First Concert – Sunday, September 18, 2016 at 5 pm



 Burning River Baroque

  Paula Maust, harpsichord, organ

  Malina Rauschenfels, soprano

  Josefien Stoppelenburg, soprano

  Phillip W. Serna, viola da gamba






The name Burning River Baroque pays tribute to the past, present, and future of Northeast Ohio. There was a time when our rivers would catch fire and burn. Today, the land those rivers travel burns with the spirit and conviction of a community whose best days lay ahead. We are as marked by the currents of history as we are the ceaseless pursuit of new frontiers. So too is the repertoire and beating heart of Burning River Baroque. Carrying that fire to our stage are MalinaRauschenfels, soprano, Paula Maust, harpsichord and organ, JosefienStoppelenburg, soprano, and Phillip W. Serna, viola da gamba.

MalinaRauschenfels is a soprano, composer and multi-instrumentalist transplanted to Cleveland after 11 years in New York City. Praised by the Boston Musical Intelligencer as “spellbinding” and for her “powerful clarion tones and crisp articulation,” she has also been commended by clevelandclassical.com for her “exceptional vocal range, strong acting abilities, gripping theatricality, and commanding gestures, both musical and physical.” Equally comfortable with early music and contemporary music, she has sung with Quire Cleveland, Contrapunctus, Marble Sanctuary Choir, Toby Twining Music, Trinity Chamber Singers, and C4 – the Choral Composer Conductor Collective. Malina has appeared in broadcast performances on WCLV Cleveland and can be heard recorded on “Musica Celestial” with the Newberry Consort, “Caritas et Amor” with Marble Sanctuary Choir and “Madrigalian Motets from Jacobean England” and “Carols for Quire from the Old & New Worlds Volume 3” with Quire Cleveland. Recent engagements included performances in “Celestial Sirens” with The Newberry Consort, concerts on the SoHIP early music series in Boston with Burning River Baroque, Cavalli’s opera ‘Apollo e Dafne’ with Venice Opera Project, and a recital with organ in Venice, Italy. Last summer included three BEMF fringe programs, Cavalli opera ‘Il Giasone,’ Three Bridges Festival with Emma Kirkby, an opera written for her by Rachel Devorah Trapp performed in Halifax Canada through Opera from Scratch, and ‘Acis and Galatea’ with El Fuego in Chapel Hill, NC. More information can be found at www.malinarauschenfels.com.

Praised as “a refined and elegant performer” by the Boston Musical Intelligencer, Paula Maust performs extensively as a harpsichordist and organist across the United States as a soloist, chamber musician, and church musician. Her diverse musical career focuses on historical performance practice and combines her distinct interests in performance, pedagogy, and scholarship. Paula is a co-director of both MusicaSpira and Burning River Baroque, and she has also collaborated with the Virginia Symphony Orchestra, the Baltimore Baroque Band, El Fuego Fire, and New Comma Baroque. Recent significant performances include Bach’s Harpsichord Concerto in G Minor, Duruflé’sRequiem, Handel’s Messiah, and Bernstein’s Chichester Psalms. In addition to performing, Paula teaches masterclasses and presents engaging lectures to introduce people to the harpsichord. She also worked as a music theory and ear training graduate teaching assistant at the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University.

Paula was recently awarded the Dean’s DMA Fellowship to pursue doctoral studies in harpsichord at the Peabody Institute. She earned the MM Degree in Early Music: Harpsichord from the Peabody Institute and the MM Degree in Organ from the Cleveland Institute of Music. At CIM, Paula was awarded the Dean’s Award for the graduate student with the highest academic achievement, and she also completed the Early Music Certificate through Case Western Reserve University. She completed the BM Degree in Church music at Valparaiso University, where she graduated summa cum laude and was an associate scholar in the interdisciplinary honors college. Her teachers have included Adam Pearl, Webb Wiggins, Todd Wilson, and Lorraine Brugh. Further information can be found at her website: www.paulamaust.com.

Called “an astonishing singer’” by the Chicago Tribune, Dutch soprano JosefienStoppelenburg, has performed as a soloist in the United States, Europe, Asia and South America and the Arab Emirates. In 2013, Stoppelenburg won the Chicago Oratorio Award, as well as a second place in the American Prize Opera Competition. She performed for Dutch King Willem Alexander in March 2014. She has appeared with Camerata Amsterdam, Radio PhilharmonischOrkest, Noord NederlandsOrkest, Haymarket Opera Company, Music of the Baroque, Boulder Bach Festival and the Arizona Bach Festival. She was be the soloist of a series of twenty Handel’s Messiah and Bach’s St. Matthew Passions with Camerata Amsterdam in the Spring 2016.

