OUR TEACHERS

Jessica Tortorice, Artistic Director & Violin Teacher

Jessica Tortorice, a native of Southampton, NY, is widely regarded as a versatile violinist, both as orchestral player and chamber musician. She studied at the Juilliard School Pre-college division, the Royal College of Music in London for undergraduate performance studies, and the Aaron Copland School of Music at Queens College, where she obtained her masters degree in performance. Among her teachers are Daniel Phillips, Itzhak Rashkovsky, Lewis Kaplan, Lisanne Soeterbroek and Marek Kowalski. She has also performed in masterclasses for Itzhak Perlman, Jamie Laredo, Pinchas Zukerman, and Gordon Nikolitch.

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Upon graduating from the Aaron Copland School she won the assistant principal second violin position with the Olympia Symphony Orchestra and subsequently the concertmaster position with Skagit Opera. Jessica has been a substitute player at Virginia Symphony, Illinois Symphony, Buffalo Philharmonic and English National Opera. Most recently she joined the ranks of the New York Philharmonic for their summer concert series, and she performs regularly with the orchestra of La Monnaie Opera (Brussels). Now based in Belgium, she is a permanent member of the chamber string orchestra BOHO Players.

During her years in London, Jessica toured frequently with her former quartet, the Norris Quartet. At the Aaron Copland School of Music, she was one of the founding members of the new music ensemble InnoVox. Currently, she is a founding member of the string quartet, boho4.

Jessica is the artistic director of the very successful Southampton Strings Festival, which offers dedicated string teaching to young students each August, set in the beautiful Hamptons.

 

Bartlomiej Ciaston, Violin Teacher

Bartlomiej Ciaston, of Polish decent, is a permanent member of the first violin section of Orchestre Philharmonique du Luxembourg.

Bartlomiej Ciaston made his debut at twelve years old, with the Legnica Symphonic Orchestra. In the following years, he became a laureate of several competitions for talented young musicians in Stalowa Wola, Wroclaw, Legnica, and Poznan. Especially important was the prize he won at the IV International Violin Competition in Schoss Zell an der Pram, Austria. Winning this prize led to many concert invitations, and collaborations with Igor Ozim, Rudolf Koelman, Ida Haendel, and Bartlomiej Niziol. In 2009 Bartlomiej was awarded 2nd prize at the 2nd International Wilhelm Ernst and Karol Szymanowski Competition.

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In recent years, he has appeared as soloist with the Ensemble Orchestral de Bruxelles, Wroclaw Philharmonic Orchestra, Euro Iuvenis Sinfonica, and The Open Musical Safety Pin Philharmonic (J&S Pro Bono Foundation). He has performed in and in prestigious venues such as the Berlin Philharmnie, Münchner Philharmonie, Dresden Philharmonie, and Paris Philharmonie. He has played with Orchestre de l’Opéra National de Belgique, Brussels Philharmonic, Orchestre Royal de Chambre de Wallonie, Chamber Orchestra Leopoldinum Breslau, Klassik Radio Proms Orchestra, and Orchestra Wratislawia.
In 2015, Bartlomiej joined the innovative Belgian string orchestra BOHO Players and shortly after boho4 string quartet emerged.

As a chamber musician, he appeared at Festival Internacional Cervantino, Princess Daisy International Chamber Arts Festival, Kunsthaus Muerz, Festival Musiq3, Moritzburg Festival Academy, and Aurora Star Music Festival. He is a founding member of the string quartet, boho4.

From 2011-2013 Bartlomiej received a scholarship from the Polish Minister of Culture and National Heritage and Belgian Government, for extraordinary achievement towards cultural promotion.
He graduated magna cum laude in 2014, with a Master’s degree in Violin Performance from the studio of Professor Marek Kowalski at the Koninklijk Conservatorium Brussel.

Jordan Bergmans, Viola Teacher

Jordan Bergmans is a London-based viola player. She graduated as a scholar from both the Royal Academy of Music (MMus) and the Royal College of Music (BMus(Hons) )in viola.

She was born in Tours, France and began her artistic studies at the age of six, studying music at the Conservatoire in Tours and ballet under the guidance of Suzanne Oussov of the Vaganova School. Jordan completed her musical studies in France, obtaining her Diplôme de Fin d’Etudes in viola, musical theory and chamber music, before moving to London.

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Jordan has had the chance to study with many distinguished musicians and regularly participate in masterclasses, including with Lawrence Power, Antoine Tamestit, Quatuor Ebene, Jennifer Stumm, Alexander Zemtsov, Karen Dreyfus.

Jordan is an extremely passionate and active chamber and orchestral musician and has played with and led sections under many acclaimed classical musicians, such as Natalia Gutman, Esa-Pekka Salonen and Lorin Maazel, Vladimir Ashkenazy.

