Praised by The Baltimore Sun for her “impeccable technique…deeply expressive phrasing…and poetic weight," Sirena Huang is one of her generation’s most celebrated violinists. She brings not only technical brilliance and powerful artistry to the stage, but also a profound sense of connection to her audience.
Sirena has been the recipient of numerous accolades and awards. Most recently, in February of 2017, Sirena was awarded First Prize at the Elmar Oliveira International Violin Competition and in March, she was awarded the winner of the New York Concert Artist. In 2009, she won First Prize Gold Medalist of the 6th International Tchaikovsky Competition for Young Musicians. She won First Prize and the Audience Award at the Cooper International Competition in 2011. That same year, she was also named the first Artist-in-Residence of Hartford Symphony Orchestra. In 2013, she was awarded the Hannloser Prize for Violin at the Verbier Music Festival in Switzerland. She is also a top prize winner at Singapore International Violin Competition as well as the Shanghai Isaac Stern International Violin Competition.
Sirena made her solo debut with the National Taiwan Symphony Orchestra in 2004 at the age of nine, and has performed in seventeen countries across three continents. She has been featured as a soloist with more than fifty prestigious ensembles, including the New York Philharmonic, Cleveland Symphony Orchestra, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, Shanghai Symphony Orchestra, Russian Symphony Orchestra, Singapore Symphony Orchestra, and the Staatskapelle Weimar in Germany. She has appeared as a guest artist at the Verbier Music Festival, Marlboro Music Festival, Ravinia Music Festival, Aspen Music Festival, Eastern Music Festival, Sarasota Arts Series, Albuquerque Chamber Music Festival, “The Great Music for a Great City” series in New York City, and many others.
Motivated by a deep wish to inspire peace and harmony with her music, Sirena has performed before world leaders, thinkers and humanitarians, including President Obama and Elie Wiesel. At age eleven, she gave a TED talk that garnered more than 2.5 million views. In 2006, she received the honor of playing for His Majesty King Abdullah II of Jordan and thirty Nobel Prize Laureates at the World Peace Conference held in Petra. In 2007, under the invitation of former Czech Republic President Havel, she played in the Opening Ceremony of the “Forum 2000 World Conference” in Prague.
In addition to her TED Talk in 2006, Huang has been featured on numerous radio and television broadcasts, including WQXR’s McGraw-Hill Young Artists Showcase and NPR’s “From the Top" as well as several interviews with WNPR, CNBC, WTNH, WTIC, WB20 and Beethoven Radio.
Praised for his “impressive refinement, eloquent phrasing, and singing tone” by The New York Times, American cellist Matthew Zalkind has performed throughout the United States and abroad as a recitalist, soloist and chamber musician.
Mr. Zalkind was awarded First Prize in the Washington International Competition, as well as top prizes in the Beijing International Cello Competition, Korea’s Isang Yun Gyeongnam International Competition and the Juilliard School Competition. He also won distinction as the top-ranked American and one of the final eight concerto semi-finalists in the International Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow.
As a soloist, Mr. Zalkind has performed concerti with such organizations as the Moscow Chamber Players, the Albany Symphony, the Hongzhou Philharmonic, the Utah Symphony, the Tongyeong International Music Festival Orchestra, the Music Academy of the West Festival Orchestra and the Juilliard Symphony Orchestra. Mr. Zalkind has performed concerti with conductors Ludovic Morlot, Thierry Fischer, Giancarlo Guerrero, David Alan Miller and several others.
Mr. Zalkind has given recitals at the Phillips Collection in Washington, DC, the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, MI, Gardner Hall in Salt Lake City, UT, the Moscow Conservatory in Moscow, Russia, The Dame Myra Hess series in Chicago, The Juilliard School in New York, the Kennedy Center’s Terrace Theater in Washington, DC and the Beijing Concert Hall in Beijing, China.
An active chamber musician, Mr. Zalkind has participated in numerous music festivals, including Marlboro and “Musicians from Marlboro” tours, Music from Angel Fire, Olympic Music Festival, Innsbrook Institute, Twickenham Festival, and Ravinia’s “Steans Institute.” Mr. Zalkind has performed chamber music at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall, the Kennedy Center’s Terrace Theater, New York’s Alice Tully Hall and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. As a member of the acclaimed Harlem String Quartet, Mr. Zalkind toured internationally with jazz legends Stanley Clarke, Chick Corea and Gary Burton.
