Adam Golka, piano
Polish-American pianist Adam Golka has been regularly on the concert stage since the age of sixteen, when he won first prize at the 2nd China Shanghai International Piano Competition. He has also received the Gilmore Young Artist Award and the Max I. Allen Classical Fellowship Award from the American Pianists Association, and was presented by Sir András Schiff in recitals at the Klavier-Festival Ruhr in Germany, Tonhalle Zürich, and in Berlin and New York.
Recent highlights include the Mozart Concerto No. 24, K. 491 with the NFM Leopoldinum Chamber Orchestra in Wroclaw,Poland; Mozart No. 21, K. 467 with JoAnn Falletta and the Buffalo Philharmonic; Grieg’s Concerto with Symphony in C in New Jersey, and the Stravinsky Concerto for Two Pianos with pianist Roman Rabinovich in Tel-Aviv. Adam was presented on the Virtuosos Series by the Cliburn Foundation in Dallas, where he continues annual performances of his special education program: “Van Cliburn: An American Hero.” He made his San Francisco Symphony debut last summer in Beethoven Piano Cto. No. 4, when he also returned to the Krzyzowa Festival in Poland, a favorite destination of his, where he premiered his own two-piano arrangement of Debussy’s La Mer, and narrated – in Polish, English, and German – Saint-Saens’ Carnival of the Animals with his own poetry written especially for the opening concert of the Festival.
In concertos ranging from Mozart and Beethoven to Tchaikovsky, Ravel, and Rachmaninov, Golka has appeared as soloist with the BBC Scottish, Atlanta, Houston, Dallas, Indianapolis, New Jersey, Milwaukee, Phoenix, San Diego, Fort Worth, Vancouver, Seattle, and Jacksonville Symphonies, Grand Teton Festival Orchestra, National Arts Centre Orchestra of Ottawa, the Sinfonia Varsovia, the Shanghai Philharmonic, the Warsaw Philharmonic, and the Teresa Carreño Youth Orchestra of Venezuela. In 2011 he performed a cycle of all five Beethoven concerti with the Lubbock Symphony, under the baton of his brother, Tomasz Golka.
An avid chamber musician, Adam has participated in the Marlboro and Prussia Cove Music Festivals, Music @Menlo, Caramoor, with the Orpheus Chamber Players, and in regular appearances at Frankly Music in Milwaukee, as well as touring with the Manhattan Chamber Players.
In recital, Adam Golka has appeared at Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall in New York; in the Mostly Mozart Festival in David Geffen Hall; Concertgebouw’s Kleine Zaal, and Musashino Civic Cultural Hall in Tokyo; and at the Gilmore Keyboard Festival, the Ravinia Festival, the New York City International Keyboard Festival at Mannes, the Newport Music Festival and the Duszniki Chopin festival. He has premiered solo works written for him by Richard Danielpour, Michael Brown and Jarosław Gołembiowski. Golka’s début disc, featuring the first sonata of Brahms and the Hammerklavier Sonata of Beethoven, was released in 2014 by First Hand Records.
In celebration of Beethoven’s 250th birthday in 2020, Adam is playing all 32 of Beethoven’s Sonatas in performance, in tandem with his next recordings for First Hand Records, which will release Adam’s complete Beethoven Sonatas.
Adam studied with the late José Feghali, and spent four years at the Peabody Conservatory studying with Leon Fleisher. Since finishing his official studies, he has continued his work with great musicians such as András Schiff, Alfred Brendel, Richard Goode, Murray Perahia, Ferenc Rados, and Rita Wagner.
Adam Golka acts as Artist-in-Residence at the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts, where he teaches piano, chamber music, and conducts the Holy Cross Chamber Orchestra.
Michael Brown, piano
Michael Brown has been described as “one of the most refined of all pianist-composers” (International Piano) and “one of the leading figures in the current renaissance of performer-composers” (The New York Times). His unique artistry is reflected in his creative approach to programming, which often interweaves the classics with contemporary works and his own compositions.
Mr. Brown is a winner of the 2018 Emerging Artist Award from Lincoln Center and a 2015 Avery Fisher Career Grant. Recent highlights include solo appearances with the Seattle Symphony, the National Philharmonic, and the Grand Rapids, North Carolina, Maryland and Albany Symphonies; and recitals at Carnegie Hall, Caramoor, and the Gilmore Festival. He was selected by András Schiff to perform on an international solo recital tour, including debuts in Berlin, Milan, Florence, Antwerp, Zurich’s Tonhalle and New York’s 92nd Street Y.
Mr. Brown is an artist of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, performing frequently at Alice Tully Hall and on tour, and is a former member of CMS Two. He regularly performs recitals with his longtime duo partner, cellist Nicholas Canellakis, and has appeared at numerous festivals including Tanglewood, Marlboro, Music@Menlo, Ravinia, Saratoga, Bard, Sedona, Moab, and Tippet Rise.
