Sheng Cai, piano
Recently described as “The most electrifying soloist of the 2017 season!” by South Coast Today of Massachusetts, USA. Canadian pianist Sheng Cai has embraced the keyboard tradition which epitomizes the greatness of the romantic virtuoso. His performances of major keyboard works of the past centuries have touched audiences and won the praise of critics on four continents.
Now in his early 30s, Sheng Cai has performed a broad spectrum of concerto repertoire with invitations to dozens of orchestras worldwide as guest soloist, in recent seasons he was invited to perform with the Toronto Symphony, Quebec Symphony, Windsor Symphony, Fort Collins Symphony, New Bedford Symphony, Calgary Philharmonic, Ontario Philharmonic, in China with the Shanghai Symphony, Shenzhen Symphony, Harbin Symphony, Sichuan Symphony, as well as with the Erfurt Philharmonic in Germany, Krakow Philharmonic of Poland, in Mexico with Jalisco Philharmonic and Boca del Rio Philharmonic, and the Bogota Philharmonic in Colombia among many others. In Canada, Sheng Cai was also invited by the Vancouver Symphony to perform for the Chinese New Year Gala Concert and has performed with numerous regional orchestras in the US and Canada from coast to coast.
In solo recitals, Sheng Cai has been heard in many prestigious venues in North America, such as Steinway Hall in New York, Chicago’s international Music Center, Jordan Hall in Boston, the Cleveland Play House, the Modern Art Museum in Fort Worth, the Alys Stephens Center in Birmingham, CBC’s Glenn Gould Studio in Toronto, and other distinguished venues in Stratford, Elora, Montreal and Winnipeg. As a chamber musician, Sheng Cai has collaborated with a number of fine artists, including the Enso String Quartet. Many of his performances have been broadcast on CBC Radio Canada and the WCLV Radio station in Cleveland, Ohio, USA. Early in his career as a teenager, he recorded a CD of works by Mozart and Martinu for the Canadian Broadcast Recording Company. His recent Schumann and Liszt CD releases on Centaur and ATMA classique labels gained worldwide acclaim from the American Record Guide, The international Music Web review in UK, the Wholenote Magazine in Canada and the Fanfare music Magazine in the US.
Sheng Cai was top-prize winner at many competitions throughout his teenage years, including the Montreal Symphony Orchestra Piano Competition, Toronto Symphony Piano Competition, The International Young Artists Competition of Colorado, and was the youngest finalist and special prize winner at the Bösendorfer International Piano Competition and the youngest finalist at Hilton Head International Piano Competition in the US.
Sheng Cai is instrumental in advocating many neglected works that are peaks of the piano literature, works by composers such as Busoni, Enescu, Kabalevsky, Kapustin, Medtner, Villa-Lobos and a number of his own works frequently shows up on his concert programs, his creative programming have made audience aware of such treasures of the piano literature deserves a wider audience.
Sheng Cai began his studies in Canada and US where he was a student at the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto and the Juilliard School’s pre-college division in NY. He received his Bachelor of Music Degree under full scholarship at The New England Conservatory in Boston. His most important teachers include legendary pianists Anton Kuerti and Russell Sherman.
Sandy Cameron, violin
Declared “brilliant” by The Washington Post, violinist Sandy Cameron is one of the most strikingly unique artists of her generation. Since her debut at the age of 12 in Eindhoven, the Netherlands, Ms. Cameron has performed extensively as a soloist throughout the world. Here are some personal highlights of Sandy’s work:
Places and Orchestras: Ms. Cameron has been recognized on stages worldwide and in a variety of settings. The White Nights Festival in St. Petersburg, Russia, and the Adelaide Festival of the Arts in Australia are among a number of unique performance experiences Ms. Cameron has had. She has appeared at venues such as the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., David Geffen Hall at Lincoln Center, the Elbphilharmonie in Hamburg, Germany, and the Sydney Opera House. Ms. Cameron has collaborated with numerous orchestras, including the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Kirov Orchestra, Seattle Symphony, Colorado Symphony Orchestra, Virginia Symphony Orchestra, National Symphony Orchestra, and Tokyo Philharmonic.
