Robert Ambrose

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Bob is a casino/hospitality consultant, freelance writer, and adjunct university instructor of gaming and hospitality. 

A native of south jersey, Bob grew up summering at the Jersey shore, visiting the Steel Pier, and experiencing the sights, sounds and culinary presentation of the boardwalk.

A south jersey radio broadcaster in the 1970’s, his first job was at a small station once located in what is now the A.C. Marina district. After working at two other radio stations he entered the advertising and public relations industry writing copy, designing brochures, scheduling and photographing client events.

Bob earned an MS degree in Hospitality Management from Fairleigh Dickinson University and a BA in Communications from Rowan University.

He was part of the Atlantic City Tropicana gaming management team from 1985-2000. In 2000 he became the Executive Director of Slot and Marketing Operations managing the casino side of operations, all guest service initiatives, and employee education until 2007.

From 2007-2010 Bob was Corporate Vice President of Slots for a casino development team and became involved in numerous projects around the country including the opening of Indiana-Live Casino.   

It was at this time he began writing about the gaming industry. Since 2007, he has authored and published numerous articles in casino trade publications. Through his articles he has interviewed top industry executives, reported on gaming industry trends, covered employee education initiatives, written about leadership philosophies and the art of effective customer service. He is frequently quoted in the press on gaming and hospitality topics and currently writes editorial copy for Casino Life Magazine. He has also written for Global Gaming Business Magazine and is a former member of the Editorial Advisory Board for Casino Enterprise Management Magazine.

In 2010, Mr. Ambrose took his gaming experience into higher education. As a University Instructor of Gaming & Hospitality he taught, engaged and researched the next generation while continuing his involvement with his gaming industry network.  With the help and collaboration of some great casino industry people he was able to develop both a gaming training lab and enhance the curriculum at a Pennsylvania University. He has also instructed for Fairleigh Dickinson, Rowan, and Drexel University. Bob has instructed courses in Casino Management, Casino Marketing, Casino Law, Tourism and Customer Service. 

A career interview with Mr. Ambrose is housed in the Slot Management Oral History Project Interview Series 2017, at the University of Las Vegas Library. Excerpts will also be available in book form along with other industry executives in the near future.

He is passionate about music, art and photography. He has walked in the foot-steps of his favorite composer, Antonio Vivaldi’ in Venice and always carries a camera to capture those one-time special moments.

Ruotao Mao

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Violinist Ruotao Mao is an active soloist, chamber musician while holding numerous concertmaster posts in the tri-state area. His playing was described by The Classical New Jersey as "virtuoso display of world-class magnitude." and "The level of playing has reached far beyond mere technical competence." A native of Beijing, China, Mr. Mao graduated from the New England Conservatory of Music with “distinction in performance” award. He earned his Master Degree in Music from the Mason Gross School of the Arts where he studied under violinist Arnold Sternhardt of the Guarneri String Quartet. He also studied with Dorothy Delay, Paul Kantor and Masuko Ushioda.

As a chamber musician, he is one of the founding members of the former Beijing Piano Quartet, winner of “Artists International Chamber Music Series” with appearances in Weill Hall of Carnegie Hall and Alice Tully Hall of Lincoln Center and also the highly acclaimed Amabile String Quartet, the quartet-in-residence at Rutgers University(2000 and 2001). As a soloist, he appeared with orchestras such as the Jupiter Symphony, NEC Symphony, Corelliard Chamber Orchestra, the Brunswick Symphony Orchestra, Riverside Symphonia, Edison

Symphony, the Philadelphia Virtuosi Chamber Orchestra, Bay-Atlantic Symphony, Arcadian Symphony Orchestra and Rutgers University Orchestra among many others. In 2004, Mr. Mao premiered a violin concerto by Ernie Stires in Stern Auditorium of Carnegie Hall. He had performance tours in Korea and Colombia, South America. He performed on WNYC, WETS and WDVR-FM broadcasts and is a recording artist for the CRI and Beijing Broadcast Labels. Mr. Mao also serves as the concertmaster of the Riverside Symphonia, the Bay-Atlantic Symphony and the Glimmerglass Opera Orchestra. Mr. Mao has taught violin and chamber music at The College of New Jersey (2003-2015) and at Princeton University.

Lauren Snouffer

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Recognized for her unique artistic curiosity in world-class performances spanning the music of Claudio Monteverdi and Johann Adolph Hasse through to György Ligeti and George Benjamin, American Lauren Snouffer is celebrated as one of the most versatile and respected sopranos on the international stage. 

Opera performances of the current season fortify the soprano’s position as one of the eminent interpreters of contemporary music.  Lauren Snouffer assays the title role of Berg’s Lulu in a new production at the Teatro Municipal de Santiago conducted by Juan Pablo Izquierdo and directed by Mariame Clément and she reprises her acclaimed portrayal of Agnès in George Benjamin’s Written on Skin for Opera Philadelphia’s new production.  Furthermore, she creates principal soprano roles in the world premieres of Houston Grand Opera’s The House Without A Christmas Tree, written by Ricky Ian Gordon in a new production by James Robinson, and in Andrew Norman’s A Trip to the Moon presented by the Los Angeles Philharmonic and directed by Yuval Sharon.  Equally celebrated in roles of the traditional opera canon, Lauren Snouffer returns to the stage of the Lyric Opera of Chicago in a new production of Orphée et Eurydice directed and choreographed by John Neumeier under the baton of Harry Bicket and Mozart heroines include Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni with Stefano Montanari conducting the Moscow Chamber Orchestra and Pamina in Die Zauberflöte with Krzysztof Urbański and the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra.  Additional concert performances include Mozart’s Requiem with The Cleveland Orchestra and Barber’s Knoxville: Summer of 1915 and Mahler’s Fourth Symphony with the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra.

