Strings-Harp-Guitar

Shanghai Quartet   Shanghai Quartet
Quartet Website

The Shanghai Quartet came to Montclair State University in 2002 as ensemble-in-residence. They serve as the core faculty in the strings program, teaching individual lessons, coaching chamber ensembles, and performing for the university and surrounding communities. Cellist Nicholas Tzavaras is coordinator of the strings program.



Yi-Wen Jiang   Yi-Wen Jiang
Artist-in-Residence
Shanghai Quartet
Violin
973-655-7734
jiangy@mail.montclair.edu

Violinist Yi-Wen Jiang was born into a musical family in Beijing where both parents were professional musicians. Beginning his violin studies with his father at age six, Jiang made his concerto debut at the age of 17 with the Central Opera House Orchestra in Beijing where he played the Prokofiev D Major Concerto Opus 19. After winning top prize at the first China Youth Violin Competition in 1981, Jiang was accepted to study with Professor Han Li at the Central Conservatory of Music. In 1985, after receiving a full scholarship from McDonnell-Douglas, Jiang came to the U.S. to study with Taras Gabora and Michael Tree. In 1990, with the support of the Ken Boxley Foundation, he went to Rutgers University to work with Arnold Steinhardt of the Guarneri Quartet. Other teachers included Gérard Poulet and Pinchas Zuckerman. As a prizewinner at the Montreal International Competitions, he appeared as a soloist with the Victoria Symphony and Montreal Symphony. Jiang had appeared at many international music festivals by the age of 22. He has recorded for the Record Corporation of China. As a composer, Jiang has arranged over 50 pieces for string quartet and other instruments, many pieces composed with Eastern repertoire and Western influence. In addition to his extensive touring and recordings schedule, Jiang maintains a close relationships with his students. Jiang teaches at Montclair State University and the Bard College Conservatory of Music. He is also guest professor at the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing and the Shanghai Conservatory. 


 Weigang Li Weigang Li
Artist-in-Residence
Shanghai Quartet
Violin
973-655-7613
liw@mail.montclair.edu
Quartet Website

A native of Shanghai, Weigang Li has been a featured soloist with the Asian Youth Orchestra, the Shanghai Symphony, the BBC Symphony Orchestra and the BBC Scottish Symphony. Mr. Li began studying the violin with his parents at the age of five and went on to attend the Shanghai Conservatory at age 14. He then came to the United States in 1981 to study at the San Francisco Conservatory through an exchange program between the sister cities of San Francisco and Shanghai. Upon graduating from the Shanghai Conservatory in 1985, Mr. Li was appointed assistant professor of violin at the school. Shortly thereafter he left China to continue his education at the Northern Illinois University. From 1987-1989, Mr. Li studied and taught at the Juilliard School as teaching assistant to the Juilliard Quartet. His other teachers have included Shmuel Ashkenasi, Pierre Menard, Shu-Chen Tan, and Isadore Tinkleman. Mr. Li was featured in the film From Mao to Mozart: Isaac Stern in China.


Elizabeth Faidley
Adjunct Professor
Violin
Main Office: 973-655-7212

A highly sought-after pedagogue, violinist Elizabeth Faidley has been hailed as an “amazing and inspiring teacher.” In addition to teaching at the Cali School, she is on the faculty of the Pre-College Division of the Manhattan School of Music and Adjunct Assistant Professor at Hunter College. She is the recipient of the American String Teachers’ Association 2011 “Studio Teacher of the Year” award for the state of New Jersey. She has also been honored with teaching awards from the Union City Symphony and the Korean Radio Broadcast Network. Her students have won national and international competitions and are routinely accepted, with scholarships, to the world’s premier music conservatories. Ms. Faidley has been further described by the New York Times as “…fiercely yet compassionately committed to her students, to her colleagues, and to the art of music.” She holds a Master of Music degree in violin performance and pedagogy from the Peabody Conservatory of Music and routinely gives lectures in pedagogy and masterclasses around the country.