Mr. Zalkind has a strong interest in teaching and outreach. He was awarded a Gluck Community Service Fellowship at The Juilliard School for four years, performing concerts at treatment facilities throughout the five boroughs of New York City. Mr. Zalkind is now an Assistant Professor at the University of Denver’s Lamont School of Music.
A Salt Lake City native, Mr. Zalkind’s primary mentors included Richard Hoyt, Pegsoon Whang, Timothy Eddy, Richard Aaron, and Hans Jørgen Jensen. Mr. Zalkind has Bachelors and Masters degrees from Juilliard, and a Doctorate of Musical Arts from the University of Michigan. Mr. Zalkind plays on a rare Italian cello made by Florentine Maker Luigi Piatellini in 1760.
This remarkable quartet - hailed as "a triumph of ensemble playing" by the New York Times - is a multi-faceted ensemble taking chamber music in new directions. Touring music of the masters as well as exciting original works from visionary composers of our time, the Fry Street Quartet has perfected a "blend of technical precision and scorching spontaneity" (Strad). Since securing the Grand Prize at the Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition, the quartet has reached audiences from Carnegie Hall to London, and Sarajevo to Jerusalem, exploring the medium of the string quartet and its life-affirming potential with "profound understanding...depth of expression, and stunning technical astuteness" (Deseret Morning News).
With a discography that includes a wide range of works from Haydn and Beethoven to Stravinsky, Janacek, Rorem, Kaminsky and Larsen, the quartet is known for being "Equally at home in the classic repertoire of Mozart and Beethoven or contemporary music," (Palm Beach Daily News).
The FSQ's tour repertoire reaches many corners of the musical spectrum, including works of Britten, Schubert, Beethoven and Bartok, as well as programs of American women composers Laura Kaminsky, Amy Beach, Joan Tower and Libby Larsen. In 2018, the Salt Lake City-based NOVA series presents the conclusion of the FSQ’s complete Bartok Cycle, pairing these monumental works with Haydn’s String Quartets Op. 76.
In addition to collaborations with acclaimed instrumentalists (including Joseph Kalichstein, Wu Han, Paul Katz, Donald Weilerstein, Misha Dichter, Andres Cardenes and Roger Tapping, among others), the Fry Street Quartet has commissioned and toured new works by a wide range of composers. Pandemonium by Brazilian composer Clarice Assad received its Fry Street premiere with the San Jose Chamber Orchestra; Michael Ellison's Fiddlin' was co-commissioned by the Arizona Friends of Chamber Music Series and the Salt Lake City based NOVA series; Laura Kaminsky's Rising Tide was commissioned especially for the quartet's global sustainability initiative, The Crossroads Project.
After more than 30 performances in three different countries, The Crossroads Project: Rising Tide continues to resonate with audiences. This fresh approach to communicating society’s sustainability challenges draws upon all the senses with a unique blend of science and art, and has been featured on the NPR’s All Things Considered, and in publications by Yale Climate Connections, Reuters, and the New York Times. The quartet commissioned a new work by Libby Larsen entitled Emergence, which anchors the Crossroads Project’s second chapter, Crossroads: Emergence for string quartet, film, and actor.
The FSQ premiered Laura Kaminsky's chamber opera As One with soprano Sasha Cooke and baritone Kelly Markgraf at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, and returns to the work in 2018 with Hawaii Opera Theater, Lyric Opera Kansas City, and the Chautauqua Opera Company.
The quartet's significant touring history includes performances at major venues, festivals, and for distinguished series such as Carnegie Hall and the Schneider Series at the New School in New York, the Jewel Box series in Chicago, Chamber Music Columbus, the Kravis Center in West Palm Beach, the DiBartolo Performing Arts Center at Notre Dame, the Theosophical Society in London, and the Mozart Gemeinde in Klagenfurt, Austria.
The Fry Street Quartet is pleased to hold the Dan C. and Manon Caine Russell Endowed String Quartet Residency at the Caine College of the Arts at Utah State University.