On Stage: The most noteworthy, and a truly rewarding experience of Ms. Cameron’s career as a concert soloist is Danny Elfman’s Violin Concerto, “Eleven Eleven”. Mr. Elfman wrote this concerto for Ms. Cameron, and she had the great pleasure and honor of presenting the world premiere with conductor John Mauceri at the Prague Proms in June 2017. It was received with great success, and Ms. Cameron continues to enjoy performing the piece for audiences worldwide. Other special stage appearances include performances for Cirque du Soleil, Tan Dun’s Martial Arts Trilogy, and Danny Elfman’s Music from the Films of Tim Burton. Ms. Cameron is also featured in performances with renowned jazz trumpeter-composer Chris Botti, with whom she has toured globally. Additionally, Ms. Cameron has written and performed her own musical arrangements for a number of productions at the Hollywood Bowl, including Disney’s The Nightmare Before Christmas Live in Concert, Disney’s The Little Mermaid Live in Concert,Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory Live in Concert, and Disney’s Beauty and the Beast Live in Concert.
In the Studio: Versatile in her abilities as an artist, Ms. Cameron also enjoys musical engagements off the stage. In 2018, she recorded the Elfman Violin Concerto with Maestro Mauceri and the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, now available on Sony Classical. She is currently involved in an exciting new project with the illustrious composer, Marco Beltrami. Recently, she was featured as a soloist on John Powell’s score to The Call of the Wild and Bear McCreary’s score for The Professor and The Madman. Ms. Cameron can also be heard on soundtracks to Cirque Du Soleil’s IRIS, the video game Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate, the History Channel’s Houdini, and more.
The outstanding violin used by Ms. Cameron, crafted by Pietro Guarnerius of Venice, c. 1735, is on extended loan through the generous efforts of the Stradivari Society® of Chicago.
Monica Danilov, mezzo-soprano
Born and raised in Sacramento, CA, mezzo-soprano Monica Danilov received her BM in Vocal Performance from Manhattan School of Music and completed her MM in Vocal Performance from the Conservatory of Music of Brooklyn College (CUNY) under the tutelage of Patricia McCaffrey.
She has worked with conductors such as Jun Nakabayashi, Alan Gilbert, Dante Ranieri, Kent Tritle, Richard Barrett, Oliver Grangean, Ricardo Jaramillo, Rodolfo Fischer, Carmen Helena Tellez, Remo Ceccato, Pedro Pablo Prudencio, Marc Moncusí, Gerassim Voronkov, Christian Baldini and with directors like Mitch Sebastian, Dona Vaughn, Yefim Maizel, Natalia Menendez, Jose Dario Innella, Marcelo Lombardero and others.
She has sung at important venues and in countries like: Kennedy Center in Washington D.C., Americas Society, 92nd Street Y, Avery Fischer Hall (NY), Memorial Auditorium (Sacramento, CA), Cairo Opera House, Salle IBN Radio Algerienne (Algeria), Ghana, and has worked in Colombia and in South America in theatres such as Museo Nacional de Bogotá, Teatro Metropolitano de Medellín, Pablo Tobon de Medellin, en el Teatro Colsubsidio de Bogotá, Teatro Colon in Bogota and Teatro Mayor Julio Mario Santo Domingo.
Her concert experience includes singing with the Colombian National Symphony in Poulenc´s ¨Gloria¨ and with the EAFIT Orchestra of Medellin in Mendelssohn´s Elijah at the Teatro Colon, and later in Pergolesi´s Stabat Mater. She debuted with the Camellia Symphony Orchestra directed by Christian Baldini in their ¨Rising Stars¨ concert.
Danilov also has experience in Musical Theatre productions as Maria in The Sound of Music, produced by MISI PRODUCCIONES (performed 42 times), directed and choreographed by Mitch Sebastian, and the role of Aldonza/Dulcinea in Man of La Mancha performed at the Teatro Mayor Julio Mario Santodomingo in Bogota, Colombia.
She has sung important roles in Zarzuela and Opera such as Aurora La Beltrana in Doña Francisquita by Vives with Prolirica de Antioquia in Medellin, Colombia and Clarita in La del Manojo de Rosas by Sorozabal. Her opera credits include: Paula in Florencia en el Amazonas by Daniel Catan, Mercedes in Carmen, Flora Bervoix in La Traviata, Kate Pinkerton in Madama Butterfly, Dido in Dido and Aeneas, Alisa in Lucia di Lammermoor, Maria in Maria de Buenos Aires, Valencienne in The Merry Widow, Maddalena in Il Viaggio a Reims.
Roberto Perlas Gomez, baritone
Filipino-American baritone Roberto Perlas Gomez has performed his extensive repertoire of over one hundred roles with many of the international and regional opera companies throughout the United States. His career has had a special emphasis on performances in California. Mr. Gomez performs many of the standard leading baritone roles in French and Italian opera with Barbiere’s Figaro and Germont in La traviata being his signature pieces. He recently sang the role of Elias in the Filipino opera, Noli me tangere at Kennedy Center.
