CMS welcomes nine individual artists and one ensemble who will begin their Bowers Program Residency in the 2024–25 season.
This year’s participants in The Bowers Program were chosen from an international pool of 168 candidates through competitive auditions. The nine individual artists and one ensemble, who hail from seven countries (including the U.S.), range in age from 22 to 32 and are award winners and recipients of the world’s most prestigious classical music honors for young musicians, including the Avery Fisher Career Grant, Van Cliburn Competition, Young Concert Artists Competition, Verbier, Elmar Oliveira Competition, and the Banff International String Quartet Competition, among many others. These award-winning artists, on instruments ranging from oboe to double bass, have chosen to participate in The Bowers Program to focus their careers on chamber music performed at the highest level.
Introducing the Class of 2024–27 Bowers Program Artists
Double bassist Nina Bernat was recently named as a recipient of the 2023 Avery Fisher Career Grant, among other first prizes, including the Barbash J.S. Bach String Competition, Juilliard Double Bass Competition, and the 2019 International Society of Bassists Solo Competition. Among her regional chamber performances are appearances with the Jupiter Symphony Chamber Players, Bridgehampton Chamber Music Series, and Mostly Music. This summer, Ms. Bernat performs her second season at both the Marlboro Music Festival and the Lake Champlain Music Festival.
Cellist Sterling Elliott is a 2021 Avery Fisher Career Grant recipient and winner of the Senior Division 2019 National Sphinx Competition. He has appeared with the Philadelphia Orchestra, the New York Philharmonic, the Cleveland Orchestra, and the Boston, Dallas, and Detroit symphonies. This summer, Mr. Elliott returns to the Hollywood Bowl to perform with the Los Angeles Philharmonic. He also serves on faculty at the Sphinx Performance Academy at Juilliard, and he performs chamber music at festivals including La Jolla SummerFest, Edinburgh Festival, Chamberfest Cleveland and Festival Mozaic.
Anna Geniushene won the silver medal of the 2022 Van Cliburn International Piano Competition. She has been heard in major world venues such as the Town Hall in Leeds, National Concert Hall in Dublin, Museum of Arts in Tel Aviv, Teatro Carlo Felice in Genova, Great Hall of Moscow Conservatory, and Sala Greppi in Bergamo Her dedication to chamber music is reflected in duo piano repertoire with her husband, Lukas Geniušas, and close collaboration with Quartetto di Cremona.
SAHUN SAM HONG
Sahun Sam Hong is the recipient of a 2021 American Pianists Award. He was also the winner of the 2017 Vendome Prize at Verbier and the Second Prize at the 2017 International Beethoven Competition Vienna. A sought-after interpreter of the duo and chamber repertoire, Hong has been invited to perform at major chamber music festivals including Marlboro, Music@Menlo, Ravinia’s Steans Institute, Taos, and Four Seasons.
Violinist Lun Li is a native of Shanghai and currently based in New York, where he won First Prize in the 2021 Young Concert Artists Susan Wadsworth International Auditions. Additionally, he is joint winner of the First Prize at the Lillian and Maurice Barbash J.S. Bach Competition 2021.
American pianist Evren Ozel combines fluent virtuosity with thoughtful interpretations. Having performed extensively in the US and abroad, Mr. Ozel is the recipient of a 2023 Avery Fisher Career Grant and a 2022 Salon de Virtuosi Career Grant. He is represented by Concert Artists Guild as a winner of their 2021 Competition. In the 2023-24 season, he will make his debuts at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum and Frick Collection.
Julian Rhee is the Silver Medalist of the 11th Quadrennial International Violin Competition of Indianapolis, winner of Astral Artists’ National Auditions, and first prize winner of the 2020 Elmar Oliveira International Competition, where he was also awarded the special Community Award. A passionate chamber musician, Mr. Rhee has performed at and attended festivals including the Ravinia Steans Institute, Marlboro Festival, Rockport Music and North Shore Chamber Music Festivals.
Cellist Jonathan Swensen is the recipient of a 2022 Avery Fisher Career Grant. He has performed with the Philharmonia Orchestra, Orquesta Ciudad de Granada, Copenhagen Philharmonic, and the Aarhus, Odense, and Iceland symphonies. He is a frequent performer of chamber music in the US and Europe, appearing at the Tivoli Festival, Copenhagen Summer Festival, Chamberfest Cleveland, Krzyżowa-Music, among others. He has captured first prizes at the Windsor International String Competition, Khachaturian International Cello Competition, and the Young Concert Artists International Auditions..
German oboist Juri Vallentin gained international attention as prizewinner of major competitions, such as the International Tchaikovsky Competition as first oboist, the German Music Competition and the International Oboe Competition of Japan. He has performed as a soloist with the MDR Symphony Orchestra, the Mariinsky Orchestra St. Petersburg, the Beethoven Orchestra Bonn, the Lower Saxony State Orchestra Hanover, Musikkollegium Winterthur, the Brandenburg State Orchestra Frankfurt and the Munich Chamber Orchestra, among others. In 2021 he won the Berlin Prize for Young Artists curated by VAN magazine with his solo performance INNER VOICES, developed together with stage director Neil Barry Moss.
The Viano Quartet won the first prize at the 2019 Banff International String Quartet Competition and have performed in New York, London, Berlin, Vancouver, Paris, Beijing, Toronto, Lucerne, and Los Angeles, among others. The quartet was named the inaugural June Goldsmith Quartet-in-Residence for the Music in the Morning series in Vancouver until 2025, where their focus will be to commission new works and lead extensive community engagement initiatives. Formed in 2015, the quartet has held residencies at the Curtis Institute, the Colburn Conservatory, Northern Michigan University, and Meadows School of the Arts at Southern Methodist University. Summer 2023 brings re-invitations to Chamber Music Northwest and the Bravo! Vail Festival, along with appearances at the Intimacy of Creativity Festival in Hong Kong, Ottawa Chamberfest, Minnesota Beethoven Festival, and BISQFest, among others.