Ida Angland, Artistic Director and Conductor, is dedicated to providing opportunities for artists on the rise and reconnecting audiences to great masterworks through Gateway's performances designed to achieve impact and intimacy. Gateway's Great Works of Art performances with the Gateway Orchestra have received enthusiastic response by audiences in Connecticut, New York and New Jersey and have been described in reviews as ''thrilling,'' ''compelling'' (Greenwich Time) ''a revelation'' ''unforgettable,'' and ''amazing'' (The Italian Voice). Ms Angland has been characterized as having ''inner genius,'' ''flair,'' ''idealism,'' and ''grit.'' (Italian Voice, Greenwich Time and Opera-L) and being "specially gifted" (Brooklyn Eagle). Prior and concurrent to her involvement with Gateway, Ms Angland assistant conducted with the New York Grand Opera for seven years for numerous operas and concerts in Central Park and Carnegie Hall. She began her music training as a pianist. When she was 12 years old, she was the youngest of four contestants chosen by the National Federation of Music Clubs and the University of North Carolina as the state's ''most promising'' musical talents. She continued her music training at the North Carolina School of the Arts, Peabody Conservatory and Indiana University studying with, among others, Konrad Wolff, Elaine Bonazzi and Margaret Harshaw. Ms Angland sang professionally as a soprano with regional opera companies. Other featured guest appearances have included the Metropolitan Museum of Art and WQXR.
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Yigit Karatas, Violinist, has performed with the Presidential Symphony Orchestra in Turkey, where he played the Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto, and at the International Belfort Music Festival where he played the Mendelssohn Violin Concerto. Mr. Karatas has concertized as a member of chamber orchestras and as a soloist at the Eilat Festival in Israel and has been awarded several prizes in competitions: First Prize at the Fourth National Gulden Turali Violin Competition, Second Prize at the International Marsyas Violin Competition and Third Prize at the VIVO International Music Competition in New York in 2015. He has taken part in the masterclasses of renowned artists that include Leonidas Kavakos, Itzhak Rashkovsky, Ida Haendel and Shmuel Ashkenasi and studied with Maxim Vengerov, Ivry Gitlis, Shlomo Mintz, Vadim Gluzman and other soloists of renown. He participated in the New Virtuosi Violin Mastercourse in Duino, Italy in 2011 and gave solo and collective concerts with Cihat Askin. Mr. Karatas served as concertmaster to The World Peace Orchestra for a concert at Lincoln Center and was awarded a full scholarship in 2013 to the Manhattan School of Music where he studies with Albert Markov. The November 13th concert in Greenwich, Connecticut, in which he will play the Franz Waxman Carmen Fantasie for Violin and Orchestra, will be his debut appearance with the Gateway Orchestra.
Yezu (Elizabeth) Woo, Violinist has performed as a recitalist and soloist in major concert halls and with orchestras worldwide including the North Czech Philharmonic, Slowakishe Radio Symphonie Orchester, Bulgaria Symphony, Romanian National Constanza Orchestra, Venezuela Philharmonic, New Jersey Philharmonic, Bozeman Symphony and the Pyongyang Symphony of North Korea, as well as the Sungnam, KBS, Jeju, Mostly Philharmonic and Gangwon Province's Orchestras of South Korea. She debuted at Carnegie Hall in 2004 as the youngest performer to have performed all of Paganini’s 24 Caprices for solo violin. She has performed outside the realm of classical music with the KBS Korean Traditional Orchestra that presents a fusion of Korean traditional music and classical music. Born in Freiburg, Germany, Ms. Woo returned to Korea as an infant; and, at the age of 10, she moved to the U.S. where she later studied with Albert Markov at the Manhattan School of Music and with Catherine Cho at The Juilliard School. The 2015 Gateway Orchestra Tri-State Tour featured Ms Woo in the Shostakovich Violin Concerto No. 1.
Lisbeth LLoyd, Soprano, has performed as a soloist throughout the United States, Europe, and the Far East. She has sung with New York City Opera, St. Louis Opera, Wolf Trap Opera, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, Minnesota Opera and in numerous concert halls throughout the United States. Ms Lloyd’s operatic roles have included Violetta in La Traviata, Musetta in La Boheme, Micaela in Carmen, and the Governess in The Turn Of The Screw. She has premiered many contemporary roles including the role of Blondie in Peter Schickele’s The Abduction of Figaro, which was broadcast on Public Broadcasting and performed at Avery Fisher Hall; Mrs. Charmond in Stephen Paulus’ The Woodlanders; and Livia in The Mask of Evil by Henry Mollicone. Ms Llloyd trained at The Juilliard School, works as a vocal coach and is the Director of Youth Choirs at the Second Congregational Church in Greenwich where, under her directorship, the Youth Choir has performed at St. Peter’s in the Vatican among places. The November 13th New World Initiative concert, will be Ms Lloyd’s first appearance with the Gateway Orchestra.