A prolific recording artist, Mr. Brown can be heard as soloist with the Seattle Symphony and Ludovic Morlot in music by Messiaen, and as soloist with the Brandenburg State Symphony in Samuel Adler’s First Piano Concerto. Other albums include an April 2018 release of Mendelssohn and Beethoven on First Hand Records; an all-George Perle CD; a debut solo recording; and collaborative albums with pianist Jerome Lowenthal, cellist Nicholas Canellakis, and violinist Elena Urioste.
Brown was recently named the Composer and Artist-in-Residence at the New Haven Symphony, which will premiere his newly commissioned symphony in 2019. A 2018 Copland House Residency Award recipient, he has received commissions from the NFM Leopoldinum Orchestra, the Maryland Symphony Orchestra, Osmo Vänskä, Shriver Hall, and Bargemusic; pianists Adam Golka, Roman Rabinovich and Orion Weiss; and a consortium of gardens including Wave Hill, Longwood, and Desert Botanical.
Mr. Brown was First Prize winner of the Concert Artists Guild Competition, a recipient of the Juilliard Petschek Award, and is a Steinway Artist. He earned dual bachelor’s and master’s degrees in piano and composition from The Juilliard School, where he studied with pianists Jerome Lowenthal and Robert McDonald and composers Samuel Adler and Robert Beaser. Additional mentors have included András Schiff and Richard Goode as well as his early teachers, Herbert Rothgarber and Adam Kent.
A native New Yorker, he lives there with his two 19th century Steinway D’s, Octavia and Daria.
Bella Hristova, violin
Acclaimed for her passionate, powerful performances, beautiful sound, and compelling command of her instrument, violinist Bella Hristova is a young musician with a growing international career. The Strad has praised, “Every sound she draws is superb” and The Washington Post wrote she is “a player of impressive power and control”.
Her appearances with orchestras in recent seasons include the New York String Orchestra at Carnegie Hall, the Orchestra of St. Luke’s with Pinchas Zukerman at Lincoln Center, the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, Chautauqua, Columbus, Hawaii, Kansas City, Milwaukee and Winnipeg symphonies as well as orchestras in Asia, Europe, Latin America and New Zealand. In recital, Ms. Hristova has performed at some of the premier venues in the world, including Carnegie Hall, Merkin Concert Hall, the Isabella Gardner Museum in Boston, and Kennedy Center. In 2017 she toured New Zealand, performing and recording Beethoven’s 10 Sonatas with renowned pianist Michael Houstoun. A sought-after chamber musician, Ms. Hristova performs frequently with The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center and is an alum of The Bowers Program.
Ms. Hristova’s recording Bella Unaccompanied (A.W. Tonegold Records) features works for solo violin by John Corigliano, Kevin Puts, Piazzolla, Milstein, and J. S. Bach, and her Naxos release of de Bériot solo works received impressive critical recognition. A passionate proponent of new music and composers, Ms. Hristova commissioned iconic American composer Joan Tower, to write “Second String Force” for Unaccompanied Violin, which she premiered and performed throughout the US. Her husband, acclaimed composer David Serkin Ludwig was commissioned by a consortium of eight major orchestras across the United States to write a violin concerto for her, which she continues to actively perform.
She is the recipient of numerous prizes and awards, including a 2013 Avery Fisher Career Grant, First Prize in the 2009 Young Concert Artists International Auditions, First Prize in the 2007 Michael Hill International Violin Competition in New Zealand, and was a Laureate of the 2006 International Violin Competition of Indianapolis.
Born in Pleven, Bulgaria to Russian and Bulgarian parents, Ms. Hristova began violin studies at the age of six. At twelve, she participated in master classes with Ruggiero Ricci at the Mozarteum in Salzburg. In 2003, she entered the famed Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, where she studied with Ida Kavafian. She received her Artist Diploma with Jaime Laredo at Indiana University in 2010.
Ms. Hristova lives in Philadelphia with her husband and their four cats. She performs on a 1655 Nicolò Amati violin.
Nick Canellakis, cello
Hailed by the New Yorker as a “superb young soloist,” Nicholas Canellakis has become one of the most sought-after and innovative cellists of his generation. Canellakis’s recent highlights include a Carnegie Hall concerto debut with the American Symphony Orchestra; concerto appearances with the Albany Symphony, Erie Philharmonic, Pan-European Philharmonia in Greece, and New Haven Symphony as Artist-in-Residence; and a recital of American cello-piano works at New York’s Lincoln Center. His 2018-19 season includes solo debuts with the Lansing, Bangor, and Delaware symphony orchestras; Europe and Asia tours with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, including appearances in London’s Wigmore Hall, the Louvre in Paris, the Seoul Arts Center, and the Shanghai and Taipei National Concert Halls; and recitals throughout the United States with his long-time duo collaborator, pianist-composer Michael Brown. Canellakis is an artist of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, and is a regular guest at many of the world’s leading music festivals, including Santa Fe, Ravinia, Music@Menlo, Bard, La Jolla, Bridgehampton, Hong Kong, Moab, Music in the Vineyards, and Saratoga Springs. He was appointed the prestigious position of Artistic Director of Chamber Music Sedona. Filmmaking and acting are special interests of Mr. Canellakis. He has produced, directed, and starred in several short films and music videos, including his popular comedy web series “Conversations with Nick Canellakis.”