Works to include music by Florence Price, Astor Piazzolla, William Grant Still and Jose White.
Location: Memorial Park Church 8800 Peebles Rd. Alison Park, PA 15101 Free admission; donations accepted
“This violinist shines, displaying virtuosity...his violin sings through musical storytelling... expressive playing...” – Pittsburgh in the Round.
Cuban-born violinist Sandro Leal-Santiesteban made his professional debut at age thirteen as second violin in the Grand Theater of Havana’s orchestra, where he performed numerous Spanish operettas and zarzuelas. During his teenage years, Mr. Leal-Santiesteban gave frequent recitals in Havana’s most prestigious halls, including the García Lorca Hall, the Teatro Nacional de Cuba, and the Amadeo Roldán Theatre. His most notable performances while in Cuba were playing the Khachaturian violin concerto at age fifteen with the Matanzas Symphony Orchestra, under the baton of his mother, Lourdes Santiesteban, and a performance of Zigeunerweisen by Sarasate with the former conductor of the Gustav Mahler Youth Symphony Orchestra, Claudio Abbado in attendance.
A year later, he was appointed associate principal second violin of the Matanzas Symphony Orchestra which took him on a European tour to the Graz Opera House in Austria and Spain performing Porgy and Bess by George Gershwin. Mr. Leal-Santiesteban has gone on to win several competitions, such as the Manuel Saumell Municipal Violin Competition, and the Amadeo Roldán National Competition, both in Havana, Cuba. While in the States, he has also been the winner of violin competitions: the Carnegie Mellon University Concerto Competition where he performed the Behzad Ranjbaran violin concerto at Soldiers and Sailors Hall, as well as the Pittsburgh Concert Society both as a soloist and as a member of the Beo String Quartet.
An alumnus of the acclaimed Sphinx Competition for African-Americans and Latinos in Detroit, MI, Mr. Leal-Santiesteban toured nationally with the Sphinx Virtuosi, most recently in 2021, taking him as far as the world renowned Carnegie Music Hall in New York City to rave reviews from the New York Times. As a member of the Beo String Quartet, Mr. Leal-Santiesteban premiered numerous works by established and emerging new music composers at the Charlotte New Music Festival in North Carolina (CNMF). In his time with the quartet, Mr. Leal-Santiesteban participated in residencies, recordings, and performances, including the Dakota Chamber Music at Minot State where he collaborated with members of the Grammy-award winning ensemble the Ying Quartet, residencies at Virginia Tech University, the Charleston Ballet in West Virginia, the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, the CNMF, and the International Competition Franz Schubert and Modern Music in Graz, Austria. Mr. Leal-Santiesteban has performed worldwide with critically renowned conductors and artists including Kent Nagano, Carlos Miguel Prieto, Robert Page, Benjamin Zander, Josh Groban, Clay Aiken, Evanescence, Bruce Springsteen, and Andrea Bocelli.
He has been featured countless times on Pittsburgh’s Classical WQED-FM 89.3. His appearances include solos with the Erie Philharmonic in Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake Op. 20 and “Winter” from Vivaldi’s Four Seasons with Resonance Works | Pittsburgh. During the 2018-2019 season, Resonance Works featured Mr. Leal-Santiesteban as soloist in December of 2018 in Vivaldi’s Concerto for Four Violins in B Minor, Op. 3 No. 10 RV 580, which was a live broadcast on WQED. In May 2019, he returned to Resonance Works as soloist to perform Leonard Bernstein’s Serenade after Plato’s “Symposium,” commemorating “Bernstein at 100.” Mr. Leal-Santiesteban currently keeps a very busy schedule performing and teaching privately in the Pittsburgh area. He holds the associate concertmaster position of the Erie Philharmonic. He lives in Pittsburgh, PA, with his wife Emily and his son Rafael.
Maureen Conlon Gutiérrez
A native of Mexico, Maureen Conlon Gutiérrez has performed to much acclaim across the globe as soloist, chamber musician, and orchestral player. She has participated on half a dozen recordings as a classical artist, cross genre violinist, light rock improv and tango violinist. Miss Conlon has appeared on television and radio in several countries and is prize winner of many national and international competitions in both the United States and in Mexico.
She began her studies at an early age in her home town of San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato Mexico with Pedro Gasca, Gilberto Nunez, and David Mallory. Miss Conlon subsequently pursued further studies at Rice University, Penn State University and Carnegie Mellon University studying with Kenneth Goldsmith, James Lyon, and Andres Cardenes respectively.
