Black Oak Ensemble
The Black Oak Ensemble is a multi faceted chamber music group. Its core is a string trio made up of Grammy nominated musicians, Desiree Ruhstrat (violin), Aurelien Pederzoli (viola) and David Cunliffe (cello).
This formation enables them to expand into virtually any instrumentation, covering a very wide repertoire.
When not performing as a string trio, the group mainly collaborates with Guitar virtuoso Goran Ivanovic (also an NMS teacher), sharing a very eclectic repertoire with their audiences.
Education is paramount to every member of the group. Desiree Ruhstrat teaches at Northwestern University while David Cunliffe and Aurelien Pederzoli teach at the New Music School.
The Black Oak ensemble is very much looking forward to its second collaboration with pianist Jeff Panko.
Praised by the Philadelphia Inquirer for his “polished charisma” and “singing sound” in Prokofiev’s Sinfonia-Concertante after his Philadelphia Orchestra Debut, American cellist John-Henry Crawford is a graduate of the Curtis Institute under the tutelage of Carter Brey and Peter Wiley. Crawford has soloed in venues around the world including Philadelphia’s Verizon Hall, the Auditorium Du Louvre in Paris, Volkswagen’s Die Glasern Manufaktur in Dresden, the St. Petersburg Philharmonia’s Malii Zal, Chicago Radio’s WFMT Impromptu series, and Philadelphia’s WHYY TV. He was awarded Grand Prize at the 2015 American String Teachers Association National Solo Competition, top prizes at the Hudson Valley, Lynn Harrell, and Kingsville International competitions, and was one of only two U.S. cellists selected to compete in the XV International Tchiakovsky Competition.
Violinist Yvonne Lam is a member of the multi-Grammy-award-winning ensemble eighth blackbird. She has performed extensively throughout the world and has garnered top prizes at international competitions. An avid chamber musician, she participated in such festivals as Marlboro Music Festival and Music from Angelfire, and toured with Musicians From Marlboro to critical acclaim. Ms. Lam served as the Assistant Concertmaster of the Washington National Opera Orchestra from 2008-2011 and is a graduate of The Curtis Institute of Music and the Juilliard School.
A top prize winner of international competitions, NMS faculty member pianist Jeffrey Panko has been featured in performances at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center Library, WFMT and WQXR Radio. By request from the City of Chicago, Panko presented a Chopin recital for the visiting Lech Walesa culminating in two Command Performances for Polish Prime Ministers.
Pianist, speaker, producer, host, entrepreneur, and cultural leader, Yana Reznik has been revolutionizing the way classical music affects our society. Yana’s passionate performances and captivating storytelling had won the hearts of thousands on her 2010-2014 tour across the United States. Becoming known as the “Pianist with a Voice” Yana breaks the boundaries of the expected and creates innovative programs to bring the beauty of classical music to a wider and more diverse audience around the world.
Michael Walsh of Time Magazine wrote of her that “having heard every great pianist active since 1971, including Horowitz, Rubinstein, and Serkin, I can confidently say that Ms. Reznik is determined to follow in their footsteps; indeed, think of her as a young Martha Argerich and you will have some idea of the experience that lies in store for you.”
In 2010 Yana was invited to be a soloist and an actress with the Los Angeles Philharmonic Toyota Concert Series at Disney Hall. A winner of the Artists International Competition, Ms. Reznik gave a sold-out Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall Debut in New York in 2004. In 2011 Yana was named an honorary “Artist of the Year” by Roland Corporation, US. As the only classically endorsed pianist Yana has presented the World Premier concert of V- Piano Grand at Zipper Hall (Los Angeles) and Lincoln Center (New York). In addition to solo appearances with the Moscow Chamber Orchestra, San Bernardino Symphony, Redlands Bowl Orchestra, Marina Del Rey Symphony, the World Youth Symphony Orchestra, University of Southern California Symphony Orchestra and Concert Symphony Orchestra, the Torrance Symphony Orchestra and the Stanford Wind Ensemble, she has performed at Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall, Santiago’s Gabriela Mistral and the Grand Hall of the Moscow Conservatory, the Zipper, Thayer and Steinway Halls in Los Angeles, and has as well been presented by the Jacaranda, Los Angeles Bach Festival and Maestro Foundation to name a few.
In 2008, as a Founder and Artistic Director of the Southern California Brahms Festival, Ms. Reznik performed the complete piano chamber works of Johannes Brahms. An active collaborator, Yana is a guest artist with the Gold Coast Chamber Players in San Francisco and often performs with the members of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Israel Philharmonic, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Los Angeles Chamber orchestra, San Francisco Symphony, Opera and Ballet.
TV appearances include the Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson, performing with violinist Nicola Benedetti. In 2010 Yana performed with Carrie Underwood at the ACM Awards on PBS. Her music has been broadcasted on WFMT Chicago, NPR, “From the Top”, Interlochen Public Radio and KUSC Los Angeles.
Born in Moscow, Ms. Reznik holds a bachelor of music degree from the Manhattan School of Music, a master of music degree from the University of Southern California, and a professional studies certificate from the Colburn Conservatory of Music, where she was under the tutelage of Phillip Kawin and John Perry. She has also studied at the Rachmaninoff School of Music in Moscow, Russia with Raisa Bekerman, the Interlochen Arts Academy with Stephen Perry and Chapman University with Joseph Matthews.