Mary Ann Mumm   Mary Ann Mumm
Adjunct Professor
Violin
Main Office: 973-655-7212
mummm@mail.montclair.edu

Mary Ann Mumm made her solo debut with the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra at age 15, the first prize recipient of the MSO Young Artists Competition. She continued studies at Indiana University with Josef Gingold and served as his graduate teaching assistant. Ms. Mumm also studied with Ivan Galamian and Tadeusz Wronski. Ms. Mumm’s past positions include Assistant Professor of Violin at Northwestern University and violinist in the MET Orchestra. Her ongoing chamber music engagements include numerous international festival performances as well as the New York Chamber Music Festival at Symphony Space. Ms. Mumm’s 2011 world premier recording of the F. Alfano Piano Quintet (Naxos) received international praise and 3 Grammy award nominations. Ms. Mumm serves on the international faculties of the Youth Orchestra of the Americas and Filarmonica Joven de Colombia. She coached FJC for the first international broadcast performance of “From the Top” (2012). During her tenure as President of the American String Teachers Association-NJ the state was honored with 5 national awards, ASTA@MSU winning Best College Chapter.


Theresa Salomon
Adjunct Professor
Early Music/Baroque Violin
Main Office: 973-655-7212


 Honggang Li

Honggang Li
Artist-in-Residence
Shanghai Quartet
Viola
973-655-7727
lih@mail.montclair.edu

Honggang Li began his musical training studying the violin with his parents at the same time as his brother, Weigang. When the Beijing Conservatory reopened in 1977 after the Cultural Revolution, Mr. Li was selected to attend from a group of over five hundred applicants. He continued his training at the Shanghai Conservatory and was appointed a faculty member there in 1984. Mr. Li has also served as a teaching assistant at the Juilliard School and has appeared as soloist with the Shanghai Philharmonic and the Shanghai Conservatory Orchestra. In 1987 he won a violin as a special prize given by Elisa Pegreffi of Quartetto Italiano at the Paolo Borciani competition in Italy.


Nicholas Tzavaras   Nicholas Tzavaras
Artist-in-Residence
Shanghai Quartet
Cello
Strings Program Coordinator
973-655-6998
tzavarasn@mail.montclair.edu

Praised by the New York Times for his “richly singing” sound, Nicholas Tzavaras is an active a chamber musician and educator. He has performed at the Marlboro, Santa Fe, Taos, and Radio France (Montpellier) Festivals, toured with multiple artists including the "Musicians from Marlboro" and Madonna, appeared on MTV, VH1, the David Letterman Show, and at the White House performing for President Clinton. He joined the internationally renowned Shanghai Quartet in 2000. He is artist-in-residence and coordinator of the string department at the Cali School, and a guest professor at the Shanghai and Central Conservatories in China. Since 2008 he is the guest principal cellist of the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra. Mr. Tzavaras is a graduate of New England Conservatory and State University of New York at Stonybrook where his teachers were Laurence Lesser and Timothy Eddy. He founded the cello program at the Opus 118 Music Center in East Harlem and serves on its advisory board. Mr. Tzavaras' family appear in the Academy Award nominated documentary Small Wonders and is the subject of the motion picture Music of the Heart starring Meryl Streep. He appears with the Shanghai Quartet in Woody Allen's Melinda Melinda.


Frances Rowell
Adjunct Professor
Cello
Main Office: 973-655-7212 

A versatile and enterprising cellist dedicated to musical outreach, Frances Rowell received Bachelor's and Master's degrees from the Juilliard School. In 1992 the city of Allentown, PA bestowed on Ms. Rowell its Arts Ovation Award for outstanding achievement in the performing arts. She has premiered several cello works written for her, including Gwyneth Walker's North Country Concerto with the Pennsylvania Sinfonia Orchestra in 1995 and Douglas Oven's Concerto for Cello with the Allentown Symphony Orchestra in 1996. Ms. Rowell has been a member of the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra since 1995. As a member of the Craftsbury Chamber Players she performs chamber music each summer in her home state of Vermont. Ms. Rowell is a past Coordinator of the NJSO's REACH Program (Resources for Education and Community Harmony). She is currently on the roster of Young Audiences of New Jersey in a string quartet program. She also serves Young Audiences as a teaching artist working with young soloists from the radio program From the Top in presentations in public schools. In addition, she holds a United States Patent for a portable endpin resonating platform for the cello.