A dynamic concert schedule in 2016-17 included Bach’s Johannes-Passion with Franz Welser-Möst and the Cleveland Orchestra, Mozart’s Requiem with Cristian Macelaru and the Rotterdam Philharmonic, Handel’s Messiah with Patrick Dupré Quigley and the San Francisco Symphony, and Carmina Burana with Krzysztof Urbański and the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra.  No less impressive was her operatic diary which included Die Zauberflöte at Seattle Opera, A Little Night Music with Des Moines Metro Opera, Handel’s Arminio for the Badisches Staatstheater Karlsruhe, and Béatrice et Bénédict at the Théâtre du Capitole de Toulouse.

Highlights of past seasons include Houston Grand Opera performances of Le nozze di Figaro conducted by Harry Bicket in a production by Michael Grandage as well as presentations of Carousel, Show Boat, The Rape of Lucretia, and L’italiana in Algeri, Lyric Opera of Chicago productions of Rusalka and La clemenza di Tito, a Seattle Opera debut as La Comtesse Adèle in Rossini’s Le comte Ory conducted by Giacomo Sagripanti, The Magic Flute at the Lyric Opera of Kansas City, and Max Emanuel Cencic’s new production of Hasse’s Siroe at the Opéra Royal de Versailles, with further performances in Budapest and Vienna.

Lauren Snouffer joined Markus Stenz and the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra for performances of Beethoven’s Egmont, Harry Christophers and the Handel & Haydn Society of Boston in Mozart’s Requiem, Franz Welser-Möst and The Cleveland Orchestra for Brahms’ Ein deutsches Requiem and concert performances of Strauss’ Daphne, and she dazzled as Cunegonde in concert performances of Bernstein’s Candide with Marin Alsop and the Orquestra Sinfônica do Estado de São Paulo. 

Closely associated with George Benjamin’s Written on Skin, she has sung the lead soprano role under the composer’s baton at the Tanglewood Festival of Contemporary Music and with the Théâtre du Capitole de Toulouse.  She has sung Ligeti’s Mysteries of the Macabre with the Aspen Contemporary Ensemble and has given the New York premiere of HK Gruber’s Gloria – A Pig Tale with Alan Gilbert  and the New York Philharmonic in a production staged by Doug Fitch.

An impactful discography includes Hasse’s Siroe and Handel’s Ottone with George Petrou for Decca, Gottschalk’s Requiem for the Living with Vladimir Lande on Novona Records, Grantham’s La cancíon desesperada conducted by Craig Hella Johnson on Harmonia Mundi, and Feldman’s The Rothko Chapel with Steven Schick for ECM.

A graduate of the Houston Grand Opera Studio, Lauren Snouffer was a winner of a 2013 Sara Tucker Study Grant from the Richard Tucker Music Foundation, a Richard F. Gold Career Grant bestowed by Houston Grand Opera, a grand finalist in the 2012 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, and was graduated from Rice University and The Juilliard School.

Harvey Kesselman

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Harvey Kesselman is the fifth President of Stockton University.  He has more than 35 years of experience in higher education and is a tenured Professor in Stockton’s School of Education.

As Stockton's fifth President, Dr. Kesselman is responsible for the executive management and conduct of the University's administrative divisions, academic schools, supervisory departments, and instructional sites.  President Kesselman oversees a $228 million budget which serves 1200 faculty and staff and supports 8700 students enrolled in more than 50 undergraduate and graduate programs.

Dr. Kesselman’s other senior leadership roles at Stockton have included:  Provost and Executive Vice President, Dean of the School of Education, Interim Vice President for Administration and Finance, Vice President for Student Affairs, and Director of Institutional Research and Planning.

President Kesselman was recently appointed by the American Council on Education (ACE) to serve as a member of the Commission on Internationalization and Global Engagement (CIGE).  In 2016, he received the Giving Back Award from INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine, the largest and oldest diversity and inclusion publication in higher education.  The Giving Back Award honors presidents and chancellors of colleges and universities who go above and beyond their everyday leadership duties and “give back” to their campuses and communities. 

Dr. Kesselman has been active in the New Jersey educational landscape for several years.  He has been appointed by New Jersey governors and state education leaders to provide expertise on several authorities, committees and task forces.  Currently, he serves on the Goals and Objectives Committee of the New Jersey Association of State Colleges and Universities (NJASCU), and is the co-chair of the Board of Directors for the New Jersey Campus Compact.

As a former member of the Executive Committee of the Higher Education Student Assistance Authority (HESAA), Dr. Kesselman helped oversee New Jersey's $1 billion student financial aid program.  He also provided his expertise on the Governor's Task Force to improve the NJ STARS program, and helped develop the NJ Student Unit Record Enrollment (SURE) statewide data and monitoring system.

He has advised the New Jersey College and University Presidents' Council regarding accountability and assessment, and represented the senior public colleges and universities in the NJ Committee of Experts on Campus Sexual Assault Issues.  In addition, he founded and chaired the SRI & ETTC Consortium, which includes more than 90 school districts throughout New Jersey.

Dr. Kesselman has served on numerous national grant reviews, authored and promoted policies for legislation, maintains a strong record of successful grant preparation, and continues to serve as a consultant.  He is actively involved in his community, including elected positions on the Township Committee and the School Board, and appointed positions to numerous public and civic organizations.

President Kesselman received his bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Stockton, his master’s degree in Student Personnel Services/Counseling from Rowan University, and his doctorate in Higher Education Administration from Widener University.