The ensemble Brothers and Sisters (vocal duo Charlotte and JosefienStoppelenburg and piano duo and brothers Martijn and Stefan Blaak) recently appeared live on Radio 4, the Dutch classical radio station and just made their ensemble debut in the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam. As a vocal duo, Charlotte and Josefien have performed in nearly every Dutch concert hall.

Josefien’s second love is painting. She was the artist in Residence at the Evanston Art Center in 2014 and paints frequently on commission. See also www.josefienstoppelenburg.com and www.inspirationpaintings.com.


Phillip W. Serna
performs on double bass with Midwestern orchestras as well as on viols with ensembles including Black Tulip, Harmonie, the Musica Angelica Baroque Orchestra, New Comma Baroque, the Newberry Consort of Viols, the Secret of the Muses, the Spirit of Gambo, and many others. Phillip has appeared on Chicago’s 98.7FM WFMT, Wisconsin Public Radio, Milwaukee Public Radio and WUIS NPR and can be heard on CD releases from Clarion, Cedille, Soundbyte and VarèseSarabande Records.

Holding Masters and Doctoral degrees from Northwestern University, Phillip teaches double bass and viola da gamba at Valparaiso University, double bass at North Central College, viola da gamba and viol consort at the Music Institute of Chicago, and is assistant director and sponsor of viol consorts and Illinois’ first public-school period-instrument Baroque ensemble and viol consort at Adlai E. Stevenson High School, and is music director of the Early Music outreach program Viols in Our Schools – which earned him Early Music America’s Outreach Award for 2010 and their Early Music Month prize for2016.

Founded in Cleveland in 2012, Burning River Baroque takes its name from the famous incident in which the badly polluted Cuyahoga River caught on fire. This name not only connotes the fiery passion which the ensemble brings to its performances, but also reflects the practice of tying history and social change to music and current issues in a way that feels fresh and relevant to contemporary audiences. While Baroque performance practice informs the group’s presentation of historical works, they have evolved its presentation to encourage a participatory concert atmosphere, breaking the fourth wall and involving audiences in the drama that is occurring onstage.


Burning River Baroque seeks to throw open the doors of the concert hall to audience members who may never have considered that classical music had something to offer them or could reflect their life experience and concerns. Classical music can be perceived as elitist or stuffy; Burning River Baroque shows that it can be the opposite. It is their mission to create concerts that educate and appeal to all types of audiences. Burning River Baroque has performed in NYC, Boston, Berkeley, California, Canada, and extensively in Ohio. The Boston Musical Intelligencer described them as a group that “…left an indelible imprint on my psyche.” Co-directors MalinaRauschenfels and Paula Maust manage the group and hire outside artists as necessary for a diverse array of programs each concert season.

Second Concert – Sunday, October 16, 2016 at 5 pm





 Featured Young Artist ~ Nikita Mndoyants










Every three years, the Cleveland International Piano Competition attracts some of the most acclaimed pianists in the world between ages 18 to 30. Following twelve days of unparalleled performances, winners are announced August 6. Recitals, recordings and concert careers begin. As an extra special bonus, Music from The Western Reserve is proud to announce that a winner of this year’s Cleveland International Piano Competition will headline an entire evening of our 2016 – 2017 concert season.

NIKITA MNDOYANTS

Coming from a family of professional musicians, Nikita Mndoyants began to play piano and compose music a very young age. He gave his first public recital at age eight, and recorded his first CD (of a live performance in Helsinki) at age 10. Mr. Mndoyants received undergraduate and graduate degrees from the Moscow Tchaikovsky State Conservatory, where he studied composition with Professor Alexander Tchaikovsky and piano with Professor Nikolay Petrov and Professor Alexander Mndoyants. Since 2013 he has taught orchestration, also at the Moscow Tchaikovsky State Conservatory.

Mr. Mndoyants won first prize at the 2016 Cleveland International Piano Competition, first prize at the 2007 Paderewsky International Piano Competition, and was a finalist at the 2013 Van Cliburn International Piano Competition. As a composer, Mr. Mndoyants received first prize at the 2014 Myaskovsky International Competition of Composers.

