Maxim Moston, violin
Violinist Maxim Moston made his Carnegie Hall debut at the age of twelve and his first CBGB performance at sixteen. Since then, Maxim has been straddling the classical and pop worlds as a multi-instrumentalist, arranger, composer, and producer. He maintains an active career as a freelance violinist in New York City and is a member of numerous orchestras, chamber-music groups, and Broadway pits. He was a founding member of electro-acoustic pioneers Slow Six and performs extensively with Redhooker. The list of artists Maxim has collaborated with runs the gamut from the Cleveland Quartet, to Michel LeGrand, Evanescence, and Jay-Z.
He has performed in many of the world's cultural capitals as both violinist and musical director of Antony and the Johnsons, as well as in Hal Wilner's brilliant Leonard Cohen tribute Came So Far for Beauty, featured in the film Leonard Cohen: I'm Your Man.
Maxim's arrangements and orchestrations can be heard on numerous albums, from his friends Edison Woods, Ana Silvera, and Joan as Policewoman, to worldwide releases from Antony and the Johnsons, Rufus Wainwright, Keren Ann, and Josh Groban. His orchestration of William Basinski's Disintegration Loop 1.1, premiered at the Metropolitan Museum of Art on the tenth anniversary of the events of September 11, was met with glowing reviews. Maxim is busy as a composer for film and stage, and is a recipient of the ASCAP Boosey & Hawkes Prize.
Kate Spingarn, cello
Kate Spingarn is a member of the cello sections of the Brooklyn Philharmonic and the Northeastern Pennsylvania Philharmonic, and has performed with numerous New York City ensembles—including the American Symphony Orchestra, American Composers Orchestra, and Westchester Philharmonic, as well as numerous Broadway shows. A North Carolina native, Kate received her training at the North Carolina School for the Arts, Oberlin Conservatory of Music, and the Manhattan School of Music, where she received a full merit scholarship for her Master of Music in Orchestral Performance degree.
Ms. Spingarn spent two summers as a fellow at the Tanglewood Music Festival and four at Kneisel Hall Chamber Music Festival in Blue Hill, Maine.
Lisa Matricardi, violin
Lisa Matricardi is currently a member of the New Jersey Symphony and the orchestra of the Broadway production of Cinderella. Her varied career has taken her from playing with such ensembles as the Baltimore Symphony and Mostly Mozart Festival Orchestra, to backing up Barry Manilow, Beck, and the Smashing Pumpkins. Matricardi began her studies at the age of five and went on to study with Josef Gingold at Indiana University. She has performed as soloist with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, and has enjoyed playing at Prussia Cove, the Taos Chamber Music Festival, and the Tanglewood Music Festival under the baton of Leonard Bernstein. Lisa's additional Broadway credits include The Light in the Piazza and South Pacific.
Alissa Smith, viola
Australian violist Alissa Smith spent five years as the violist of the award-winning Canberra String Quartet, which included a two-year residency with the Emerson String Quartet at the Hartt School of Music. Her tenure with the Canberra String Quartet included appearances at the Park City, Aspen, Bravo! Colorado, and Steamboat Springs Music Festivals, as well as recitals at Carnegie Hall, the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston, and the Berkshire Chamber Music Series. She continued her studies in New York City at the Juilliard School, where she served as a teaching fellow.
A versatile freelancer, Alissa recently appeared at the Ravinia Festival with the Knights Chamber Orchestra, and toured Australia and North America with the Australian Chamber Orchestra. She has performed with the Orchestra of St. Luke's, Sarasota Opera, Klangforum Wien, and the American and Houston Symphony Orchestras. Chamber music appearances include the Costa Rican International Chamber Music Festival, Lincoln Center's Beethoven Festival, Carmel Bach Festival, and the Staunton Music Festival. International performances include the Sydney Festival with Lou Reed and the Istanbul International Jazz Festival supporting Antony and the Johnsons.
Alissa currently performs in the Broadway production of If/Then, with other Broadway credits including American Idiot, South Pacific, Matilda, Motown, The Lion King, Big Fish, Follies, Bombay Dreams, The Apple Tree, and Taboo. She has recorded for numerous movie soundtracks including Perfume: The Story of a Murderer, Casanova, Julie and Julia, and True Grit. Most recently Alissa can be heard with Dawn Upshaw and the Australian Chamber Orchestra on Maria Schneider's Grammy Award–winning Winter Morning Walks.
Benjamin Baron, clarinet
Hailed as a player of great "emotion, skill, and intensity" (Sioux City Journal), who "played with reverence" (New York Sun) and demonstrated "clean, incisive clarinet playing" (American Record Guide), New York–based clarinetist Benjamin Baron enjoys a diverse career as a performer, educator, and clinician. Currently a member of the orchestra for the critically acclaimed Broadway revival of On the Town, Benjamin has also performed with the New York Pops, American Ballet Theater Orchestra, American Composers Orchestra, West Point Band, Belgian Radio Orchestra, and the London Winds, and has toured across North America, Europe, and Asia.
Baron can be heard as principal clarinet and soloist on recordings with the Philharmonic Orchestra of the Americas, Chamber Orchestra of New York, and the Knights Chamber Orchestra, all currently available on the Sony, Naxos, and Orange Mountain Music labels. As principal clarinet with the New York Symphonic Ensemble, Benjamin performed the Mozart Clarinet Concerto on the orchestra's thirty-fifth year of summer tours throughout Japan.
As an educator, Benjamin serves as the director of instrumental music at Manhattan's Calhoun School, and is an adjunct associate professor of music at Lehman College, City University of New York. He regularly presents master classes and clinics at universities throughout the United States, and has also taught within the precollege departments of the Manhattan School of Music and Mannes College The New School for Music.
Baron's book, The Audition Method, written in collaboration with Mark Nuccio, is currently available through GIA Publications. He is a D'Addario Performing Artist and an Artist/Clinician for Buffet Music Group.