An ardent chamber musician, she co-founded the Trio Nova Mundi with whom she performed across the Americas and appeared as soloist with various orchestras. In addition, she is member of the Argentine tango group AquiTango, and co-founder of string quartet Hot Metal Strings.
As an orchestral player she is concertmaster of the Johnstown Symphony Orchestra and is member of the Pittsburgh Opera Orchestra, the Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre Orchestra, the Chamber Orchestra of Pittsburgh, Resonance Orchestra, and the Wheeling Symphony. Miss Conlon has served as concertmaster of the Erie Chamber Orchestra from 2013-2018, as first violin and acting concertmaster of the Erie Philharmonic since 2008 and played with many orchestras such as the Pittsburgh Symphony, National Philharmonic, Sphinx Virtuosi, Akron Symphony, Virginia Symphony, and Sphinx Symphony. A passionate educator, she served as Adjunct Professor of Violin/Viola at Grove City College from 2012-2017 and as Violin Professor at Duquesne University’s City Music Center during the 2014-15 school year. Her students have won awards, auditions, and competitions locally and have gone on to pursue music professionally. Miss Conlon is frequently invited to teach masterclasses at various music festivals, schools, and institutions both in the U.S. and abroad. She resides in Pittsburgh, PA with her husband and daughter. When not playing the violin, she enjoys eating good food, watching movies, and traveling.
Cellist Katya Janpoladyan - Born and raised in Armenia, Ms. Janpolayan is a performer whose talents and musical passion extend beyond the stage. Audiences throughout the world have enjoyed her numerous studio albums, countless national and international performances and live radio appearances. Ms. Janpoladyan is equally driven as an entrepreneur and pedagogue, spearheading several successful chamber music programs and preparing award-winning cello students for their lives in music. Her teaching prowess has garnered international demand and she has taught masterclasses in the U.S., China and Chile.
Ms. Janpoladyan is the founder, Executive Director and cellist of Kassia Ensemble, a non-profit organization. Kassia Ensemble is a chamber music group comprised exclusively of women which promotes women’s contribution to classical music.
Ms. Janpoladyan’s mission to serve the social justice continues to serve Pittsburgh, where she created and is directing the PERSPECTIVES Festival of Chamber Music, created to amplify voices of musicians of color, scheduled to launch in June of 2022 Ms. Janpoladyan has also created programs to serve aspiring musicians in the Pittsburgh area. She founded the Pittsburgh Youth Concert Orchestra’s Summer Chamber Music Seminar and has served as its Artistic Director since its inception in 2016.
An active performer, Ms. Janpoladyan is a former member of the award-winning SHELL Piano Trio of Armenia and a former member of the Baur String Quartet. In 2001, while she was a member of SHELL, the quartet won the 2001 Pierre Lantier International Chamber Music Competition in Paris France. Ms. Janpoladyan has collaborated with artists such as Cyrus Forough, James Dunham, Yehuda Hanani, Ross Harbaugh, Awadagin Pratt, Piotr Milewsky and the Montclair Quartet. She has been featured as a soloist performing with the Yerevan Chamber Orchestra, the Camerata San Marco (NY), and the Mary Miller Dance Company. She has been a featured performer with the Opera Theater of Pittsburgh, was a cellist in residence with the Charlotte New Music Festival. Ms. Janpoladyan can be heard on albums “Reverie”, “Presence” “Songs from the Lake Volta” and frequently on the Classical WQED Pittsburgh.
She is currently residing in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with her daughter, Maria, fiancé Patrick, mom Anna and dog Beezus.
Incidental Chamber Players
The Incidental Chamber Players is a music collective focused on reviving hidden gems in the chamber music repertoire. Performing works that are unjustly forgotten or rarely heard, I.C.Players create ‘incidental’ programs threaded together by their woodwind identity. The collective is a core of woodwind players working with collaborators to produce an immersive concert experience.
Created in 2013, the Incidental Chamber Players is a music collective that puts music featuring woodwinds in the limelight. Our organization takes a unique approach in designing programs by focusing on a theme, then inviting all members of the collective to contribute in bringing the programs to life.
At its core, the ensemble is comprised of a woodwind quartet plus piano, and expands to include strings, percussion, voice and beyond in order to present the full spectrum of chamber music repertoire that involves woodwinds.
KIKA WRIGHTis a chamber musician, teaching artist, and arts administrator based in New York City. She is the bassoonist of the Incidental Chamber Players of Pittsburgh Pennsylvania–a group focused on performing unjustly forgotten works of the wind repertoire–and the Atlantic Collective of New York City–an adaptive, flexible ensemble of international artists performing concert music that explores social and cultural themes.
