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Feb 14-16 Ambler Musicivic Piano Trio Artist Bios

February 2, 2020

Irina Schuck, Violin

Born in Ukraine, Irina Schuck received her formal violin education at the Samara Conservatory, and later at the Moscow Tchaikovsky Conservatory. Since graduating from the Kharkov Academy of Performing Arts, with a master concert performer’s degree, Irina played with many different orchestras in the former U.S.S.R.. While Irina was playing with the orchestra in Riga, Latvia, the Soviet Union dissolved, and she accepted the invitations to play in the western Europe.
Irina was a member of Vorpommern Philharmonic Orchestra, and Coburger State Theater Orchestra in Germany and Malmö Symphony Orchestra in Sweden. As a member of Controverse, an ensemble specializing in contemporary music, Irina has traveled widely in Europe and Scandinavia.  

In the United States, Irina has played with the Little Rock Symphony Orchestra, Plano Symphony Orchestra, Abilene Symphony Orchestra, Irving Symphony Orchestra, San Angelo Symphony Orchestra, and Waco Symphony Orchestra. She spent the 2008 – 2009 season as a member of Symphony Orchestra of Murcia, in Spain. Irina is currently a member of the Delaware Symphony, Delaware Opera Orchestra as well as the Philadelphia Classical Orchestra, Black Perl Orchestra and Kennett Symphony.
Based in Philadelphia Irina performs frequently chamber music both in US and in Europe .

Jennifer Jie Jin, cello

Ms. Jin is currently a member of Delaware Symphony, Pyxis Piano Quartet (the Delaware Art Museum’s ensemble in residence since 2009) and Copeland String Quartet. She has been invited to participate in prestigious festivals world-wide, including the Aspen Music Festival, Tanglewood, Ravinia Festival, Colorado Music Festival, Pacific Music Festival, Taos Chamber Music Festival, International Summer Academic Prague-Vienna-Budapest Festival, Beijing International Music Festival, Margess International Festival, Daniel Music Festival and the Amadeus Masterclass. 

Cellist Jennifer Jie Jin has performed in Europe, Asia and the United States. Ms. Jin has appeared as a soloist with the Bay Atlantic Symphony Orchestra, National Repertoire Orchestra and Shanghai Symphony Orchestra.  She has held principal cello positions with Bay AtlanticSymphony, National Repertoire Orchestra, Mansfield Symphony Orchestra, member of Baltimore Chamber Orchestra, Colorado Music Festival Orchestra, Harrisburg Symphony, and has also performed with the Cleveland Orchestra, Boston Symphony, Houston Symphony and New World Symphony. 

Before her move to the United States, Ms. Jin received awards in her native China that included First Prize in the National Cello Duo Competition of China, the Bao-gang Elegance Art Award and the Excellent Performance Prize in the National Competition of China. An active chamber musician, she founded the Tang-gu-la String Quartet, which has toured UK, Switzerland, Austria, Holland, Australia and China and received numerous honors, including  a performance for President Bill Clinton and an appearance in the Oscar-winning Isaac Stern documentary “From Mao to Mozart.”

A committed teacher, Ms. Jin has coached her students to win top prizes in many competitions. She is Co-Director of Pennsylvania Youth Orchestra and Chamber Strings Music Camp. In 2016 she received the Ovation Award for inspiration and outstanding leadership in music education presented by Philadelphia Youth Orchestra.

She began her cello study at age five and received her Bachelor’s degree from the Shanghai Conservatory of Music, Master of Music from the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University and the Artist Diploma at the Cleveland Institute of Music.

Anna Kislitsyna, Pianist

Pianist and harpsichordist Anna Kislitsyna made her solo debut at age 10 with the Omsk Symphony Orchestra in Russia.  She hails from a long and noble tradition of music making in Russia with both of her parents and her brother being professional musicians. 

From 2002 to 2012, she served as a soloist in residence of the Omsk Symphony where she performed multiple piano concerti and chamber music recitals. Other accomplishments include prizes in the Lautard-Chevtchenko Competition in France, International Chamber Music Competition in Finland, Los Angeles International Liszt Competition, IV Chopin International Piano Competition in Connecticut, and the All Russia Piano Competition among others. 

