Member Bios

ARIANA KIM, violin

AJK Headshot 1Noted by The New York Times for giving “the proceedings an invaluable central thread of integrity and stylishness,” violinist Ariana Kim made her New York recital debut at Carnegie’s Weill Hall in 2008 and is now in her fifth year as a professor at Cornell University.  At 16, Ariana made her debut with the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra and at 24 was appointed acting concertmaster of the Louisiana Philharmonic in New Orleans; she has since become one of the most respected artists of her generation.

An avid chamber musician of both the contemporary and traditional literature, Ariana recently completed a 10-year position with the contemporary music septet Ne(x)tworks, is currently in her 10th season with The Knights — a chamber orchestra collective. She will also soon begin her 12th season as a core member of the Chamber Music Society of Minnesota where recent collaborators have included Leon Fleisher, Charles Neidich, Nobuko Imai, and Peter Wiley.  She has spent summers attending Yellow Barn and the Ravinia Festival Steans Institute and now serves on the faculty of the Crowden Center Chamber Music Workshop, the Palo Alto Chamber Music Workshop (CA) and the Northern Lights Chamber Music Institute (MN).

Currently Ariana co-resides in Ithaca and New York City where she completed her Doctor of Musical Arts degree at Juilliard under the tutelage of Robert Mann.  In December 2015, she released her debut solo album, Routes of Evanescence: Music for Solo Violin & Violin + 1 by American Women Composers.  She recently spent seven months living and working in Italy where projects included solo recital tours, private teaching and lecture presentations, period opera performances with Milano Classica, and a capstone project involving art, architecture, music, and humanitarianism.

www.arianakim.com

 

MIHO SAEGUSA, violin

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Violinist Miho Saegusa has built a multifaceted career that allows her to cherish the spirit of collaboration. Her passion for chamber music was ignited and nurtured through memorable summers at the Marlboro Music Festival, Ravinia Steans Institute, and Music@Menlo as well as on tours with Musicians from Marlboro. In addition to chamber music, Miho loves the energy and intimacy of chamber orchestras. A longtime dream came true in 2017 when she became a member of the celebrated Orpheus Chamber Orchestra. For five seasons she served as Concertmaster of the Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia and has been a guest with A Far Cry and the East Coast Chamber Orchestra. Since 2001 Miho is a member of IRIS Orchestra, where she has held the Isaac Stern Concertmaster Chair on numerous occasions.

Miho has been featured as soloist with the Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia, IRIS Orchestra, New Jersey Symphony, Aspen Concert Orchestra, Juilliard Orchestra, and the Yale Symphony Orchestra. She is a prizewinner of the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra Young Artist Auditions and the Wieniawski­-Lipinski International Competition.

Born in Kitakyushu, Japan, Miho has played the violin since the age of five. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Yale University, and completed graduate work at The Juilliard School, earning her Master of Music and Artist Diploma. She is very grateful to her principal teachers Masao Kawasaki and Dorothy DeLay for their generosity, patience, and for encouraging curiosity. Since 2013 Miho has been a Valade Fellow and Instructor of Violin at the Interlochen Arts Camp, where she works with high school violinists and the Advanced String Quartet Program.

 

AYANE KOZASA, viola

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Hailed for her “magnetic, wide-ranging tone” and her “rock solid technique” (Philadelphia Inquirer), violist Ayane Kozasa enjoys a career that spans a broad spectrum of musical personas. A violinist turned violist, she was inspired to dedicate herself to the alto clef when she discovered the beauty of playing the viola part in string quartets during her undergraduate studies at the Cleveland Institute of Music. Her commitment to pursue a life in viola led to a graduate degree from the Curtis Institute of Music as well as a Further Masters Degree from the esteemed Kronberg Academy Masters School in Germany.

Ayane’s solo career took off when she won the 2011 Primrose International Viola Competition, where she also captured awards for best chamber music and commissioned work performances. Following the competition, she joined the Astral Artists roster, and became a grant recipient from the S&R Foundation, an organization recognizing and supporting young, aspiring artists of all mediums. In 2015, she received the career advancement award from the esteemed Musical Fund Society of Philadelphia. Her international solo opportunities have been a platform to unearth seldom heard works and commission new pieces, an aspect of viola playing that she loves. Most recently, she commissioned a work by Brooklyn composer Paul Wiancko for viola and piano, which she premiered at the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society with pianist Amy Yang.

Chamber music has also been a vital part of Ayane’s musical career, and her interests have led her to appearances at numerous festivals including the Marlboro Music Festival, the Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts, the Methow Valley Chamber Music Festival, and the Ravinia Festival. From 2012 to 2016, Ayane served as the principal violist of the Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia. She is also a member of the IRIS Orchestra, and has played with notable ensembles such as the The Philadelphia Orchestra, East Coast Chamber Orchestra, Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, A Far Cry, and the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra.

Ayane is deeply grateful for the mentorship she received from her past teachers, Nobuko Imai, Kirsten Docter, Roberto Diaz, Misha Amory, Michael Tree, and William Preucil. Outside of music, she loves to perfect her pie-baking skills, create fonts, go camping, and run into the ocean.

 www.ayanekozasa.com

  

KAREN OUZOUNIAN, cello

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Described as “radiant” and “expressive” (The New York Times) and “nothing less than gorgeous” (Memphis Commercial Appeal), cellist Karen Ouzounian approaches music-making with a deeply communicative and passionate spirit. Winner of the S&R Foundation’s 2016 Washington Award and at home in diverse musical settings, she has become increasingly drawn towards unusual collaborations and eclectic contemporary repertoire.

In addition to her work with the Aizuri Quartet, Karen’s commitment to adventurous repertoire and the collaborative process has led to her membership in the Grammy-nominated, self-conducted chamber orchestra A Far Cry and the critically-acclaimed new music collective counter)induction, along with regular appearances with the Silk Road Ensemble and The Knights. Highlights of Karen’s recent and upcoming seasons include performances of the Elgar Concerto in Chile with the Philharmonic Orchestra of Santiago, a touring collaboration between the Silk Road Ensemble and the Mark Morris Dance Group, recitals at the Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts with pianist Ieva Jokubaviciute, a tour of Japan with the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, and tours with Musicians from Marlboro and Musicians from Ravinia’s Steans Music Institute. Additionally she has performed as guest principal of the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, IRIS Orchestra, and Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia.

Born to Armenian parents in Toronto, Karen was a prizewinner at the 2012 Canada Council for the Arts Musical Instrument Bank Competition. She holds Master of Music and Bachelor of Music degrees from The Juilliard School, where she was a student of Timothy Eddy.

www.karenouzounian.com