2015-2016 Performing Artists

Guest Artists

William Kirkley, clarinet

Active as an orchestral musician, recitalist, and chamber musician, clarinetist William Kirkley’s performances have been called “emotional, committed, and intensely exciting” by the Boston Globe. He has performed to acclaim with the Boston Symphony, the Boston Pops Esplanade Orchestra, the Dallas Symphony, the Santa Fe Opera, and throughout North America. Currently principal clarinet of the Lexington Symphony, the Cape Ann Symphony, and solo bass clarinetist with the Orchestra of Indian Hill, he is also the faculty mentor with the Gordon Symphony, and is on the music faculty of Gordon College.


Mr. Kirkley is the clarinetist for the world renowned Boston Musica Viva, and was the clarinetist for the Auros Group for New Music for 15 years. He has given recital master classes at Harvard University, Brandeis University, New England Conservatory, Boston Conservatory, Yale University, the SUNY campus’ of Fredonia, Cobleskill, and Albany. He has peformed and given lectures at the University of Oklahoma Clarinet Symposium, and ClarinetFest 1997 and 1999. Mr. Kirkley has been heard on WGBH’s Performance Today, and has recorded for the CRI, SEAMUS, New World, Albany Records, Reference, and New World labels.

Michael Monroe, piano

Pianist Michael Monroe has performed throughout the Boston area at such venues as Jordan Hall, the Gardner Museum, and the French Library, collaborating in recital with acclaimed violinists Stefan Jackiw and Arturo Delmoni and countless students at the New England Conservatory and other area schools. While completing his DMA at the New England Conservatory he taught classes in accompanying and music history and coached for the NEC Opera Workshop. Dr. Monroe also has degrees in piano performance from the University of Arkansas and the University of Maryland and has been a guest opera coach at the North Carolina School of the Arts. His principal teachers have been Alan Chow, Thomas Schumacher, and Irma Vallecillo and he has studied with Martin Canin, Margo Garrett, and members of the Guarneri Quartet. As a conductor, he’s led full-scale performances of multiple Gilbert and Sullivan operettas, Sweeney Todd, Into the Woods, The Secret Garden, and his own orchestration and English translation of Gounod’s The Doctor in Spite of Himself. He serves as organist and Minister of Music at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Bedford, MA, and has a widely read blog featuring an unusual variety of multimedia creations at MMmusing.blogspot.com.

Melissa Bull, violin

Melissa M. Bull is an active free-lancer in the Boston area specializing in violin, viola, and piano.  She has appeared as concerto soloist with the Gordon (College) Symphony Orchestra (2004, 2005, 2007, 2012), Salem Philharmonic (2008), Orquesta Sinfónica Juvenil Libertador San Martín (Buenos Aires, 2007), and Hemenway Strings of Boston Conservatory (2012).


Melissa is a member of the Orchestra of Indian Hill, Lexington Symphony, and principal second violin of the Cape Ann Symphony Orchestra. She has also performed with the Rhode Island Philharmonic, New Bedford Symphony, and Plymouth Philharmonic. She has appeared as concertmaster of the Orchestra of Indian Hall, the Quincy Bay Chamber Orchestra, the North Shore Philharmonic, and the Boston Conservatory Orchestra, and as principal violist of Lexington Symphony, Symphony by the Sea, & Melrose Symphony.


Melissa is the founder and coordinator of Accord Chamber Players, which specializes both in providing music for special events and in recording new works for young composers in conjunction with Berklee College of Music, having recorded well over 750 original compositions written for string or full orchestra. She is the Director of Worship Ministries at North Shore Community Baptist Church, where she oversees all worship services and musical activities. She has taught music lessons for years, where her foremost goal is to pass along the joy of music.


Melissa studied with James Buswell at New England Conservatory and Gordon College, receiving a BM in Violin Performance and a BA in Spanish with Departmental Honors. She completed her Master of Music in violin performance at Boston Conservatory as a student of Joseph Silverstein and Lynn Chang. Her playing has been praised by Brockton’s Enterprise as “particularly accomplished” and she was described as “the owner of a substantial sound, warm left-hand vibrato, well-considered feel for phrasing, and intuitive proscenium presence.” Melissa lives in Danvers with her husband and two daughters.


Scott Thomas Lesser, cello

Scott is an active freelance performer and teacher in the Greater Boston area and a co-founder of North Shore Chamber Music.  Scott is Principal Cellist of Cape Ann Symphony and a member of the Orchestra of Indian Hill and Atlantic Symphony, where he has played Acting Principal. Scott also plays with Portland Symphony, Lexington Symphony, and Cape [Cod] Symphony as a substitute this year. Since moving to Boston in 2007, Scott has played with ten additional orchestras, many recording sessions, solo & chamber music recitals including NSCM, Indian Hill’s Bach’s Lunch & King’s Chapel’s Tuesday Recitals series.


