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
Henriët Fourie, a native of South Africa, is based in Chicago, USA, where she enjoys a varied career as solo and ensemble musician. She is not only an experienced oratorio and opera singer, but is also an enthusiastic supporter of new music.
She has been a featured soloist at the Handel Week Festival (IL), the International Baroque Institute at the Longy School of Music (MA), Outside the Box Festival (IL), the Piccolo Spoleto Festival USA (SC) and with CUBE Ensemble, one of Chicago’s leading new music groups. She is a member of the Chicago Symphony Chorus, Bella Voce and the William Ferris Chorale. Some of her most notable solo appearances include George Crumb’s 20th century masterpiece Ancient Voices of Children, the Messiah (Handel), Gloria (Vivaldi), Oratorio de Noël (Saint-Saëns), Coronation Mass in C Major (Mozart), Carmina Burana (Orff), and most recently Dona nobis pacem (Vaughan Williams) with the Elgin Symphony Orchestra. On the opera stage she has most recently performed the roles of Monica (The Medium), Adele (Die Fledermaus), and Fortune (Coronation of Poppea).
Ms. Fourie 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 ensembles and musicians in the United States, France, Italy, Britain and Israel, including eighth blackbird, ensemble dal niente and Pacifica Quartet; and presented at festivals such as SEAMUS and the New York City Electronic Music Festival. Among his awards are the 2014 soundSCAPE festival composition prize and commission, and residencies at the MacDowell Colony, VCCA, Blue Mountain Center and others. A native of Tel Aviv, Israel (born 1978), he is currently a Ph.D. candidate in Music Composition at the University of Chicago, where he has been working with Shulamit Ran, Augusta Read Thomas, Marta Ptaszyńska and Howard Sandroff.
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.
ADDITIONAL FUSED MUSE ENSEMBLE MUSICIANS:
Kate Carter’s musical versatility makes her equally at home in solo, chamber music, and orchestral settings. A prizewinner in various competitions, she made her Carnegie Hall debut in February of 2014.
As a concerto soloist, Kate has performed many times with the Elmhurst Symphony, with whom she is Assistant Concertmaster. She also performs with Camerata Chicago, with whom she toured Europe in 2013. She also appears regularly with the Chicago Philharmonic, Fulcrum Point New Music Project and other Chicago-based ensembles.
Kate holds a Doctorate of Music in Violin Performance from Northwestern University, where she was teaching assistant to Gerardo Ribeiro. She teaches at the Merit School of Music and her private studio in Evanston.
Yuriy Geyer received his degree in Violin Performance from Northwestern University. Making his solo debut at the age of 10 with the Florida Symphony Orchestra, Yuriy went on to receive numerous prestigious awards including first prizes at the Music Teachers National Association Violin competition, Bach Festival Society Violin competition, and a fellowship grant from the Aspen Music Festival. He served as a member of the Florida Orchestra, Orlando Philharmonic, South Bend Symphony and Illinois Symphony Orchestra, a substitute member of the Chicago Symphony, and as the concertmaster of the Opera Moda Orchestra, Northwest Festival Orchestra, and Northwestern University Symphony Orchestra.
In his spare time, Yuriy enjoys spending Chicago’s 80 sunny days of the year outside, and playing chamber music with his friends.
Cellist Jean Hatmaker is a founding member of the Kontras Quartet, the resident string quartet with the Ars Viva Symphony Orchestra of Skokie IL, the Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestra, and guest artists-in-residence at Western Michigan University for the 2014-15 season. With Kontras Quartet, Hatmaker has performed in chamber series all across the east and midwest, as well as live performances on Charlotte’s NBC affiliate and public radio WDAV. Kontras has a rich history of interdisciplinary collaboration, having premiered original scores for the Nutcracker and Alice in Wonderland ballets with the NewArt School of Ballet in NC. They also tour frequently with nationally-acclaimed bluegrass trio the Kruger Brothers, including recent appearances for PBS, MerleFest 2013, and the Late Show with David Letterman. They are currently in the process of producing their first commercially released album, Origins, and are touring with the Kruger Brothers during the 2014-15 season to promote the quartet’s latest commissioned work, Lucid Dreamer.
Hatmaker is instructor of cello at Elmhurst College, where she founded and plays with the Elmhurst College Cello Choir. At the college, she has launched The Casals Project, an initiative designed to inspire and promote the work of humanitarian musicians. She maintains an active solo career around the Chicago area, and serves as Vice President of Publications for the Chicago Cello Society.
Hatmaker has an extensive background of orchestral playing, having been principal cellist of the Civic Orchestra of Chicago, Western Piedmont Symphony and Symphony Orchestra Augusta, section player for the South Bend Symphony, Elmhurst Symphony, Illinois Symphony and Richmond Symphony Orchestras, as well as performing contemporary music with Indiana University’s prestigious New Music Ensemble. She received both a Bachelor (with High Distinction) and Master of Music degrees in Cello Performance from Indiana University, in the studios of Helga Winold and Janos Starker. She plays a French cello made in 1922 by Marc Laberte, and uses a Grnke bow.
Benton Wedge is a member of the Chicago Philharmonic Orchestra, the Elgin Symphony Orchestra and Jim Gailloreto’s “Jazz String Quintet”. He performs regularly as an extra with groups including Lyric Opera of Chicago, the Chicago Symphony, and the Grant Park Symphony.
He is formerly a member of the Orquestra Metropolitana de Lisboa and the Fidelio String Quartet, both based in Lisbon, Portugal, where he also performed numerous solo recitals. He has served as principal violist for the Sarasota and Spoleto Opera Festivals, as well as the Northwest Indiana Symphony Orchestra.
As a composer, his music has been performed by the Montag Ensemble, members of the Chicago Philharmonic, the Revolution Ensemble, the HAWK String Quartet, the Covington String Quartet, and members of the Lyric Opera Orchestra. He has composed, transcribed and arranged string parts for many recordings.
He received both Bachelor and Master of Music degrees from Northwestern University with Peter Slowik.
Simeon Tsanev grew up in Bulgaria, where he also did his bachelor’s degree in violin performance, before moving to the States, where he did a Master’s Degree in Roosevelt University, and a Performer’s Diploma in Indiana University Jacobs School of Music. Currently, he is working as a freelance musician in the great city of Chicago.