Anna has appeared in such concert halls as Carnegie Hall in New York, Kimmel Center in Philadelphia, Rachmaninov Hall of Moscow Conservatory, The Cortot Hall of Paris Conservatory, Novosibirsk Philharmonic Hall, and numerous concert stages in the United States, Europe, and Russia.     

As a chamber musician, she performs with Trio Casals with which she just recorded her second CD on the Parma Label with a premier set for Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall. She has also performed many recitals with various principal chairs of the Philadelphia Orchestra. Since 2017 Anna is an official collaborative artist of Ictus International Music Competition.

Prior to coming to the United States, Anna served four years as a professor of piano at the Novosibirsk Conservatory in Russia, one of the leading music schools with an acceptance rate of under 5%. Additionally, she taught five years in the Novosibirsk Special Music College which is one of three professionally oriented music schools in Russia for students ages 4 to 18.  She is currently on the faculty at the Nelly Berman School of Music and the Philadelphia International Music Festival. Her students’ accomplishments include 1st prize in the XII International Seoul Competition; 1st prize in the V Chopin International Piano Competition in Connecticut; 2nd prize in the Pennsylvania State Music Teacher’s National Association Competition; performing as a soloist with the Philadelphia Orchestra as a winner of the Greenfield Competition; 2nd prize in the VII International Rachmaninov Piano Competition in Russia, 3rd Prize in the Bluthner International Piano Competition in Russia, and performing a solo recital at the White House.  During Anna’s teaching career she has been invited to give master classes and judge international piano competitions. Her students have performed with various symphony orchestras, including Philadelphia Orchestra, Kiev Symphony Orchestra, Seoul Symphony Orchestra, and Novosibirsk Symphony Orchestra. Her students are winners of international piano competitions in Italy, Austria, China, Korea, Poland, Ukraine, Switzerland, France, UK, USA, and Russia. They annually perform in Carnegie Hall.

 In 2018 Anna completed her DMA at Temple University (PA) with the dissertation on Alfred Schnittke’s Concerto for Piano and Strings. She is from the studio of Dr. Charles Abramovic on Piano, Dr. Joyce Lindorff on Harpsichord, and Pr. Lambert Orkis on chamber music. Prior to her studies at Temple, Anna completed her Postgraduate Course-work in Piano Performance at the Novosibirsk State Conservatory in Russia with the dissertation on Olivier Messiaen’s “Vingt regards sur l’Enfant-Jésus,” where she also earned a Master Degree and Bachelor Degree with her primary teachers being Pr. Larisa Smeshko and Pr. Mary Lebenzon. Additionally, she holds a Master Degree from West Chester University where she studied with Dr. Igor Resnianski. 

     As a researcher, Anna published many articles in relation to Olivier Messiaen’s works, as well as articles about the “War Sonatas” of Prokofiev, “Religious ideas in the XX century music”, “Piano Transcription “Anna Karenina” of Shchedrin”, and others.

Musicivic Baroque: Our Artists for Jan 24-26

January 24, 2020

Natalie Rose Kress, Baroque Violin

Praised by the New York Times for her “splendid playing”, Natalie Kress enjoys a varied career as both a modern and baroque violinist; highlights of which include performing at the Kennedy Center Honors with Yo Yo Ma in 2015; winning the 2012 Jules C. Reiner Violin Prize from the Tanglewood Music Center; as well as performances at Carnegie Hall in 2010 and 2016. Natalie received her Bachelor’s of Arts in Music and Psychology and Master’s in Music from Stony Brook University (where she studied with Soovin Kim) and is founder of the Three Village Chamber Players which performs free chamber music and outreach concerts throughout Long Island and New York State (3vcp.org). Natalie is a co-founder and an Executive Advisor of Musicivic Inc. (musicivic.net), which is a national non-profit arts incubator, accelerator, and managed services network supporting local professional chamber music organizations in towns and communities everywhere. As a baroque violinist Natalie is the Director of Musicivic Baroque and has performed with Boston’s Handel and Haydn Society, Grand Harmonie, Stony Brook Baroque, Shanghai Camerata, and La Grande Bande. She currently studies at The Juilliard School specializing in Historical Performance.


