Steinway Artist Frances Renzi has appeared as soloist with many orchestras including those of Dallas, Houston, Toledo, and the New Hampshire Music Festival. She has performed throughout North America, Taiwan, and China, giving recitals in Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall in New York, on the Dame Myra Hess Memorial Concert Series in Chicago, at the Phillips Collection in Washington, D.C., the National Concert Hall in Taipei and the China Conservatory in Beijing. An extraordinary chamber player, she frequently collaborates with distinguished artists, and is much in demand as a chamber music performer. She appears regularly as a featured guest artist on the Toledo Symphony Chamber Series and also performs each summer at the New Hampshire Music Festival. She was a founding member of the Toledo Trio at the University of Toledo and performed with them for 27 years. She has recorded solo and chamber music for Centaur, Educo, Koch International, Musical Heritage Society, Azica, Audite, and Decca/Argo. Her numerous recordings have won critical acclaim and many awards in Europe and the United States. Her recording of 20th century etudes by American composers Ned Rorem, Vincent Persichetti, and George Perle received enthusiastic reviews. Fanfare Magazine described her playing as “…absolutely superb…crystal-like articulation, impeccable rhythmic precision, unflagging energy, and a truly remarkable understanding of these pieces…” Her recording of chamber music of Paul Schoenfield was nominated for a Grammy. Her performances as a soloist and chamber musician have been broadcast on radio and television across the nation including a presentation on National Public Radio’s Performance Today. She was a solo pianist for the New York City Ballet performing Stravinsky’s Capriccio for Piano and Orchestra and Brahms Liebeslieder Waltzes and participated in the Stravinsky Festival at Lincoln Center. A native of Texas, she received her Bachelor of Music degree from the University of North Texas and her Master’s degree from the Juilliard School where she was a scholarship student of Rosina Lhevinne and Beveridge Webster. An experienced teacher as well as performer, she is Professor Emerita at the University of Toledo. In 2000 she received a commendation from the Ohio Senate honoring her outstanding university career of 27 years.
Martha Aaron’s professional career began with her appointment as principal flute of the North Carolina Symphony, after which she played with the Cleveland Orchestra for 25 years. After becoming a freelancer in 2006, she performed often with the Philadelphia Orchestra. During this time she also appeared as guest principal flute with the Metropolitan Opera, Minnesota Orchestra, Milwaukee Symphony, San Diego Symphony, Baltimore Symphony, Mostly Mozart Festival, Jakarta Sinfonia, and the World Orchestra for Peace. Ms. Aarons served as Artist Faculty with the Aspen Music Festival for 19 years and has played in the Grand Teton Festival as well. In May of 2015, she participated in the Cubadisco music festival in Havana, Cuba. She has been soloist with the Cleveland Orchestra, North Carolina Symphony, Aspen Chamber Symphony, and Ohio Chamber Orchestra. In 2003 Ms. Aarons performed the Aspen Music Festival premiere of the Flute Concerto by Christopher Rouse. Her CD, The History of the Tango, is recorded on the Azica label. It additionally features pianist Frances Renzi and Grammy-winning guitarist Jason Vieaux.
At age 21 Lev Polyakin, violin, was appointed co-concertmaster of the Moscow Chamber Orchestra. In that position he was regularly featured as soloist, with many of his performances recorded by Melodia. In the U.S. he served as assistant concertmaster of the Cleveland Orchestra, as well as concertmaster of the American Academy of Conducting in Aspen Music Festival. In 1984 Lev won several prizes in two international violin competitions, Carl Flesch in London and Romanini in Brescia, Italy. In addition to his solo performances with the Moscow Chamber Orchestra, Mr. Polyakin has appeared as soloist with the London Mozart Players, Royal Philharmonic, and Cleveland Orchestra. Recording credits include Melodia, BBC, National Public Radio, and Decca. He is prominently featured on a CD of the chamber music of Paul Schoenfield, which was nominated for a Grammy. Mr. Polyakin has a special interest in jazz and has recorded three CDs with his group “Russian Blue.” The albums are entitled Russian Blue, The Other Side of the Road, and Christmas Kaleidoscope.