FCMF is proud to welcome home Central Arkansas native Jeremy Crosmer as this year's distinguished Guest Artist. Jeremy is a remarkable young artist—both as a cellist and a composer. From 2012 to 2017 he served as the Assistant Principal cellist in the Grand Rapids Symphony and joined the Detroit Symphony Orchestra in May of 2017. Jeremy is a founding member of the modern music ensemble Latitude 49. He is also a current member of the band ESME—a duo that aims to broaden the education of classical music by bringing crossovers and mashups of pop and classical music to schools throughout Michigan. ESME released its first CD in December of 2016.
Jeremy completed multiple graduate degrees from the University of Michigan in cello, composition and theory pedagogy, and received his D.M.A. in 2012 at age 24. While still in school, Jeremy was awarded the prestigious Theodore Presser Graduate Music Award to publish, record and perform his Crosmer-Popper duets. He recorded the duets with Julie Albers, and both sheet music and CD recordings are available online.
Jeremy has taught music theory, pre-calculus and cello at universities across Michigan. He draws mazes, writes science fiction and plays good old country fiddle in his spare time. www.jeremycrosmer.com
Geoffrey Robson has been Director of FCMF since 2017, the Associate Conductor of the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra since 2008, and the Music Director of the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra Youth Ensembles since 2012. He also performs as a violinist, frequently appearing in the ASO's popular River Rhapsodies chamber series. Robson completed his M.M. at Yale University in 2004, studying violin with Erick Friedman. Robson also worked as a public schoolteacher in New Haven, CT, and has taught violin, piano, viola, and music theory Robson graduated from the honors college at Michigan State University in 2002, where he studied violin with Dmitri Berlinsky and I-fu Wang, and conducting with Leon Gregorian.
Amanda Claire Curcio is the newly appointed executive director of the Chamber Music Society and Faulkner Chamber Music Festival coordinator. Amanda is active in the musical community, playing first violin in the University of Arkansas at Little Rock's sponsored community orchestra, Central Arkansas' summer string camp and local ensembles. She began studying the violin in New York when she was seven years old and belonged to numerous select youth orchestras throughout high school. Amanda is a U.S. Army combat veteran and former middle school English Language Arts teacher. Currently, she writes for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette as an investigative reporter.
Yaira Matyakubova began her studies in violin, piano and composition at the age of six in her native Uzbekistan. During her ten years of study in Uspensky Music School, she appeared as a soloist with the major ensembles of her native country, as well as in Musical TV shows, performing her own compositions on violin and piano. At the age of thirteen she was a Semi-Finalist of Tchaikovsky Youth Violin Competition in Moscow, Russia. At the age of sixteen, Yaira received a full scholarship in Interlochen Arts Academy where she studied violin with Julia Bushkova. Yaira has received her Bachelors Degree from The Harid Conservatory in 2000.The same year she was granted a Presidents Award at Rice University and opportunity to study with Kathleen Winkler. In 2003 Yaira continued her education at Yale University with Syoko Aki. In 2003 Yaira performed in Carnegie Hall with the Members of The Silk Road Project in collaboration with Yo-Yo Ma, Pinkas Zukerman. Currently Ms. Matyakubova is the Senior Resident Musician at Music Haven and a first violinist of The Haven String Quartet. Ms. Matyakubova is a member of The Knights Orchestra based in Brooklyn.
Violinist Katherine Williamson has been an arts partner of the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra and Rockefeller String Quartet since October of 2013. A native of Saint Paul, Minnesota, Williamson is also currently a substitute violinist for the Minnesota Orchestra and spent the summer of 2015 playing in Minneapolis as part of the Mill City Summer Opera Orchestra. Music has taken Ms. Williamson from the rolling hills of the Meadowmount School of Music in New York, to the mountains of Breckenridge, to the stage of the Konzerthaus in Berlin. She has served as associate concertmaster of the National Repertory Orchestra, section violin of the Moritzburg Festival Orchestra, and section violin of the Lakes Area Music Festival. She has also been an associate member of the Chicago Civic Orchestra and has played as a semifinalist with the New World Symphony. Katherine graduated from Indiana University in December of 2012 where she received a Bachelor of Music with Distinction under the instruction of Professor Mark Kaplan. While at IU, she also studied pedagogy under Dr. Brenda Brenner and Mimi Zweig.
Ryan Mooney started the violin at the age of four with his aunt, Margaret Pressley. He then switched to viola at age 15 and went on to study with Ian Swenson and Jodi Levitz at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. He has attended such music festivals as Roundtop and Tanglewood where he had the pleasure of performing with the Mark Morris Dance Troup at Jacob's Pillow. He was also a fellow of the Carnegie Hall exchange program where he performed with his quartet in Carnegie Hall and on a Central Asian tour. He is a member of the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra and the Quapaw String Quartet. Ryan has a large studio of violin and viola students, and teaches at the Community School of the Arts at UCA in Conway. He is married to Cathi Whaley and is father to Ellliott and Carter Mooney.
Cellist Emily Taubl has attracted attention for her expressive playing and uncommon poise. She has been called “an outstanding cellist with a bright future” by the Hartford Courant and appeared as a concerto soloist with the Hartford Symphony, Boston Virtuosi, Granite State Symphony, Nashua Chamber Orchestra, New England String Ensemble and the Juilliard Pre-College Symphony.
She has been featured as a soloist at the Piatigorsky International Cello Festival in Los Angeles, on the Boston Symphony Orchestra's Prelude Concert Series, and for The Colors of Claude Debussy: A 150th Birthday Celebration on Boston’s WGBH that was broadcast internationally. In addition, she has been recognized as the top prizewinner in the Van Rooy Competition.
Having studied at the Juilliard School, Yale School of Music, and the New England Conservatory, her major teachers include Paul Katz, Aldo Parisot, and Ardyth Alton.
Emily now lives in Burlington, VT where she teaches both at the University of Vermont and privately. She has been published in Strings Magazine on several occasions and she also founded and runs the Conservatory Audition Workshop that prepares string students for auditions at top music schools.
Grammy-nominated pianist Andrius Žlabys has received international acclaim for his appearances with many of the world’s leading orchestras, including The New York Philharmonic, Boston Symphony Orchestra, Cleveland Orchestra, Rotterdam Symphony, and Philharmonic Orchestra of Buenos Aires. Born in Lithuania and trained at the Curtis Institute of Music, Andrius was 18 years old when the Chicago Tribune wrote: “Pianist-composer Andrius Žlabys is one of the most gifted young keyboard artists to emerge in years.” Since then, Andrius has enjoyed collaborations with several esteemed musicians, including violist Yuri Bashmet, violinist Hilary Hahn, and an enduring collaboration with violinist Gidon Kremer with whom Žlabys has toured extensively in Europe, Japan, South America, and the US. In 2003, Žlabys received a Grammy nomination for his recording of Enescu’s Piano Quintet with Gidon Kremer and Kremerata Baltica, and is featured soloist in "Between two Waves" by Victor Kissine released on ECM in 2013 in collaboration with the same ensemble. A multifaceted musician of wide-ranging repertoire, Andrius Žlabys holds a special reverence for J. S. Bach, while remaining a strong advocate for the contemporary stage with numerous works commissioned by and written for him.