Elena Smith, viola da gamba and baroque cello

Cellist Elena Smith maintains an active career as a performing and teaching artist. A Philadelphia native, she is the cellist and manager of Blue Line String Quartet, and she performs frequently with Fairmount String Quartet, Elysium String Quartet, and many other local chamber ensembles. She is principal cellist of the Wayne Oratorio Society, and she has appeared with the Reading Symphony, West Jersey Chamber Orchestra, and other orchestras.

In addition to her career as a modern cellist, Elena has a passion for historical string instruments, and she performs regularly on baroque cello and viola da gamba. She has appeared on tour with Venice Baroque Orchestra, and she was the viola da gamba soloist in New York City Opera’s production of Los Elementos by Antonio Literes. Elena is a founding member of Muse Camerata, an all-female ensemble that specializes in performing music from the sixteenth through eighteenth centuries. She was featured on the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society’s 2018-2019 season in a performance with Gamut Bach Ensemble, and she has appeared as a guest with Bach Collegium Philadelphia, Crescendo Period Instrument Orchestra, Ex Umbris, Elm City Consort, and The Musick Art. In 2018, she made her Canada debut performing with l’Extase d’Ornace in Montréal. She has participated in the American Bach Soloists Academy in San Francisco, the International Masterclasses Festival in Gaming, Austria, and Juilliard at Piccola Accademia in Montisi, Italy. She has studied with Sarah Cunningham, Phoebe Carrai, and she has performed in masterclass for Thomas Fritzsch and Paolo Pandolfo.

A dedicated educator, Elena maintains a private studio and she is a teaching artist at The Common Place Orchestra, an arts education program that provides musical instruction to children in underserved communities in Southwest Philadelphia.

Elena is a graduate of Temple University, where she was a student of Jeffrey Solow.


Robert Warner

A native of Pennsylvania, Robert  Warner began his musical studies at an early age in piano and violin with faculty of Bucknell University.  He holds bachelors degrees in both math and music from the University of Rochester, and became interested in the world of early music while exploring the harpsichord and baroque violin at the Eastman School of Music.  As a graduate student at Stony Brook University, Robert studied harpsichord extensively with Arthur Haas while earning master’s degrees in both music history and performance, followed by a DMA in harpsichord performance also at Stony Brook.  During this time he gave frequent recitals, acted as assistant director of Stony Brook’s Baroque ensemble, and collaborated often with other musicians as a harpsichordist and baroque violinist in chamber music, opera and orchestral performances.

Upon graduating from Stony Brook, Robert was accepted into the Juilliard School’s Historical Performance program, continuing his harpsichord studies with Peter Sykes.  During this time he participated in projects led by William Christie, Jordi Savall, and other leading figures in the field of early music with frequent performances in New York City’s Alice Tully Hall and international tours to the Netherlands and New Zealand.

Robert has participated in most of the country’s top early music summer festivals, including the American Bach Soloists Academy in San Francisco and the Oregon Bach Festival’s Berwick Academy.  Robert now resides in New York City where he continues to be an active performer.  He is currently the artistic director and harpsichordist of the New Amsterdam Consort, the harpsichordist for Voyage Sonique, and a founding member and harpsichordist of Musicivic Baroque.


Paul Holmes Morton, theorbo

Paul Holmes Morton is native to the state of Pennsylvania, where he had his first music lessons on his father’s banjo and later the cello. After a youthful education of folk music, he went on to study classical guitar under the instruction of Ernesto Tamayo, Marc Teicholz, and Sergio Assad. While attending the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, he studied lute with Richard Savino and continuo with Corey Jamason. Perpetually inspired by music as a vehicle to transport oneself across time and culture, Paul Holmes can be found in a variety of venues from cathedrals and concert halls to smoky bars and country barns, anywhere that allows performance to lend harmony to the present noise. As a lutenist Morton performs across the North America in the practice of a baroque continuo player, regularly performing with Ruckus, New Vintage Baroque, and the Baroque Chamber Orchestra of Colorado. An active recording artist, his musicianship can be found on Oracle Hysterical’s “Passionate Pilgrim”, Emi Ferguson’s “Amour Cruel”, and “Arcangelo’s Circle”, by the Baroque Chamber Orchestra of Colorado. Paul Holmes recently completed his studies in historical performance at The Juilliard School instructed by Daniel Swenberg and Charles Weaver. Based in New York City, he performs regularly throughout North America.