Meet the SJCMF Musicians
Concert Pianist, SJCMF Artistic Director
Pianist Max Levinson, Artistic Director of the San Juan Chamber MusicFest in Ouray, Colorado, is an active chamber musician, and is known as an intelligent and sensitive artist with a fearless technique. The Washington Post writes, “You can hear gasps in the audience – Max Levinson displays technical wizardry. His playing has solid, assured technique, clarity of vision and a sense of the permanent values in music that underlie surface variations.” He has performed widely as soloist throughout the US, Canada and Europe. Levinson also is an active chamber musician, and has collaborated with such artists as Pinchas Zukerman, the Tokyo, Vermeer, Mendelssohn, and Borromeo Quartets, and regularly appears at major music festivals including Santa Fe, Marlboro, Tanglewood, La Jolla, Killington and Switzerland’s Davos Festival.
Born in the Netherlands and raised in Los Angeles, Levinson began studying piano at age five. His first teachers were Bruce Sutherland and Aube Tzerko, and as a child he also studied cello, composition and conducting. He attended Harvard University, graduating cum laude with a degree in English Literature, and later completed his graduate studies with Patricia Zander at the New England Conservatory of Music, receiving an Artist Diploma and the Gunther Schuller Medal, an award given to the school’s top graduate student.
Levinson has performed as soloist with the San Francisco Symphony, St. Louis Symphony, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Detroit Symphony, Baltimore Symphony, New World Symphony, Indianapolis Symphony, Colorado Symphony, Oregon Symphony, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, Utah Symphony, Boston Pops, Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, and National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland among others. He has worked with such conductors as Robert Spano, Neemi Järvi, Uriel Segal, Joseph Swensen, Jeffrey Kahane and Alasdair Neale. Recital appearances include Washington Performing Arts Society’s “Kreeger String & Hayes Piano Series” at the Kennedy Center, Tonhalle Orchester Zurich’s “Competition Winner Series,” Ravinia’s “Rising Stars,” Lincoln Center’s “What Makes it Great” and the FleetBank Boston “Emerging Artists Series.”
His debut recitals at Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall and London’s Wigmore Hall as the Guardian Competition winner were critical successes and received standing ovations. He performed ambitious programs, which included works by Bartók, Brahms, Chopin, Liszt, Schönberg, Schubert and Kirchner. Of the New York debut performance, The New York Times wrote that Levinson’s “quietly eloquent conceptions, formidable technique and lovely touch left little else to be desired.”
Levinson’s most recent recording is of the Brahms Sonatas for Violin and Piano, with violinist Stefan Jackiw (Sony Classical). He has also recorded the Brahms Horn Trio with the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival for the Stereophile label, and the violin sonatas of Debussy, Janácek, and Prokofiev with violinist Andrew Kohji Taylor for Warner Classics. Upcoming recording projects include the complete piano music of Bruce Sutherland.
Strongly committed to nurturing young audiences, Levinson has been a participant in the Grammy-in-the-Schools program throughout the United States and in other outreach performances in numerous cities. He has experimented with Internet broadcast, served as Artist-in-Residence at Harvard University’s Lowell House for four years, and has been featured on National Public Radio’s “Performance Today” and “A Note to You.” Levinson serves on the boards of the Aube Tzerko Piano Institute and AMRON (Artists Musicians Recital Opportunity Network). In 2000, he was asked by the Millennium Committee of Ireland to design a National Education Initiative, and gave a televised masterclass as part of the project. He has also taught masterclasses at the Royal Irish Academy of Music, Harvard, MIT, Brigham Young University, Rutgers, the University of Washington, UCLA, the Colburn School, Boston University, the Music Teacher’s Association of California annual convention and in various cities throughout the U.S. In 1997, he was named “Best Debut Artist” by The Boston Globe and was added to Steinway’s distinguished roster of artists.
Levinson is Chair of the Piano Department at the Boston Conservatory, and is also a faculty member at the New England Conservatory. He was formerly on the applied music faculty of Brown University. He has recently become active as a conductor, and his performances as conductor of the Killington Music Festival and Foulger Chamber Orchestra have resulted in standing ovations and return engagements. He lives in Boston with his daughters Natalie and Jessica.
