Violinist, educator, and conductor Jeri Jorgensen is fascinated with finding musical freedom within structure. A seasoned performer of music from all eras, she is especially drawn to creating a stimulating audience experience through the nuances, subtleties and constraints of the classical style period, and on the same program contrasting Beethoven, Mozart or Schubert with works from the early 20th century that break past traditional harmonies and form.
Entranced after hearing a classical orchestra performance on period instruments, Jeri has become an expert practitioner of classical performance practice on the subtly different instruments for which the music was originally composed. With her duo partner, pianist Cullan Bryant, Jeri has presented classical period historical performances at the National Music Museum (Vermillion, SD), the Frederick Collection of Historic Pianos (Ashburnham, MA), and at the Historic Keyboard Society of North America's conference at the University of Michigan. In the fall of 2019 they toured campuses in North Carolina, playing a program of Beethoven's Op. 12 sonatas for historical performance enthusiasts. The duo's recently released recording of Beethoven's complete sonatas for piano and violin has been hailed as "nothing short of revelatory...emotionally satisfying, and true to both the letter and the spirit of Beethoven's compositional process." (Transcentury Blogspot).
At the other end of the spectrum, Jeri's projects have included the creation of a festival devoted to the works of Paul Hindemith, in which she played sonatas, collaborated in larger chamber ensembles, and conducted the rarely performed Kammermusik No. 2, presented both at Colorado College and SUNY Potsdam. A committed music educator, she pulls engaging and enthusiastic performances from student ensembles, teaching from her chamber music background to open their ears to phrasing and sound.
Jeri was founding first violinist of the DaVinci Quartet, prizewinners in the Shostakovich International String Quartet Competition and finalists in the Naumburg Chamber Music Competition. Her recordings with the quartet appear on the Naxos label. During the 24-year history of the quartet she performed at the Phillips Collection (Washington, DC), the Palm Springs Desert Museum, the Buell Theatre (Denver), the Wilshire-Ebell Theatre (LA), chamber music societies from Sedona to Albany, as well as taught in visiting residencies at Yale University, Tufts University, Williams College, and UC Davis.
Jeri has designed and delivered classroom and concert presentations about music to students and adults, including "Emotion in Music" for Chicago Young Audiences and "Exploring Rhythm" for gifted non-musician middle school students, as well as developing and implementing curriculum for beginning strings in under-resourced public schools. She also founded and leads the Manitou Chamber Music Festival, now in its eighth year, in which students play side-by-side with established artists. And in response to the 2020-21 pandemic, Jeri created an interactive, real-time online chamber music program that served ensemble students of the Colorado Springs Youth Symphony Association, the Lamont Pre-College Academy, and Colorado College.
A member of the performance faculty of Colorado College and co-orchestra director, Jeri has also been a faculty member at the Lamont School of Music of the University of Denver, and visiting assistant professor at SUNY Potsdam's Crane School of Music. She holds degrees from the Eastman School of Music and the Juilliard School.
artistic director, piano
Cullan Bryant is among the most active chamber and collaborative pianists in New York City, maintaining a schedule of over 50 recitals a year. Sought-after for his sensitive and supportive partnership, he has performed with such artists as Emanuel Borok, Oleh Krysa, Mikhail Kopelman, Midori, Peter Rejto, Paul Tobias, and members of the American and Borromeo Quartets. He has also appeared in recitals with members of the New York Philharmonic, Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, the Orchestra of St. Luke's, New York City Ballet Orchestra, and the Boston Symphony in such venues as Weill Recital Hall, Merkin Hall, Alice Tully Hall, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Mr. Bryant made his Carnegie Hall debut in 1992 in recital with violinist Patmore Lewis.
As a solo artist, Mr. Bryant has been heard in the New York series Piano Lunch, at the Frederick Collection in Ashburnham, Massachusetts, and at the Long Island Beethoven Festival where he performed 16 Beethoven piano sonatas in a 2-day marathon. Recent orchestral solo appearances have spanned repertoire from Beethoven's Choral Fantasy to Hindemith's Kammermusik No. 2.
Intensely involved in all things musical, Cullan has also written and co-hosted the radio show "Why Do We Only Listen to Dead People?" for Radio Free Brooklyn, and was co-producer of the Canadian Juno-nominated CD "The Coming of Sobs". His critically acclaimed recording "Beethoven and His Teachers", encompassing the complete four-hand music of Beethoven, was released on the Naxos label in 2012, followed by the complete Beethoven sonatas for piano and violin on the Albany label in July 2020.
Committed to the education of young musicians, Cullan has accompanied students at all the major New York music schools - the Juilliard School, the Manhattan School of Music, and Mannes College - and is currently on the accompanying faculty of Queens College, where he works with students from all of the string studios.
When not at the piano, Mr. Bryant can be found in the kitchen cooking his way through the national dishes of countries of the world, or exploring cemeteries doing genealogical research. He has also begun working on a project to catalog and provide performance examples of the unrecorded compositions of Beethoven, including the sketches, which are being added to his YouTube channel as they are completed.
Cullan began playing the piano at age two, giving his first public recital at age six. At eleven he toured campuses in his native Arkansas and in Texas including several televised recitals. His prizes and awards include the Leschetizky International Competition, the National Arts Club of New York, the Memphis Beethoven Competition, Miami Arts Competition and a certificate of outstanding citizenship from Arkansas Governor Frank White. His principal teachers were Christopher Kabala, Robert Goldsand and Artur Balsam. In July of 2002 he toured Japan in 14 recitals with violinist Midori.
