Taiwanese-American violist CHE-YEN CHEN is a founding member of the Formosa Quartet and a First Prize winner of the 2006 London International String Quartet Competition. He was awarded First Prize at the 2003 Primrose International Viola Competition and has been described by San Diego Union Tribune as an artist whose "most impressive aspect of his playing was his ability to find not just the subtle emotion, but the humanity hidden in the music." Having served as principal violist of the San Diego Symphony and the Mainly Mozart Festival Orchestra, he has appeared as guest principal with numerous major orchestras in North America. A former member of Lincoln Center Chamber Music Society Two and participant at the Marlboro Music Festival, he is also a member of Camera Lucida and The Myriad Trio, and has been featured frequently at festivals such as the Seattle Chamber Music Society, Chamber Music International, and La Jolla Summerfest. He serves on the faculty of the UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music and the USC Thornton School of Music.
For more than two decades, omnivorous violist NICHOLAS CORDS has been on the front line of a growing constellation of projects as performer, educator, and cultural advocate. As co-artistic director of Silkroad, the musical collective founded by Yo-Yo Ma, and violist of Brooklyn Rider, an intrepid group which NPR credits with "recreating the 300-year-old form of the string quartet as a vital and creative 21st-century ensemble,” he is deeply committed to music from a broad variety of traditions and epochs, with a particular passion for the cross-section between the long tradition of classical music and the polyglot music of today. He has appeared as a soloist with the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Chicago Symphony, and the Minnesota Orchestra, and is a member of the viola faculty at New England Conservatory.
Winners of the First Prize and the Amadeus Prize at the London International String Quartet Competition in 2006, the FORMOSA QUARTET is “one of the very best quartets of their generation” (David Soyer, cellist of the Guarneri Quartet). Its debut recording on the EMI label was hailed as “spellbinding” (Strad Magazine) and “remarkably fine” (Gramophone), and the quartet has given critically acclaimed performances at the Ravinia Festival, the Caramoor Festival, the Library of Congress, the Da Camera Society of Los Angeles, the Chicago Cultural Center, the Walter Reade Theater at Lincoln Center, Rice University, San Francisco State University, and Wigmore Hall in London. Formed in 2002 when the four founding members came together for a concert tour of Taiwan, the Formosa Quartet is deeply committed to championing Taiwanese music and promoting the arts in the land of its heritage.
Pianist JULIANA HAN is an active collaborator, chamber musician, and soloist, lauded not only for her thoughtful and inspired performances but also for her musical lectures, which have introduced classical works to diverse audiences. She has performed in New York's major venues, including Carnegie Hall, Alice Tully Hall, and Merkin Hall, as well as in other notable venues across North America and Asia. Her festival appearances include the Music Academy of the West, Norfolk Chamber Music Festival, and Kneisel Hall Chamber Music Festival. Previously Adjunct Faculty at the Juilliard School, Dr. Han joins the faculty of Augustana College this fall as Assistant Professor of Piano. She also holds degrees in biochemistry and law, both from Harvard University, and has worked as a biotech specialist at L.E.K. Consulting and as a corporate attorney at Cravath, Swaine & Moore.
Violinist and Piedmont native WAYNE LEE is a member of two internationally-acclaimed ensembles, the Formosa Quartet and the Manhattan Piano Trio, and gives dozens of performances with them annually throughout North America, Europe, and Asia. He regularly appears before audiences as a soloist and recitalist, and often performs on early instruments with fortepianist Mike Cheng-Yu Lee, a collaboration that has brought the duo as performance and teaching artists to institutions such as Cornell University and Indiana University. He has given master classes throughout the United States and Asia, has previously taught at the Juilliard School, and is currently a Lecturer of Violin at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
"JASMINE LIN is a magnificent player with superb tone and strong interpretive powers” and “a violinist of remarkable intensity”, maintain American Record Guide and Chicago Tribune. As a member of Formosa Quartet and Trio Voce, faculty member at Roosevelt University and Music Institute of Chicago, Curtis Institute of Music alumna, confidante to a Cremonese violin, arranger of Grappelli tunes, prizewinner in the Naumburg and Paganini competitions, Grammy nominee, and recording artist on Con Brio, EMI, and New World Records, Jasmine likes to solicit magnificence and intensity while leaving raindrops on her nose un-wiped-off. Her biography contains precisely one hundred words.
Cellist CLANCY NEWMAN, first prize winner of the prestigious Walter W. Naumburg International Competition and recipient of an Avery Fisher Career Grant, has had the unusual career of a performer/composer. He has performed as soloist throughout the United States, as well as in Europe, Asia, Canada, and Australia. He can often be heard on NPR’s “Performance Today” and has been featured on A&E’s “Breakfast With the Arts.” A sought after chamber musician, he has been a member of Chamber Music Society Two of Lincoln Center and Musicians from Marlboro, and is a current member of the Clarosa Piano Quartet. He has been a featured composer on series by the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center and the Chicago Chamber Musicians, and his piano trio, Juxt-Opposition, is available on Bridge Records. Mr. Newman is a graduate of the five-year exchange program between Juilliard and Columbia University.
Hailed by Gramophone Magazine as “exceptionally gifted” and “breathtaking," cellist DEBORAH PAE is captivating audiences with her “superb tone...high level of interpretative intelligence” and “tremendous technical assurance” (Transcentury Blog). Since her orchestral debut at age sixteen with the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra, Ms. Pae has enjoyed concerti appearances with Sinfonia Varsovia of Poland, Orchestre Philharmonique Royal de Liège (with whom she recorded Saint-Saëns Cello Concerto No. 2 on Zig-Zag Territoire label), Orchestre Royal de Chambre de Wallonie, and Westchester Philharmonic with conductors Vassily Sinaisky, Thomas Wilkins, Christian Arming, Augustin Dumay, and Itzhak Perlman. A devoted chamber musician, Ms. Pae is cellist of the internationally acclaimed Formosa Quartet, a founding member of award-winning Trio Modêtre, and has been a featured artist at renowned international festivals including Marlboro, Ravinia, Crans-Montana Classics, and Amsterdam Cello Biënnale. Ms. Pae plays a Vincenzo Postiglione (c. 1885) and is Professor of Cello at Eastern Michigan University.
Recipient of the 2018 Leonard Bernstein Award and described by the Boston Globe as one who "plays classical violin with the charisma of a rock star,” Juilliard graduate CHARLES YANG began his violin studies with his mother in Austin, Texas, and has since studied with world-renowned pedagogues Kurt Sassmannshaus, Paul Kantor, Brian Lewis and Glenn Dicterow. He has performed as a soloist with orchestras and in concert in the United States, Europe, Brazil, Russia, China, and Taiwan, and is the recipient of numerous awards and honors. On June 9th of 2005, the Mayor of Austin presented Mr. Yang with his own "Charles Yang Day.” In 2016 Mr. Yang joined the crossover string-band, Time for Three.