Una Tone, violin
Violinist Una Tone enjoys a career as an internationally soloist, chamber musician, and orchestral player. Born in Riga, Latvia, in a family of a pianist and ballet dancer, Una began playing the violin at the age of four. Her first solo appearances with a symphony orchestra performing Beethoven's Violin concerto, took place while still at the Special School of Music of Emils Darzins.
Upon moving to New York City, Una has performed with the Radio City Music Hall Orchestra, the NY Pops, Opera Orchestra of New York, the American Ballet Theater Orchestra, NY Symphonic Ensemble, New Choral Society, Fontenay Chamber Players, and Vali Entertainment. Una often collaborates with the leading musicians in a variety of genres and styles: including touring with U2, Andrea Bocelli, Jose Carreras, Savion Glover, Il Divo, Boyz II Men, and Brian Wilson to name a few.
On Broadway, Una has performed in countless shows as section and concertmaster including Bridges of Madison County, The Lion King, Kinky Boots, Pippin, Young Frankenstein, The Producers, Wicked, Ragtime, On The Town, and Miss Saigon. Una also records with many artists such as Carly Simon, Diana Krall, Tony Bennett, as well as performing on radio and TV on shows such as The Late Show with David Letterman, Good Morning America, Today's Show, Conan O'Brian, The View, and The Late Show with Stephan Colbert.
Cecee Pantikian, violin
New York-based violinist Cecee Pantikian, enjoys a rich and versatile career as an orchestral musician, chamber player, and soloist – a testament to a reputation of being a performer of great musical sensitivity and possessing a coveted combination of virtuoso technique and colorful musicality.
As a sought-after orchestral musician, Ms. Pantikian has been invited to perform, among other, as a substitute violin with the New York Philharmonic and the Pittsburgh Symphony, where she played for two full seasons . Since 2016 Ms. Pantikian has been also playing on Broadway as substitute on Aladdin, Hello Dolly, Sponge Bob, Kiss Me Kate and adding to her repertoire as a first violin member of the Radio City Christmas Spectacular during the 2018 holiday season. She was guest concertmaster at the Illinois Symphony Orchestra; principal second violin with International Chamber Soloists, under the direction of Dmitri Berlinsky. Ms. Pantikian has also toured with Verbier Festival Chamber Orchestra with music director Gabor Takacs Nagy and Verbier Festival Orchestra under the baton of Charles Dutoit with whom Ms. Pantikian has also collaborated at the Miyazaki Music Festival; associate concertmaster with the Artosphere Festival Orchestra; first violin at Sun Valley Summer Festival and as associate concertmaster with the Philharmonic Orchestra of the Americas. Most recently Ms. Pantikian won section violin at the Glimmerglass Festival Orchestra.
In addition to her orchestral and solo activities, Cecee Pantikian also performs in a chamber music setting at the Bulgarian Consulate, Downtown Music at Grace with her ensemble The Memling Ensemble which consists of her spouse, Yevgeny Faniuk, flute, Vincent Lionti, viola and Nicholas Tzavaras. Past performances of note include recitals at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall under the auspices of Music Armenia and AGBU Performing Artists in Concert, Music at Pequot library concerts performing with Noah Bendix-Balgley, Mikhail Istomin ,Eugene Sirotkin, and Danielle Farina; Music at St. George in New York, and Chamber Music Evening concerts at the Verbier Festival, among others.
On the competition circuit, Ms. Pantikian has distinguished herself as recipient of numerous prizes and awards, including Waldo Mayo Memorial Award, Competition for Young Musicians in Bulgaria and Kozian International Violin Competition in the Czech Republic.
In 2003 Ms. Pantikian made her Carnegie Hall, Isaac Stern Auditorium debut, performing Khachaturian’s Violin Concerto with the Senior Concert Orchestra of New York under the baton of David Gilbert. Having established herself as a reputable young soloist, Ms. Pantikian has also appeared with such orchestras as the Sofia Philharmonic Orchestra, performing the Brahms Violin Concerto, as well as the Mozart Sinfonia Concertante; Chelsea Symphony Orchestra; Bozeman Symphony Orchestra, performing the Conus Violin Concerto; Manhattan School of Music Philharmonic Orchestra; Musica Bella Orchestra, performing Sibelius Violin Concerto and Symphony in C in a performance of the Vivaldi Concerto for 4 violins.
Cecee Pantikian was a participant at a number of prominent festivals and academies which include the Pinchas Zukerman’s Young Artist Program of the National Arts Center of Canada, Itzhak Perlman’s Chamber Music Program, Verbier Festival, Artosphere Festival and the Miyazaki Music Festival. She has studied with such renowned musicians as Pinchas Zukerman, Glenn Dicterow, Lisa Kim, Patinka Kopec and Albert Markov. Cecee Pantikian holds a B.M, M.M. and a Professional Studies Certificate in Orchestral Performance from the Manhattan School of Music.