Onadek Winan

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Parisian soprano, Onadek Winan is a master’s candidate at Juilliard, where she studies with Edith Bers. She made her opera debut with the Radio France Philharmonic Orchestra at age 15. She has performed in Charpentier’s Actéon with William Christie, as Bastienne in Mozart’s Bastien und Bastienne with the Massy Opera house, and made her Alice Tully Hall, Carnegie Hall and Avignon opera house debuts. She also made her debut with the Baltimore Symphonic Orchestra and conductor Marin Alsop. Recently she was Poppea in Handel's Agrippina at Juilliard and made her recital debut at the Festival de l'Orangerie de Sceaux in France. She spent summers at Houston Grand Opera and Wolf Trap Opera where she sang Zerbinetta in Strauss Ariadne auf Naxos and Ophélie in Ambroise Thomas Hamlet. Upcoming she’ll be Feu, Princesse and Rossignol in a production of Ravel’s l’Enfant et les sortilèges at Alice Tully Hall and will be the title role in Juilliard’s production of Rameau’s Hippolyte et Aricie. She won the Jury’s Prize in the International Singing Competition of Marmande, first prize in Les Maîtres du chant Français, and Most Promising Singer Prize in the Canari Vocal Competition. She has been named by the Juilliard School 2015 Presser Scholar in recognition of outstanding achievement as a music major. Ms. Winan is a graduate of École Normale de Musique and the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique. Ms. Winan is a proud recipient of the Kovner Fellowship.

Andrea McArdle


ANDREA McARDLE first captured the hearts of theatergoers everywhere in 1977 when she originated the title role in the mega-musical ANNIE, based on the popular Harold Gray comic strip “Little Orphan Annie”.  Since then, she has starred in several Broadway musicals and appeared in theatres in New York, nationally and internationally.  She has performed in concert halls from Carnegie Hall  to the Hong Kong Philharmonic and casino hotels in both Las Vegas and Atlantic City.  She has honed her craft by working with some of the great legends of the entertainment industry such as Ethel Merman, Liza Minnelli, Julie Andrews, Bob Hope, Liberace, Frank Sinatra, Steve Martin and Martin Short, to name a few, and was privileged to have appeared on television with Johnny Carson, Merv Griffin and Dinah Shore.


As “Annie”, Andrea became the youngest performer ever to be nominated for a Tony Award as Best Lead Actress in a Musical.  She also received the Theater World and Outer Critics' Circle Awards for her performance and went on to star when the show was produced on London’s West End. (Fun fact: Catherine Zeta-Jones played young orphan Mollie in this production).


Coming full circle, Andrea was tapped by Academy Award nominated director Rob Marshall to appear as “The Star to Be” in the Disney/ABC television production of ANNIE starring Kathy Bates and Victor Garber.   And in the summer of 2010, Andrea played, yes, Miss Hannigan in a production at the North Carolina Theatre and at Musical Theatre West in California.


Also on Broadway, Andrea starred in the Jerry Herman musical JERRY’s GIRLS alongside Carol Channing and Leslie Uggams; she portrayed the sassy Smoking Car, Ashley, in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s STARLIGHT EXPRESSS; and starred as Margy Frake in STATE FAIR; as Fantine in LES MISERABLES and, most recently as Belle in Disney’s BEAUTY AND THE BEAST.  She toured nationally starring as Sally Bowles in CABARET and as Eponine in LES MISERABLES and appeared as herself in THE VAGINA MONOLOGUES, which she appeared in Off-Broadway as well. 

Andrea appeared Off-Broadway in the satirical NEWSICAL and regionally as the title role in MAME and HELLO DOLLY.  Andrea continues to tour around the country in the concert event, 4 GIRLS 4 with Maureen McGovern, Donna McKechnie and Faith Prince.  Other theatre appearances include starring as Esther, the Judy Garland role, in MEET ME IN ST. LOUIS; Mrs. Johnstone in BLOOD BROTHERS, Penelope Pennywise in URINETOWN, Sonia in THEY’RE PLAYING OUR SONG; Luisa in THE FANTASTICKS; Eva Peron in EVITA;  Nancy in OLIVER; the Narrator in JOSEPH AND THE AMAZING TECHNICOLOR DREAMCOAT; Annie Oakley in ANNIE GET YOUR GUN,  Sandy in GREASE and as Mama Rose in GYPSY. 

In addition to ANNIE, Andrea’s film and television credits include starring as Judy Garland in RAINBOW, appearing in THE LEADING LADIES OF BROADWAY on PBS, ALL MY CHILDREN on ABC and headlining her own PBS special ANDREA McARDLE ON BROADWAY.

Cheryl O’Hara

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A life-long summer resident of Avalon, Cheryl became a year-round resident upon her retirement in 2012.  She is a graduate of Lafayette College (BA Biology) and the State University of New York at Binghamton (MBA Marketing and Organizational Design). 

For most of her career, Cheryl was a professor in the McGowan School of Business of King's College (Wilkes-Barre, PA), teaching in the fields of marketing and business. Her primary research and publication areas were curriculum and assessment of learning. She was one of the leaders in the design of King's nationally recognized curriculum assessment process, and served as a consultant to many other colleges. Cheryl also served as Associate Dean for Continuous Improvement while at King's.  In this position, she spearheaded the accreditation efforts for the School of Business.  She authored the successful accreditation report for the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB). While at King's, she also attended a five day intensive grant writing training program, and wrote several successful small grants for non-profits. 

Upon leaving King’s and relocating to the Washington DC area, Cheryl worked in the Institutional Research Office at Hood College (Frederick, MD), where she oversaw the implementation of their competency-based curriculum assessment plan. During that time, she also served as an adjunct faculty member, teaching business writing.

Prior to retiring, and after spending her entire professional career working in the non-profit sector, Cheryl earned a certificate in Culinary Arts from L’Academie de Cuisine in Gaithersburg, Maryland .  She developed and operated a successful personal chef business in the Washington DC metro area for five years.

Throughout her career, Cheryl has been active on several non-profit boards, including the Junior League of Wilkes Barre (treasurer, vice president, president) and Women Business Owners of Montgomery County (secretary).  She also served as a research consultant to the board of Tyler Memorial Hospital (Tunkhannock, PA).  Currently, in addition to being a Board member of the Bay Atlantic Symphony, Cheryl is a member of the Advisory Council for RSVP (Retired Senior Volunteer Program) for Cape May County and is the current President of the Avalon Book Club.  Cheryl’s other interests include photography, all things related to food, and traveling with her husband Chuck.

