Jeffrey Biegel, piano
The fascinating career of Jeffrey Biegel takes its roots from the beginning. Until the age of three, Mr. Biegel could neither hear nor speak, until corrected by surgery. The 'reverse Beethoven' phenomenon explains his life in music, having heard only vibrations in his formative years.
Mr. Biegel recently performed the World Premiere of Giovanni Allevi's 'Concerto for Piano and Orchestra' with Orchestra Kentucky and in Milan's Teatro dal Vermes, recording released in 2017. In 2018, Naxos releases Kenneth Fuchs's "Concerto: Spiritualist" featuring Mr. Biegel with the London Symphony Orchestra conducted by JoAnn Falletta, and, Grammy award composer, Dick Tunney unveils the new "Peanuts Concerto" for piano and orchestra based on music by Vince Guaraldi. In November 2018, Christopher Theofanidis's "Concerto for Piano, Strings, Harp and Percussion" will receive its premiere with the Harrisburg Symphony Orchestra, Stuart Malina conducting. Equally championing pop music icons, he has brought Jimmy Webb's 'Nocturne for Piano and Orchestra' to the public with Orchestra Kentucky, and PDQ Bach's 'Concerto for Simply Grand Piano and Orchestra' by Peter Schickele with the Colorado Symphony Orchestra. A frequent visitor to Mexico, he performed Beethoven's 'Emperor' Concerto in the Festival Cultural Zacatecas in March 2018.
Megan Pachecano, soprano
Praised by The New York Times for her “lucid soprano” in her role debut as Fiordiligi in LoftOpera’s Cosi fan tutte, Megan Pachecano “gave a flawless rendition of ‘Come scoglio,’ handling the technical gymnastics of this aria with great ease and with impeccable timing.” (Opera News) Her recent portrayal of Anne Page in Vaughan Williams’ Sir John in Love with Odyssey Opera was described by The Boston Musical Intelligencer as “warm, funny, and passionate by turns, soaring in elegant lyricism.” Other operatic highlights have included both Adina and Gianetta in L’elisir d’amore, Norina in Don Pasquale, Susanna in Le nozze di Figaro, Zerlina in Don Giovanni, and Cinderella in Sondheim’s Into the Woods, working with such companies as Austin Opera, Opera New Jersey, St. Petersburg Opera, Salt Marsh Opera, The Opera Company of Middlebury, New Rochelle Opera, and Opera in Williamsburg. She added early opera to her repertoire last season singing Les Amants Enchantés in Boismortier’s Don Quichotte chez la Duchesse and Mystery in Purcell’s The Fairy Queen with the Orchestra of New Spain, which The Dallas Morning News said she “sang most expressively.” This season’s engagements include Echo in Ariadne auf Naxos with Austin Opera, Frasquita in Opera in Williamsburg’s Carmen, Valencienne in The Merry Widow and Farinelli’s Trainer in David T. Little and Royce Vavrek’s Vinkensport, or The Finch Opera with Opera Saratoga, and Cunegonde in a Bernstein concert with the Helena Symphony. Next season she will make debuts with Opera San Antonio and the Mid-Texas Symphony.
A frequent concert soloist, Ms. Pachecano has performed Handel’s Messiah, Israel in Egypt, Samson, Jephtha, and Saul, Mozart’s Great Mass in C minor, Coronation Mass, Requiem, and Exsultate, jubilate, Haydn’s Lord Nelson Mass and Little Organ Mass, Beethoven’s Die Ruinen von Athen, and Villa-Lobos’ Bachianas Brasileiras No. 5 singing with the Helena Symphony, Astoria Symphony Orchestra, Round Rock Symphony Orchestra, Ad Astra Music Festival, and Westminster Choral Festival. She has been featured in concert with the Caramoor International Music Festival, Dallas Symphony Orchestra’s Soluna Festival, and Opera Theater of Connecticut at the Sanibel Music Festival. This season she returned to the Astoria Symphony for a pops concert at the Queensborough Performing Arts Center.
Ms. Pachecano recently presented a solo cabaret recital with the Odeon Theater’s Concert Series and has performed in musical theatre showcases at the Ensemble Studio Theatre, The PIT, and Daryl Roth Theatres in New York City. She created the role of Elizabeth on the cast album of Melillo’s Son of the Storm and was a soloist on the Naxos recording American Choral Music. She will next give a duet art song recital The Tides of Love with Mezzo-Soprano Sarah Nelson Craft as Guest Artists at Colorado State University. The two have enjoyed much critical notice of their vocal blend, together called “pliant and luminous” and praised for their “fluid, robust singing” by Parterre Box.
Ms. Pachecano holds a bachelor’s degree in voice performance from The University of Texas at Austin and a master’s degree in classical voice from Manhattan School of Music where she sang an “edgy, energetic portrayal” (Opera News) of Susanna in Le nozze di Figaro, “easily caressing challenging passages with elegance and Mozartian grace” (Parterre Box).
Timothy Chooi, violin
Canadian violinist, Timothy Chooi has been described as “the miracle” (Montreal Lapresse).