Scott has been a String Scholar at Eastern Music Festival (NC) for three years, a summer internship in the professional orchestra under conductor Gerard Schwarz. He spent two summers each at the Chautauqua (NY) and Killington (VT) music festivals, and the National Orchestra Institute in DC. Scott is the cello instructor for the Needham and Canton public schools.


As a student, Scott performed nine solo recitals and eleven complete chamber music recitals with a focus of programming great music by lesser-known composers.  A graduate of The Boston Conservatory Scott earned a Master’s of Music and Graduate Performance Diploma in Cello Performance studying with Andrew Mark. With the Conservatory Orchestra he played principal or assistant principal for the majority of the concerts under Bruce Hangen. Scott was also featured as a soloist in Vivaldi’s Double Cello Concerto with TBC Hemenway Strings in 2010. Scott received his Bachelor’s of Music from Brigham Young University (BYU) in Provo, UT. At BYU he played Principal with the Philharmonic and Chamber Orchestras for four years, gave concert tours in ten states and eight European countries. Scott was the final performance of the 2007 BYU Philharmonic Evening of Concertos, playing the first movement of the Dvořák Cello Concerto. In high school he was Principal Cellist for Colorado’s All-State Orchestra and UNC’s Weekend for Strings, and played Haydn’s Concerto in C with the Rocky Mountain Youth Festival Orchestra. A native of Colorado, Scott married a violist he met in the BYU orchestras, now a music teacher in the public schools. They are the proud parents of three beautiful daughters.


Egle Jarkova, violin

Lithuanian-born violinist Eglė Jarkova is a top prize winner of several national and international competitions in Europe and the United States. Among other awards, she holds the Queen Morta Premium Laureate in Lithuania, and also is the winner of the Boston Conservatory Chamber Music and String Department Competitions. She has performed widely in such countries as Austria, Croatia, Germany, Italy, Poland, and Slovenia, and in concert venues including Carnegie Hall, Beethoven Hall, Mechanics Hall, Wiener Saal, Sala Tripkovich, and Teatro Arrivi. Ms. Jarkova performed as soloist with the Albanian National TV and Radio Orchestra, playing the Brahms Violin Concerto; with the Boston Conservatory String Orchestra, playing Piazzolla’s “Four Seasons of Buenos Aires”; and with the LAB Orchestra for a performance of Beethoven’s Triple Concerto.


 Ms. Jarkova has taught violin, chamber music, and orchestral repertoire class privately and in music schools in Italy, Lithuania, and Boston. She is a founder and the artistic director of the International Summer Music Festival Vivace Vilnius in Lithuania, which attracted more than 100 international students, offering intensive instruction and high-level performance opportunities. Ms. Jarkova is on the string faculty of the Brookline Music School and IP Piano School in Boston, violin teaching assistant at Boston University, violin instructor at Boston Symphony Orchestra Playground Project, and was Assistant to the Chamber Music Director at the Boston Conservatory from 2011 until 2014.


Ms. Jarkova received her Bachelor and Graduate Performance Diploma from Boston Conservatory; Chamber Music Performance Diploma from Scuola Superiore Internazionale di Musica da Camera, Italy, and currently is finishing her Masters  in Violin Performance at Boston University.

Neal Andrews, trumpet

Neal Andrews, a native of Vancouver, Canada, began music at a young age, starting on piano and violin and later adding trumpet to the mix.  He received the ARCT performance diploma from the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto for both piano and violin before pursuing the trumpet in college. His bachelors degree in trumpet performance took place at Grand Valley State University where he studied with Richard Stoelzel and Kevin Maloney.


Neal continued on into graduate studies at Boston University where he completed his masters and is now pursuing the Doctor of Musical Arts degree, studying with Terry Everson. He has also studied with Peter Chapman and Tom Siders of the BSO. He regularly plays in the BU Symphony Orchestra and in Spring 2015 performed as principal trumpet on Mahler’s 2nd Symphony at Symphony Hall with BUSO. In addition, Neal has performed in several ensembles including ALEA III, the New England Philharmonic, and the Cape Ann Symphony. Neal also enjoys playing as Soprano Cornetist with the New England Brass Band under the direction of Steve Bulla.

