The 2017 Resident Artists:

 Michelle Ross, violin       Ben Russell, violin    Saeunn Thorsteinsdottir, cello      Molly Carr, viola            Adam Golka, piano

Michelle Ross, Artistic Director and Founder

Violinist and composer Michelle Ross is unique as both a solo artist and collaborative visionary. In 2013, she had her Carnegie Hall debut with Maestro Harry Bicket, and her European debut as both soloist and conductor, with the Orchestre de Chambre de Paris as part of Play/Direct, in Cite de La Musique. She is the recipient of the 2012 Leonore Annenberg Fellowship Fund for the Performing and Visual Arts.

A noted soloist and chamber musician, Ross is also in demand as guest concertmaster all around the world, recent highlights including appearances with the Mahler Chamber Orchestra throughout Europe, MusicAeterna and Teodor Currentzis in Russia, the Orchestre National du Capitol de Toulouse and the Orchestre d'Auvergne.  Ross is the Artistic Director and Founder of Music in the Mountains, a classical chamber music festival atop Summit Powder Mountain in Eden, Utah.  In 2016 Michelle also launched the inaugural season of Chamber Music at Eleventh Street Arts Gallery in NYC.

As a chamber musician, she has toured extensively with Itzhak Perlman, and also collaborates with Mitsuko Uchida and Dénes Várjon, as well as members of the Juilliard, Guarneri, and Cleveland String Quartets.  Ross was an artist at the Marlboro Music Festival from 2011-2014, and has toured with Musicians from Marlboro since 2012.

As a composer and improviser, Michelle is extremely interested in creating multimedia and collaborative works, and was recently awarded a New Music USA grant for her work with RendezVous. Her work has toured with the Aspen Sante Fe Ballet for three seasons. She has also had premieres in Baryshnikov Arts Center, the Joyce Theater and in Lincoln Center's Beyond the Machine Festival.

Michelle holds a M.M. from the Juilliard School and a B.A. in English and Comparative Literature from Columbia University, where she studied in the Columbia/Juilliard joint degree program. She has studied with Dorothy DeLay, Itzhak Perlman, Catherine Cho and Ronald Copes.

Ben Russell, violin Ben Russell is a violinist, vocalist and composer who has played all over the world with all sorts of people. He is a member of American Contemporary Music Ensemble (ACME) and co-creator of the songwriting collective Founders. Ben began his career in 2005 by winning the Principal 2nd Violin chair of Portland Symphony Orchestra in Maine which he held for 8 years. In 2006 he co-founded Bryant Park Quartet, a classical string quartet dedicated to teaching chamber music to high school and college students around the country. In 2008 he became a member of ACME, a daring new-music group focused primarily on the work of living American composers. In 2017, ACME is releasing its first portrait album containing nearly all original music composed by members of ACME. In the past 10 years, Ben has performed with several ensembles including International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE), Talea, A Far Cry, Wordless Music Orchestra and Mark Morris Dance Group. He has toured and recorded with several artists including Sufjan Stevens, Arcade Fire, The National, Blonde Redhead, Max Richter, Jóhann Jóhannsson and has appeared on stage with Björk, Jonny Greenwood, and Paul McCartney. After releasing his self titled solo album of original music for violin and voice in 2012, he co-created Founders which combines classical and folk musics with original compositions and pop arrangements. Founders released its debut album, You & Who, in early 2014. Their forthcoming album will include a song cycle utilizing the poetry of Edgar Allan Poe. Ben studied violin performance at BIOLA and Amsterdam Conservatory and received his Masters from New England Conservatory. He now lives in Peekskill, NY with his wife Anna and can often be found in his garden.

Ben Russell, violin

Ben Russell is a violinist, vocalist and composer who has played all over the world with all sorts of people. He is a member of American Contemporary Music Ensemble (ACME) and co-creator of the songwriting collective Founders.

Ben began his career in 2005 by winning the Principal 2nd Violin chair of Portland Symphony Orchestra in Maine which he held for 8 years. In 2006 he co-founded Bryant Park Quartet, a classical string quartet dedicated to teaching chamber music to high school and college students around the country. In 2008 he became a member of ACME, a daring new-music group focused primarily on the work of living American composers. In 2017, ACME is releasing its first portrait album containing nearly all original music composed by members of ACME.

In the past 10 years, Ben has performed with several ensembles including International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE), Talea, A Far Cry, Wordless Music Orchestra and Mark Morris Dance Group. He has toured and recorded with several artists including Sufjan Stevens, Arcade Fire, The National, Blonde Redhead, Max Richter, Jóhann Jóhannsson and has appeared on stage with Björk, Jonny Greenwood, and Paul McCartney.