Yana’s has performed at the Aspen Festival, the Tanglewood Festival where she worked with the Mark Morris Dance Company and others, the Yale summer music festival at Norfolk, the Cleveland summer music festival at Kent Blossom, the Sarasota Festival, Piano Summers at New Paltz and the International Academy of Music in Russia.
In 2000 Ms. Reznik became an assistant conductor to Maestro Glen Cortese and served as a pianist, harpsichordist, and organist for the East-West International Symphony Orchestra and Academy in Altenburg, Germany. She also conducted the Academy Orchestra from the harpsichord in a performance of Bach's complete Brandenburg Concertos.
Yana’s passion for inspiring a new generation to love classical music has led her to be a guest speaker for the TEDx Skid Row, the “Idea Project of LA”, the “Southern California Music Institute” and the “Idyllwild Arts Academy”.
As a humanitarian, Yana Reznik created the 'Artistic Voyage' concert series of 2011, a visionary gathering of musicians and artists to benefit worthwhile charity organizations around the world. Another one of Yana’s celebrated achievements had been her work as Artistic Director, pianist and host for the 'Live at the Lounge' (Los Angeles) – a weekly concert series that featured over 130 world class performers who collaborated with Ms. Reznik in 2010.
Since moving to Chicago in 2014, Yana has performed at the Chicago Symphony All Access Chamber Series, Myra Hess Concert Series, PianoForte Foundation. Her concerts were broadcasted live at WFMT 98.7 Radio. In February 2015 Yana launched “Playful Talk” show at PianoForte Studios. As a founder, producer, pianist and host Yana collaborates with the members of Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Lyric Opera Orchestra, Ars Viva Orchestra, Las Vegas Philharmonic, Ensemble Dal Niente, Kontras Quartet and New Millennium Orchestra. Monthly episodes broadcast live via www.yanareznik.com as well as live from the studio
Cory Tiffin is the principal clarinetist of the Las Vegas Philharmonic and regularly performs with orchestras across the nation. He has appeared as a soloist and chamber artist with the Chicago Chamber Musicians, Fulcrum Point, International Chamber Artists and the Lincoln Trio, among others. As a founding member of the Chicago-based Anaphora Ensemble, Tiffin curated, commissioned and performed a diverse array of works from classical to contemporary to performance art. Tiffin is the Clarinet Instructor at Loyola University and has served on the faculties of DePaul University and the Chicago High School for the Arts.
Tiffin can be heard on the Southport and Albany label
Tim Munro is a Chicago-based, triple-Grammy-winning musician. His diverse work as a flutist, speaker, writer and teacher is united by a single goal: to draw audiences into an engrossing and whimsical musical world. Tim makes his New York solo debut on November 10 at Miller Theater with a new show, Recounting.
Born in Brisbane, Australia, Tim was the flutist and co-artistic director of the chamber ensemble eighth blackbird from 2006 till 2015. As a member of eighth blackbird, Tim performed at major concert venues in 40 US states and abroad, worked as soloist with America’s finest orchestras, curated three music festivals, and premiered more than 100 new works, including Steve Reich’s “Double Sextet” (Pulitzer Prize winner, 2009). Tim won his third Grammy Award as a member of eighth blackbird in 2016, for the Cedille Records album “Filament.”
According to the Chicago Tribune, “the fierce virtuosity of Tim Munro was worth the price of admission all by itself.” Tim’s solo performances are “captivating,” “bravura,” “charismatic,” “brilliant” (The New York Times), “engrossing” (Chicago Tribune) and “brilliantly clear and beautifully balanced” (Sydney Morning Herald). Tim memorizes his solo repertoire, leaving him free to add a theatrical dimension to his shows.
Tim’s solo album, “one two three,” is a funny, terrifying, and unpredictable journey that casts Munro as flutist, singer, amateur mathematician, and supervillain, produced in collaboration with cassette tape label Parlour Tapes+.
Future projects are many and varied. Tim has upcoming commissions from Chicago post-punk guitarist Dave Reminick (a wild and whimsical work for flutist-singer) and Pulitzer prize-finalist Chris Cerrone (a major solo work exploring extreme acoustic spaces). In the second half of 2016 he plays with the Chicago Symphony’s MusicNow series and Australia’s Stradbroke Chamber Music Festival, writes for Australia’s Limelight Magazine and the Sydney Symphony, teaches at Grand Valley State University and the Queensland Conservatorium. Tim is co-music director for a large-scale project taking place in 2017 in both Chicago and Brisbane, involving 1000 performers.
Goran's unique and rarely found talents set you forth on a cinematic array of emotions, sophisticated yet rebellious. His acoustic ensemble (The Goran Ivanovic Trio) nods its head towards tradition but totally disregards technical conventions. They experiment in the melding of Classical, various styles of Traditional Folk, and Rock music, each receiving equal time.
Pianist, speaker, producer, host, entrepreneur, and cultural leader, Yana Reznik’s passionate performances and compelling storytelling have captivated the hearts of thousands of concert goers on her many tours across the United States. Known as the “Pianist with a Voice” Yana breaks with tradition by creating innovative programs that bring the beauty of classical music to wider and more diverse audiences.