Mr. Mndoyants has toured throughout China, Estonia, France, Germany, Israel, Italy, Latvia, Portugal, Russia, Spain, Switzerland, and the U.S. and appeared in major concert halls in Moscow, St. Petersburg and Paris. He has worked with renowned conductors including Bramwell Tovey, Leonard Slatkin, EriKlas, Ignat Solzhenitsyn, Charles Ansbacher, and Alexander Sladkovsky. He has performed in several festivals, including the Chopin Festival in Duszniki-Zdroj (Poland) and the International Keyboard Institute and Festival in New York. Mr. Mndoyants also has been pianist and composer in residence at the International Music Festival in Wissembourg (France) since 2012.

Giving his first chamber performance with the Borodin Quartet in 2004, he has continued to cultivate his passion for chamber music, working with such ensembles as the Brentano, Eben, Zemlinsky and Szymanowsky Quartets. His piano and chamber works are made available by publishing houses Composers, Muzyka, and Jurgenson, and have been performed by Daniel Hope, Nicolas Stavy, the Szymanowski and Zemlinsky Quartets, Moscow State Symphony Orchestra, and others. Mr. Mndoyants has released solo and chamber recordings on the Classical Records and Praga Digitals labels.

Third Concert – Sunday, November 6, 2016 at 5 pm




 The Heimat String Quartet


  Patrick Shaughnessy
, violin

  Aubrey Holmes, violin

  Chung Han Hsiao, viola

  Aaron Fried, cello




For one evening each season, we showcase the burgeoning mastery and emotive power of a young artist whose star is on the rise. Not this year. Instead, our Featured Young Artist is an entire ensemble. The Heimat String Quartet first formed as undergrads at Boston Conservatory of Music. Still together, they came to Northeast Ohio to pursue their graduate work at Kent State University’s School of Music and currently serve as the faculty ensemble-in-residence at the Western Reserve Academy. The Heimat String Quartet is Patrick Shaughnessy, violin, Aubrey Holmes, violin, Chung Han Hsiao, viola, and Aaron Fried, cello.


Fourth Concert – Sunday, February 12, 2017 at 5 pm




 The Cleveland Bluegrass Orchestra


 Mark Dumm
, violin

 Henry Peyrebrune, bass

 Trina Struble, harp

 Derek Zadinsky, bass

 Jeff Zehngut, violin




It has been said that The Cleveland Bluegrass Orchestra is the most exclusive bluegrass ensemble in the world. The vetting process is rigorous. First, you must play an instrument in The Cleveland Orchestra. Second, you must be willing to play a different instrument in The Cleveland Bluegrass Orchestra. Third, and this is key, you must believe that the world would be a better place with just a little bit more banjo and fiddle. If at least one of those descriptions applies to you, join Trina Struble, fiddle, Mark Dumm, banjo, Jeff Zehngut, mandolin/sax, Henry Peyrebrune, guitar, and Derek Zadinsky, bass, for an evening of undiluted, genre-blending, toe-tapping joy.



Fifth Concert – Sunday, March 12, 2017 at 5 pm



 Black Squirrel Winds



  Danna Sundet, oboe
  Diane McCloskey, flute
  AmitaiVardi, clarinet
  Mark DeMio, bassoon,
  Kent Larmee, horn.






Black Squirrel Winds took their name from the unofficial mascot of Kent State University — the black squirrel. Prior to their formation, lifetime pursuits of precision and craft brought each musician together as faculty members at one of the most distinguished schools of music in the country. When performing as one, their pursuits converge again — this time into a selfless and exhilarating give-andtake of discovery and refined musicianship. Black Squirrel Winds is Danna Sundet, oboe, Diane McCloskey, flute, AmitaiVardi, clarinet, Mark DeMio, bassoon, and Kent Larmee, horn. Accompanying them for the evening will be acclaimed recitalists and soloists Tiago Delgado, clarinet, and Elizabeth DeMio, piano.