Luosha Fang

Violinist and violist Luosha Fang is an artist of unusual imagination who brings an adventurous spirit to music ranging from canonical repertoire to world premieres. She has soloed with the Albany Symphony, American Symphony Orchestra, Louisville Orchestra, West Virginia Symphony, and Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra and was a winner of Astral’s 2013 National Auditions and S&R Foundation’s 2015 Washington Award.

Fang’s 2016–17 season includes Prokofiev’s Violin Concerto No. 2 with the Bay-Atlantic Symphony, as well as performances -- as both solo violinist and solo violist -- of the Mozart Sinfonia Concertante, with the Suzhou Royal Chamber Orchestra in China (violin) and in the Auditorio Nacional de Música in Madrid, Spain, under Pablo Gonzalez (viola). She has recently performed the complete Ligeti Viola Sonata at Bard Music West in San Francisco, and will appear in Navah Perlman’s Lake Placid Pro-Musica Chamber Music Series, Kimberton Chamber Music Festival and Viviane Hagner's Krzyżowa-Music in August 2017. Later, she will participate in the Music from Marlboro Chamber Music Festival tour (2019).

Ms. Fang has a strong interest in championing contemporary works. She performed George Tsontakis' double concerto Unforgettable with the Albany Symphony Orchestra, with whom she also recorded the work for release on NAXOS Records. She worked closely with composer Krzysztof Penderecki in preparation for a March 2014 Carnegie Hall performance of his Sextet. She also premiered Chinese composer Shen Yiwen’s violin concerto "Mulan" with the American Symphony Orchestra Recently, she appeared in recitals at Bard College and in Philadelphia, premiering a newly-commissioned solo violin work by Michael Djupstrom, “Lautar.” She also presented a concert of solo violin works by Jeffrey Mumford at Spectrum NYC.

A winner of the 2015 S&R Foundation Washington Award, Ms. Fang also was awarded the Silver Medal at the prestigious 2010 Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition as the first violinist of the Chimeng Quartet, of which she was a founding member. As a chamber musician, she has appeared in leading concert halls such as Carnegie Hall, Kennedy Center, Kimmel Center and the Library of Congress. Her festival appearances include Marlboro, Ravinia, Norfolk, Aspen, Kneisel Hall, Music from Angel Fire, Incontri in Terra di Siena, and Bard, and she has worked with such musicians as Mitsuko Uchida, Nobuko Imai, Bruno Canino, Cynthia Raim, Benita Valente, Marina Piccinini, Peter Wiley, Ida Kavafian, Steven Tenenbom, Paul Katz, Hsin-Yun Huang, Roberto Diaz, Anna Polonsky, eighth blackbird, and members of the Guarneri and Juilliard string quartets between 2010-2016. In addition, she was a guest artist with the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra and the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra.

Fang made her concert debut at the age of eight in China with Mozart’s Violin Concerto No. 3, and at sixteen moved from China to the US on a scholarship to the Bard College Conservatory of Music, where she studied with Ida Kavafian and Arnold Steinhardt. After graduating from Bard with degrees in both violin and Russian studies, she attended the Curtis Institute of Music as a student of Ida Kavafian and Shmuel Ashkenasi. She also studied with Anatoly Reznikovsky at the St. Petersburg Conservatory, and in 2016 began viola studies with Nobuko Imai and violin with Marco Rizzi at the Escuela Superior de Música Reina Sofía in Madrid. Always in pursuit of new artistic frontiers, she collaborated with the Almanac Dance Circus Theatre and the Bill T Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company, and studied acting and theater at Bard College and the University of Pennsylvania.

Ruotao Mao

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Violinist Ruotao Mao is an active soloist, chamber musician while holding numerous concertmaster posts in the tri-state area. His playing was described by The Classical New Jersey as "virtuoso display of world-class magnitude." and "The level of playing has reached far beyond mere technical competence." A native of Beijing, China, Mr. Mao graduated from the New England Conservatory of Music with “distinction in performance” award. He earned his Master Degree in Music from the Mason Gross School of the Arts where he studied under violinist Arnold Sternhardt of the Guarneri String Quartet. He also studied with Dorothy Delay, Paul Kantor and Masuko Ushioda. As a chamber musician, he is one of the founding members of the former Beijing Piano Quartet, winner of “Artists International Chamber Music Series” with appearances in Weill Hall of Carnegie Hall and Alice Tully Hall of Lincoln Center and also the highly acclaimed Amabile String Quartet, the quartet-in-residence at Rutgers University(2000 and 2001). As a soloist, he appeared with orchestras such as the Jupiter Symphony, NEC Symphony, Corelliard Chamber Orchestra, the Brunswick Symphony Orchestra, Riverside Symphonia, Edison Symphony, the Philadelphia Virtuosi Chamber Orchestra, Bay-Atlantic Symphony, Arcadian Symphony Orchestra and Rutgers University Orchestra among many others. In 2004, Mr. Mao premiered a violin concerto by Ernie Stires in Stern Auditorium of Carnegie Hall. He had performance tours in Korea and Colombia, South America. He performed on WNYC, WETS and WDVR-FM broadcasts and is a recording artist for the CRI and Beijing Broadcast Labels. Mr. Mao also serves as the concertmaster of the Delaware Valley Philharmonic Orchestra, Riverside Symphonia, the Bay-Atlantic Symphony and most recently, the Glimmerglass Opera Orchestra. Mr. Mao has taught violin and chamber music at The College of New Jersey and Princeton University.

Angelo Xiang Yu

Winner of the prestigious Yehudi Menuhin International Violin Competition in 2010, violinist Angelo Xiang Yu is regarded as one of today’s most talented and creative young violinists. His astonishing technique and exceptional musical talent have won him consistent critical acclaim and enthusiastic audience response worldwide for his solo recitals, orchestral engagements and chamber music performances.

