Kim Kashkashian, viola
Kim Kashkashian was born in Detroit, Michigan to Armenian parents. Her studies were at the Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore with Walter Trampler and Karen Tuttle, and at the Marlboro Music Festival where she worked intensively with Felix Galimir.
After experiencing unanticipated successes at the Tertis and Munich competitions, Kim Kashkashian appeared as soloist with the major orchestras of Chicago, Cleveland, Berlin, Milan, London, Tokyo and Vienna, working with conductors including Nikolaus Harnoncourt, Zubin Mehta, Riccardo Muti, Christoph Eschenbach, Dennis Russell Davies and Franz Welser-Möst. She has performed in recital in New York, San Francisco, Cleveland, Philadelphia, Vienna, Berlin, Paris, London and Amsterdam, as well as in the chamber music centers of Salzburg, Verbier and Ravinia.
Kim Kashkashian's quest for new directions and forms of music making is an active element of her musical life. Her work with György Kurtág, Tigran Mansurian, Betty Olivero, Giya Kancheli, Krzysztof Penderecki, Ken Ueno and Peter Eötvös has extensively enriched the repertoire for viola.
Ms. Kashkashian has collaborated with the Tokyo, Guarneri and Orion quartets and toured with a unique quartet which included Daniel Phillips, Gidon Kremer and Yo Yo Ma. Current partnerships include duos with Robert Levin and with percussionist Robyn Schulkowsky.
After early recordings of Mozart's Sinfonia Concertante and Divertimento with DGG and Sony, a long term relationship with ECM Records has created an extensive discography which includes the award winning Brahms sonatas, the complete Hindemith sonatas, the concertos of Bartók, Eötvös, Kurtág, Berio, Kancheli, Olivero and Mansurian, the Bach Sonatas for viola da gamba (with Keith Jarrett), Hayren (music of Tigran Mansurian and Komitas) and Asturiana, songs from Spain and Argentina.
Kim Kashkashian has always included teaching into her musical activities, and has been associated with the Bloomington School of Music, the Hochschule of both Berlin and Freiburg, Germany and is presently teaching chamber music and viola at the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston where she has made her home. She plays a viola by Peter Greiner.
Haeran Hong, soprano
Soprano Haeran Hong, a native of Korea, is currently in her first year of the Artistic Diploma in Opera Studies program at The Juilliard School, where she studies with Edith Bers. Ms. Hong has performed various leading roles including Susanna in Le Nozze di Figaro with the Korean National University of Arts Opera Theater and The Juilliard Opera Theater, and Adina in L'elisir D'amore with the Korean National University of Arts Opera Theater. She also performed the role of Gilda in Rigoletto with the Guang-Gin Gu Opera. She made her professional debut as Pamina in Die Zauberflöte with the Daejeon Art Center Opera. Ms. Hong also performed the role of Dalinda in Handel's Ariodante at The Juilliard School in fall 2009. In this summer, she will be a Young American artist at Glimmerglass Opera. There, she will perform the role of Barbarina in Le nozze di Figaro and cover the role of Seleuce in Tolomeo. Ms. Hong won First Place in both the Daegu and the Georgia Christian University Competitions, and was a finalist in the 2009 Vinas International Singing Competition. She was the recipient of the Korea Ministry of Culture Award. She is a graduate of the Korean National University of Arts.