Formerly a member of the award-winning Danchin Quartet and a founding member of the Cosmopolitan Quartet, she has made numerous appearance on various BBC Radios, British Television, the Royal Albert Hall, the Trianon in Paris, the O2 arena in London, and all main concert halls across the UK and TEDxParis.

Jordan maintains a busy freelance and chamber music schedule in London and Europe. She has also performed solo recitals in France, Belgium, England, Canada and Italy.
Pursuing her interest in the defence of human rights, Jordan founded the International Orchestra for Freedom in 2009, working with Amnesty International and the UN.
She is a very passionate teacher and was recently a guest lecturer at the renowned KM Music Conservatory in Chennai, India.

Lieselot Wátte, Cello Teacher

Lieselot Watté is a Belgian cellist, who has build herself a varied career as a freelance musician. Equally at home in early and contemporary music, and everything in between, she continually searches to draw new audiences to classical music in innovative ways.

Lieselot is one of the eight cellists of the Cello8ctet Amsterdam, with whom she blurs the boundaries between traditional concerts and theater performances.

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She is regularly performs with orchestras such as the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra of Flanders, Opera Ballet Vlaanderen, La Monnaie, Octocelli, BOHO Players and Arco Baleno. Lieselot can be heard on a number of CD recordings with Tetragonist and Cello8ctet Amsterdam. As a soloist, Lieselot has performed with the Bruoscella Symphony Orchestra, JeMOO and Het Kamerorkest Brugge.

Lieselot started playing the cello at the age of 8. In 2010 she entered the Royal Brussels Conservatory in the studio of Jeroen Reuling. She continued her studies at the Antwerp Conservatory, where she obtained the Master’s diploma as a student of Justus Grimm. An Erasmus exchange program brought her to Leipzig, where she studied with cellist Peter Bruns.

She partook in many international masterclasses and she was a member of the European Union Youth Orchestra, with whom she went on tour through Europe and the United States. At the Dexia Classics and JeMOO Soloist competitions, Lieselot was awarded several prizes for her performances.

Lieselot plays on an instrument made by Thomas Meuwissen (2007).

Deborah Pae, Guest Cello Teacher 

Hailed by Gramophone Magazine as “exceptionally gifted” and “breathtaking,” cellist DEBORAH PAE is captivating audiences with her “superb tone…high level of interpretative intelligence” (Transcentury Blog) and “sophisticated technique” (San Diego Story). She has been admired for her “focused intensity and extraordinary musicianship” (San Diego Union Tribune) and “novel vitality” (Boston Musical Intelligencer).

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Debuting at sixteen with the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra, Korean-American Pae has since played concertos with Sinfonia Varsovia of Poland, Orchestre Philharmonique Royal de Liège, Ensemble Orchestral de Bruxelles, Orchestre Royal de Chambre de Wallonie, and the Westchester Philharmonic under the batons of Vassily Sinaisky, Thomas Wilkins, Christian Arming, Augustin Dumay, and Itzhak Perlman. Ms. Pae has also played solo recitals at the Neue Galerie, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Van Wezel Foundation’s Young Artists Series, and in 2005 debuted in Europe at the Musée du Louvre and has since been invited to perform at Palais des Beaux-Arts, Flagey Radio Hall, and Musée de Grenoble. Many of her performances have been broadcast internationally on television and radio, most notably the 2003 Grammy Awards and the 75th Anniversary of the Chapelle Musicale Reine Elisabeth. In 2017, Outhere Music Label in partnership with Musiq3 Radio will release Ms. Pae’s live recital recording on Series Prestige on their new series Digitale.

A devoted chamber musician, Ms. Pae is the cellist of the critically acclaimed Formosa Quartet (winners of the First Prize and Amadeus Prize at the 2006 International London Quartet Competition) and founder of Trio Modetre (winners of the 2016 Tarisio Trust Young Artist Grant and Silver Medal at the 2012 Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition). She has been a featured artist at festivals including Marlboro, Ravinia, Kneisel Hall, Crans-Montana Classics, Festival Les Musicales de Colmar, and the Amsterdam Cello Biennale. Ms. Pae has shared the stage with artists including Itzhak Perlman, Pamela Frank, Charles Neidich, and members of the Guarneri, Juilliard, Mendelssohn, Johannes, Pro Arte, Takács, and Cleveland String Quartets.