In addition to winning First Prize as well as the Bach and Audience Prizes at the Menuhin Competition, Mr. Yu was awarded 3rd prize at the Michael Hill International Violin Competition in 2011 and was the youngest prize winner ever at the Wieniawski International Violin Competition in 2006. And in March 2017, he was chosen to participate in the prestigious Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center’s CMS Two program, beginning with the 18/19 season.

In North America, Angelo Xiang Yu’s recent and upcoming orchestral engagements include appearances with the Pittsburgh, Toronto, Vancouver and Houston symphonies, as well as with the North Carolina, Alabama, Charlotte, Rhode Island, Puerto Rico, Grand Rapids, Toledo, Modesto, Tucson, Elgin, Binghamton and Lake Forest symphonies. In the summer of 2016, he participated for the second season in a row in Portland, Oregon’s Chamber Music Northwest festival and made his debut at the Green Music Center Chamberfest in Sonoma, California. Internationally, he has appeared with the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra, Auckland Philharmonia, Munich Chamber Orchestra and Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra.

An active recitalist and chamber musician, Mr. Yu has appeared in recital in Berlin, Paris, Beijing, Singapore, Shanghai, Auckland, Chicago, Pittsburgh and Boston. He has participated as a chamber musician in several of the world’s leading summer music festivals including the Verbier Festival in Switzerland, Bergen Festival in Norway and Chicago’s Ravinia Festival, and attended the Kronberg Academy in Germany and the Perlman Music Program in New York. During the 12/13 season, Mr. Yu was invited to tour with Miriam Fried and chamber musicians from the Ravinia Festival’s Steans Institute and performed concerts in New York, Chicago, Florida and throughout New England. He was also recently featured as the Artist in Residence on American Public Media’s nationally broadcast radio program Performance Today.

Born in Inner Mongolia China, Angelo Xiang Yu moved to Shanghai at the age of 11 and received his early training from violinist Qing Zheng at the Shanghai Conservatory. Mr. Yu earned his Bachelor’s and Master's degree at the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston, where he was the recipient of the Irene M. Stare Presidential Scholarship in Violin. He was a student of Donald Weilerstein, Miriam Fried and Kim Kashkashian, served as Mr. Weilerstein’s teaching assistant, and was the only instrumentalist invited to be a candidate for NEC’s prestigious Artist Diploma, which he was awarded in May 2014.


Jorge Ávila

Hailed as “a strong violinist” by the New York Times, violinist Jorge Ávila has appeared as a soloist, recitalist, concertmaster and chamber musician in Europe, the United States, and Central and South America, including as a soloist and co-concertmaster with the Bay Atlantic Symphony.

He made his Carnegie Hall concerto debut in 2012 with the Distinguished Concerts International New York (DCINY) Orchestra and performed Beethoven’s Violin Concerto with the Ridgefield Symphony Orchestra the previous year.

In the New York City area, he has also appeared as a soloist with the Colonial Symphony Orchestra, Riverside Orchestra, Hofstra Symphony, New Amsterdam Symphony, City Island Chamber Orchestra, and The Bronx Arts Ensemble.

As a concertmaster, he has appeared, in addition to the Bay Atlantic Symphony, with the Stamford Symphony, Greenwich Symphony, Colonial Symphony Orchestra, Westfield Symphony, Oratorio Society, Musica Sacra, Philharmonia Virtuosi, St. Grace Church Orchestra, Gotham Opera, National Chorale, Verismo Opera, José Limón Dance Company,  Sonos Chamber Orchestra, Bachanalia, the New Amsterdam Symphony, Tanglewood Music Center, and the Mannes College of Music Orchestra . He is also concertmaster of the Ridgefield Symphony in Connecticut, Long Island Masterworks, Distinguished Concerts International New York, and the Patrick’s Cathedral Orchestra, among other groups in New York City. During the visit to New York of Pope Benedict XVI to New York in 2008, Ávila had the honor of appearing as concertmaster for His Holiness, Pope Benedict XVI at a televised Mass held at Yankee Stadium.

Ávila is a founding member of the Chalfonte Quartet and, as a chamber musician, performs with the Bronx Arts Ensemble, Simon String Quartet, Abaca String Band, Willow Ensemble, Prism Ensemble, Musicians’ Accord, and the St. Luke’s Chamber Ensemble.

He made his solo Weill Recital Hall debut at Carnegie Hall in 2009, in a recital featuring music from his CD of Spanish sonatas for violin and piano on the Centaur label.

Ávila has also performed in several Broadway productions, including the onstage violinist in The Music Man, and in the orchestras of The Scarlet PimpernelAidaAnnie Get Your GunThe Producers, and, most recently, South PacificWest Side Story, and Wicked.

He has recorded for the Naxos, Nonesuch, and Centaur labels, among others, and has performed live on television and radio.

Born in Honduras, Ávila has been the recipient of numerous awards and honors and received his resident status in the United States under the “Extraordinary Talent” category. He was also awarded first prize in the 2001 Mu Phi Epsilon International Music Competition.

Nurit Bar-Josef

Nurit Bar-Josef was appointed Concertmaster of the National Symphony Orchestra in 2001 (then the youngest such appointee to a major U.S. orchestra) by Maestro Leonard Slatkin.  She was previously Assistant Concertmaster of the Boston Symphony Orchestra and Boston Pops from 1998-2001 and Assistant Principal Second Violin of the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra from 1997-1998.  She studied with Aaron Rosand at The Curtis Institute of Music and continued her studies at the Juilliard School with Robert Mann.