Violinist Sophie Verhaeghe maintains a year-round schedule of performing and teaching. Currently based in Austin, TX, she is member of both the Austin Symphony Orchestra and the Austin Opera Orchestra. Her love of orchestral music has led her to perform with the crossover duo 2Cellos, the Houston Symphony, and the San Antonio Symphony as a contracted member. As a chamber musician, Sophie has collaborated with members of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, Hong Kong Philharmonic, Cordova Quartet, and Latitude 49, as well as clarinetist Dimitri Ashkenazy and pianist Anton Nel.
A passionate educator as well as performer, Sophie is on faculty at Texas Lutheran University and maintains a private studio in Austin. She is also a co-founder, violinist, and Director of Operations for Austin Camerata, an annual music festival that brings artistic collaborations and classical chamber music to unconventional venues. Austin Camerata has been featured on KUTX and Austin360, and was nominated by the Austin Critics Table in 2019 for “best classical ensemble.”
Sophie began playing the violin at age 3 and made her solo debut at the age of 12. She was a member of the Colorado Springs Youth Symphony for five years, performing in leadership positions in venues all over the world including Carnegie Hall, the Sydney Opera House, and the Shanghai Oriental Arts Center. Sophie is an alumna of the Aspen Music Festival and School, and she has been a fellow at the Colorado College Summer Music Festival, Talis Festival and Academy in Switzerland, and the National Repertory Orchestra, where she was a featured soloist.
Sophie holds degrees from the University of Michigan (Bachelor of Music, with Highest Honors), Boston University (Master of Music), and the University of Texas at Austin (Artist Diploma). Her previous teachers include Jeri Jorgensen, Aaron Berofsky, Bayla Keyes, and William Fedkenheuer. In her spare time, Sophie enjoys cooking, running (she is thinking about going for her first marathon), reading, and knitting.
Dr. Shelly Tramposh is Professor of Viola at the Crane School of Music at SUNY Potsdam, where she teaches viola, chamber music, string pedagogy, and Irish traditional fiddling. Dr. Tramposh is also on the faculty of the Manitou Springs Chamber Music Festival, and performs recitals across the U.S. and abroad with pianist Cullan Bryant. She is a frequent presenter at ASTA national conventions and American Viola Society events, where she performs and speaks about pedagogical issues such as practicing, hypermobility, and bow strokes. Her articles have appeared in the Strad, and her CD “Sprezzatura” with Cullan Bryant is available online. Gramophone praised her CD as “a disc that ought to hold appeal far beyond the viola community”, praising her “bright, silvery tone.”
Before joining the faculty at the Crane School of Music, Dr. Tramposh was a member of several orchestras, including the Colorado Symphony, the Rochester Philharmonic, the Colorado Springs Symphony, the Central City Opera Orchestra, the Berkeley Symphony, and the Marin Symphony. She attended many summer festivals, including the Taos Summer Chamber Music Academy, the National Repertory Orchestra, Eastern Music Festival, and three years with the Spoleto Festival/Festival dei due Mondi. As a faculty member at Eastern Music Festival, she presented workshops on auditioning with conductor Edmon Colomer. Dr. Tramposh holds degrees from the San Francisco Conservatory, the Eastman School of Music, and the University of Colorado at Boulder. Her principal teachers include Martha Katz, Steven Tenenbom, Erika Eckert, and Don Ehrlich, and she studied Suzuki pedagogy with Bill Starr and Teri Einfeldt. She is a past member of the executive board of the American Viola Society and an avid supporter of all things alto. Dr. Tramposh plays a 1971 viola by Francesco Bissolotti.
Daniel Kopp is a leading cellist, educator, and artistic director of Austin Camerata. As co-founder and cellist for Austin Camerata, Daniel has brought collaborations of chamber music, dance, and storytelling to venues across central Texas. Austin Camerata has been praised for its “unadulterated beauty” and nominated by the Austin Critics Table for “best classical ensemble.”
As a frequent dance collaborator, Daniel has performed solo cello and chamber music with Ventana Ballet, Ishida Dance Company, and the Department of Theatre and Dance at the University of Texas. In 2019, he organized Austin’s first CelloFest, which drew a standing-room-only crowd at the Georgetown Public Library. An avid chamber musician, Daniel has spent summers performing at Kneisel Hall, Tanglewood, Aspen, and Madeline Island. Notable performances include at Carnegie Hall as principal cellist for the New York String Orchestra Seminar, Seiji Ozawa Hall as principal cellist of the Tanglewood Music Center Orchestra, and in Colorado Springs as principal cellist of the Colorado College Summer Festival Orchestra. He has been featured on KMFA, KUTX, and in the Austin360.
As a committed educator, Daniel is on faculty with the Clavier-Werke School of Music, the University of Texas String Project, and the Austin Chamber Music Center. Through Austin Camerata, he frequently performs educational programs in local schools, hospitals, and libraries in central Texas. Daniel received his undergraduate degree from Rice University, and his master’s degree from the University of Texas, Austin. His principal teachers include Bion Tsang, Norman Fischer, And Cathie Lehr-Ramos.