After releasing his self titled solo album of original music for violin and voice in 2012, he co-created Founders which combines classical and folk musics with original compositions and pop arrangements. Founders released its debut album, You & Who, in early 2014. Their forthcoming album will include a song cycle utilizing the poetry of Edgar Allan Poe.

Ben studied violin performance at BIOLA and Amsterdam Conservatory and received his Masters from New England Conservatory. He now lives in Peekskill, NY with his wife Anna and can often be found in his garden.

Molly Carr, viola Violist Molly Carr, praised for her “ravishing sound” (The Strad) and her “passionate talent and beautiful poise” (AVS), was a top prizewinner in the 2008 Primrose International Viola Competition.  As winner of the 2010 Juilliard Viola Concerto Competition, Ms. Carr made her New York Concerto debut with the Juilliard Orchestra under Xian Zhang in Alice Tully Hall.  She is the recipient of major prizes and scholarships from the Davidson Institute, ASTA, ARTS, the Virtu Foundation, and the Julliard and Manhattan Schools of Music.  An avid soloist, recitalist, and chamber musician, Ms. Carr has appeared across the U.S., as well as in Canada, Mexico, Europe, Israel and Asia.  She is currently an artist of the Marlboro Music Festival and has performed at Ravinia’s Steans Institute, Music@Menlo, the International Musicians Seminar and Open Chamber Music at Prussia Cove (UK), Malaga Clasica, Bari International Music Festival (Italy), Mozartfest (Wurzburg, Germany), Music from Angel Fire, Yellow Barn Music Festival, YAP Ottowa, and the Perlman Music Program. Ms. Carr has collaborated with Itzhak Perlman, Carter Brey, Peter Wiley, Ida Kavafian, Donald and Alisa Weilerstein, Pamela Frank, and the Orion and American Quartets, performing at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art, Princeton’s McCarter Theatre, Chicago’s Symphony Center, and the Jerusalem Music Center.  She is a member of the Solera Quartet (Quartet-in-Residence at the University of Notre Dame) and a former member of the Serafin Quartet.  Ms. Carr recorded the Viola Sonata and early chamber works of Jennifer Hidgon on NAXOS with the Serafin Quartet; in 2016 she joins pianist Josu De Solaun in a NAXOS recording of Enescu’s Op. 16.  A native of Reno, Nevada, Ms. Carr holds a B.M. and M.M. from the Juilliard School, having studied with Heidi Castleman, Steven Tenenbom, and Pinchas Zukerman.  She is on the Viola Faculties of the Juilliard Precollege Division and the Galamian School in Málaga, Spain.

Molly Carr, viola

Violist Molly Carr, praised for her “ravishing sound” (The Strad) and her “passionate talent and beautiful poise” (AVS), was a top prizewinner in the 2008 Primrose International Viola Competition.  As winner of the 2010 Juilliard Viola Concerto Competition, Ms. Carr made her New York Concerto debut with the Juilliard Orchestra under Xian Zhang in Alice Tully Hall.  She is the recipient of major prizes and scholarships from the Davidson Institute, ASTA, ARTS, the Virtu Foundation, and the Julliard and Manhattan Schools of Music.  An avid soloist, recitalist, and chamber musician, Ms. Carr has appeared across the U.S., as well as in Canada, Mexico, Europe, Israel and Asia.  She is currently an artist of the Marlboro Music Festival and has performed at Ravinia’s Steans Institute, Music@Menlo, the International Musicians Seminar and Open Chamber Music at Prussia Cove (UK), Malaga Clasica, Bari International Music Festival (Italy), Mozartfest (Wurzburg, Germany), Music from Angel Fire, Yellow Barn Music Festival, YAP Ottowa, and the Perlman Music Program.

Ms. Carr has collaborated with Itzhak Perlman, Carter Brey, Peter Wiley, Ida Kavafian, Donald and Alisa Weilerstein, Pamela Frank, and the Orion and American Quartets, performing at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art, Princeton’s McCarter Theatre, Chicago’s Symphony Center, and the Jerusalem Music Center.  She is a member of the Solera Quartet (Quartet-in-Residence at the University of Notre Dame) and a former member of the Serafin Quartet.  Ms. Carr recorded the Viola Sonata and early chamber works of Jennifer Hidgon on NAXOS with the Serafin Quartet; in 2016 she joins pianist Josu De Solaun in a NAXOS recording of Enescu’s Op. 16.  A native of Reno, Nevada, Ms. Carr holds a B.M. and M.M. from the Juilliard School, having studied with Heidi Castleman, Steven Tenenbom, and Pinchas Zukerman.  She is on the Viola Faculties of the Juilliard Precollege Division and the Galamian School in Málaga, Spain.