Ms. Wright is the music programs manager and a teaching artist of the Bronx Arts Ensemble, teaching woodwinds in Bronx public schools. She is dedicated to eradicating racial disparity in the arts and has given talks on the subject at various colleges, Quinteto Latino Seminario, The Meg Quigley Vivaldi Competition and Bassoon Symposium Summer Series and the Chamber Music America Conference. She serves on the leadership team of the International Society for Black Musicians.
Ms. Wright has participated in summer music programs in the U.S. and Canada, including the Hot Springs Music Festival, Banff, Eastern Music Festival, and the Aspen Music Festival and School. She performs regularly with the Colour of Music Festival Orchestra, Hamptons Festival Orchestra, Westmoreland Symphony, and freelances in the tristate area. She has performance degrees from Penn State and the University of Wisconsin-Madison as well as diplomas from Carnegie Mellon University and The Glenn Gould School of the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto. Ms. Wright is completing a masters degree in music education at Teachers College, Columbia University.
RYAN LEONARD was born in Pasadena, CA and grew up in Westfield, NJ, where he began musical studies at the New Jersey Workshop for the Arts. After being an active participant in music and theatre in the public schools, he earned his BFA and MM at Carnegie Mellon University as a student of Thomas Thompson and Michael Rusinek.
Ryan has held positions with the Sarasota Opera, Opera Steamboat, the Westmoreland Symphony, and the Incidental Chamber Players. He has performed as guest principal clarinet of the Erie Philharmonic, Wheeling Symphony and Youngstown Symphony and has soloed with the Westmoreland Symphony, Resonance Works Pittsburgh, and the Edgewood Symphony.
As a freelancer based in Pittsburgh, he has performed with the Philadelphia Orchestra, Pittsburgh Symphony, Baltimore Symphony, Omaha Symphony, and the Pittsburgh Opera and Ballet orchestras. Some artists that Ryan has backed up in concert include vocalists Idina Menzel and Johnny Mathis, Star Trek’s George Takei, percussionist/composer Stewart Copeland and drag performer/musician Thorgy Thor of RuPaul’s Drag Race.
Summer festivals include the Artosphere Festival Orchestra in Fayetteville, AR and the Pierre Monteux School in Hancock, ME. He has studied with Andrew Lamy, Miriam Lockhart, Jack Howell and Richard Page. He lives in Pittsburgh with his clarinetist wife Kira and their two cats and loves to cook for friends and family.
AMAURY MORALES was born in the Dominican Republic, He is regarded as “An authority in the classical music world (La Información),” performing in major venues of America, Europe, and Asia. He studied at the Boston Conservatory under the Mark H Cooley scholarship, and earned his master’s degree at Carnegie Mellon University.
Amaury has been regarded as “vigorous and energetic,” performing Latin-American composers: “It was really refreshing to hear a completely different, unconventional Latin rhythm performed by the pianist from this territory who has been awarded many times (Toplicke Vesti, Serbia).” A devoted educator, Amaury has given masterclasses in Latin America, Istanbul, Serbia, Singapore, and the United States. He is a core member of Incidental Chamber players, and performs frequently in Pittsburgh as a solo concert pianist, as well as with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, NAT28, and Alia Musica new music ensemble.
SHANTANIQUE MOORE, flutist, is an accomplished musician and flute instructor. She has performed with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, the Toledo Symphony and the Fort Wayne Philharmonic, among others. Ms. Moore is the winner of First Prize in the Ervin Monore Young Artist Competition (2016), the Southern Great Lakes Concerto Competition (2013), and the Wayne State Concerto Competition (2012). She is a graduate of Wayne State University (Master of Music, Flute Performance; Bachelor of Music, Flute Performance). Ms. Moore is the eighth recipient of a fellowship from the Pittsburgh Symphony's Orchestra Training Program for African American Musicians (OTPAAM).
Originally from Grand Rapids, Michigan, IAN WOODWORTH regularly serves in the greater Pittsburgh, PA area as an oboist and English hornist. In addition to Incidental Chamber Players, Ian performs with the Chamber Orchestra of Pittsburgh and Resonance Works Pittsburgh. Ian also has engagements as a guest musician with Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, Wheeling Symphony Orchestra, Youngstown Symphony Orchestra, and Westmoreland Symphony Orchestra. Additionally, he has performed with The Cleveland Orchestra, Grand Rapids Symphony, and Youngstown State University Dana Ensemble.
