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.Read More
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.Read More
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.
Bartosz Korus, Viola
In addition to classical music, he also fell in love with jazz music. Since 2016 he plays the viola in Bartosz Dworak String Quartet, where he collaborates with such jazz stars as Dorota Miśkiewicz, Henryk Miśkiewicz, Leszek Możdżer, Andrzej Jagodzinski, Michał Tokaj, Piotr Orzechowski, Włodzimierz Nahorny, Atom String Quartet and many others.
As an orchestral musician Maria worked with various orchestras: Luebecker Philharmoniker, Hamburger Symphoniker, Warsaw Radio Orchestra, Sinfonia Varsovia and was the principal cellist of Klassische Philharmonie Bonn. Currently she is a member of Orchestre de Chambre du Luxembourg.
Apart from classical music Maria works with electric cello and loops, both as a player and composer, creating scores for various dance shows in Germany and Luxembourg. In 2015 she composed music for a stage play ordered by Staatstheater in Trier.
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.
Arel Ensemble, Quartet in residence
Based in Luxembourg and Belgium, Arel Ensemble offers a musical journey, from the great classical composers, such as Mozart, Beethoven, and Brahms, to the joyful and inventive music of our time. 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.
David Ramael, Workshop 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.
Read More 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.
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.