Playing with "live-wire splendor" (The New York Times) violinist, Hanna Hurwitz, comes from a family of literary and performing artists. As a musician who values the performance of contemporary music and collaboration with composers, Hanna’s recent activities have included performances with the Argento Chamber Ensemble, Mivos Quartet, Lucerne Festival Academy, Eastman BroadBand, and Slee Sinfonietta. Hanna is a member of the ensemble in residence at SoundSCAPE Festival in Maccango, Italy, as well as a guest lecturer at the festival. She has performed in Mexico at the Cervantino Festival and the Festival Internacional Chihuahua, as well as at the SpazioMusica Festival in Italy, and the Ritsos Project in Samos, Greece.
Hanna also enjoys an active and varied teaching career. She is currently on the faculty at the University at Buffalo where she is adjunct violin instructor and chamber music coach. In addition, she serves as coordinator and coach for the chamber music program at the Rochester Philharmonic Youth Orchestra, and chamber music coach at the Kanack School of Music. Hanna holds a Bachelor's Degree and Performance Certificate from the Eastman School of Music, a Master's Degree from The University of Texas at Austin, and a Doctorate of Musical Arts and a minor in Performance Psychology from the Eastman School of Music and the University of Rochester.
Julia Anne Cordani
Julia Anne Cordani is currently a sophomore at the University at Buffalo, where she studies Voice Performance and Italian with a Linguistics minor. She has been studying voice for over 10 years, piano for 15, and violin for 11. In high school she was an active participant in NYSSMA All-State, as well as NAfME All-Eastern. She is currently a member of the Buffalo Philharmonic Chorus, UB Choir, Buffalo Vocal Collective, and several other chamber ensembles. Recently, she has travelled to Europe for a choral symposium based in performing on the streets and in the ancient churches and cathedrals of Europe. Julia hopes to go onto graduate school to study voice performance, specifically in the area of Pre-Classical (Prehistoric, Ancient, Baroque, and Renaissance) music. She currently studies under Tiffany Du Mouchelle.
Jade Conlee is currently completing her Master's degree in Piano Performance at UB. In 2014 she was awarded a Fulbright scholarship to study contemporary piano repertoire and new music performance communities in Stuttgart, Germany. Jade earned a Bachelor of Music degree from NYU, where she minored in poetry. A passionate soloist, chamber musician, writer and educator, Jade has performed throughout the US and Europe. Her principle teachers have been Eric Huebner, Nicolas Hodges, and Marilyn Nonken.
Violist/Composer Leanne Darling creates multilayered viola pieces with a soulful edge, mixing modern classical and the blues with a middle eastern flavor. She earned the New York Innovative Theater Award for best original music in 2007, and has received Meet the Composer grants for her theater and dance collaborations. She holds degrees from the Eastman School and the Cleveland Institute of Music, and has studied Jazz under Julie Lieberman and Rob Thomas and Arabic music with Simon Shaheen. Former Assistant Principal Viola with the Florida West Coast Symphony, Darling has taught strings for over 25 years from elementary school to college, from the Brooklyn Conservatory to Hudson River Middle School, and is currently adjunct instructor of viola at University at Buffalo. Her goal is to make music education more accessible to all, and is excited to join the community at Buffalo Stringworks.
For many years, music has been a big part of Blair Sailer’s life; starting violin lessons in the fourth grade and a year later starting piano lessons. She attended Frontier High School where she participated in the Frontier Symphony Orchestra as the assistant concertmaster, was involved in the Southtown's Youth Orchestra, and participated in a number of All County music festivals. Blair also had the great privilege of performing in a side-by-side concert with the famous fiddle group Barrage. Blair graduated cum laude in May 2015 at the University at Buffalo with a BA in Music Performance with a minor in Education. She is attending UB's Graduate School of Education for Music Education and is set to graduate in in May 2017. Blair also performs in the Bell Canto Quartet, a string quartet that she co-founded with other UB students in the summer of 2015.
Lisa Gagnon has been playing cello for eleven years, and is currently a junior at the University at Buffalo pursuing a joint degree in English and Linguistics with a Music Performance Minor. A Buffalo native and Sweet Home High School graduate, she participated in many ECMEA and NYSSMA festivals, including Conference All State in 2011, and was in the Greater Buffalo Youth Orchestra for 3 years, performing annually in the BPO’s Side By Side Concert. At UB, Lisa has studied with Jonathan Golove, played with the UB Symphony Orchestra as principle cellist, was in the theatre productions “How Did We” and “The Glass Menagerie,” and is currently in various chamber ensembles in and out of school.
Eunsu Choi is currently an international student at Nardin Academy High School and a member of Greater Buffalo Youth Orchestra. She has participated in orchestras such as Yeodo Youth Symphony Orchestra and Yeosu Gifted Youth Orchestra in Korea, ECMEA ensembles, NYSSMA Area All-State Ensembles, and NYSSMA All-State Conference ensemble in the United States. She has also participated in European Tours with Yeodo Youth Symphony Orchestra twice, in 2007 and 2011, playing in number of renowned music halls such as Musikverein, Smetana Hall, and Dvorak Hall. Born and raised in Yeosu, South Korea, Eunsu has been playing violin since the age of 5, studying with Eunha Yeom for 8 years in Korea and currently with Thomas Halpin in Buffalo. Some of her favorite things are playing in pit orchestras and watching musicals. She hopes to continue studying music in college, along with computer science.
