A native of Ashland, Ohio, violinist Julie Castor has performed as soloist with the Ashland Symphony Orchestra with violinist Aaron Berofsky, Hudson Symphony, and Mansfield Symphony Youth Orchestra. She recently performed at Carnegie Hall alongside members of the New York Philharmonic, the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, and Philadelphia Orchestra in the Mahler for the Children of AIDS concert. Ms. Castor was a prizewinner in the Tuesday Musical Association Scholarship Competition as well as the Mansfield Symphony Youth Orchestra concerto competition. Julie Castor has performed in masterclasses for David Kim, Martha Caplin, Mikhail Kopelman, Axel Strauss, and Peter Winograd.
An experienced orchestral musician, Ms. Castor has performed under the batons of such conductors as Philippe Entremont, Sidney Harth, Arie Lipsky, Kurt Masur, and John Nelson with the Ashland Symphony Orchestra, National Repertory Orchestra, Astoria Symphony, Ensemble 212, and Manhattan School of Music Symphony. She was the 2010 recipient of the Tim and Libby Brown Fellowship with the National Repertory Orchestra.
A strong believer in bringing the arts to local communities, Julie Castor presents a weekly recital series at the New York Presbyterian Hospital. She is on the Violin Faculty at the Geneva Conservatory in Manhattan. Julie has also served as student advisor for the Manhattan School of Music Student Philanthropy Program and was the student coordinator of the Tuesday Musical Association’s Brahms Allegro Junior Music Club.
Julie Castor is currently a Master of Music candidate at the Manhattan School of Music, where she also earned a Bachelor of Music degree and studied with Isaac Malkin and Laurie Smukler. She has also studied at the Meadowmount School of Music, the Academy of Music Festival in New York, EuroArts Music Festival in Leipzig,Goppisberger Festival in Switzerland, and The University of Akron. Her chamber music mentors include Laurie Smukler, Kenneth Cooper, Susan Jolles, and members of the American String Quartet. Her additional teachers include Amy Barlowe, Alan Bodman, and Elizabeth Pastor.
Nikki Federman, violist, is an active performer and teacher in the New York City area who has concertized world-wide, ranging from New York’s Carnegie Hall to Salzburg, Austria’s Festspiele Haus and other venues in Europe, Asia, the Middle East, and North Africa. Assistant Principal Viola of the Westchester Chamber Orchestra, Nikki also regularly appears with the New World Symphony and Ensemble 212. Nikki has performed under renowned conductors Kurt Masur, Pinchas Zukerman, Michael Tilson Thomas, and Marin Alsop and alongside members of the New York Philharmonic, Vienna Philharmonic, and cellist Mischa Maisky. In May 2009, Nikki graduated from Manhattan School of Music’s Master of Orchestral Performance Program under the tutelage of Karen Dreyufs, where she served as principal viola of the Manhattan School of Music Symphony, Chamber Sinfonia, and Orpheus Institute. Nikki has also performed with New York City Opera, the Attersee Klassik festival orchestra of Attergua, Austria, and the National Repertory Orchestra.
During her undergraduate studies at Princeton University, Nikki was a member of the Princeton University String Quartet which received guidance from the Brentano String Quartet. Winner of the Lillian Fuchs Memorial Chamber Music Competition in 2007, Nikki continues to be an active chamber musician and performs with the Morningside String Trio and the Dynamic Motion Company Quartet, a chamber music and dance collaborative project.
Cellist Jeanette Stenson has performed in world-renowned venues such as Carnegie Hall’s Isaac Stern Auditorium, Zankel Hall, the Kennedy Center, and Minnesota’s Orchestra Hall and has had the pleasure of working under the direction of artists such as Kurt Masur, Osmo Vänskä, and Pinchas Zukerman. Ms. Stenson continues to pursue an active performing career as an orchestral musician, chamber artist, and recitalist. She has worked with many orchestras including the Mahler for the Children Orchestra, Orpheus Institute Orchestra, and the 101 Dalmatians Musical Orchestra. She is co-founder of the Morningside String Trio and is an eager collaborator who has worked with ensembles such as Classical Revolution, Claremont Strings and Ensembles, and the New Triad for Collaborative Arts Project.
Ms. Stenson received a Master of Music degree from the Manhattan School of Music studying with Alan Stepansky as part of their distinguished Orchestral Performance Program as a Helen F. Whitaker Fund Scholarship recipient. She received a Bachelor of Music degree in Cello Performance from the University of Minnesota under the guidance of Tanya Remenikova and Joseph Johnson. Undergraduate studies have also included study under Lawrence Leviton and Lowri Blake. Ms. Stenson has been the recipient of the Carl Leonard Borgman, Dahl Music, Carl Vetter, and Central Wisconsin Symphony Orchestra Guild Scholarships. She has also appeared for master class performances for artists such as Hai-Ye Ni, Yumi Kendall, Brant Taylor, Anthony Ross, and Mihai Tetel.
Festival activities have included the International Music Festival & Academy at Shanghai and the National Cello Congress. Ms. Stenson has performed at the National Orchestral Institute, Stephen Geber Cello Master Class Series, and Bravo! Summer String and Keyboard Institute.
She is an avid teacher with teaching artist experience at Cedar Island Elementary School, MN, Mott Hall II, and The Children’s Storefront, NYC as well as having experience adjudicating for NYSSMA. Ms. Stenson has also cultivated private studios for the Anderson Music Academy and the Stenson Suzuki Studio.
Ms. Stenson enjoys residing in New York City with her 2005 David Caron cello, which she calls Dmitri.
Photos courtesy of Brian Hatton Photography