About the 2011-2012 Artists

The Amenda Quartet (September 25, 2011)

(David Brickman and Patricia Sunwoo, violins; Melissa Matson, viola; Mimi Hwang, cello)

Violinist Patricia Sunwoo had long entertained the notion of performing a "Beethoven cycle" - that is, performing all 16 of Beethoven's string quartets in a series of concerts. The Beethoven quartets are revered by musicians and loved by audiences.  Spanning the master's creative life, within them one finds expressed the spectrum of human experience - joy and anger, jocularity and gravity, despair and exaltation.  

    It was with little difficulty that Patricia enlisted three colleagues to undertake the project which might be considered the "Mount Everest" of the chamber music repertoire.  (The Amenda musicians plan to achieve this without the use of supplemental oxygen.)     

    Formed in January, 2010, the AQ has already been engaged to perform in Kilbourn Hall at the Eastman School of Music, on the RIT Performing Artist series, and in the Performance Hall of the Hochstein School of Music.  The AQ brings its music to a diverse audience in all manner of venues.  (www.AmendaQuartet.org)



Juliana Athayde (May 6, 2012), Concertmaster of the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra since September 2005, appears frequently as a soloist and chamber musician with orchestras and artists around the country, most recently playing in Sun Valley, Idaho, with famed pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet.  A passionate educator, Ms. Athayde is on the faculties of the Eastman School of Music, Cornell University, Roberts Wesleyan College and is a visiting teacher at the Cleveland Institute of Music.  She holds degrees from the University of Michigan and the Cleveland Institute of Music, where she studied with renowned Cleveland Orchestra Concertmaster William Preucil.  She has performed as soloist with multiple orchestras including the San Francisco Symphony, and has appeared as guest concertmaster with the National Arts Center Orchestra in Ottawa, Ontario, as well as the Houston and Kansas City Symphonies. During the summer, Ms. Athayde performs alongside her husband, RPO Principal Oboist Erik Behr, at San Diego’s Mainly Mozart Festival, and with the Sun Valley Summer Symphony in Idaho.


Cellist John Haines-Eitzen (May 6, 2012) has performed in most of the world's major concert halls. He was a member of the Philadelphia Orchestra from 1995 until 2005 and has also performed with the New York Philharmonic, North Carolina Symphony, and the Columbus Symphony, of which he became the youngest member after winning an audition while still an undergraduate at Indiana University. His solo and chamber music appearances have taken him to such diverse locations as Sapporo, Japan, Sao Paulo, Brazil, and to the Casals Festival in Puerto Rico, the Sarasota Music Festival in Florida, and numerous concert series throughout the United States and abroad. He has performed in the Philadelphia Orchestra's Chamber Music Series with pianists Wolfgang Sawallisch and Yefim Bronfman and at the Saratoga Chamber Music Festival in New York with mezzo-soprano Frederica von Stade and pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet. Mr. Haines-Eitzen is the founder and artistic director of the Vandermark Ensemble, a nonprofit chamber music consortium, and has appeared on National Public Radio. He holds a Bachelor of Music and Performer's Certificate from Indiana University where he was a student of Janos Starker. Mr. Haines-Eitzen's recent CD release of the Bach Cello Suites for Aramus Records is now available at Amazon, iTunes, and www.haines-eitzen.com.
Cellist Michael Kannen (September 25, 2011) has distinguished himself as a musician and educator of uncommon accomplishment who is comfortable in widely diverse musical situations and venues.was a founding member of the Brentano String Quartet and for seven years performed with that group on concert stages around the world, on radio and television, and on recordings.  During those first seven years, the Brentano Quartet was awarded the first Cleveland Quartet Award, the Naumburg Chamber Music Award, the Martin E. Segal Award from Lincoln Center, and the Royal Philharmonic Society's award for best debut recital in England for the 1997-1998 season.  With the Brentano Quartet, Mr. Kannen appeared regularly in such venues as Alice Tully Hall in New York, the Library of Congress in Washington, Wigmore Hall in London, the Amsterdam Concertgebouw, the Chatelet Theater in Paris, and the Sydney Opera House. Mr. Kannen is currently the Director of Chamber Music at the Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore, where he holds the Sidney Friedberg Chair in Chamber Music. He lives in Baltimore with his wife, violist Maria Lambros, and their son, Daniel.  
Trombonist Mark Kellogg (February 12, 2012) is Associate Professor of Trombone, Euphonium, and Brass Chamber Music at the Eastman School of Music, where he has taught since 1991. An active performer, he also holds the position of Principal Trombone of the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra. Throughout his career he has embraced a wide variety of performing roles, from jazz soloist to chamber musician to orchestral musician. After receiving his undergraduate training and Performer's Certificate from the Eastman School (as a student of John Marcellus and Cherry Beauregard), Mr. Kellogg performed with the San Francisco Symphony and the Syracuse Symphony. He was a founding member of the brass and percussion ensemble Rhythm and Brass, and has performed with jazz artists such as Clark Terry, Wynton Marsalis and Eddie Daniels. Originally from Hannibal NY, Mr. Kellogg lives in Pittsfor with his wife, RPO flutist Joanna Bassett, and their son Robbie.
 Violist Melissa Matson (September 25, 2011 and May 6, 2012), artistic director of First Muse Chamber Music, is the Principal Violist of the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra. She also performs frequently with Chamber Music Rochester and with the Skaneateles (NY) Festival. A California native, she received her degrees and the Performer’s Certificate from Eastman, where she teaches viola orchestral repertoire. Ms. Matson was a founding member of the Chester String Quartet (prize winners at the Munich and Portsmouth international competitions) and has been a chamber music participant in the Aspen, Norfolk, and Grand Teton summer festivals. She enjoys creating artisan-dyed fabrics and garments (www.MelissaMatson.com), and lives in Honeoye Falls with her husband.

