Sophie Webber, Cellist, Artistic Director
“Passionate yet thoughtful… sublime to hear.” -Time Out Chicago
“Sophie Webber is an extraordinary musician and a first-rate cellist. Her spirit is always warm and engaging and her playing is consistently compelling.” -Dale Warland
Sophie is in demand as soloist, chamber musician, collaborator, and music teacher in Chicagoland and in Europe. She is involved in a number of interdisciplinary collaborations (including being a member of the new music ensemble, Fulcrum Point) and is committed to bringing talent and creativity together in ways that are meaningful for the community. With a Doctorate from the Indiana Jacobs School of Music, her principal teachers include Janos Starker, Tsuyoshi Tsutsumi, and Richard Markson. Sophie has served as cello faculty at Southeast Missouri University, and is currently on the faculty at Lake Forest College and the Music Institute of Chicago.
Jeeyoon Kim, Pianist
Henriet Fourie, Soprano
A native of South Africa, now lives in Chicago where she is in demand as a soloist onstage and as a collaborator with chamber musicians and composers. In addition to singing with Fused Muse Ensemble she sings with CUBE Ensemble, Bella Voce and the William Ferris Chorale while also maintaining a private teaching studio. Henriët holds degrees in Vocal and Piano Performance from the College of Charleston (SC) and a Master of Music degree in Vocal Performance from DePaul University (IL) where she studied with Julia Bentley.
Iddo Aharony, Composer
Iddo Aharony’s diverse body of work includes pieces for a variety of ensembles and solo instruments, along with compositions for contemporary dance, opera and various theater and multimedia projects. His stage work, Oedipus: Opera-Theatre, was premiered in summer 2011 at the Israel Festival of Culture in Jerusalem. Aharony’s acoustic and electronic music has been performed by many ensembles and musicians in the United States, France, Britain and Israel, and presented at festivals such as SEAMUS and the New York City Electronic Music Festival. Other notable recent projects: Ayin Shel Ayin for chamber ensemble and electronic media premiered by new music ensemble eighth blackbird; falling out of time for cello and live electronics performed by ensemble dal niente; and memory boxes 1-8 composed for Pacifica Quartet. A native of Tel Aviv, Israel, he is currently pursuing a Ph.D. degree in Music Composition at the University of Chicago.
Joel Styzens, Multi-instrumentalist, Composer
Joel Styzens is a multi-instrumentalist, composer, producer and hearing conservation advocate
Award-winning violinist Dawn Gingrich has appeared throughout the world as a soloist and chamber musician. She has given frequent recitals at a variety of venues in New York, Chicago, Boston, and Baltimore, and has made solo appearances at the New England Conservatory, Longy School of Music, the Juilliard School, and Northwestern University. A prizewinner at the Eastern Connecticut Symphony Orchestra Young Artist Competition and at the Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition, Ms. Gingrich has participated in music festivals all over the world, including Music Academy of the West, the Thüringische Sommer-Akademie in Böhlen, Germany, the International Musical Arts Institute, and Symphony Orchestra Academy of the Paciﬁc, where she served as concertmaster for the inaugural season. Dawn began studying violin at the age of three with Barbara Bredemeier, and has since worked with Eric Rosenblith of the New England Conservatory, Zvi Zeitlin of the Eastman School of Music, and Laura Chen of the Philadelphia Orchestra and Boston Symphony Orchestra. In 2008, Dawn and her father Daniel Gingrich, associate principal hornist of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, released their ﬁrst collaborative CD, entitled “Time Beyond Me”, which features a performance of the Brahms Horn Trio with Heng-Jin Park, pianist and founding member of the Boston Trio. Dawn has spearheaded and performed numerous benefit recitals for charitable organizations including the Cotlands Hospice for children living with HIV in South Africa, Jitokeze: Kenyan Women Building Sustainable Communities, and fundraisers for Congolese refugees living in the United States.
Phyllis Chen, Pianist, Toy Pianist, Composer
Praised by the New York Times for her “delightful quirkiness matched with interpretive sensitivity,” Phyllis is a pianist, toy pianist, composer that performs original multimedia compositions and works by contemporary composers. The Oregonian states, “her captivating performance was animated by unbridled inventiveness, the kind of joyous creativity that playing with toys is meant to inspire.” Playing an instrument that has no set boundaries or genre, Phyllis has been invited to perform at a large range of music festivals and venues such as the Chicago World Music Festival, Portland Piano International and the San Francisco Music for People and Thingamajigs Festival. Phyllis is one of the founding members of the International Contemporary Ensemble and has recently also been commissioned by Opera Cabal in Chicago, Roulette Intermedium (via Jerome Foundation), NYSCA Funds for the Arts, cellist Katinka Kleijn and the Mt. Holyoke Choir. Phyllis is also the founder of the UnCaged Toy Piano, an annual call for scores to expand the repertoire for toy piano.