Ms. Pae enjoys performing new and seldom-played works. Her debut recording released in 2013 by Zig-Zag Territoires, features Saint-Saëns’ Cello Concerto No. 2 in D minor with conductor Christian Arming and the Liège Royal Philharmonique. In 2017, Trio Modetre’s debut recording Tribute to Frank Bridge: Masterpieces Among Peers will celebrate the 75th anniversary of Bridge’s death and revive his second piano trio. Furthermore, American composer Jeffrey Mumford is currently writing a concerto of radiances blossoming in expanding air, which will be premiered by Ms. Pae in London with the English Symphony Orchestra (ESO) and with Boston-based ensemble, Phoenix, in 2018. Pae has also given world premieres of Fantasia Festa by Jonathan Crehan, Le Dormeur du Val by Roberto Kalb, and Song Recollections by Lei Liang.

In September 2016, Ms. Pae began her appointment as Professor of Cello at Eastern Michigan University. She has served as Professor of Cello and Chamber Music at Académie et École Anglicorde in France, Visiting Guest Artist at Columbia University’s Music Performance Program, and Chamber Music Mentor at the Juilliard Pre-College Division, New England Conservatory Preparatory School, and Kneisel Hall Chamber Music Festival. She has also served as artistic manager of Music for Food Boston benefit concert series, and founder and curator of the WLP Lunchtime Series in Boston (2010-2012).

Beginning at four on a bricolage cello made of a Cheerios box wound with strings, three years later, Ms. Pae became the youngest cellist accepted into the Juilliard Pre-College Division. She is a graduate of the Juilliard School and the New England Conservatory and is a former Artist-in-Residence at the Chapelle Musicale Reine Elisabeth in Belgium. Her mentors include cellists Gary Hoffman, Laurence Lesser, and Joel Krosnick as well as violinists Itzhak Perlman, Miriam Fried, Sylvia Rosenberg, and violist Kim Kashkashian. Recognized for her artistic versatility, Ms. Pae has received major awards from the Frank Huntington Beebe Fund, Belgian American Educational Foundation, DoMusica Foundation, and National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts.

Ms. Pae plays a Vincenzo Postiglione cello (c. 1885) generously on loan from the Arts and Letters Foundation.

Mitchell McCarthy, Composer in residence

Mitchell McCarthy (Assistant Producer) is a New York-based composer and producer. He has written music for small ensemble, large ensemble, solo piano, voice, and electronics, and has collaborated as both orchestrator and conductor with a wide range of artists spanning an even wider range of styles and genres. Recent projects include orchestrations for Kristin Chenoweth and the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Cincinnati Symphony and Ballet, and The Washington Ballet, as well as acclaimed premieres at the Palais des Beaux-Arts in Brussels, Alice Tully Hall in New York, the New World Symphony Center in Miami, and with K/M•D/M, the contemporary ballet company he co-founded in 2012.

In addition to his concert work, Mitchell regularly serves as a session producer, conductor, arranger, and pianist for several artists and films. Recent recordings at Avatar Studios (NYC), Douglass Recording (Brooklyn), and Tonstudio Rajchman (Czech) have yielded releases on labels Discovery Music & Vision (UK), Wax Poetics, and Magnolia Pictures. Mitchell also works closely with a growing roster of indie artists in Brooklyn and across Europe.

David Ramael, Conductor/Chamber Coach

David Ramael is at the forefront of a new generation of entrepreneurial conductors, who try to give renewed relevance to classical music in today’s fragmented and internationalized society. He is founder and Artistic Director of Boho Strings, a string orchestra known for building a more inclusive, compassionate and understanding society through music. He has already achieved a remarkable track record of creating new and unique programs, by concertizing in unconventional venues and by fully embracing the transformative qualities of music.

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Prior to his role with BOHO Players, David Ramael was active for 10 years in the United States, where he led a number of high profile orchestral programs at universities in N.Y., as well as being Artistic Director of Gemini Youth Orchestras.

David Ramael holds advanced degrees in conducting and musicology, having studied at the Royal Brussels Conservatory, the Free Brussels University, the University of Vienna and the University of Minnesota. He was grant recipient of the prestigious Belgian American Education Foundation.

Known for his genuine heartfelt musicianship, and his originality in combining a clear artistic vision with a strong interest in social issues, David Ramael is a frequent guest in all the major concert halls in Belgium, such as BOZAR, Concertgebouw Brugge and De Bijloke in Ghent. In 2016-17 he made his debut with the Orchestre Philharmonique de Liège, which led to a second invitation for the 17-18 season, as well as an invitation from the Belgian National Orchestra, where he will be making his debut in November 2017.

boho4 String Quartet, Quartet in residence

boho4 draws its richness from the eclecticism of its programs and the diversity of its concerts. Recently established in Brussels, its four founding musicians, Bartlomiej Ciaston (violin), Jessica Tortorice (violin), Bartosz Korus (viola), and Maria Kulowska (cello), share a passion for chamber music as well as a huge curiosity to change the traditional classical concert idea.

boho4 emerged from BOHO Players, a Belgium-based innovative string orchestra, which sees classical music as a source for societal self-reflection and change.