Kathryn Christensen Lieppman, piano

Pianist Kathryn Christensen Lieppman is sought after as solo performer, chamber musician, adjudicator and teacher. The Sierra Vista Herald declared of her recent Rachmaninoff Concerto #2 performance, “She truly deserved to have the final bow for that evening’s concert...The gracefulness of Christensen was a joy to see, as the composer’s notes took control of her as she fingered them on the keyboard. Lightly when needed, powerful when appropriate.” Recently she has performed as soloist and chamber musician in Concord Conservatory's Concert and Lecture Series, and as a guest soloist with the Arizona State University orchestra. She has toured internationally with the Phoenix Girls Chorus, and collaborated with the Paradise Winds, among many others. She accompanies ballet classes at Boston Ballet School. As a newcomer to the Boston area, she is actively building her network of both musical collaborators, as well as students.


Ms. Lieppman received a Master of Music degree in Piano Performance from the University of Arizona where she studied with Tannis Gibson and Rex Woods.  She graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Music degree in Piano Performance from Rice University where she studied with Brian Connelly. She has enjoyed participating in summer festivals across the United States including Aspen, SongFest, Tanglewood, and New England Conservatory's Institute for Contemporary Performance Practice.  Ms. Lieppman spent summer 2010 on staff as a collaborative pianist at Interlochen Center for the Arts. She has played in master classes for esteemed artists and teachers including John Parry, Barbara Nissman, Anne-Marie McDermott and Ralph Votapek.


Devoted to the performance of new music, Ms. Christensen has premiered many solo and chamber works, including a set of “Desert Miniatures” written for her by five Tucson-connected composers. In 2009, she won both the Green Valley Piano Competition and Arizona MTNA Young Artist Competition, playing largely 20th century repertoire.


An energetic educator, Ms. Lieppman continuously maintains a piano studio. She teaches at Concord Conservatory of Music, and at her home in West Roxbury. She is also on the music faculty at Camp Encore-Coda (2013-2015), and has taught at the Boise State Chamber Music Camp for several years. Ms. Lieppman has taught choir and piano masterclasses at BASIS schools in Tucson, and general music to kindergarteners and first graders at the Great Hearts Academies in Phoenix. By invitation from the Cochise Music Teachers Association, she gave two days of piano masterclasses as part of their “Stepping Stones” musical achievement program.

Aristides Rivas, cello

Venezuelan born cellist Aristides Rivas leads a versatile musical career, combining different performing and educational projects. Rivas has been nominated for the Grammy Awards in 2010 as part of recording of Sounding Point by Julian Lage and featured on the Boston Globe Magazine as one of Boston leading international artist. He has an active schedule performing a combination of recitals, solos with orchestra, chamber music, and as an orchestral player. He is the principal cello at the Rhode Island Philharmonic Orchestra and the Springfield Symphony Orchestra, Massachusetts. Aristides has also collaborated with artists such as multi Grammy winner and Jazz Legend Paquito D’Rivera and World-renowned guitarist Julian Lage. Rivas is also a founding member of the world-folk music group Voci Angelica Trio, which tours internationally promoting cultural understanding and world peace.


Rivas has taught extensively and internationally throughout his career, giving master classes, private lessons, coaching and conducting string ensembles, and giving workshops. Some of the places he has visited as a teacher include the Vivace Vilnius International Music Festival in Lithuania, Skidmore College in New York, Stanford University in California, Fundación Musical Simon Bolivar (El Sistema) in Venezuela, the Sejong Dream Tree Youth Orchestra in Seoul, South Korea, and Universidad Autónoma de Aguascalientes in Mexico, among others. Rivas has appeared as a performer at a wide variety of venues, ranging from orphanages and centers for the mentally disabled to concert halls such as the Barbican in London, Carnegie Hall and the North Sea Jazz Festival in the Netherlands. He believes that music has the power to enrich peoples’ lives and he strives to make a difference in the world through music. Aristides Rivas received his Bachelors degree from Baylor University and a Masters in Music from the New England Conservatory of Music.

Stephanie Busby, bassoon

Stephanie Busby is a freelance bassoonist in the Boston area and has performed professionally throughout New England, as well as in Mexico and Italy. She has performed as a bassoonist and contrabassoonist with groups including the Boston Ballet Orchestra, Boston Philharmonic Orchestra, Boston Modern Orchestra Project, Atlantic Symphony Orchestra, Rhode Island Philharmonic, Springfield (MA) Symphony and the New Bedford Symphony Orchestra.


Ms. Busby is on the applied music faculties at UMass Lowell, the College of the Holy Cross, Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Salem State University, Clark University, Indian Hill Music School, and the Instrumental Music School of Carlisle and Concord.  Stephanie earned her Bachelor of Music and Master of Music degrees from Boston University where she studied with Matthew Ruggiero. Each summer, Ms. Busby travels to Italy to perform and study at the Sebino Summer Class and Festival with renowned teachers, Giorgio Versiglia and Matthias Racz. When not performing or teaching, she enjoys volunteer work at the MSPCA at Nevins Farm and for PittieLove Rescue.

