Ms. Lin is currently a
member of the Lexington Symphony Orchestra, Boston
Chamber Orchestra, and Claflin Hill Symphony. As a founding
violist of the Boston Chamber Orchestra, Ms. Lin recently
toured Japan as a part of the Kyushu International Music
Festival. Ms. Lin holds a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Viola
Performance from Boston University and Master’s degree from
The Boston Conservatory. Her previous teachers include
Teizo Yoshinaga, Roger Tapping, and Michelle LaCourse.
Boston based pianist, Paul Jacobs, has performed extensively
throughout the United States as a soloist and chamber musician.
His repertoire includes the standard classical canon, 20th century
and new works, as well as contemporary improvisation. Recent
performances have included a recital at Bruno Walter Auditorium at
Lincoln Center and concerts at Warebrook Contemporary Music
Festival in Vermont, and White Lake Chamber Music Festival in
Michigan. As a recording artist, he can be heard on the Navano
Mr. Jacobs is dedicated to new music and has worked closely with
contemporary composers including Allen Anderson, Martin Boykan,
and Yehudi Wyner. His contemporary and 20th century repertoire
includes works by Lee Hyla, Eric Moe, Sofia Gubaidulina, and
Charles Ives (the Concord Sonata).
He holds degrees from Longy School of Music, Michigan State
University, and Hope College. He currently teaches at the Concord
Conservatory of Music in the Massachusetts.
Award-winning pianist, Pei-yeh Tsai, has appeared at such
prestigious venues as Weill Recital Hall in Carnegie Hall,
Rachmaninoff Hall in Moscow, and the Taipei National
Concert Hall in Taiwan. Ms. Tsai is the winner of numerous
awards, including the Viardo International Piano Competition,
the New England Chamber Music Ensemble Competition, and
the Iowa International Piano Competition. In 2011, Ms. Tsai
appeared in concerts at the Tribeca Performance Center in
New York City, at the Art Complex Museum in Massachusetts,
and at Berklee College in Boston, premiering four composers’
new works that were written exclusively for her. Ms. Tsai
studied at the Peabody Conservatory of Johns Hopkins
University with Boris Slutsky, subsequently receiving a
Master’s degree in Piano Performance from the Juilliard
School under the tutelage of Jerome Lowenthal. Currently at
Boston University, Ms. Tsai graduated in December 2011 with
a Doctorate of Musical Arts in piano performance.
Mezzo-Soprano, Wendy Parker, is an active performer in opera, oratorio,
recital, and musical theater. Reviewers have described her singing as “rich,
and resonant” and her acting as “fiercly focused.” Operatic roles include
Dorabella in Cosi fan Tutte, the title roles in Carmen and La Cenerentola,
Cherubino in The Marriage of Figaro, Sorceress in Dido and Aeneas, Mrs.
Nolan in The Medium, and Phoebe in Yeoman of the Guard. Her musical
theater roles include Elsa Schraeder in The Sound of Music, Maria in West
Side Story, and Rapunzel in Into the Woods. Wendy has appeared with
Greater Worcester Opera, Reagle Music Theater, Savoyard Light Opera,
Sudbury Savoyards, Rogue Opera, Portland Opera Concord Orchestra,
Opera Providence, MassTheatrica, ACME Theater, the Oregon Symphony,
and the Redding Symphony among others. Wendy trained at UMass
Amherst, San Francisco Conservatory of Music, American Institute for
Musical Studies in Austria, and OperaWorks in LA. Wendy is also an actor,
songwriter, and voice-over artist.
Li-Mei Liang, an accomplished Taiwanese violinist, began playing the violin at
age five. Li-Mei has performed across the world, with concerts in the United States,
Japan, China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan. She has also appeared in many well-known
concert halls, such as Boston Symphony Hall, Jordan Hall at the New England
Conservatory, Shalin Liu Performance Center, Shanghai Oriental Art Center, Tokyo
Opera City Concert Hall, and Taiwan National Concert and Recital Hall.
In the area of chamber music, Li-Mei's piano trio won first prize in the Taiwan National
Piano Trio Competition in 2008. In 2010, she was invited to participate in the Lincoln
Center Chamber Workshop in Taiwan and the Taos School of Music. From 2012 to
2013, Li-Mei was a violinist in the Gioviale String Quartet, which won the Honor
Ensemble Competition at New England Conservatory and gave their debut recital at
Jordan Hall in Boston in May of 2013.
Li-Mei grew up in Taiwan, where she graduated from the affiliated high school of
National Taiwan Normal University and studied with Prof. Cheng-Tu Su. She received
Bachelor's and Master's degrees from New England Conservatory, where she studied
with Nicholas Kitchen for six years. Li-Mei is now pursuing a Doctorate of Musical Arts
degree at New England Conservatory with Donald Weilerstein.
Violinist, Angel Valchinov, is a soloist, concertmaster,
chamber musician, and teacher. A third generation musician,
he is passionate about giving back to audiences of this and
the next generation. Mr. Valchinov has performed as soloist
with orchestras in the US and abroad, is currently
concertmaster of several orchestras in the Boston area, and
teaches at festivals throughout the summer. He is String
Faculty at Northern Essex Community College and has a
growing private studio. With his wife, violist, Chen Lin, he
regularly presents recitals to varied audiences. He received
his doctorate from Boston University.
Abby Swidler is a violinist, vocalist, multi-instrumentalist, and
artist, born in the mountains of Missoula, MT. Abby has deep
roots in Classical music and enjoys playing many kinds of
music from around the world, blurring genre lines through
improvisation and composition.
Abby attended Eastman School of Music, receiving a
Bachelors degree in violin performance from the studio of
Charles Castleman, and a certificate in world music. She
currently resides in Boston, MA, and recently graduated from
New England Conservatory's Contemporary Improvisation
Recent highlights include singing with The Bitchin' Kitchen
Soul Band, which opened for John Legend in Rochester, NY,
and recordings of Ricardo John-Muldoon's composition, "Nino
Polilla" for 'Bridge Records' and Jeremy Flower's song cycle
with Carla Kihlstedt, Matthias Bossi, and Jon Evans at Brick