Izumi Kashiwagi Erskine DMA

Piano, Music Theory
Izumi started playing the piano at the age of five. She attended California State University of Long Beach where she obtained a bachelor's degree in music with an emphasis on piano performance in 2005. Izumi has studied with Edith Hirshtal, Junko Garret, Craig Richey at CSULB and Joseph Kalichstein and Rita Sloan at the Aspen Music School and Festival in 2003 and 2004. The recipient of many scholarships and awards, she won the 2003-2004 concerto competition at CSULB by performing the third piano concerto by Prokofiev.  

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In 2006 Izumi performed in the Geijutsu Theare Large Hall in Tokyo with her sister. She is also an experienced chamber musician and has performed with Peter Stumpf, the former principal cellist of Los Angeles Philharmonic. She has attended The Quartet Program in Boulder, Colorado in summer 2009, where she performed with Charles Castleman, the chair of the string department at The Eastman School of Music. She has recently been acknowledged as Liszt scholar/Piano artist from Liszt international competition.

Izumi has earned a masters degree in Keyboard Collaborative Arts from the University of Southern California where she is currently working on a doctoral degree in the same field under the instruction of Kevin Fitz-Gerald receiving a full-scholarship, Koldofsky fellowship and teaching assistantship.

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Sammi Lee

Flute, Music theory, Composition
Sammi Lee is a dedicated flutist, improviser, concert producer and educator based out of California. She holds a Master's degree in Fine Arts from California Institute of the Arts with multi-focus contemporary flute performance.
Her most recent performance calendar featured CLAW at LA Live, collaboration with Van Dyke Parks, Vinny Golia's Large Improvisation Ensemble, and performance of Stephen Prina's The Way He Always Wanted It in the Japanese Pavilion LACMA, and on-going collaboration series Expulsion and Cleopatra with Heidi Duckler Dance Company.  

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Her dedication to contemporary performance and collaboration with artists of all genres opened opportunities to work closely with Anne LeBaron, Baroque Ensemble under the instruction of Allen Vogel and Michael Pisaro's Experimental Ensemble, featuring performances of Elliot Carter at 100 and John Cage: 4'33' and Beyond at the REDCAT. As a concert producer, she has directed a concert series in Los Angeles with focus on premiering local living composers and their new works since 2008. In extension of the concert series, in 2010, she started a new project, CLAW (Contemporary Los Angeles Winds), producing performances mainly of newly commissioned works of LA composers.

As a private flute teacher Sammi enjoys teaching all ages, emphasizing traditional technique and repertoire, building strong fundamental musicianship and music theory comprehension with a focus on creativity.

Currently she is a music faculty at Rolling Hills Preparatory School in San Pedro where she teaches middle school general music, high school composition, and directs instrumental program. She resides in downtown Los Angeles where she also works at the Colburn Conservatory of Music as a Resident Life Advisor.

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Cameron OConnor DMA

Guitar, Music Theory
Award-winning and critically acclaimed, Cameron O'Connor is among the most exciting and versatile of the new generation of American classical guitarists. In addition to recently winning First Prize in the Frances Walton Competition, he has also been a top prizewinner in the Tokyo, Indiana, Sierra Nevada, and Appalachian International Guitar Competitions, as well as the Antelope Valley Symphony Orchestra and Master Chorale J.S. Bach Competition, Randy Rhoads Memorial Guitar Competition, and CSUN Concerto Competition. Current performance engagements include projects with John Adams, Michael Tilson Thomas, and Boston's Firebird Ensemble. His playing has been featured in films, including James Franco's Don Quixote, Seattle's Classical 98.1 KingFM, and American Public Media's Performance Today radio broadcasts.  

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Cameron made his Lincoln Center debut under the baton of Tan Dun, in which he performed the Concerto for Six, an ensemble piece which mixes Western and Eastern musical idioms; in a review of the concert, the New York Times observed that Cameron "fluttered on his guitar strings in a manner reminiscent of a pipa player's technique." Other recent highlights include an "especially effective" (South Florida Classical Review) performance at the New World Center in Miami, an invitation to perform at the 9/11 Memorial in New York-- a ceremony which featured Vice President Joe Biden and New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg, serving as part of the Worcester Chamber Music Society's Fellowship Ensemble, and performing as a guest artist at the Aspen Music Festival.

A strong believer in the importance of the accessibility of arts for the public, Cameron has spearheaded several events, such as free concerts at elementary schools and libraries, and has performed at several Classical Revolution Los Angeles events; he also organized the Royal High School Band Alumni Concert Fundraiser, the funds of which benefitted music students of the school. O'Connor's teaching experience ranges from the Music Advancement Program at the Juilliard School to the Aspen Music Festival and School, as teaching assistant to Sharon Isbin; and at the University of Southern California Thornton School of Music as a graduate assistant. He furthermore provides several interactive performances each month in non-traditional venues-- from hospitals to juveniles' halls-- as a fellow with the Thornton-Gluck Fellows Program.

Pursuing a strong interest in early music, Cameron has studied the lute and Renaissance performance under the esteemed Ron Purcell. This, in addition to a love for music in the ensemble setting, has pushed him into composing and arranging new music for both ensemble and solo guitar; Cameron recently gave a lecture arranging the music of Richard Wagner at USC's Doheny Library, which subsequently led to publications by Los Angeles Classical Guitar Editions. He furthermore performs regularly as an electric guitarist and often on banjo and mandolin in musical theatre productions throughout Southern California.

Cameron graduated cum laude from California State University Northridge, where he studied under Ron Borczon, Ronald Purcell, and Steve Thachuk. He recently received his Master Of Music degree from the Juilliard School in New York City, where he studied with Sharon Isbin. Dr. O'Connor studied with William Kanengiser while working on his doctorate at the University of Southern California Thornton School of Music. He serves on the faculty of CSU Bakersfield, Riverside City College, and Pasadena City College Extension.

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Uriel Vanchestein

Clarinet, Music theory, Composition
As a clarinetist, Uriel Vanchestein is a laureate of the Geneva International Music Competition and the AudiMozart International Competition. He has been invited to perform recitals and give master classes at the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing, at the Xian International Clarinet Festival in China, and at the Caracas International Clarinet Festival in Venezuela. He has been a member of the Verbier Festival Orchestra from 2008 to 2010, has performed a recital for Soroptimist International in Japan and appeared as a soloist with such orchestras as the Geneva Chamber Orchestra, the Haydn Orchestra, the Trois-Rivières Symphony Orchestra and I Musici Chamber Orchestra of Montreal. Also a founding member of the Boreal Trio, Vanchestein performs with the group around the US and will be taking part in the next season of Pro Musica of Montreal.  

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Also an active composer, Vanchestein's works have been performed on four continents in such venues as the Verbier Festival and Carnegie Hall. Newly commissioned by the Orford Art Center for a piece to be premiered by the New Orford String Quartet this coming July, he was also recently commissioned by the New York Woodwind Quintet, the New York Classical Players for a Double Concerto for Flute, Clarinet and String Orchestra, the Great Lakes Chamber Music Festival for a String Quartet performed by the Harlem String Quartet and the Fibonacci Trio for a piano trio.

After being a pupil of Maestro Inouye from the Metropolitan Opera, Vanchestein conducted a performance of Wagner's Siegfried-Idyll at the Verbier Festival in Switzerland and a performance at the Conservatoire National Superieur de Lyon.

Mr. Vanchestein received a Bachelor and a Master's Degree from the Juilliard School under the tutelage of Charles Neidich. He also graduated from the École de Musique Vincent-d'Indy of Montrèal with Marek Sowinski and studied two years in Boston with Jonathan Cohler.

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