Keisuke Ikuma, conductor
Keisuke Ikuma is a highly sought-after oboe and english horn player in the New York metropolitan area. He is currently a member of the Hudson Valley Philharmonic and the Stamford Symphony. He also performs regularly with the New York Philharmonic, the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra, the Orchestra of St. Luke’s, the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, and numerous Broadway shows such as The King and I, Wicked, The Phantom of the Opera, and currently holds the oboe chair for Lincoln Center's My Fair Lady. Mr. Ikuma received his Bachelor of Music degree from the Manhattan School of Music, where he was a full-scholarship student of Joseph Robinson, former principal oboist of the New York Philharmonic.
Mr. Ikuma studied conducting with Constantine Kitsopoulos and David Gilbert, and made his Broadway conducting debut in the 2015 Tony Award-winning production The King and I at Lincoln Center Theater. He recently served as interim Chorus Director of the Keio High School in Westchester.
Amy Justman, soprano
Amy Justman's career as a crossover soprano has spanned musical theater, classical music, jazz, pop and beyond. Recently, she finished a run of the Broadway revival of Carousel, covering and going on for both Renée Fleming as Nettie Fowler, and Jessie Mueller as Julie Jordan. Her other recent Broadway credits include the all a cappella musical In Transit and Phantom of the Opera, where she frequently performed the role of Carlotta.
Amy made her Broadway debut as Susan in the revival of Company, also playing piano as part of the actor‐orchestra, a performance recorded for PBS Great Performances. Other theatrical credits include covering the lead role of Phoebe in A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder on Broadway, the national tour of Phantom of the Opera, both the Broadway and Pioneer Theatre companies of White Christmas, Clara in the off-Broadway revival of Passion at Classic Stage Company, and four productions with City Center Encores.
In demand as a concert singer, she recently sang Mahler Symphony no. 4 with Broadway Chamber Players and debuted with American Modern Ensemble at National Sawdust in John Fitz Rogers’ Sehnen. In 2015, Amy was the soprano soloist for Mendelssohn’s A Midsummer’s Night Dream with New York City Ballet, with whom she previously performed Liebeslieder Walzer at the Kennedy Center and covered Les Noces. She has been a frequent soloist with Great Music in a Great Space, in Bach’s St. John Passion in 2014 and Mass in B Minor in 2012, and her Carnegie Hall concerts include Peep Bo in The Mikado with Collegiate Chorale and the “Thank You” soloist in Bernstein’s Mass with Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, recorded for Naxos. Her other solo work includes covering the soprano solo in Lera Auerbach’s In Praise of Peace at the Verbier Festival, Disney on Classic with Tokyo Philharmonic in Japan, Mahagonny Songspiel at the Ravinia Festival with James Conlon, and performances with American Symphony Orchestra, American Opera Projects, Fire Island Opera Festival and Musica Sacra.
Amy was a first prize winner of the Kurt Weill/Lotte Lenya Competition and later performed at the Kurt Weill Fest in Dessau, Germany. A native of Port Jefferson, New York, Amy received her MM from Manhattan School of Music and her BA from Yale University, where she was a winner of the Wrexham Prize for Performance.
For more info, visit Amy's website: www.amyjustman.com
David Michael Garry, bass
David Michael Garry holds a BFA in trombone performance from Western Michigan University and went on to do his MM work at Northwestern University in Voice/Opera Performance. He has been in New York City for over 16 years and performed in Opera, Oratorio, Concert Work and Musical Theater productions from Moscow to Broadway. His credits include Broadway productions including the recent production of Carousel, A Bronx Tale the Musical, The Last Ship, Company, The Phantom of the Opera, dozens of regional and Off-Broadway productions and a host of television and film spots. David is delighted to be joining The Broadway Chamber Players for this concert and thrilled to be returning to his classical roots with J.S Bach's Coffee Cantata.
To see some of David's multi-instrumental talents follow him on instagram @dgarrynyc. David is a proud member of Actors' Equity Association.