Mr. Gomez made his international debut as Marcello in La Boheme with the Shanghai Opera. He was in Manila to create the title role of Rizal in a premiere celebrating the centennial of the Philippine National hero.
Mr. Gomez made his European debut for the Arena di Verona as the Chinese Prime Minister, Chou en-lai in the Italian premiere of John Adams’ Nixon in China, a role he later reprised with the Long Beach Opera. He performed his first title roles with Long Beach in their productions of Antonio Vivaldi’s long lost Motezuma in its American premiere, and Emperor of Atlantis. He has made a specialty of modern operas, performing Rambo and the First Officer in The Death of Klinghoffer. robertoperlasgomez.com
Shana Blake Hill, soprano
Soprano Shana Blake Hill is known for creating and premiering new roles and contemporary works, as well as bringing a thoughtful and modern perspective to the heroines of the standard repertoire. Critics such as Opera News and The Philadelphia Enquirer have described her as a “fearless actress,” “floods of glorious sound,” and as “visually and vocally voluptuous.” Hill has sung principal roles with The Los Angeles Opera, Savonlinna Festival Opera (Finland), Dayton Opera, Cincinnati Opera, Long Beach Opera, Santa Barbara Opera, and Opera Southwest. She has been a soloist with The Philadelphia Orchestra, The Los Angeles Philharmonic, The Hollywood Bowl Orchestra, The Seattle Symphony, The Pacific Symphony, The Naples Philharmonic, The Pasadena Symphony, The Louisville Orchestra, and The Colorado Symphony. Hill is a Naxos recording artist, and is featured on Sony’s Favorite Film Score Compilation. Her latest world premiere as Angela in the first Flamenco Opera Llantos 1492 at the Tucson Desert Festival of Song was critically acclaimed and made opera history. Her upcoming performance of Ghita in Zemlinky’s Der Zwerg at the Historic Theater at Ace Hotel in Downtown Los Angeles is part of the widely anticipated inaugural season of Numi Opera, a company dedicated to recovered voices and the works of oppressed composers. Her reprisal of Eurydice in Orfeus the feature film/live performance experience by Nmon Ford are soon to take place in both New York and London, and she returns to Festival Opera in the title role of Carlisle Floyd’s Susannah with Festival Opera in July of 2019. shanablakehill.com
Ji in Yang, violin
South Korean violinist Ji in Yang began her music journey at the age of six. Since then, she has appeared internationally as soloist, recitalist, and chamber musician at such venues as the Salle Gaveau in Paris, the Seoul Arts Center, Beijing’s National Centre for the Performing Arts, the Kennedy Center, Alice Tully Hall, Carnegie Zankel Hall and Weill Hall, London’s Wigmore Hall, and Cadogan Hall. Recognized for her expressive and nuanced playing, the United Kingdom’s Musical Opinion described her solo appearance at Cadogan Hall as “brilliantly played.”
A guest soloist of orchestras internationally, Ms. Yang regularly appears with ensembles in the United States and all the major orchestras in Korea, including the KBS Symphony Orchestra, Bucheon Philharmonic Orchestra, Suwon Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Ulsan Philharmonic Orchestra.
Ms. Yang tours regularly with the distinguished conductorless ensemble, Sejong Soloists, where she often appears as a soloist. Their most recent album “Passion” on the Universal Music label features her as a soloist in Piazzolla’s Four Seasons and Ponce’s Estrellita arranged by Heifetz. In 2006 she was appointed the “Samsung Foundation of Culture” Chair, a distinction she held until 2008.
Ms. Yang’s performances have also been heard on radio and television shows such as NPR’s From the Top, Japan’s NHK, America’s Capital Public Radio on “Insight”, and in guest appearances on Korea’s KBS television shows “Art Theatre” and “Classic Odyssey“. She was also a guest performing artist at the United Nations in their Earth Day celebrations.
A frequent collaborator with some of the worlds leading musicians, she has worked closely with such artists as Joseph Kalichstein, Cho-Liang Jimmy Lin, and Elmar Oliveira. Ms. Yang holds a Bachelor and Master’s degree from the Juilliard School where she studied with Hyo Kang and Dorothy DeLay and graduated from Yale University with an Artist Diploma. She received her Doctorate of Musical Arts on a full scholarship at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York with Daniel Phillips. She has also worked with Ruggiero Ricci, Itzahk Perlman, Rodney Friend, Robert McDuffie, Dong-Suk Kang, and Igor Ozim in masterclasses. Ms. Yang plays a Petrus Guarnerius violin, made in Venice in 1723. jiinyang.com