Saeunn Thorsteinsdottir, cello “Riveting” (NYTimes) cellist, Sæunn Thorsteinsdóttir, has appeared as soloist with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Toronto and Iceland Symphonies, among others, and her recital and chamber music performances have taken her across the US, Europe and Asia.  Following the release of her debut recording of Britten’s Suites for Solo Cello on Centaur Records, she has performed in some of the world’s greatest halls including Carnegie Hall, Suntory Hall and Disney Hall.  The press have described her as “charismatic” (NYTimes) and praised her performances for their “emotional intensity” (LATimes). Highlights of the 2016-2017 season included the premiere of a new concerto written for Sæunn by Páll Ragnar Pálsson, co-commissioned by the NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchester and the Los Angeles Philharmonic. In addition to having collaborated closely with Daníel Bjarnason on his award-winning composition Bow to String, this season she is working with composers Halldór Smárason, Melia Watras, and Þuríður Jónsdóttir on new pieces for solo cello. An avid chamber musician, she has collaborated in performance with Itzhak Perlman, Mitsuko Uchida, Richard Goode and members of the Emerson, Guarneri and Cavani Quartets and has participated in numerous chamber music festivals, including Prussia Cove and Marlboro, with whom she has toured. She is cellist of the Seattle-based chamber music group, Frequency, and cellist, founding member, and co-Artistic Director of Decoda, The Affiliate Ensemble of Carnegie Hall.  Sæunn has garnered numerous top prizes in international competitions, including the Naumburg Competition and the Antonio Janigro Competition in Zagreb. She received a Bachelor of Music from the Cleveland Institute of Music, a Master of Music from The Juilliard School and a Doctorate of Musical Arts from SUNY Stony Brook. In the fall of 2015, Sæunn joined the faculty of the University of Washington in Seattle, teaching cello and chamber music.

Saeunn Thorsteinsdottir, cello

“Riveting” (NYTimes) cellist, Sæunn Thorsteinsdóttir, has appeared as soloist with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Toronto and Iceland Symphonies, among others, and her recital and chamber music performances have taken her across the US, Europe and Asia.  Following the release of her debut recording of Britten’s Suites for Solo Cello on Centaur Records, she has performed in some of the world’s greatest halls including Carnegie Hall, Suntory Hall and Disney Hall.  The press have described her as “charismatic” (NYTimes) and praised her performances for their “emotional intensity” (LATimes).

Highlights of the 2016-2017 season included the premiere of a new concerto written for Sæunn by Páll Ragnar Pálsson, co-commissioned by the NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchester and the Los Angeles Philharmonic. In addition to having collaborated closely with Daníel Bjarnason on his award-winning composition Bow to String, this season she is working with composers Halldór Smárason, Melia Watras, and Þuríður Jónsdóttir on new pieces for solo cello.

An avid chamber musician, she has collaborated in performance with Itzhak Perlman, Mitsuko Uchida, Richard Goode and members of the Emerson, Guarneri and Cavani Quartets and has participated in numerous chamber music festivals, including Prussia Cove and Marlboro, with whom she has toured. She is cellist of the Seattle-based chamber music group, Frequency, and cellist, founding member, and co-Artistic Director of Decoda, The Affiliate Ensemble of Carnegie Hall. 

Sæunn has garnered numerous top prizes in international competitions, including the Naumburg Competition and the Antonio Janigro Competition in Zagreb. She received a Bachelor of Music from the Cleveland Institute of Music, a Master of Music from The Juilliard School and a Doctorate of Musical Arts from SUNY Stony Brook.

In the fall of 2015, Sæunn joined the faculty of the University of Washington in Seattle, teaching cello and chamber music.