Kevin Brown
Adjunct Professor
Double Bass
Main Office: 973-655-7212


 Linda McKnight Linda McKnight
Adjunct Professor
Double Bass
Main Office: 973-655-7212
mcknightl@mail.montclair.edu

Linda McKnight has taught double bass at MSU for over a decade, as she has at Manhattan School, Columbia University, and Columbia Teachers College. She studied with Frederick Zimmermann at the Juilliard School and with Stuart Sankey, Joseph Cascelli, Warren Benfield, Henry Portnoi, and Homer Mensch. She has performed extensively in orchestras and chamber groups throughout New Jersey and New York, including Wayne (NJ) Chamber Orchestra, Colonial Symphony of New Jersey, Masterwork Messiah productions at Carnegie Hall, and Opera Orchestra of New York. She has been a featured guest artist in workshops and clinics across the United States. She succeeded her teacher, the late Frederick Zimmermann, as Master Teacher of Double Bass for the New Jersey Summer Conference of the American String Teachers Association, a position she has held for two decades. She is published in String Tones, Tempo, American String Teacher, and International Society of Bassists magazines. Her edition of Paul Ramsier's Pieces for Friends is available through Boosey and Hawkes.


André Tarantiles   André Tarantiles
Adjunct Professor 
Harp 
Main Office: 973-655-7212

André Tarantiles received his Bachelor and Master of Music degrees from Indiana University School of Music. He has concertized throughout the United States and performed as soloist in all the major concert halls in New York City. He has appeared on national television accompanying opera stars including Aprile Millo, Benita Valente, Renée Fleming, Marcello Giordani, Ramon Vargas, and Christine Goerke. Currently principal harpist for several ensembles including the Metropolitan Opera Guild, New York City Opera National Company, Glimmerglass Opera Festival, Arizona Opera Wagner Festival, New Jersey State Opera, the Center for Contemporary Opera, Teatro Grattacielo, and the Casals Festival in San Juan, Puerto Rico. He has also performed in orchestras backing up headliners as diverse as Placido Domingo, Marilyn Horne, Ella Fitzgerald, Shirley Jones, Steve Lawrence and Eydie Gormé, Tony Bennett, Johnny Mathis, Connie Francis, Roberta Flack, John Denver, Whitney Houston, Natalie Cole and Patti Lupone. He has performed in The Fantasticks (the world's longest running musical), Radio City Musical Hall and on Broadway (harp and synthesizer). Mr. Tarantiles is featured on CDs for several labels and he is also the official harpist of St. Patrick's Cathedral in New York City.


  Darren O'Neill
Assistant Professor - Guitar
Program Coordinator
Research Methods
Main Office: 973-655-7212
oneilld@mail.montclair.edu

Darren O’Neill is that rare combination of scholar and performer. Mr. O’Neill earned
his Bachelor of Arts degree in Music from Castleton State College in Castleton, VT and
his Master of Arts degree in Music from Montclair State University. Both degrees
centered about guitar performance. He earned his Master of Library Service degree
from Rutgers University in New Brunswick, NJ. As a member of Trio Brioso (flute, viola,
and guitar) he gave his Carnegie Hall debut in 1997 as the result of winning the Artists
International New York Debut Competition that same year. As a member of the Nova
Segno Duo (with Dennis Cinelli), he has performed and recorded on antique instruments
from the historic collection at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and was featured in the
2011 exhibition, Guitar Heroes! He has also spent significant time editing and
proofreading the re-engraving of works by Fernando Sor (1778-1839) under the
supervision of Dr. Brian Jeffery, Tecla Publications. His career as a librarian has seen
him working in the Music Research Division of the New York Public Library for the
Performing Arts. He is an honorary member of both Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia (music) and
Alpha Psi Omega (theatre).