Katarzyna Bryla-Weiss, viola
Praised for her virtuosity and versatility, violist Katarzyna Bryla-Weiss was born into a family of musicians and has gone on to earn more than two dozen prizes and awards in the United States, France and her native Poland. Bryla regularly works with orchestras, in chamber groups, and as a soloist in a flourishing career that has already taken her across four continents.
Katarzyna is currently a member of New York City Ballet, Orchestra of St. Luke’s, and The New York Pops Orchestra, and regularly appears with the New York City Opera. She was a soloist with the Baltimore Chamber Orchestra in their tour of China in 2010, and was soloist for the noted Maazel/Vilar Conducting Competition in 2001.
As a Broadway musician she has played with The Lion King, An American in Paris, She Loves Me, and Hello Dolly. Katarzyna Bryla has performed in numerous renowned music festivals including the Classical Tahoe, the Napa Valley Music Festival, Central Vermont Music Festival, Music@Menlo, the Cactus Pear Music Festival, Bach Dancing and Dynamite, the Singapore Sun Music Festival, the Las Palmas Music Festival in Grand Canary Island, Spain.
Her teachers include Christian Tetzlaff, Bartosz Bryla, David Cerutti, Jadwiga Kaliszewska, Hongang Li and Herbert Greenberg .
Robert Burkhart, Cello
Cellist Robert Burkhart combines a deep commitment to the existing cello repertoire with what the New Yorker magazine calls an “adventurous” spirit in new music. With performance credits at Alice Tully Hall, Bargemusic, Carnegie Weill Recital Hall, Merkin Hall, and The Rose Studio at Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, Robert has also appeared as a soloist throughout Japan as a member of the New York Symphonic Ensemble, and been featured in recital on WQXR’s “Young Artist Showcase.”
At the center of new music in New York, Robert has performed with the American Modern Ensemble, Argento New Music Project, Fireworks Ensemble, Newspeak, and SONYC. Recent collaborations include Uri Caine, Georg Friedrich Haas, Aaron Jay Kernis, Steve Mackey, Joan Tower, Charles Wourinen, and Chen Yi. He has performed the New York premiere of John Harbison’s Abu Ghraib for cello and piano, and was the soloist in Augusta Read Thomas’s Passion Prayers for cello and chamber ensemble at the New York Times Center.
Robert’s major teachers include Paul Tobias at The Mannes College of Music and Uri Vardi at University of Wisconsin-Madison, and he has worked with Timothy Eddy, Aldo Parisot, and Janos Starker at festivals and masterclasses. Robert has taught at Juilliard Pre-college, Mannes Prep, Syracuse University, and Music Conservatory of Westchester, and been artist-in-residence at Yale University and the Banff Centre for the Arts in Canada. His recent CD “20/21: Music for Cello and Piano from the 20th and 21st Centuries,” features pianist Blair McMillen and the premiere of a work for cello and piano by composer Andrew Waggoner. Robert’s recording of solo Bach on the American Express commercial “Don’t Take Chances. Take Charge.” has garnered national attention.
Jamie Schmidt, Harp
Jamie Schmidt’s eclectic career as pianist, music director and conductor has taken him from his hometown of Madison, WI, to over 100 cities across the U.S. and Canada: as music director of the national tour of The Lion King; music director of the first national arena tour of the Radio City Christmas Spectacular; and conductor for Liza Minnelli, who handpicked him to conduct her symphonic tour with the St. Louis, Atlanta, San Diego, Indianapolis, Roanoke, and Dallas Symphony Orchestras. As of this writing, he is happily back in the city as co-associate conductor of Aladdin on Broadway.
Jamie has served as music director/conductor for the Kennedy Center Spring Gala; the NY Drama League Gala honoring Angela Lansbury; the gala re-opening of the Eisenhower Theater at the Kennedy Center; and the world premiere of the new musical Meet John Doe at Ford’s Theatre in Washington, D.C. He was associate conductor/pianist for the Kennedy Center and Broadway runs of the revival of Ragtime.
As music director and pianist/conductor for the Long Wharf Theatre's production of Guys and Dolls, Jamie created new, acclaimed orchestrations. He was the founding music director for American Girl Place Theaters in both Chicago and New York, supervising the original productions of The American Girls’ Revue and Circle of Friends, and conducting the original cast recordings of both shows.
A veteran of a baker’s dozen of Broadway shows as pianist, international credits include music director/pianist for the American delegation for the Spring Friendship Arts Festival in Pyongyang, North Korea; Artist-in-Residence with the Holland Music Sessions, Amsterdam; and Artist-in-Residence at Banff Centre for the Arts, Canada.
Jamie earned a Master of Music degree in opera conducting and a Bachelor of Music Education degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.