Member Bios

MIHO SAEGUSA, violin

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Violinist Miho Saegusa enjoys a multifaceted career as a versatile chamber musician, orchestral leader, and soloist. Her passion for chamber music has led to memorable summers at the Marlboro Music Festival, Ravinia Steans Institute, and Music@Menlo, as well as tours with Musicians from Marlboro. Miho has collaborated with ­renowned musicians such as Mitsuko Uchida, Richard Goode, Arnold Steinhardt, David Soyer, and Miriam Fried. 

In addition to chamber music, Miho loves the intimacy and energy of chamber orchestras. She has performed and toured with the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra and for five years served as the Concertmaster of the Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia. This year will mark Miho’s sixteenth season with IRIS Orchestra where she has held the Isaac Stern Concertmaster Chair on numerous occasions. Miho has been a featured soloist with both the Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia and IRIS Orchestra in recent seasons, and has previously appeared with the New Jersey Symphony and the Aspen Concert Orchestra.

Born in Kitakyushu, Japan, Miho has played the violin since the age of five, and her principal teachers include Masao Kawasaki and Dorothy DeLay. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Yale University, and earned her Master of Music and Artist Diploma at The Juilliard School. For the past three summers Miho has been a Valade Fellow at Interlochen Arts Camp, where she works with High School violinists and the Advanced String Quartet Program.

 

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

 

 

 

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 holds a Bachelor of Music from the Cleveland Institute of Music, and artist certificates from the Curtis Institute of Music as well as the Kronberg Academy Masters school in Germany.

Ayane’s solo career took off when she won the 2011 Primrose International Viola Competition. 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. 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 cello, which they premiered in Washington DC at the S&R Foundation.

Chamber music has also been a vital part of Ayane’s musical career. She has loved traveling to various festivals and collaborating with talented musicians, including Marlboro Music Festival, Twickenham Fest, and Methow Valley Chamber Music Festival. Her desire to be a part of a serious group came into fruition three years ago in the form of the Aizuri Quartet. Ayane is also the principal violist of the Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia, a position that she has held since fall 2012.

Ayane is deeply grateful for the mentorship she received from her past teachers, Nobuko Imai, Kirsten Docter, Roberto Diaz, Misha Amory, and William Preucil.

 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. 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 programming 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. Highlights of Karen’s recent and upcoming seasons include performances of the Elgar Concerto in Chile with the Philharmonic Orchestra of Santiago, tours with the Silk Road Ensemble and 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 with The Knights, Trio Cavatina, and 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