Adam Golka, piano Polish-American pianist Adam Golka was recently selected by Sir András Schiff to perform recitals at the Klavier-Festival Ruhr in Germany, Tonhalle Zürich, as well as in Berlin and New York (organized by the 92nd Street Y). Adam has been regularly on the concert stage since the age of sixteen, when he won first prize at the 2nd China Shanghai International Piano Competition. He has also received the Gilmore Young Artist Award and the Max I. Allen Classical Fellowship Award from the American Pianists Association. With his extensive concerto repertoire, Golka has appeared as a soloist with dozens of orchestras, among those the BBC Scottish, Atlanta, Houston, Dallas, Indianapolis, New Jersey, Milwaukee, Phoenix, San Diego, Fort Worth, Vancouver, Seattle, and Jacksonville symphonies, Grand Teton Festival Orchestra, National Arts Centre Orchestra of Ottawa, the Sinfonia Varsovia, the Shanghai Philharmonic, the Warsaw Philharmonic, and the Teresa Carreño Youth Orchestra of Venezuela. Adam made his Carnegie Hall Isaac Stern Auditorium Debut in 2010, performing Rachmaninoff’s Third Concerto with the New York Youth Symphony, and also performed a cycle of all five Beethoven concerti in 2011 with the Lubbock Symphony, under the baton of his brother, Tomasz Golka. As a recitalist, he has performed scores of solo concerts, among those at excellent venues such as Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall in New York (presented by the Musicians Emergency Fund), Concertgebouw’s Kleine Zaal, and Musashino Civic Cultural Hall in Tokyo, and at festivals such as Mostly Mozart, the Gilmore Keyboard Festival, the Ravinia Festival, the New York City International Keyboard Festival at Mannes, the Newport Music Festival, and the Duszniki Chopin festival. As a chamber musician, his festival appearances have included prestigious festivals such as Marlboro, Caramoor, Ravinia, and Music@Menlo. Adam Golka has premiered solo works written for him by Richard Danielpour, Michael Brown, and Jarosław Gołembiowski. His début disc, featuring the first sonata of Brahms and the Hammerklavier Sonata of Beethoven, was released in 2014 on First Hand Records. As a child, Adam studied with his mother, Anna Golka, as well as with Dariusz Pawlas. For most of his teenage years and as a young adult, Adam studied with the late José Feghali, whom he considers his most significant influence. Adam also spent four years at the Peabody Conservatory studying with Leon Fleisher. Since finishing his official studies, Adam has continued his work in inspiring lessons with great musicians such as András Schiff, Alfred Brendel, Mitsuko Uchida, Richard Goode, Murray Perahia, Ferenc Rados, and Rita Wagner. Adam Golka acts as Artist-in-Residence at the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, MA.  

Adam Golka, piano

Polish-American pianist Adam Golka was recently selected by Sir András Schiff to perform recitals at the Klavier-Festival Ruhr in Germany, Tonhalle Zürich, as well as in Berlin and New York (organized by the 92nd Street Y). Adam has been regularly on the concert stage since the age of sixteen, when he won first prize at the 2nd China Shanghai International Piano Competition. He has also received the Gilmore Young Artist Award and the Max I. Allen Classical Fellowship Award from the American Pianists Association.

With his extensive concerto repertoire, Golka has appeared as a soloist with dozens of orchestras, among those the BBC Scottish, Atlanta, Houston, Dallas, Indianapolis, New Jersey, Milwaukee, Phoenix, San Diego, Fort Worth, Vancouver, Seattle, and Jacksonville symphonies, Grand Teton Festival Orchestra, National Arts Centre Orchestra of Ottawa, the Sinfonia Varsovia, the Shanghai Philharmonic, the Warsaw Philharmonic, and the Teresa Carreño Youth Orchestra of Venezuela. Adam made his Carnegie Hall Isaac Stern Auditorium Debut in 2010, performing Rachmaninoff’s Third Concerto with the New York Youth Symphony, and also performed a cycle of all five Beethoven concerti in 2011 with the Lubbock Symphony, under the baton of his brother, Tomasz Golka.

As a recitalist, he has performed scores of solo concerts, among those at excellent venues such as Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall in New York (presented by the Musicians Emergency Fund), Concertgebouw’s Kleine Zaal, and Musashino Civic Cultural Hall in Tokyo, and at festivals such as Mostly Mozart, the Gilmore Keyboard Festival, the Ravinia Festival, the New York City International Keyboard Festival at Mannes, the Newport Music Festival, and the Duszniki Chopin festival. As a chamber musician, his festival appearances have included prestigious festivals such as Marlboro, Caramoor, Ravinia, and Music@Menlo. Adam Golka has premiered solo works written for him by Richard Danielpour, Michael Brown, and Jarosław Gołembiowski. His début disc, featuring the first sonata of Brahms and the Hammerklavier Sonata of Beethoven, was released in 2014 on First Hand Records.

As a child, Adam studied with his mother, Anna Golka, as well as with Dariusz Pawlas. For most of his teenage years and as a young adult, Adam studied with the late José Feghali, whom he considers his most significant influence. Adam also spent four years at the Peabody Conservatory studying with Leon Fleisher. Since finishing his official studies, Adam has continued his work in inspiring lessons with great musicians such as András Schiff, Alfred Brendel, Mitsuko Uchida, Richard Goode, Murray Perahia, Ferenc Rados, and Rita Wagner.

Adam Golka acts as Artist-in-Residence at the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, MA.