Canadian violinist, Christina Bouey, is hailed by the New York Times for playing “beautifully,” by the New York Post, “When violinist Christina Bouey spun out that shimmering tune, I thought I died and went to heaven,” and by Opera News, for playing “with exquisite, quivering beauty.” Her recent prizes include 1st Prize at the Schoenfeld International String Competition in the chamber division, Grand Prize at the Fischoff Competition, 1st place in the American Prize, and 2nd prize at the Osaka International Chamber Competition. Among her other top awards include the Hugo Kortchak Award for outstanding achievement in chamber music, Heida Hermann International, Canadian National Music Festival, Queens Concerto Competition, and the Balsam Duo Competition. Christina has performed as soloist with the Greenwich Symphony, Cayuga Chamber Orchestra, Salina Symphony, River Cities Symphony, Symphony of the Mountains, Tonkünstler Ensemble, Metro Chamber Orchestra, Bergen Symphony, Prince Edward Island Symphony, Banff Orchestra, Shattered Glass and the Hemenway Strings. Her solo and chamber credits include Carnegie Hall, Esterházy Palace, Taiwan National Recital Hall, Harbin Grand Theatre, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, Schneider Series, Rockefeller Tri-I Noon Series, Dame Myra Hess series, La Jolla Summer Fest, Premiere Performances Hong Kong, Vietnam Connection Music Festival, Kneisel Hall Festival, Emilia Romagna Festival, Harvard Club of New York, Montreal Chamber Festival, Debut Atlantic, Kansas International Music Festival, L'Archet Concert Group and the Indian River Festival. She has also been featured on WQXR New York. Christina has collaborated with artists such as David Chan, Jeremy Denk, Paul Coletti, Lynn Chang, Robert DeMaine, Steven Doane, Rosemary Elliott, David Geber, Clive Greensmith, Toby Hoffman, Chee-Yun Kim, Yura Lee, Cho-Liang Lin, and Bright Sheng.
Christina graduated from Manhattan School of Music (2013) with a Professional Studies Certificate in Orchestral Performance, studying with Glenn Dicterow and Lisa Kim as a full scholarship student, (2012) with a Professional Studies Certificate, studying with Laurie Smukler, and in 2011 she received a Master of Music, while studying with Nicholas Mann. Her Bachelor of Music (Magnum cum laude) is from The Boston Conservatory; where she studied with Irina Muresanu as a full-scholarship student.
In June 2014, as part of the 150 year celebrations on PEI, professional dancers from Ballet Jazz de Montreal performed a modern dance to her first compositional commission for solo violin, with Christina playing it on the violin. Christina is currently serving as concertmaster of the Cayuga Chamber Orchestra, is a member/founder of the Ulysses String Quartet, and plays in a duo with pianist Tatiana Tessman. She plays an 1820 Pressenda on generous loan from the Canada Council Instrument Bank. To keep up to date with Christina, you can follow her website: www.christinabouey.com.
Violinist Rhiannon Banerdt made her solo debut at age 14 with the New England Symphonic Ensemble in Johannesburg, South Africa. She has since made solo and chamber music appearances at Philadelphia's Kimmel Center, New York's Weill Hall at Carnegie, and Boston's Jordan Hall, among others, with performances hailed by Edith Eisler of Strings Magazine as “real music-making–concentrated and deeply felt”. Ms. Banerdt performs regularly throughout New England with a variety of ensembles and is a founding member of the Ulysses String Quartet, winners of the First Prize at the 2018 Schoenfeld International Chamber Music Competition, Grand Prize at the 2016 Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition, First Prize at the 2017 American Prize Chamber Ensemble, and Silver Medal at the 2017 Osaka International Chamber Music Competition.
A recipient of the 2012 Borromeo String Quartet Guest Artist Award, Ms. Banerdt was invited to perform with the quartet in Jordan Hall. Other collaborations have included performances with the Chiara Quartet, Kim Kashkashian, Paul Biss, and Frans Helmerson. Ms. Banerdt has participated in numerous eminent chamber music festivals including La Jolla Summerfest, Ravinia’s Steans Music Institute, Kneisel Hall Chamber Music Festival, Taos School of Music, and the Castleman Quartet Program.
