Members of the Corigliano Quartet

ELISA BARSTON, violin

Violinist Elisa Barston is currently The Seattle Symphony’s Principal Second Violinist and previously served as the Associate Concertmaster of the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra. She was also a member of the first violin sections of the Cleveland Orchestra and St. Louis Symphony Orchestra. As a soloist and chamber musician, Barston has performed extensively throughout the U.S., Europe and Asia, appearing with the Chicago Symphony, Los Angeles Philharmonic and Taipei Symphony Orchestra, among many others. In 1986, she made her European debut with the English Chamber Orchestra at the request of Sir Yehudi Menuhin. During her tenure as associate concertmaster, Barston made yearly appearances as featured soloist with the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra, performing a diverse concerto repertoire ranging from Mozart and Beethoven to Shostakovich and Schnittke. Among her awards are the Jascha Heifetz Scholarship, the Starling Foundation Grant, top prizes at the Yehudi Menuhin International Competition (including the Audience Prize), First Prize at the Julius Stulberg Auditions, Grand Prize at the International Kingsville Young Performers' Competition and First Prize in the Seventeen-General Motors National Music Competition. Barston has been awarded first prizes in the Fischoff National Chamber Music, Kuttner Quartet and Indiana University competitions. Barston studied violin performance at the University of Southern California with Robert Lipsett and Indiana University with Josef Gingold.

MICHAEL JINSOO LIM, violin

Praised by Gramophone for playing with “delicious abandon,” and described as “bewitching” by the Seattle Times, violinist Michael Jinsoo Lim enjoys a dynamic musical career as concertmaster, soloist, chamber musician, recording artist, and teacher. Acclaimed for his role as concertmaster of the Pacific Northwest Ballet Orchestra in Seattle (“beautifully executed, clear violin solos”—Dance International), Lim is also in demand as a chamber musician and as a performer of new and experimental music (“a formidable violinist who gave a knockout reading of Davidovsky's Synchronisms No. 9” –The Stranger). He is a member of Open End, a New York City-based ensemble specializing in contemporary music and improvisation. Lim received his formal training at Indiana University, where he studied with the legendary violinist and teacher Josef Gingold. While at Indiana, he won First Prize in the school’s Violin Concerto Competition and served on the faculty as a Visiting Lecturer. Lim has recorded for Naxos, DreamWorks, Albany Records, CRI, Bayer Records, and Aguava New Music, and appears on numerous television and film soundtracks, including the Oscar-winning score to Brokeback Mountain. Lim currently teaches violin and chamber music at Cornish College of the Arts. For more information on Michael Jinsoo Lim, please visit www.michaeljinsoolim.com.

MELIA WATRAS, viola

Described as “staggeringly virtuosic” by The Strad, violist Melia Watras has long been at the forefront of the American new music scene, performing numerous commissions and world premieres as soloist and chamber musician. Watras’s work as a recording artist has garnered considerable praise from the media. Of her debut solo CD, Viola Solo, Strings remarked, “Watras is a young player in possession of stunning virtuosic talent and deserving of the growing acclaim,” while The Strad called her “excellent” and “authoritative.” Watras’s second solo CD, Prestidigitation, features world premiere recordings of five works written especially for her and was described by Strings as “astounding, and both challenging and addictive to listen to.” Her upcoming third disc will include short, stylistically diverse works from composers ranging from Henri Vieuxtemps to Gyorgy Ligeti. Watras studied with Atar Arad at Indiana University, where she earned her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees and was awarded the prestigious Performer’s Certificate. While at Indiana, Watras began her teaching career as Professor Arad’s Associate Instructor, and was a member of the faculty as a Visiting Lecturer. Ms. Watras currently serves as Associate Professor of Viola at the University of Washington School of Music, where she is chair of the string department and a Donald E. Petersen Endowed Fellow. For more information on Melia Watras, please visit www.meliawatras.com.

AMY SUE BARSTON, cello

Praised as "passionate and elegant" by The New York Times, cellist Amy Sue Barston has performed as soloist on stages throughout the world, including Carnegie Hall, Ravinia, Caramoor, Bargemusic, Haan Hall (Jerusalem), The Power House (Australia), and Prussia Cove (England). She has performed Osvaldo Golijov's Omaramor in twenty international cities, receiving twenty consecutive standing ovations. Of the world premiere of Ned Rorem's Aftermath at Ravinia, The Chicago Sun-Times wrote: "the deep, rich tones of Barston's cello haunted the vocal line like a sorrowing vision." At seventeen she appeared as soloist with the Chicago Symphony on live television, won Grand Prize in the Society of American Musicians' Competition, and has since performed as soloist with dozens of orchestras. In 2007 alone she gave thirty solo recitals and masterclasses, spanning from New York to New Zealand. She studied with Eleonore Schoenfeld at USC where she won the “Most Outstanding Graduate Award,” and Joel Krosnick at Juilliard, where she earned her Masters degree and is frequently Guest Faculty. Amy is a devoted teacher; students commute hundreds of miles for lessons and occasionally come from as far as Alaska and Japan. For more information on Amy Sue Barston, please visit www.amybarston.com.

current: September 2010