Ms. Bar-Josef’s solo appearances have included the National Symphony, Boston Symphony, Boston Pops, St. Louis Symphony, National Philharmonic, and Britt Festival Orchestras, among others.  An active chamber musician, she has performed at the Seattle Chamber Music Festival, Bay Chamber Festival (ME) and Aspen Music Festival, and festivals in Tanglewood, Portland (ME), Kingston (RI), Steamboat Springs, Garth Newel, and Caramoor, where she performed piano quartets with Andre Previn at his Rising Stars Festival.  She was a founding member of the Kennedy Center Chamber Players for nine years, and is a founding member of the Dryden Quartet.

Ms. Bar-Josef has been a featured guest on National Public Radio’s Weekend Edition and has had the honor of performing at the White House with Maestro Christoph Eschenbach.  She is currently playing on a J.B. Vuillaume dated 1871, generously on loan to her from the Library of Congress. 

Nurit resides in the Washington, DC area and enjoys long bike rides and hiking with her husband and dog in her free time.  

Jonathan Carney

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BSO Concertmaster Jonathan Carney is in his 16th season with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, after 12 seasons in the same position with London's Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.

Born in New Jersey, Mr. Carney hails from a musical family with all six members having graduated from The Juilliard School. After completing his studies with Ivan Galamian and Christine Dethier, he was awarded a Leverhulme Fellowship to continue his studies in London at the Royal College of Music.

After enjoying critically acclaimed international tours as both concertmaster and soloist with numerous ensembles, Mr. Carney was invited by Vladimir Ashkenazy to become concertmaster of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in 1991. He was also appointed concertmaster of the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra in 1994 and the Basque National Orchestra in 1996. Recent solo performances have included concertos by Bruch, Korngold, Khatchaturian, Sibelius, Nielsen, the Brahms Double Concerto and Vaughan Williams' The Lark Ascending, which was featured as a live BBC broadcast from London's Barbican Hall. He has made a number of recordings, including concertos by Mozart, Vivaldi and Nielsen, sonatas by Brahms, Beethoven and Franck, and a disc of virtuoso works of by Sarasate and Kreisler with his mother Gloria Carney as pianist. New releases include Beethoven’s Archduke and Ghost trios, the cello quintet of Schubert and a Dvorak disc with the Terzetto and four Romantic pieces for violin.

Mr. Carney is passionate about music education and currently serves as Artistic Director for the Maryland Classic Youth Orchestras. He is also an artist in residence at the Baltimore School for the Arts, one of the country's premier high schools and also serves on its Board of Directors.

Jonathan is presently on the faculty of the Brevard Music Center, an intensive seven-week summer music festival in the mountains of western North Carolina.  As a sought after clinician he also gives master classes throughout the United States and abroad.

Mr. Carney performs on a 1687 Stradivarius, the Mercur-Avery, on which he uses "Vision" strings by Thomastik-Infeld. Mr.Carney's string sponsor is Connolly & Co., exclusive U.S. importer of Thomastik-Infeld strings.

Felix Hell

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A native of Germany, Felix Hell is one of the most sought after concert organists in the world. He has been featured as a recitalist and concerto soloist in more than 850 concerts throughout North America, Europe, Asia and Australia. The American Organist raved that he “sets standards that older and honored players would struggle to equal.”

Felix Hell’s discography includes 10 CDs. His most recent recording features music for Organ and Symphony Orchestra by Barber, Guilmant and Jongen. His recordings are frequently broadcast throughout the United States and across the world; he has appeared on television globally.

His project “Music Across America” allows him to travel with his own Touring Organ, performing organ concertos and recitals in spaces that do not house pipe organs, liberating the instrument from its historic confines.

Felix Hell is known for his diverse and innovative programming, drawing upon a repertoire encompassing five centuries. Furthermore, he has received global recognition for his marathon performances of the entire organ works of J.S. Bach, which encompass about 250 compositions and close to 20 hours of performance time. He has since performed the complete Bach cycle four times, most recently in in 2013 in Seoul, Korea.

Mr. Hell is an avid supporter of new music for organ and frequently collaborates with composers.

Felix Hell studied at the Juilliard School in New York, the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia (BM), the Peabody Institute in Baltimore (AD, MM, DMA). In 2007, he received Johns Hopkins University’s prestigious Outstanding Graduate Award.

Mr. Hell holds positions of Organ Artist Associate at Saint Peter’s Lutheran Church in Manhattan, Distinguished Organist-in-Residence at the Lutheran Theological Seminary in Gettysburg, and Adjunct Professor of Organ at the Sunderman Conservatory in Gettysburg, PA. In 2011, Felix Hell was appointed Distinguished Visiting Artist at Kosin University in Busan, South Korea

Stefan Jackiw

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Violinist Stefan Jackiw is recognized as one of his generation’s most significant artists, captivating audiences with playing that combines poetry and purity with an impeccable technique. Hailed for playing of "uncommon musical substance" that is “striking for its intelligence and sensitivity” (Boston Globe), Jackiw has appeared as soloist with the Boston, Chicago, Cleveland, New York, Philadelphia, and San Francisco symphony orchestras, among others.

Last season Stefan Jackiw performed Prokofiev's Second Violin Concerto at Carnegie Hall with Mikhail Pletnev, before embarking on a multi-city tour with the Russian National Orchestra. He also appeared in recital with acclaimed pianist Jeremy Denk performing Ives Violin Sonatas. In Europe, Stefan returned to Amsterdam's Concertgebouw with the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic, and made his debut with Orchestre Philharmonique du Luxembourg. And in Asia, he appeared for the first time with the Tokyo Symphony at Suntory Hall under the direction of Krzysztof Urbanski, and returned to the Seoul Philharmonic under Mario Venzago. He also toured Korea, playing chamber music with Gidon Kremer and Kremerata Baltica. 