Ian holds performance degrees from Baldwin Wallace University and Carnegie Mellon University, studying with Jeffrey Rathbun and Cynthia Koledo DeAlmeida, respectively. Ian attended Music Academy of the West (Santa Barbara, CA), Texas Music Festival (Houston, TX), and National Music Festival (Chestertown, MD). He also spent two summers at Bay View Music Festival (Petoskey, MI) where he was featured as the winner of the Adrian Boyer Concerto Competition.
Experience the evolution of sound and turn your intuitive talent into a superpower with violist, Kai Potts-Smith, founder of VIOL∀ibrational by Kai and YOUnison Yoga & Music. Kai’s on a mission to open up new avenues of expression, connection, and abundance in the music world and inspire audiences to look at music in a new light… one that heals and transforms on a more personal and lasting level. Her signature modality, The VIOL∀ibrational Method, integrates fitness, food, and frequency into a powerful therapeutic tool that’s helping musicians and change-makers around the world live lives full of purpose, find balance and deep relaxation, and achieve new levels of exhilaration as they embrace and OWN their radically authentic selves.
Kai is an international competition winner, Sphinx Competition First Place Laureate and touring artist, and has shared the world stage with performers from Celine Dion to Itzhak Pearlman. She has worked extensively in tv, film, and the recording industries, performed as soloist with orchestras throughout the US, served as Assistant Principal for the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra and The Santa Barbara Symphony among other principal positions, and has performed and toured with classical orchestras worldwide.
VIOL∀ibrational Method classes, courses, and programs marry musical and vibrational awareness to help practitioners melt into a state of “within-ness”, healing, and release that resonates throughout the entire body. She's been engaged to teach VIOL∀ibrational workshops for musicians at educational institutions like the Idyllwild Arts Academy, youth orchestras in DC and Los Angeles, and multiple performing ensembles throughout the US. These workshops are designed to help heal the whole musician so you can begin to create engaged communities, step into your business savvy, and get on the road to living, breathing, and making art on YOUR terms.
Kai is determined to bring the best of all of her worlds together to inspire all to redefine deliciousness, tap into your highest frequency, and embrace a balanced life centered in self-love. Let’s meet on the mat and the worldwide stage to breathe deeper, live deliciously, and OWN the BIZ of 7-Figure Soul Medicine.
Venezuelan-born pianist Rodrigo Ojeda discovered his passion for music at the very early age of two when his parents made him listen to Carl Orff Trionfo di Afrodite and Carmina Burana, but it was not until the age of ten that Mr. Ojeda began to take his first piano lessons. By the age of fifteen, Mr. Ojeda was invited to perform Tchaikovsky First Piano Concerto, with the Gran Mariscal de Ayacucho Orchestra which was broadcast live on radio and television in Caracas, Venezuela.
A versatile pianist, Mr. Ojeda has frequently performed as a soloist, recitalist and chamber musician. He has performed in every prominent concert hall in his native Venezuela as well as in Ecuador, Spain, USA and Mexico with an expansive repertoire of Tchaikovsky, Brahms, Gershwin, Grieg, Schumann, Mozart, Liszt (Totentanz), Cesar Frank, Prokofiev, Rachmaninov, Saint Saëns and Stravinsky. Mr. Ojeda has participated in master classes with numerous concert pianists like Kasimierz Giesrod (former rector of the Frederic Chopin Academy in Warsaw), Marek Jablonsky, Georgy Sandor, Marta Gulyas, and Earl Wild.
Possessing a wide-ranging knowledge of chamber music repertoire, he has collaborated with countless instrumentalists and vocalists worldwide. He has played and recorded several CD’s with various principal members of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra as well as former Concertmasters Andrés Cárdenes and Noah Bendix-Balgley. Recently, Mr. Ojeda recorded Stravinsky Piano Concerto with Carnegie Mellon’s Wind Ensemble.
Mr. Ojeda received a Bachelor’s Degree in Piano Performance at IUDEM, Venezuela (Institute of Musical Studies) in 1997 with his mentor and pianist Arnaldo Pizzolante, then moved in 1999 to the United States where he received a Master’s Degree and an Artist Diploma at Carnegie Mellon University under Mr. Enrique Graf in 2003.
Currently Mr. Ojeda is an Assistant Professor of Collaborative Piano at Carnegie Mellon University as well as a piano faculty member in its Music Preparatory School. He has also been playing with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra as principal pianist since August 2006.
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