Regarded as one of the most promising and exciting young artists in the world today, he was recently the Bronze Medal Winner of the 2015 Michael Hill International Violin Competition, completed an extensive recital tour with Jeunesses Musicales Canada, performed with Pinchas Zukerman and the National Arts Centre Orchestra, recorded his debut album, and was featured at Ravinia Festival in Chicago. He is also a winner of the 2013 Vadim Repin International Scholarship, a recipient of the, Milka Violin Award from the Curtis Institute of Music, Sylva Gelber Award, Canada Council for the Arts Musical Instrument Bank and was the Grand Prize Winner of the Montreal Symphony Manulife Competition.
Timothy continues to have an engaging role in the promotion of the arts and education for the youth in communities across Canada and the USA.
Timothy has performed with major orchestras across the world and highlights of past seasons include Timothy making his debut as Soloist with the Montreal Symphony Orchestra, Malaysian Philharmonic, Toronto Symphony, Orchestra of the Americas, to name a few, and his Carnegie Hall Debut. Timothy regularly appears with his brother, Nikki in the violin duo the Chooi Brothers where they perform theme-based programs which have proven to be successful across audiences around the world.
Timothy looks to expand the classical music audience by increasing its appeal to the young generation via all available social media platforms. In particular, his series of self made online videos in non-traditional locations is broadening the reach of classical music through videography. He is currently at the Master's program at the Juilliard School, and had received his previously attended the Curtis Institute of Music. He previously studied with Pinchas Zukerman, Ida Kavafian, and Patinka Kopec.
Timothy gratefully acknowledges the support of the Canada Council for the Arts, CBC Radio, the Sylva Gelber Foundation, and the Victoria Foundation. He also acknowledges the generous loan of his 1717 Windsor-Weinstein Stradivarius from the Canada Council for the Arts.
Timothy was born and raised in Victoria, Canada and currently resides in Philadelphia where he is an active member of Astral Artists. He has a huge passion and commitment to bringing classical music to communities across America, Canada and demographics around the world who may not have access to.
Spencer Myer, piano
Lauded for "superb playing" and "poised, alert musicianship" by the Boston Globe, and labeled "definitely a man to watch" by London's The Independent, American pianist SPENCER MYER is one of the most respected and sought-after artists on today's concert stage.
Adding to his North American credentials, Spencer Myer includes in his current season debuts with the Northeastern Pennsylvania Philharmonic, The Omaha Symphony, Massapequa Philharmonic Orchestra and Canada’s Windsor Symphony Orchestra, as well as return engagements with the Canton, Chattanooga and Richmond (IN) symphony orchestras. His solo recitals and chamber music collaborations take him throughout the United States, and he continues as half of the Daurov/Myer Duo, having teamed up with the award-winning cellist Adrian Daurov in 2012.Spencer Myer's recital appearances have been presented in New York City's Weill Recital Hall, 92nd Street Y and Steinway Hall, Philadelphia's Kimmel Center and London’s Wigmore Hall, while many of his performances have been broadcast on WQXR (New York City), WHYY (Philadelphia), WCLV (Cleveland) and WFMT (Chicago). An in-demand chamber musician, he has appeared the past five summers at the Lev Aronson Legacy Festival in Dallas with cellists Lynn Harrell, Ralph Kirshbaum, Amit Peled, Tom Landschoot and Brian Thornton, and has enjoyed a recurring partnership with the Miami String Quartet at the Kent/Blossom Music Festival. Other artistic partners include clarinetist David Shifrin, sopranos Nicole Cabell, Martha Guth and Erin Wall, the Jupiter and Pacifica string quartets and the Dorian Wind Quintet.
Spencer Myer's career was launched with three important prizes: First Prize in the 2004 UNISA International Piano Competition in South Africa, the 2006 Christel DeHaan Classical Fellowship from the American Pianists Association and the Gold Medal from the 2008 New Orleans International Piano Competition. He is also a laureate of the 2007 William Kapell, 2005 Cleveland and 2005 Busoni international piano competitions. He enjoys an esteemed reputation as a vocal collaborator since winning the 2000 Marilyn Horne Foundation Competition. Mr. Myer was a member of Astral Artists' performance roster from 2003-2010.
An enthusiastic supporter of the education of young musicians, Spencer Myer has served as a guest faculty at the Oberlin and Baldwin-Wallace Conservatories of Music, and in the fall of 2015, he was appointed Artist-Teacher of Piano and Collaborative Piano at Boston's Longy School of Music of Bard College.
Spencer Myer's debut CD for harmonia mundi usa - solo music of Busoni, Copland, Debussy and Kohs - was released in the fall of 2007 to critical acclaim by Fanfare and Gramophone magazines. He can also be heard on a composer-conducted Naxos CD in performances of three concerti from Huang Ruo's Chamber Concerto Cycle and in a performance of Ravel's Chansons madecasses, included on "Intimate Masterpieces," a 2013 CD featuring faculty and alumni of the Oberlin Conservatory and issued by Oberlin Music. Mr. Myer's most recent recordings -- "Bolcom: Selected Rags" and the Brahms Cello Sonatas with Brian Thornton -- were both released in January 2017 on the Steinway & Sons label.
Spencer Myer is a Steinway Artist.