Asa Fradkin, Baritone, won a fellowship to The Cooperative Program where he worked this summer with several renowned opera coaches from the Metropolitan Opera and other music organizations of note. He has been a frequent performer at synagogues throughout the United States including the renowned Temple Sinai of Los Angeles, Adas Israel of Washington, D.C. and Bnai Torah in Boca Raton. Mr. Fradkin founded and directs the Temple Sholom Teen Choir, which, under his leadership, has become one of the largest and most active teen choirs in the country. Mr. Fradkin graduated from the H.L. Miller Cantorial School of the Jewish Theological Seminary in 2007. The November 13th New World Initiative concert at the Second Congregational Church in Greenwich will mark Mr. Fradkin’s debut appearance with the Gateway Orchestra.
Xiao Wang, Violinist, was the first prize winner of the Szigeti International Violin Competition and laureate of the 2015 Queen Elizabeth Competition in addition to having won numerous other prizes and awards. He has performed as a soloist and collaborator with orchestras worldwide including the National Orchestra of Belgium, Kodaly Philharmonic Orchestra in Hungary, Gewandhaus Academisches Orchester in Leipzig, Germany, the Texas Music Festival Orchestra and others. Mr. Wang was quoted by the New York Times as “… wonderfully clean in Sibelius, and he made the most of its expressive opportunities.” He is a passionate chamber musician having collaborated with Phillip Entremont and the American String Quartet, as well as members of the Mendelssohn String Quartet and the New York Philharmonic Orchestra. Mr. Wang currently studies with Lucie Robert at the Manhattan School of Music where he has been awarded a full scholarship. The 2015 Gateway Orchestra Tri-State featured Mr. Wang in the Sibelius Violin Concerto.
Davide de Ascaniis, Violinist, has toured as a soloist and chamber musician throughout Asia, Canada, USA and Europe. He has appeared in the festival of the Nippon Foundation in Tokyo, Mozarteum Festival in Salzburg, International Music Festival Bled (Slovenia) to high acclaim. He performed as a soloist at the Suntory Hall in Tokyo, Disney Hall in Los Angeles, Teatro La Fenice in Venice, Auditorium Parco della Musica in Rome, National Theater and National Concert Hall of Taipei and Merkin Hall in New York. Born in Italy in 1991 to a family of musicians, Mr. de Ascaniis began studying the violin at the age of eight and made solo appearances with orchestra a year later. He received a Master’s Degree cum laude from the Conservatorio Pedrollo in Vicenza at the age of 16 where he graduated with honors. He also earned a Diploma at the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia in Rome and currently resides in New York City where he studies with Albert Markov. Mr. de Ascaniis played the Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto with the Gateway Orchestra for the 2014 spring mini tour in celebration of Gateway’s tenth anniversary year.
Alina Kiryayeva, Pianist, has concertized internationally performing as a soloist with the Kharkov State Philharmonic and State Opera Theatre Orchestras, The Imperial Valley Symphony orchestra and New York Symphonic Ensemble Orchestra as well as in chamber ensembles in Weill Hall, Morse Recital Hall, Maiden Lane Concert Series, the Concerto Takes Manhattan Series at Yamaha Hall, Young Artist Concert Series in Bergenfield, NJ and the Concert Series at Jefferson'a Ferry, NY. Ms Kiryayeva has been the recipient of numerous awards that include the First Prize in the Senigallia International Competition, Italy, the Grace Welsh International Competition and the California Young Artist International Competition. She was honored by the Ukrainian President, Leonid Kravchuk, with the State Award for Achievements in Arts. She has also been awarded the Fannie Gottlieb-Harkavi Scholarship and Susan Rose Piano Scholarship. She has been a featured soloist on several of Gateway's special event concerts and works as a rehearsal pianist for Gateway.
Ming Kwong, Pianist, apprenticed with Florida Grand Opera for their 2008-2009 season. He held a fellowship coach position at the Aspen Summer Music Festival and was a vocal coach and pianist at the Music Academy of the West. Mr. Kwong recently made his Kennedy Center debut with Metropolitan Opera Grand Winner Lori Guilbeau. He was chosen to participate in the Cleveland Art Songs Festival in 2010. Other credits include performing on the Stephanie Blythe master class at the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center and the Joey Reynolds show - WOR news talk radio 710HD in October 2009. Mr. Kwong has acted as the Music Director of the Undergraduate Opera Theater at Manhattan School of Music. Other engagements as opera coach and rehearsal pianist include the Tanglewood Music Center and the Glimmerglass Opera. Mr. Kwong has been a prizewinner of numerous competitions including First Prize in the Advanced Improvisation and Second Prize in the Advanced Bach Session in the Twelfth Hong Kong Piano Open Competition. He holds a Masters degree in Piano Accompanying from Manhattan School of Music and a Masters degree in Vocal Performance from New England Conservatory. He is a rehearsal pianist for Gateway Classical Music Society.
Michael Pilafian, Pianist, has played for voice-studio of Carolina Segrera and performed concerts internationally with the Ambassadors of Opera. He was music-director of the After Dinner Opera Company with which he premiered several chamber-operas by Seymour Barab. Currently he plays for the New York Grand Opera, the Center for Contemporary Opera, Opera on the Hudson, Taconic Opera, and the Juilliard School of Music. Mr. Pilafian plays as a rehearsal pianist for Gateway.