Jacob Keith Watson, tenor
Jacob Keith Watsonis an Actor/Singer, Arkansas native and avid Notre Dame football fan. Some of Jacob’s favorite credits include the Tony-nominated/winning revivals of Carousel (Enoch Snow), Hello, Dolly! and Violet, The Phantom of the Opera (Joseph Buquet), the acclaimed Encores! production of 1776 (Robert Livingston) as well as the National/International tour of Chicago the Musical (Amos Hart). Regional credits include Chicago, Bye Bye Birdie, Seussical, Six Characters in Search of an Author, As You Like It, Twelfth Night, Othello, The Doctor in Spite of Himself, La Boheme, Il Barbiere di Siviglia, Pagliacci, Pirates of Penzance, HMS Pinafore. Jacob is also a past winner of the prestigious Lotte Lenya Competition, the NATS National Music Theatre Competition and a regional finalist in the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions.
Website: www.JacobKeithWatson.com. Follow him on Instagram: @JacobKeith_Watson
Janet Axelrod, flute
Janet Axelrodis the flutist with the Radio City Music Hall Orchestra, and was recently the flute/Irish flutist in the Broadway musical Finding Neverland. Her versatile career includes performances with groups such as New York City Opera and American Symphony Orchestra, and recording studios playing flutes from around the world (Sesame Street, The Wonder Pets, the Marvelous Mrs. Maisel etc.). She co-founded a new music ensemble which made its Carnegie Hall debut and won the ASCAP/Chamber Music America First Prize for Adventurous Programming as well as Meet the Composer and NEA grants. They commissioned works by dozens of composers. Janet Axelrod has toured the Far East and Europe as a flute and piccolo recitalist, chamber musician and teacher.
Please visit JanetAxelrod.com!
Bryan Hernandez-Luch, concertmaster
Violinist Bryan Hernandez-Luch, of Peruvian descent, has been described by The Deseret News as “strikingly imaginative…he is an artist to be reckoned with.” Hernandez-Luch began his violin studies at age 6, and at 15 he made his solo debut with the Utah Symphony Orchestra. As a soloist, Hernandez-Luch has performed with the symphony orchestras of Detroit, Cleveland, Atlanta, New Jersey, Nashville, Utah, Chautauqua, New World, Colorado, Princeton, Grand Rapids and Battle Creek, Prince George Philharmonic and Canada’s National Arts Center Orchestra. He has worked with such conductors as Franz Welser-Möst, Robert Spano, Keith Lockhart, Rossen Milanov, Arthur Fagan and Thomas Wilkins.
As an avid chamber musician, Bryan has toured extensively across Columbia, the United States, Russia, Japan, Korea and South Africa. He was a founding member of the Catalyst Quartet, whose performances have been featured in Carnegie Hall’s Stern Auditorium, Weill Hall and major concert halls worldwide. The New York Times called a Catalyst Quartet performance “invariably energetic and finely burnished.” The quartet held residencies at the University of South Africa, Grand Canyon Music Festival, Great Lakes Chamber Music Festival, Juilliard Quartet Seminar, Sphinx Performance Academy at Northwestern University, Oberlin Conservatory, Roosevelt University and The Walnut Hill School. Hernandez-Luch had the distinct privilege of performing with the Guarneri Quartet in Mendelssohn’s String Octet and a performance of Tchaikovsky’s Souvenir de Florence at Carnegie Hall.
A frequent collaborator and guest concertmaster with the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, Hernandez-Luch is currently performing in the Tony award winning Broadway revival of My Fair Lady. He has played recently in Miss Saigon, Fiddler on the Roof and was the music director/conductorand on-stage musician for The Cherry Orchard, starring Diane Lane. Bryan has been a member of the Radio City Music Hall Orchestra and performed regularly in the Broadway productions of The Phantom of the Opera, Les Misérables, The King and I, Something Rotten!, Cinderella, and On the Town.
Bryan earned a master’s degree from The Juilliard School and a B.M. from the University of Utah. His major teachers have included Joseph Lin, Igor Gruppman and Nell Gotkovsky. He loves living in New York City with his wife, concert pianist Desirae Brown, and their two children, Poppy and Rowan.
Philip Payton, violin
Violinist and violist Philip Payton enjoys an diverse career around the county and abroad. He was a member of the New World Symphony where he was a concertmaster and principal violin under several prominent conductors including Michael Tilson Thomas, Marin Alsop and others. Currently Philip performs regularly with the American Ballet Theater, American Symphony, Sarasota Orchestra, Charleston Symphony, American Modern Ensemble and several others. As a chamber musician Philip has participated in all 11 seasons of the Walla Walla Chamber Music Festival, a new summer festival in Washington state, performing on both violin and viola and often performs in the Harlem Chamber Ensemble.