Stephen Benson   Stephen Benson
Adjunct Professor
Jazz Guitar
973-655-7212
bensonst@mail.montclair.edu

Guitarist Stephen Benson is a freelance performer who has remained active on the studio, jazz and broadway scene for twenty years. He holds a Bachelor of Music from the Hartt School of Music in Hartford, CT, and a Masters from Manhattan School of Music. He has taught at Hartt School of Music and the Turtle Bay Music School in New York. Benson toured Europe as a member of the Giora Feidman Trio, performed at the Carnevale in Venice, Italy, for two years and at the Grand Canyon Music Festival in Arizona. He has worked extensively on Broadway in such shows as The Lion King, 42nd Street, and Wicked. He performs many styles of jazz from bebop to fusion to blues and R & B and has worked with artists including Phoebe Snow, John Sebastian and Evelyn Blakey.


  David Graessle
Adjunct Professor
Guitar
Main Office: 973-655-7212

David Graessle is a versatile guitarist that has been featured on WFDU-FM, was a soloist at WPU’s 50th anniversary alumni concert, and was selected to play a masterclass for Jason Vieaux. He also studied ensemble playing in Italy, performing concerts in Rome and Venice. He’s performed hundreds of engagements as a soloist, with the guitar/mandolin duo World View, and as a member of the NJ Guitar & Mandolin Society. Currently, he is recording his debut album for solo classical guitar with works by Bach, Barrios, and Villa-Lobos. Graessle holds a M.A. in guitar performance from Montclair University where he studied with Darren O’Neill, a B.A. with teaching certification from William Paterson University, and is a longtime student of GFA winner Kevin Gallagher. A teacher at the Community High School of Bergen County since 1997, Graessle also chairs the music department and is the theatre department’s musical director. Additionally, he has recorded two rock albums with his band The Other Half, continues to perform as a duo with his twin brother, and is the founding director of Rockin’ Summer Camp, a musical summer program for teens.


 Sylwia Kloc Sylwia Kloc
Adjunct Professor
Guitar
Main Office: 973-655-7212
klocs@mail.montclair.edu

Sylwia Kloc, a native of Poland, is an active soloist, chamber music player, and a teacher. Her repertoire ranges from the renaissance to the 20th century's most current compositions. Ms. Kloc recieved both her Bachelor and Master Degrees from Mannes College of Music. She studied with Frederic Hand and was awarded the merit scholarship for her excellence in performance. Ms. Kloc and violist Elena Rojas form the ensemble Colloquio di Corde. The duo plays a variety of music, although its main focus is commissioning works from modern-day composers. Ms. Kloc plays Renaissance lute, Baroque guitar, and studied privately with the renowned early music player Dennis Cinelli. In the Spring of 2007 Ms. Kloc premiered and recorded “Ancient Visions” a concerto for Renaissance lute and guitar ensemble by Terry Champlin. She was a scholar recipient for the 2006 "Music in Compostela Festival" in Spain where she studied with Jose Luiz Rodrigo.


James Smith, Jr.
Adjunct Professor
Guitar
Main Office: 973-655-7212
smithjam@mail.montclair.edu

James W. Smith Jr. holds an M.A. degree in Music History and Literature from Long Island University and a D.M.A. in Early Music Performance from SUNY at Stony Brook. Mr. Smith received educational training from the Lincoln Center Institute in Aesthetic Education and has served as a Senior Teaching Artist for the Tilles Center Arts and Culture Institute and Lecturer at Dowling College. Additionally Mr. Smith is an Assistant Adjunct Professor at Suffolk County Community College.  Early Music America called James Smith’s baroque guitar playing “dynamically appealing.”  As an early music specialist Mr. Smith has performed on theorbo, lute and baroque guitar with New York City Opera, Early Music New York, and Polyhymnia, among other ensembles. Operas performed include: Handel’s Flavio, Almira and Agrippina; Monteverdi’s Orfeo, and L’Incoronation di Poppea; and Cavalli’s L’Ormindo. Mr. Smith’s repertoire and collection of historical replica instruments allows him to understand and demonstrate the evolution of the guitar’s technique and style from its 16th century origins through its flourishing in the 19th and 20th century literatures. His most recent project La Guitaromanie with Guitarist Sylwia Kloc is a lecture/demo showing the various types of guitars, historic notational systems, with a performance of compositions representing each era.