Building from the incredible success of the first season of the Lev Aronson Legacy Festival and his premiere solo CD “Kol Nidrei and Beyond, Lev's Story”, Brian Thornton comes to Dallas to bring more incredible artists to mold the next generation of students in the tradition of Lev Aronson. Brian has brought the transformative power of music to thousands of students through his outreach programs in public schools and has performed in hundreds of venues across the world from the White House in Washington, D.C. to the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China.
Lynn Harrell has become known as one of the world's finest cellists, performing internationally as a recitalist, chamber musician, and soloist with leading orchestras and ensembles. His presence is felt throughout the musical world. A consummate soloist, chamber musician, recitalist, conductor and teacher, his work throughout the Americas, Europe and Asia has placed him in the highest echelon of today’s performing artists.
His extensive discography include the solo works, orchestral works, numerous premieres, and collaborations with the world's foremost artists. Highlights from an extensive discography of more than 30 recordings include the complete J.S. Bach’s Cello Suites (BWV 1007-1012) (London/Decca), the world-premiere recording of Victor Herbert’s Cello Concerto No. 1 with the Academy of St Martin-in-the-Fields led by Neville Marriner (London/Decca), the William Walton Concerto with Simon Rattle and the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra (EMI), and the Donald Erb Concerto with Leonard Slatkin and the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra (New World). Together with Itzhak Perlman and Vladimir Ashkenazy, Harrell was awarded two Grammy Awards - in 1981 for the Tchaikovsky Piano Trio and in 1987 for the complete L.v. Beethoven Piano Trios (both Angel/EMI). A recording of the Schubert Trios with Vladimir Ashkenazy and Pinchas Zukerman (London/Decca) was released in February 2000. His May 2000 recording with Nigel Kennedy, “Duos for Violin & Cello,” received unanimous critical acclaim (EMI). Most recently, Harrell recorded Tchaikovsky’s Variations for Cello and Orchestra on a Rococo Theme, Dmitri Shostakovich’s Cello Concerto No. 2, and Prokofiev’s Sinfonia Concertante with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, Gerard Schwarz conducting (Classico).
Lynn Harrell previously played a 1720 Montagnana cello he bought with the proceeds of his parents' estate and also a 1673 Antonio Stradivarius cello that belonged to the late British cellist Jacqueline du Pré. His current instrument is a 2008 cello by Christopher Dungey.
Praised for his expressive and poetic music making, cellist Thomas Landschoot enjoys an international career as a concert and recording artist and pedagogue. He has toured North America, Europe and Asia and has appeared on National Radio and Television worldwide.
His solo career started after taking a top prize at the International Cello Competition ‘Jeunesse Musicales’ in 1995 in Bucharest, Romania.
As an avid chamber musician, he performed with the Takacs and Arriana Quartet and members of the Cleveland, Vermeer and Auduban Quartets. He has commissioned and premiered over 15 new works for cello, including cello concertos by Dirk Brosse and Frank Nuyts.
Thomas Landschoot joined the faculty of Arizona State University in 2001 after having thaught at the University of Michigan. He has been the recipient of ASU’s prestigious Herberger College of Fine Arts Distinguished Teaching Award and is on the faculty of Shieh Chien University in Taipei since 2008.
Ralph Kirshbaum attracted international attention when he won prizes in the First International Cassadó Competition in Florence, Italy, in 1969, and subsequently in the Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow in 1970. Kirshbaum made his London debut recital at Wigmore Hall in 1970, his professional orchestral debut (performing Tchaikovsky's Rococo Variations with the New Philharmonia Orchestra of London) in 1972, and his New York debut at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 1976. Kirshbaum is an artist recognized by critics and audiences worldwide for his deeply felt interpretations, musical intelligence, and passionate performances. With repertoire ranging from Haydn to Dmitri Shostakovich, J.S. Bach to Korngold, he is consistently recognized for a unique and lustrous sound. His distinguished career encompasses the worlds of solo performance, chamber music, recording, and pedagogy and clearly places him "in the highest echelon of today's cellists" (Los Angeles Times).