Julia Cash, violin

Julia Cash is an active freelance musician and teacher in the Boston area. She has served as principal second and assistant concertmaster of Opera Boston, and she performs regularly with Boston Modern Orchestra Project, Boston Ballet, Pro Arte Chamber Orchestra, Chamber Orchestra of Boston, and as concertmaster of Alea III new music ensemble. She is also an active chamber musician, performing in venues across New England. Other recent performances include guest concertmaster with the Orchestra of the European Union on tour in Boston Symphony Hall last year.


Cash is also an avid teacher and music educator. Along with her private studio, she has taught at schools and festivals throughout the US. She is currently on faculty at New England Conservatory Preparatory School, Boston Latin School, and the Boston Youth Symphony Orchestras. During the summer, Cash teaches at Point CounterPoint Chamber Music Camp in Vermont, where she has served as Music Director of the Prelude Program since its inception in 2010.


During her training, Cash studied and performed extensively in both Europe and the US. She holds degrees from the New England Conservatory of Music, the Staatliche Hochshcule für Musik in Trossingen, Germany, and the Dutch Royal Conservatory of Music in The Hague. Her primary teachers have been James Buswell, Federico Agostini and Vera Beths.  She has attended many world-renowned music festivals, including Accademia Musicale Chigiana, in Siena, Italy, the Conservatoire des Americaines in Fontainbleau, France, Kneisal Hall, the Britt Festival and Musicorda.  As a fellow at Tanglewood Music Festival, she received The National Music Clubs Award for outstanding performers.


Anne Black, viola

A multi-faceted artist fluent in many media, Anne Black has built a richly varied career in the performing and visual arts.


She performs with the Boston Pops Esplanade Orchestra; the Boston Symphony and Boston Pops as an extra violist; and Pro Arte Chamber Orchestra and Cantata Singers Orchestra as Principal Violist.  She was viola d’amore soloist in Meyerbeer's opera  “Les Hueguenots” with the American Symphony in 2009, and just completed a recording of music for viola d'amore and harp by early 20th-century composer Clara Rogers.  A champion of contemporary music, Ms. Black is violist of Dinosaur Annex Music Ensemble and appears frequently with Collage New Music, including Collage’s Grammy-nominated recording of John Harbison’s Mottetti di Montale.  She is founding violist of the new Opal Ensemble, based in Arlington, MA.


A member of Handel & Haydn Society's period instrument orchestra, she also performs with Boston Baroque,  Aston Magna Festival, and the Rowe's Lane Quartet.  She enjoyed the honor of performing on Mozart's Viola in June 2013 for a live performance and recording at WGBH's Fraser Performance Studio, and her article about this experience was published in The “Journal of the American Viola Society” in December of 2013.  She was featured as viola d'amore soloist with Boston Baroque in February, 2015.


A prize-winning photographer and artist in multiple media, she has been a resident artist at the Arlington Center for the Arts since 2004.  Her work can be seen at www.Capriccio Arts.com.

Amelia Ames, viola

Violist Amelia Hollander Ames is the founder of Con Vivo Music, a chamber music collective in her hometown of Jersey City, NJ. Along with her husband and two young sons, Amelia recently moved to the Boston area, where she freelances with local ensembles. Amelia has twice been a featured soloist with the New York Viola Society. Festivals include Ecstatic (NYC), the Israel Festival, Prussia Cove, the Singapore Arts Festival, Kneisel Hall, Verbier and Schleswig-Holstein. Amelia has formed close relationships with Mexican musicians and educators in Oaxaca, Michoacan and Mexico City over the course of several visits there, as part of Cultures in Harmony, and on tour with her duo with cellist Michal Shein. From 2004—2007, Amelia was a member of the award-winning Israel Contemporary String Quartet (ICSQ), with whom she performed throughout Israel and on tours to the U.S., Canada, and Asia. With the ICSQ, Amelia collaborated with composers such as Josef Bardanashvili and Steve Reich, and with luminaries of the Israeli pop, dance and theater worlds. Amelia also was a member the Tel Aviv Soloists Ensemble during that time, and on faculty at Jerusalem’s Hasadna Conservatory.


A passionate educator, Amelia currently is a Resident Artist in upper strings at Boston’s Conservatory Lab Charter School, and has taught viola and violin at the Third Street Music School in NYC and New Jersey City University. She conducted the Trinity-Wall St. Orchestra, part of the Inter-School Orchestras of New York, in performances at Carnegie Hall and Symphony Space.

Amelia has recorded for the Naïve, New Amsterdam, Nonesuch and Tzadik labels.  She is an alumna of the Eastman School of Music and New England Conservatory. Teachers include Martha Katz, Karen Ritscher and George Taylor.

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