Strings

 

Rachelle Betancourt, Violin
American violinist Rachelle Betancourt has performed to critical acclaim on five continents. She is a member of the Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra (hr-Sinfonieorchester) in Germany. After graduating from Rice University, summa cum laude, under the tutelage of Kathleen Winkler, she was awarded a Fulbright Grant to study in Germany with Ida Bieler at the Robert Schumann Hochschule for Music in Duesseldorf, where she earned both the Konzertexamen Diploma and Chamber Music Certificate with the highest honors. She has won competitions at the international and national level, and she regularly performs chamber music and solo concerts in America and Europe. Rachelle is also active in outreach and education programs on both continents and speaks English, German, and Spanish fluently.

http://www.betancourtviolin.com/rachelle/

 

Rafael Betancourt, Violin
Rafael Betancourt is a frequent guest on concert stages around the world. Born in Venezuela, he earned his Bachelor and Master of Music degrees with full scholarships at Florida International University (with Robert Davidovici) and Lynn University (with Elmar Oliveira and Stephen Majeske) respectively. In Germany he worked intensely with Professor Ida Bieler (Robert Schumann Hochschule Duesseldorf). He has performed in orchestras such as the Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival Orchestra, the New World Symphony, and Florida Grand Opera among others. As a chamber musician, he has collaborated with artists from the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, the Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Frankfurt Opera and Museum Orchestra, and other major ensembles. He has given master classes in Europe and North and South America, and his students have won prizes in numerous competitions.

http://www.betancourtviolin.com/rafael/


 

Max Jacob, Double Bass
Max Jacob, as a musician-entrepreneur, is the co-founder, executive director, and bassist of the conductorless string ensemble “Shattered Glass.” Max studied with Metropolitan Opera bassist Jeremy McCoy at Manhattan School of Music to earn a Bachelor of Music degree in orchestral double bass. Doubling on electric bass, Max has performed with Talib Kweli and Pumpkinhead. He currently performs and tours with Zusha as bassist and music director. As an active composer/arranger, Max has had string arrangement commissions from Kinetics & One Love, Vita Chambers, and Zusha. Max Jacob plays on an exceptional Milanese double bass from the early 19th century as well as a G&L L2000 electric bass. 

 

Elad Kabilio, Cello  
Praised by The New York Times for his playing “vibrantly”, “full of texture and nuance”, and with “marvelous imagination”, Israeli cellist Elad Kabilio is an active soloist, chamber musician and teaching artist. Among his recent performances are Weill Hall at Carnegie Hall, Alice Tully Hall, the Morgan Library and the Joyce Theater in New York City. He has also performed at the Aspen Music Festival, Young Artist Festival in Bayreuth – Germany and was featured on WQXR Radio. Mr. Kabilio collaborates frequently with dancers from top ballet companies such as New York City Ballet and the American Ballet Theater, and served as the music director of Ballet Next (2011-2014). He currently serves as the Music Director of the Ashley Bouder Project, based in New York City. Mr. Kabilio has taught in numerous schools both in Israel and New York City, and is currently teaching thru Manhattan School of Music’s distance learning program and at the summer camp. Mr. Kabilio is committed to bringing music to new audiences and is the founder of MusicTalks, a chamber music series devoted to breaking down the barriers between musicians and audience by taking advantage of the intimacy that chamber music provides. Mr. Kabilio has received numerous awards throughout his career. He was selected by the Israel Ministry of Culture as an “Outstanding Musician” and served in the Israeli Army as a member of the Israeli Defense Force string quartet, performing concerts throughout Israel. He was awarded second prize at the Buchmann-Mehta School of Music string competition where he also received the “Orchestra Excellence Award” from Maestro Zubin Mehta. Elad has performed with the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra, under the baton of Daniel Barenboim, on tours in Europe and the US. He has also performed with conductors such as Zubin Mehta, Gustavo Dudamel, James Conlon, David Zinman, Leonard Slatkin, Itzhak Perlman and JoAnn Falletta.

     
 

Irena McGuffee, Viola
Originally from Bulgaria, violist Irena McGuffee is the recipient of numerous awards and distinctions including the MTNA chamber music award and the Boca Pops Scholarship Competition. She has performed under many renowned conductors, Leonard Slatkin, Pierre Boulez, Gunter Schuller, Charles Dutoit, and Kurt Masur, among others. Ms. McGuffee received her Master of Music degree from the Manhattan School of Music, and Bachelor degree Summa Cum Laude from the Harid Conservatory in Boca Raton, Florida. She regularly performs with the Berkshire Bach Ensemble, Mark Morris Dance Group, Matilda on Broadway and in chamber music settings in New York City, where she currently resides.