This season, Stefan will appear on tour throughout North America, including performances with the Vancouver Symphony, Kansas City Symphony, Oregon Symphony, Grand Rapids Symphony, and New Jersey Symphony. He will also perform with Juraj Valčuha both with the Philharmonia Orchestra and RAI Turin Orchestra. Tours in Europe, will also take Stefan back to the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic with Ludovic Morlot, and to the Helsinki Philharmonic and Bern Symphony with Mario Venzago, and to the Munich Symphony. Further afield, he will appear on tour with the Royal Flemish Philharmonic in Shanghai and Mumbai. This season he also records Ives violin Sonata with Jeremy Denk for Nonesuch Records, ahead of their North American tour in the 2017-18 season. Previous recordings include the complete Brahms Sonatas for Sony, hailed by Fanfare as “now the recording of the Brahms sonatas to have”. 

In recent seasons, Stefan toured Australia playing Mendelssohn with the Australian Chamber Orchestra, and gave the world premiere of American composer David Fulmer’s Violin Concerto No 2 “Jubilant Arcs”, written for him and commissioned by the Heidelberg Festival with the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie under Matthias Pintscher. Other recent highlights include performances with the St. Louis Symphony under Nicholas McGegan, and with the Rotterdam Philharmonic under Yannick Nézet-Séguin, and performances with the Indianapolis Symphony under Krzysztof Urbanski, and the Pittsburgh Symphony under Juraj Valcuha.

Jackiw is also an active recitalist and chamber musician. He has performed in numerous important festivals and concert series, including the Aspen Music Festival, Ravinia Festival, and Caramoor International Music Festival, the Celebrity Series of Boston, New York’s Mostly Mozart Festival, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Washington Performing Arts Society and the Louvre Recital Series in Paris. As a chamber musician, Jackiw has collaborated with such artists as Jeremy Denk, Steven Isserlis, Yo-Yo Ma, and Gil Shaham. At the opening night of Carnegie Hall’s Zankel Hall in New York, Jackiw was the only young artist invited to perform, playing alongside such artists as Emanuel Ax, Renée Fleming, Evgeny Kissin, and James Levine.  
Born in 1985 to physicist parents of Korean and German descent, Stefan Jackiw began playing the violin at the age of four. His teachers have included Zinaida Gilels, Michèle Auclair, and Donald Weilerstein. He holds a Bachelor of Arts from Harvard University, as well as an Artist Diploma from the New England Conservatory, and is the recipient of a prestigious Avery Fisher Career Grant. He lives in New York City.

Lukáš Vondráček

The indisputable winner of the International Queen Elisabeth Piano Competition 2016, Lukáš Vondráček made his first public appearance at the age of four. His debut as a fifteen-year-old in 2002 with the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra and Vladimir Ashkenazy was followed by a major US tour in 2003. His natural and assured musicality and remarkable technical ability have long marked him out as a gifted and mature musician. He has worked with conductors including Paavo Järvi, Gianandrea Noseda, Marin Alsop, Christoph Eschenbach, Pietari Inkinen, Vasily Petrenko, Jakub Hrůša, Anu Tali, Xian Zhang, Krzysztof Urbanski, Stéphane Denève and Alexander Lazarev.

Highlights of the 2016/17 season include concerts with the Philadelphia Orchestra, Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra, Orchestre national de Belgique, Orchestre Philharmonique du Luxembourg, Orquesta de Gran Canaria, St. Petersburg Philharmonic, Orchestre Philharmonique Royal de Liège and a return to the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra. He will tour Brazil, India and appear in recitals in Hong Kong, Leipzig Gewandhaus, Prague’s Rudolfinum and Klavier-Festival Ruhr.

Recent recitals have taken Lukáš to London’s Wigmore Hall, New York’s Carnegie Hall, Zurich’s Tonhalle, Vienna’s Konzerthaus, Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw, Casa da Música in Porto, Palais des Beaux Arts in Brussels, Cité de la Musique in Paris, Auditorio Nacional de Madrid, Washington Performing Arts Society, Boston Celebrity Series as well as Festival La Roque d’Anthéron, Gilmore Festival and the renowned Piano aux Jacobins series in Toulouse amongst others.

He works regularly with ensembles such as the London and Royal Liverpool Philharmonic orchestras, the Philharmonia and Gulbenkian orchestras, Wiener Symphoniker, Tonhalle-Orchester Zürich, Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, NDR Sinfonieorchester Hamburg, NHK Symphony Orchestra, Washington’s National and Cincinnati Symphony orchestras. Recent highlights include a tour of Spain with the Orquesta Sinfónica de Euskadi and a highly successful tour of Australia including appearances with the West Australian and Sydney Symphony orchestras. 

International awards include first prizes at the Hilton Head and San Marino International Piano Competitions and Unisa International Piano Competition in Pretoria, South Africa, as well as the Raymond E. Buck Jury Discretionary Award at the 2009 International Van Cliburn Piano Competition.

Following studies at the Academy of Music in Katowice and the Vienna Conservatoire Lukáš Vondráček obtained an Artist Diploma from Boston's New England Conservatory under the tutelage of Hung-Kuan Chen, graduating with Honours in 2012. 

His first commercial recording, a solo album for Octavia Records, was released in 2004 followed by another recital disc in 2012. His most recent CD, a recording of works by Brahms was released in autumn 2013 on the ORF label.

Kai Gleusteen

Canadian born violinist, Kai Gleusteen started at the age of five years old in his native city, Calgary. Early on, he met with success in national music competitions in addition to receiving top academic awards. Already at a young age, he had the opportunity to study with the most renowned violinists and teachers of his time, including Nathan Milstein, Ivan Galamian, Josef Gingold, Dorothy Delay, and Zakhar Bron. By the age of seventeen, Kai was awarded the top prize in the Commonwealth Concerto Competition in Australia, he had received the prestigious Skene Award in Scotland and had formed his first chamber orchestra: The Group of Twelve.

A strong believer in the musician as a multi-dimensional human being, Kai chose to combine his musical studies with academic pursuits. At the University of Michigan, he studied anthropology, geophysics, and philosophy. He received a Master’s Degree from Rice University under the tutelage of the person who would become his greatest inspiration on both a personal and musical level, the violinist Camilla Wicks.