An active Broadway musician, he has played on Phantom of the Opera, Wicked, Spring Awakening (on violin, viola and electric guitar), Next to Normal, West Side Story, Porgy and Bess, Kinky Boots, as concertmaster at Hello, Dolly! and currently at the Broadway production of Frozen. He has performed with a number of major performing artists including Jay Z, Smokey Robinson, Luciano Pavarotti, Quincy Jones, Billy Joel, Aretha Franklin, Lady Gaga and several others. Mr Payton attended the University of Michigan and the Cleveland Institute of Music where he earned his B.M. and M.M. respectively.
Jen Herman, viola
Violist, violinist, and conductor, Jen Herman has concertized around the world and can be heard playing in numerous Broadway shows and in groups such as American Ballet Theatre and the American Symphony Orchestra. She was one of the violists of Sunset Boulevard and has performed at the Radio City Christmas Spectacular, Carousel, Rocktopia, Phantom of the Opera, and The Lion King where she doubles on violin. Often a guest principal violist, Jen has performed with orchestras such as Flint, Lansing, Princeton, Symphony in C, Glens Falls, Greater Bridgeport, and New Haven Symphony Orchestras.
Festival appearances include Summergarden at MoMA, Sarasota Music Festival, and Spoleto Music Festival USA. As a chamber musician, Jen has performed in venues such as Carnegie’s Weill Hall where her performance was featured on NPR, Detroit’s Orchestra Hall, MoMA’s sculpture garden, and was a founding member of the contemporary ensemble Lunatics at Large.
A dedicated teacher, Jen co-founded the Clinton Hill Music School in 2012 (and was the co-managing director until 2017) where she initiated a scholarship program for students in need and has been a teaching artist for multiple programs since 2010.
Sarah Hewitt-Roth, cello
Praised for her “golden, beautifully singing” playing (Opera News), cellist Sarah Hewitt-Roth, has talents that span a wide musical spectrum and has shared a stage with artists as diverse as Joshua Bell, Beyoncé and Joni Mitchell. As a chamber musician, Sarah has traveled throughout Europe and the United States, performing with Philharmonia Virtuosi and The New York Chamber Soloists.
She is currently a member of the New York Pops Orchestra, and is a regular performer at Carnegie Hall as Assistant Principal Cellist of the New York City Chamber Orchestra. A frequent Broadway collaborator, Sarah has held cello chairs in eleven shows on Broadway and currently holds the solo cello chair at the hit show Anastasia.
Sarah has appeared on The Today Show, Late Show with David Letterman, and the Late Show with Stephen Colbert. She has performed in ‘Live From Lincoln Center’ broadcasts and, among her other recording work, appears on albums with Tony Bennett, K.D.Lang, Antony and the Johnsons, and with jazz legend Ruby Braff. Sarah has been a cellist on two Grammy Award winning albums, 'A Wonderful World' with Tony Bennett and on the original cast album of Hairspray, the Musical.
Stephen Fraser, organ
Stephen Fraser has been active as a choir director, organist, singer, teacher, and composer in the New York City area since 2007. He is currently Director of Music and Organist at St. Malachy’s Church “The Actors’ Chapel” in Manhattan. He is also organist for The Salvatones, a New York-based professional ensemble, and directs their acclaimed youth choir, The Salvatones Young Voices.
In 2008, he was winner of American Guild of Organists/ECS Publishing Award in Choral Composition. During the visit of Pope Benedict XVI to New York in 2008, he accompanied The Cathedral of Saint Patrick Young Singers (CSPYS) at the organ at St. Joseph’s Seminary in Yonkers. Moreover, the choristers sang one of his compositions; an arrangement entitled “Now the Green Blade Riseth” for this special event. In 2014, he received 2nd prize in the International Composition Competition for Sacred Music Pope Benedict XVI in Rome. His choral music is performed at many festivals and concerts on both sides of the Atlantic.
He holds degrees from the University of Toronto, Eastman School of Music, and Yale University (Institute of Sacred Music). He has also served as Assistant Organist at St. Patrick’s Cathedral, where he played weekday Masses broadcast live on SIRIUS/XM Radio. He was Associate Director of Music at the Church of the Holy Trinity, where he conducted the adult and youth choirs. Stephen has also worked as organist for “The Sunday Mass” on the ABC Family Network, and has sung in several reputable ensembles, including the Yale Schola Cantorum, Cantori New York, and the Oratorio Society of New York.