Diane McCloskey, flutist, is currently Associate Professor of Music at Kent State University where she performs with the Black Squirrel Winds faculty chamber ensemble. She performs in solo and chamber settings at the university and for series such as Music from Stan Hywet, Music from the Western Reserve, and Kent/Blossom Music Festival. Ms. McCloskey currently plays with the Lake Erie Ballet Orchestra and as substitute with the Erie Philharmonic Orchestra (PA). Previously, she served as Principal Flute with the Youngstown Symphony Orchestra and performed with the Akron, Canton, and Indianapolis Symphony Orchestras. Ms. McCloskey has won the National Flute Association’s Convention Performer’s Competition several times, most recently performing at the Pittsburg convention. McCloskey was Workshops Coordinator for five consecutive NFA annual conventions, and has also served that organization as Bios Editor for the Convention Program Book as well as adjudicator for several competitions. She has served as artist/faculty for Kent/Blossom Music and the Lutheran Summer Music Program, and has presented master classes for the Ohio Music Teachers Association. Before her appointment at Kent, she held teaching positions at Kenyon College and Northeast Missouri State University, and later engaged in doctoral study at Indiana University (Bloomington). Her flute teachers include Peter Lloyd, KyrilMagg, and Katherine Borst Jones. Ms. McCloskey holds degrees from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music and Capital University Conservatory of Music.

Clarinetist AmitaiVardi, an avid soloist, orchestral, and chamber musician, was recently appointed Assistant Professor of Clarinet at Kent State University. Vardi made his solo debut at the age of sixteen with the Madison Symphony Orchestra as a first-place winner of the Steenbock Young Artist Competition. He has since won several concerto competitions, including the Round Top International Festival Competition, The Cleveland Institute of Music Concerto Competition, and the Agnes Fowler Competition. In addition, Vardi has been a featured soloist with the Spoleto Symphony Orchestra, and performed the North American premiere of Srul Glick’s concerto, The Klezmer’s Wedding, with members of the Pittsburgh Symphony.

Vardi received his Bachelor of Music degree from Indiana University, where he studied with Eli Eban, and his Master of Music degree at The Cleveland Institute of Music, as a student of Franklin Cohen. Mr. Vardi pursued his post-graduate studies with Yehuda Gilad in Los Angeles.

Vardi has extensive teaching experience both at the college level and with youth. He was on the faculty at the University of Akron teaching both clarinet and chamber music from 2008-2012. During that period, he has also been the Director and Conductor of CityMusic Kids, an El Sistema type program in inner-city Cleveland.

His enthusiasm for chamber music has led to performances across the United States, South America, Europe, and his native Israel. Vardi is a member of the Black Squirrel Winds featuring the woodwind faculty at Kent State University. He is featured in several chamber music CDs, and later this year will appear on a recording with his father, cellist Uri Vardi.

As an orchestral player, Vardi served as principal clarinetist of Red {an orchestra}, and Lyric Opera Cleveland. He currently holds positions with Opera Cleveland, Blue Water Chamber Orchestra, City Music Cleveland, and Blossom Band and Orchestra. Vardi has performed with many orchestras, including the American Ballet Theatre, Joffrey Ballet, The Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra and the Cleveland Orchestra, with which he performed dozens of concerts and has toured to New York, Philadelphia, Boston, and Miami.

Danna Sundetserves as full-time Assistant Professor of Oboe at Kent State University. She is Artistic Coordinator of the Kent/Blossom Music Festival. Her artistry, broad range and versatility has its roots in her exotic upbringing. She grew up in Brazil, the Canary Islands, and Texas, speaking three languages fluently from early childhood. Danna moved to Cleveland in 1982 to study with John Mack and stayed. She received her B.M. from the Cleveland Institute of Music and her M.M. from Kent State University. Since 1987, Danna has been the principal oboist and regular featured soloist with The Erie Philharmonic. She is a founding member of Panoramico’s, a Cleveland chamber ensemble and serves as co-principal with the Trinity Chamber Orchestra. As a soloist and chamber musician she regularly collaborates with world renown musicians. She has recorded three CD’s with Panoramico’s, four CD’s with WorldView International (now known as Ancient Path). She records regularly for Ludwig Publishing Company and can be heard on numerous educational CD’s.

Danna Sundet is the musical Director of the John Mack Legacy Oboe Camp in Little Switzerland, NC, having had the honor of being chosen for that role by her oboist colleagues from all over the United States. Additionally, she is administering the archives and musical library of the late John Mack. In November of 2006 she organized an unprecedented concert of over 100 world renowned musicians who performed in Severance Hall as tribute and memorial for the late John Mack. She produced and performed on the John Mack Memorial CD.

Mrs. Sundet’s enthusiastic and motivational style of teaching and her clear and logical approach to musical instruction heralds her as one of the most prolific and influential teachers of oboe students in the United States. Her students are dynamic soloists, chamber musicians and section players. She models to her students a high level of mastery, musical integrity and a hard work ethic that encourages them to become successful artists, teachers, arts managers and instrument repair technicians throughout the United States.