In the span of an extraordinary career, Ralph Kirshbaum has appeared with many of the world's foremost orchestras in North America, Europe, Australia, South Africa and the Far East. He has been a frequent guest of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Cleveland Orchestra, Dallas Symphony Orchestra, Houston Symphony Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra, Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, and San Francisco Symphony Orchestra in the USA. In the UK he has appeared with the BBC Symphony Orchestra, London Symphony Orchestra, London Philharmonic Orchestra, New Philharmonia Orchestra, Philharmonia Orchestra, and Hallé Orchestra; and in other countries with the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra, Helsinki Philharmonic, Zürich Tonhalle, Orchestre de Paris, Radio-Symphonie-Orchester-Berlin, Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, and many others. Regular tours in Holland, Germany, Spain and Scandinavia have included numerous recital and orchestral appearances, in repertoire ranging from Haydn and Dvorak to Prokofiev and Lutoslawski. He has enjoyed collaborations with such esteemed conductors as Herbert Blomstedt, Semyon Bychkov, Christoph von Dohnányi, Sir Colin Davis, Andrew Davis, James Levine, Zubin Mehta, Kurt Masur, Andre Previn, Sir Simon Rattle and the late Sir Georg Solti.
Dr. Melissa Kraut is recognized as one of the leading pedagogues of her generation. She holds degrees from CIM, the University of Iowa and Northwestern University, and has studied with Alan Harris and Hans-Jørgen Jensen. Additionally, Dr. Kraut has participated in master classes of cellists Aldo Parisot, Frank Miller, Yo-Yo Ma, Tsuyoshi Tsutsumi and David Soyer. She participated in the Aspen Music Festival, Banff Center for the Arts and the Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival (Germany). An active performer, Dr. Kraut has led a diverse stage career, with solo and chamber performances throughout the U.S. and Europe. She has held leadership positions in many orchestras and has played under the baton of such distinguished conductors as Sir Georg Solti, Valery Gergiev and Semyon Bychkov.
In the summer, Dr. Kraut teaches at the Meadowmount School of Music (New York). Prior to Meadowmount, she was Cello Instructor and Head of Strings at the Interlochen Arts Camp. Her students have achieved great success, earning top prizes in national and international competitions. Students of Dr. Kraut have won the Gold Medal and Audience Award at the Gaspar Cassado Competition in Hachioji, Japan, Grand Prize in the Music Teachers National Association (MTNA) Competition, First Prize in the American String Teacher’s Association (ASTA), Grand Prize in the Walgreen’s Competition, as well as prizes in many local and regional competitions. Melissa Kraut lives in Hudson, Ohio with her husband and two daughters.
Cellist Karlos Rodriguez made his orchestral debut at the age of thirteen to great audience and critical acclaim. As an advocate for multifaceted musical diversity in the 21st century, he is an avid soloist, recitalist, chamber musician, clinician, recording artist, and administrator, having appeared at many of our important musical venues including Carnegie Hall, Avery Fisher Hall, Alice Tully Hall, the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, the New World Center, Philadelphia’s Kimmel Center, and Radio City Music Hall, to name a few.
Mr. Rodriguez has also had the honor of working with distinguished artists such as the Beaux Arts Trio, American, Cavani, Cleveland, Emerson, Guarneri, Juilliard, Miami, Orion, Tokyo, and Vermeer String Quartets; Janos Starker, Lynn Harrell, Zuill Bailey, Pieter Wispelway, Rachel Barton-Pine, Awadagin Pratt, Joshua Bell, And Steven Isserlis.
His teachers have included Richard Aaron, Peter Wiley, And David Soyer. A love of modern dance paired with live music has led to collaborations with the Thomas/Ortiz Dance Company, Freefall, Mark Morris Dance Group, and Chita Rivera. Karlos has attended and been a guest artist at the Encore School For Strings, Sarasota, Aspen, Great Lakes And Kneisel Hall Chamber Music Festivals, Grand Canyon Music Festival, Cleveland Chamber Music Society, Strings Music Festival, Philadelphia Orchestra Chamber Music Society, And Napa’s Festival Del Sole.
As an educator he is on the faculty of Summertrios, the Dean of Artistic Affairs at the Sphinx Performance Academy and has given master classes domestically and abroad. Mr. Rodriguez has worked on various films, pop albums, broadway musicals, and is a member of the Radio City Music Hall Orchestra. In addition to these musical activities he is former principal cellist of the Florida Grand Opera Orchestra in Miami and cellist of the Catalyst Quartet.