Ms. Banerdt holds the position of Assistant Concertmaster with the Cape Symphony and has served as Principal Second Violin Boston’s Discovery Ensemble. She was one of two Violin Fellowships for the 2013-2015 seasons with the flagship music education organization Community MusicWorks in Providence, RI, where she taught individual lessons and group classes for disadvantaged youth and performed regularly with the Fellowship Quartet and Community MusicWorks Players. Ms. Banerdt is currently a member of the violin faculty at the Bloomingdale School of Music on New York City’s Upper West Side and a Graduate Teaching Fellow at CUNY Brooklyn College.
A native of Los Angeles, Ms. Banerdt attended the New England Conservatory, where she received her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees with honors from the New England Conservatory of Music as a student of Lucy Chapman and Paul Biss, and is currently pursuing doctoral studies at The CUNY Graduate Center studying with Mark Steinberg.
Praised as “master of the strong lines”, concert violist Colin Brookes is a native of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where he made his solo debut with the Pittsburgh Symphony at the age of 17. A founding member of the award-winning Ulysses Quartet, Colin has taught in the Pre-College Division of the Juilliard School, and the undergraduate programs of Yale University and SUNY Stony Brook.
Colin performs regularly with The Knights, A Far Cry, and other critically acclaimed ensembles. Festival appearances include Kneisel Hall, Geneva Music Festival, Manchester Summer Chamber Music, and Tanglewood. In June 2013 he gave a solo recital with pianist Euntaek Kim for the St. Gaudens Concert Series in Cornish, NH.
Traveling and performing allow for many unexpected opportunities to capture moments in time. An interest that evolved recently into a passion, film photography has profoundly changed Colin’s appreciation for perspective and awareness.
Colin holds a Bachelor of Music from the Juilliard School and a Master of Music and Artist Diploma from Yale University. His mentors include Ettore Causa, Heidi Castleman, Misha Amory, Nicholas Cords, Larry Dutton, Marylene Gingras-Roy, Roger Chase, Jeffrey Irvine, and Carolyn Hills. He currently plays a 19th-century Italian viola generously on loan from Maestro Foundation, and an English Thomas Tubbs bow, circa 1845 .
Taiwanese-American cellist Grace Ho is an active cello soloist and chamber musician in the United States and Asia. Ms. Ho has appeared as a soloist with orchestras including the Xiamen Philharmonic Orchestra, Evergreen Symphony Orchestra, Vietnam National Symphony Orchestra, Ho Chi Minh City Symphony Orchestra, Sun Taipei Philharmonic, Vienna Ensemble, Lewisville Lake Symphony Orchestra, Manhattan School of Music Philharmonic Orchestra, Kansas Wesleyan Orchestra, and University of North Texas Chamber Orchestra.
Ms. Ho has achieved numerous awards including First Prize in the Manhattan School of Music Eisenberg-Fried Concerto Competition, winner in the University of North Texas Concerto Competition, and Silver Medal in the Crescendo Music Awards. Ms. Ho has performed in prestigious concert halls such as Carnegie Hall’s Stern Auditorium, Weill Recital Hall, and Zankel Hall, Meyerson Symphony Center, Taiwan National Concert and Recital Halls, and the Opera Houses in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City as the soloist in the 2018 Toyota Tour in Vietnam.
Ms. Ho is a founding member of the Ulysses Quartet, and the guest principal cellist of the Miami Symphony Orchestra.
Ms. Ho has participated in numerous festivals include Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival, Norfolk Chamber Music Festival, ENCORE School for Strings, Boston University Tanglewood Institute, Manchester Music Festival, Texas Music Festival, International Festival Institute at Round Top, and Teaching Assistant at Manhattan in the Mountains in 2013.
Ms. Ho received her Doctor of Musical Arts and Master of Music from the Manhattan School of Music, and her Bachelor of Music from the University of North Texas with full scholarships, and graduating with the Pablo Casals Award from her Master’s Degree. Former teachers include David Geber, Clive Greensmith, Eugene Osadchy, Chao-Fu Lin, Shih-San Lin, Tze-Ming Chen, and Shih-Hui Ho. You can check out Grace’s website here: www.gracehocello.com.
"Emotively and dynamically, the quartet is particularly astounding, too, where they can collectively wield a fervour of intense expression and at once bring it to a simmered-down mesmerizing hum of synchrony". - The Guardian, Prince Edward Island
Additional Ulysses Quartet performances may be
found on their website at ulyssesquartet.com/media-1