Mark DeMioreceived undergraduate and graduate degrees from the Cleveland Institute of Music. He performs frequently with the Cleveland Orchestra including tours and recordings on both bassoon and contrabassoon. Among the other groups he performs with are Kent State University’s Black Squirrel Winds, Akron Symphony, Erie Philharmonic, Youngstown Symphony, Trinity Cathedral Chamber Orchestra and Trinity Chamber Players, Blue Water Chamber Orchestra, Cleveland Chamber Symphony and Cleveland Pops. Mr. DeMio balances a busy performance and teaching freelance lifestyle. He is on the faculty at the Cleveland Institute of Music Preparatory, Baldwin-Wallace University Conservatory Preparatory, and the Music School Settlement, helping younger bassoon students get off to the right start and prepare their way to a fun, musical life. As a native of Cleveland, Ohio, Mark DeMio took the opportunity to study extensively with the fine bassoonists of the Cleveland Orchestra; Principal George Goslee, Assistant Principal Ronald Phillips, Second Bassoonist Phillip Austin and Contrabassoonist Stanley Maret. Thus, he continues the Cleveland style of woodwind artistry in his teaching and performing.

The fine art of reed making is a specialty of Mr. DeMio’s, which he began learning in the earliest years of his study with the Cleveland Orchestra bassoonists, and subsequently with other great bassoon players.

Mark DeMio especially enjoys time at home with his pianist wife Elizabeth, children Teresa and Vincent, and the rascally dogs.

Kent Larmee, a native of Ohio, is associate professor of horn at Kent State University where, in addition to teaching graduate and undergraduate horn, he performs with the Kent Brass and Wind Quintets. He has served on the faculties of The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Hiram College, Denison University, and the New England Music and Westchester Music and Arts Camps. Mr. Larmee holds degrees in Music Education and Horn Performance and Pedagogy from Ohio State University, and has attended the Aspen Music Festival and Blossom Festival School. His professional performing experience includes principal horn with the Ohio Chamber Orchestra, Cleveland Opera and Ballet, Sinfonia da Camera (of Illinois), and the Champaign-Urbana Symphony. He was a charter member of the Pro Musica Chamber Orchestra (of Columbus) and a member of the Columbus Symphony, Canton Symphony, Youngstown Symphony, and Springfield (IL) Symphony Orchestras. Mr. Larmee has also performed with the Cleveland Orchestra, Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, Chautauqua (NY) Symphony Orchestra, Akron Symphony Orchestra, Cleveland Metropolitan Brass Quintet, Burning River Brass, and Keith Brions’ New Sousa Band.



Sixth Concert – Sunday, April 9, 2017 at 5 pm



  The Omni Quartet

   Yung-Min Amy Lee, violin
   Alicia Koelz, violin
   Joanna Zakany, viola
   Tanya Ell, cello








Their name evokes phrases like “everything,” “all,” and “without limits.” In more ways than one, the founding members of The Omni Quartet are true to their word. As members of the illustrious Cleveland Orchestra, Jung-Min Amy Lee, violin, Alicia Koelz, violin, Joanna Zakany, viola, and Tanya Ell, cello, have graced some of the grandest venues in the world — Carnegie Hall, Vienna’s Musikverein, The Kennedy Center. When performing as The Omni Quartet, they honor chamber music in its purest form by rendering the emotional multitudes of a full orchestra into an experience that is at once intimate and immediate.

The Omni Quartet, comprised of Amy Lee and Alicia Koelz, violins, Joanna Zakany, viola, and Tanya Ell, cello, are all members of The Cleveland Orchestra. Formed in 2009, they have toured the world’s greatest venues as members of the orchestra, including Carnegie Hall, the Edinburgh Festival, Vienna’s Musikverein, The Kennedy Center, and the Salzburg Festival. Each member of the group brings a seasoned career to the mix, striving to give concert goers a more personal experience of what individual musicians in the Cleveland Orchestra are all about: getting to the heart of the music and communicating it to the listener with a legacy of precision that has been handed down for generations. This versatile group plays concerts regularly in the greater Cleveland area, as well as branching off to do innovative concerts in alternative venues, from playing at Cleveland’s Happy Dog to playing in the Hall of Mirrors at the Primate’s Palace for the Ambassador of Bratislava.