In 1991, Kai moved to Europe to live in the heart of Western culture. Paris and Prague were his bases for nine years, allowing him to develop and perform both as a soloist and leader of numerous orchestras. In the year 2000, he won the concertmaster position of the Orchestra ‘del Gran Teatre del Liceu’ and subsequently moved to Barcelona. In 2003, he created the Gran Teatre del Liceu Chamber Orchestra and was appointed professor at the Escuela Superior de Musica de Catalunya. He continues to perform extensively as a soloist and a recitalist throughout Europe, North America and China and has released numerous critically acclaimed recordings.

Since 2011, Kai has devoted has founded a festival of chamber music, called Kaimerata Concerts, in which he chooses one composer per season and shares his knowledge and passion of the works with the audience, by explaing, demonstrating, and performing the selected works.  After a seven successful seasons in Spain, Kaimerata Concerts has now a second home on Denman Island in the summer.  More details on

Kai has the great fortune to play on a violin made by J.B. Guadagnini, "El Tigre" made in 1781.

Catherine Ordronneau

"Une pianiste pas comme les autres.” These were the words of Pierre Petit, the well-known critique of the Figaro, after a performance of Catherine Ordronneau.

Although she performed her first solo concert at age 12, it is only when she turned 18 that she decided to devote herself entirely to music, receiving guidance from French pianist François-René Duchâble and the pedagogue Monique Deschaussées, herself a student of the great Alfred Cortot.  

After receiving the highest distinction in academics, and the prize of the “Foundation Lefébure,” she chose to avoid international competitions in order to develop an eclectic repertoire and grow as a thoughtful and well-rounded musician. Being a lover of literature and nature, she delivers “mesmerizing interpretation allied to a total musical integrity.” (The Times)

She performs extensively in North America, Europe and China. She was invited to play as a soloist with the Saint Louis Symphony, the Bay Atlantic Symphony, the Toronto Sinfonietta, Orchestra of the Gran Teatre del Liceu in Barcelona, the Lublin Philharmonic in Poland, and the Lebanon Philharmonic Orchestra.  Since 2008, she regularly goes to China and has played in the most prestigious halls, including the Oriental Art Center in Shanghai and the Performing Arts Center in Tianjin. She recorded live for CBC Radio, Bravo, TV2 in Spain, Radio France…

She also loves chamber music and takes part in many chamber music festivals.  She has worked and performed with Canadian violinist Kai Gleusteen for more than 15 years and their discography includes award winning recordings.

Catherine is professor of piano and chamber music in the Liceu Conservatorio Superior de Música.

Esther Yoo

"Can the world take yet another brilliant young female violinist? Yes, if that violinist is Esther Yoo" wrote The Telegraph after the violinist’s performance with the Philharmonia Orchestra in March 2016. Esther Yoo first came to international attention in 2010 when, aged 16, she became the youngest prizewinner of the 10th International Sibelius Violin Competition. In 2012 the American-Korean violinist was also one of the youngest ever prizewinners of the Queen Elisabeth Competition, and since 2014 she has been a BBC Radio 3 New Generation Artist.

In 2016/17, following her first BBC Proms appearance (with the BBC Philharmonic under Alpesh Chuahan), Esther debuts with the Minnesota Orchestra (Osmo Vänskä), Charlotte Symphony (Christopher Warren-Green) and Toronto Symphony Orchestra (Karina Canellakis). She performs with the Karol Szymanowski Philharmonic in Krakow (Charles-Olivieri Munroe) and joins the Deutsche Radio Philharmonie Saarbrücken Kaiserslautern for concerts with Shi Yeon Sung in Germany and Korea. Chamber music appearances include her US recital debut with Robert Koenig at New York’s Lincoln Center, and recitals in the UK and Spain.

Last season saw the release of her debut album by Deutsche Grammophon, of the Glazunov and Sibelius concertos recorded with the Philharmonia Orchestra and Vladimir Ashkenazy.

Aaron Cohen

Aaron is a native of Philadelphia now living in Atlantic City and has made a major commitment to the South Jersey business and philanthropic community over the last 10 years.  Presently the longest sitting Trustee on the Bay-Atlantic Symphony Board and the Chair of Development & Fundraising, Aaron is a Past President and has also previously served as Secretary, Vice President and Chair of Strategic Planning.  He is a life-long audiophile, music lover and collector of rare recordings and has pursued numerous activities in the music and musical instrument industries throughout his adult life.  Aaron also maintains a serious collection of guitars and other musical instruments and plays informally on a regular basis with groups in New York City.   

A graduate of Temple University with post-Baccalaureate work in world affairs and history, Aaron is a very active businessman with ownership and leadership in companies in the title insurance, government contracting, medical technology, alternative energy and music/video/stage production industries.  His company Stage Trip Industries has provided audio, video, lighting and streaming services for many events in all kinds of venues and settings with particular focus on the music, medical, automotive, fashion, non-profit gala and private corporate event sectors as well as for private personal celebrations (weddings, etc.).  In medical technology, Aaron is Chief Executive Officer of a company possessing novel patented therapies for degenerative brain diseases and traumatic brain injury and is co-inventor on several pending patents in cancer immunology.  In alternative energy, he advises and represents a company that has devised a unique non-invasive method for mounting solar panels and other technical equipment to commercial and industrial rooftops; and in musical instruments he has advised numerous instrument manufacturers and is presently engaged in the re-launch of a world-renowned brand of jazz guitars after several decades of inactivity.  

Aaron has also served as a long-time Board member of two condominium homeowners associations in PA and NJ and briefly served as interim President of one of them.  He spent many years throughout the 1980’s and 1990’s in the mortgage and mortgage banking industries, has worked from time to time on Jewish causes, and has been a life-long cyclist and martial artist.