American pianist Jon Nakamatsu (May 6, 2012)  continues to draw unanimous praise as a true aristocrat of the keyboard, whose playing combines elegance, clarity, and electrifying power.   A native of California, Mr. Nakamatsu came to international attention in 1997 when he was named Gold Medalist of the Tenth Van Cliburn International Piano Competition, the only American to have achieved this distinction since 1981.  Nakamatsu, who at the time was a high school German language teacher without formal conservatory training, seized the Van Cliburn jurors and audiences with the polish, musicality, and technical brilliance of his playing. 
     Since his dramatic Van Cliburn triumph Mr. Nakamatsu’s  brilliant but unassuming musicianship and eclectic repertoire has made him a clear favorite on the concert circuit throughout the world as well as in the recording studio.  Mr. Nakamatsu has performed widely in North America, Europe and the Far East, collaborating with such conductors as James Conlon, Marek Janowski, Raymond Leppard, Jahja Ling, Keith Lockhart, David Lockington, Carl St. Clair, and Hans Vonk.  He also performed at a White House concert hosted by President and Mrs. Clinton.

     Jon Nakamatsu’s extensive recital tours through the United States and Europe have featured debuts in New York City (Carnegie Hall), Washington, DC (Kennedy Center), Boston, Chicago, Cincinnati, Paris, London, and Milan.  He has also worked with various chamber ensembles – among them the Brentano, Tokyo, and Ying String Quartets.

     An active recording artist, Jon Nakamatsu records exclusively for Harmonia Mundi USA.   His recent all-Gershwin recording with the Rochester Philharmonic featuring “Rhapsody in Blue” and the Concerto in F rose to number three on Billboard’s classical music charts and received extraordinary critical praise.  Other acclaimed releases include an all-Liszt disc featuring the “Dante Sonata”; a recording of Brahms’ Piano Sonata in F minor and other solo works by the composer; and Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 3 and his Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini.

     Jon Nakamatsu studied privately with Marina Derryberry and has worked with Karl Ulrich Schnabel, son of the great pianist Artur Schnabel.  Mr. Nakamatsu is a graduate of Stanford University with a bachelor’s degree in German Studies and a master’s degree in Education.
Alexander Shuhan (February 12, 2012) joined the Ithaca College faculty in 1998 where he is presently Associate Professor of Horn. He is principal horn of the Cayuga Chamber Orchestra and the Ft. Smith (AR) Symphony Orchestra. From 2005–2010, he served as a Valade Instructor of Horn at the Interlochen Summer Arts Camp.  

    As a founding member (1993), hornist, pianist and composer of Rhythm & Brass, he has performed extensively throughout the United States, Canada, Japan and the Middle East. The group’s seven CD’s include: Inside the Blue Suitcase (2005), featuring original compositions by R&B members; Sitting In An English Garden—Music of the Beatles, Pink Floyd and Led Zeppelin (2000); More Money Jungle—Ellington Explorations (1997); Christmas Time Is Here (1995); Time In September (1994); Song and Dance (1994); and a play-along CD for Jazz Player Magazine in September 1995. He was a member of Dallas Brass from 1985–1993. As a member of Rhythm & Brass and Dallas Brass, he has appeared as soloist with numerous U.S. symphony orchestras, including those in Dallas, Detroit, Milwaukee, Rochester, Syracuse, Tucson, Phoenix, Jacksonville, Oregon, Denver and Grand Rapids.

    Mr. Shuhan performs frequently with the Rochester Philharmonic and Syracuse Symphony Orchestras and appears regularly at the Skaneateles Chamber Music Festival. He has studied at Southern Methodist University with Greg Hustis, the Eastman School of Music with Verne Reynolds, and the Pre-College Division of the Juilliard School with Harry Berv. Other teachers include Marvin Howe, Nancy Cochran, John Jacobsen and Henry Babcock.

Joseph Werner (February 12, 2012) enjoys a varied career as a soloist, collaborative artist, orchestral pianist, administrator, and educator. He has been the Principal Pianist for the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra since 1975 and the orchestra’s Personnel Manager since 1993.  He is Co-Artistic Director of Chamber Music Rochester and has recorded for the Columbia, Vanguard, Musical Heritage Society, NEXUS, and Naxos labels.  He has toured across the United States with Mark Kellogg, Principal Trombone of the RPO, and toured Russia, Eastern Europe, and the Middle East as an Artistic Ambassador for the United States Information Agency with Peter Kurau, Principal Horn of the RPO.  A graduate of the Eastman School of Music, Mr. Werner is Co-Chair of the Piano Department of the Hochstein Music School, where he won that institution’s first Faculty Service Award.  Mr. Werner was the recipient of Mu Phi Epsilon’s Musician of the Year Award in 2007.