James Burnett's first cello teacher was Nate Keagle, who was “just really fun” and inspired him with his enthusiasm for cello. He is very grateful for his current teacher, Emily Hall, who always finds ways to make learning “magic.” On the weekends, James enjoys playing church music with his brother and some friends at Canisius College or St. Michael's Church. He has had some great experiences at Buffalo State in jazz and classical camps. James also likes backing up his brother in fiddle tunes, and picking out rock songs on his cello. He hopes to get an electric cello someday, when he has a job.
Laura Jay is a violist currently teaching orchestra and general music at Kenmore East High School in Tonawanda, New York. Laura began her music education in the Buffalo Public Schools, where she graduated from City Honors High School. In May of 2014, Laura earned the degree of Bachelor of Music in Music Education from SUNY Buffalo State. Later that year, Laura accepted a fellowship to the Hartt School of Music at the University of Hartford. In May of 2016 Laura graduated with a Masters of Music Education from the Hartt School. Laura was thrilled to return to Buffalo in 2016 to teach at Kenmore East High School, and is excited to be a part of Buffalo String Works.
Peter Stadelman is a freshman Piano Performance Major at Buffalo State College. He has been taking piano lessons for 13 years now, starting at age 5 and a half. Peter is also a trombonist, playing in the Buffalo State Wind Ensemble and Philharmonia Orchestra. As far as his piano endeavors, he is a member of the Buffalo State Jazz Ensemble, and is in 4 rock bands outside of college through Boulevard Music Lessons, where he also gives piano lessons. He has had the pleasure of playing before Robby Takac, bassist of the Goo Goo Dolls, spoke at Performing Arts in Depew, NY and playing in multiple ECMEA festivals. He plays all styles of classical, jazz and rock on piano as well.
Evan Courtin is a freelance violinist in Buffalo, NY. He is a founding member of Wooden Cities, a local new-music chamber ensemble. He plays in a band called Shubbaluliuma, which is mostly a purveyor of eastern European folk music. He is also a music student at Buffalo State College where he studies violin under Amy Glidden, and is the concertmaster of the BSC Philharmonia.
George Burnett started violin at Buffalo Suzuki Strings when he was about the same age as the beginner students at Buffalo String Works. He loves the violin and it is part of his life. He has recently enjoyed playing in high school musicals at Canisius High School, the Springwater Fiddler's Fair, jazz camp at Buffalo State and ECMEA. His most recent project is organizing and playing church music at St. Michael's Church. George is grateful for the opportunity to teach at BSW, and hopes to inspire his students as much as his longtime teacher Miss Sarah Mitchell inspired him.
Amanda Hausmann is currently a junior at Nardin Academy High School and has been playing the violin since she was in kindergarten. She is a member of Nardin Academy’s Orchestra, the Greater Buffalo Youth Orchestra, has participated in the ECMEA and NYSSMA Area All-State orchestras, and the UB Summer String Workshop. Amanda hopes to continue playing the violin in college, along with studying international affairs and education.
John Smigielski is a percussionist currently based in Buffalo, NY. He is a passionate advocate for new music, with a particular focus on emerging composers. His interest in interdisciplinary collaboration has led him to work with dancers, poets, and visual artists. John has performed with Ensemble Signal, Talujon Percussion Group, Slee Sinfonietta, Wooden Cities, electronic music pioneer Emil Schult, and Hans Tammen’s Third Eye Laptop Orchestra. Additionally, he has performed at June in Buffalo, Chosen Vale International Percussion Seminar, SUNY Conference on Instructional Technology, and was awarded a Morris Arts Fellowship. John earned his Bachelor’s degree in Percussion with a minor in Digital Music Production from Buffalo State College, and is currently finishing his Master’s degree in Percussion Performance at the University at Buffalo.
Dana is currently a sophomore at the University at Buffalo where she is studying Biomedical Engineering. She has been playing the violin for about 10 years. She started playing piano later on for about 5 years. In high school, she was an active participant in the string orchestra and played as part of a strings group called La Camerata at many school events. As part of this ensemble she represented her school at the young musicians of the gulf in Bahrain during her last year in school. Dana helped out younger students in the development orchestra at her school and is appreciative of the opportunity to help teach at BSW. She hopes to continue to play music in university, along with biomedical engineering.
Arielle Balthazard is a senior violin performance and mathematics major at the University at Buffalo. She grew up in Phoenix, Arizona where she studied Suzuki violin and was a member of the Phoenix Youth Symphony. Arielle plays with the UB Symphony Orchestra, the Southern Tier Symphony, as well as various chamber music groups at UB. Outside of the classical discipline, Arielle loves learning about the history of Americana and bluegrass music. Arielle is excited for the opportunity to join Buffalo String Works to help share her love and appreciation for music.