Pianist Charles Abramovic has won critical acclaim for his international performances as a soloist, chamber musician, and collaborator with leading instrumentalists and singers. He has performed a vast repertoire not only on the piano, but also the harpsichord and fortepiano. Mr. Abramovic made his solo orchestral debut at the age of fourteen with the Pittsburgh Symphony. Since then he has appeared as soloist with numerous orchestras, including the Baltimore Symphony, the Colorado Philharmonic, the Florida Philharmonic, and the Nebraska Chamber Orchestra. He has given solo recitals throughout the United States, France and Yugoslavia. He has also appeared at major international festivals in Berlin, Salzburg, Bermuda, Dubrovnik, Aspen and Vancouver.
Mr. Abramovic has performed often with such stellar artists as Midori, Sarah Chang, Robert McDuffie, Viktoria Mullova, Kim Kashkashian, Mimi Stillman and Jeffrey Khaner. His recording of the solo piano works of Delius for DTR recordings has been widely praised. He has recorded for EMI Classics with violinist Sarah Chang, and Avie Recordings with Philadelphia Orchestra principal flutist Jeffrey Khaner. Actively involved with contemporary music, he has also recorded works of Milton Babbitt, Joseph Schwantner, Gunther Schuller and others for Albany Records, CRI, Bridge, and Naxos.
Mr. Abramovic is a Professor of Keyboard Studies at Temple University’s Boyer College of Music in Philadelphia where he has taught since 1988. He is an active part of the musical life of Philadelphia, performing with numerous organizations in the city. He is a core member of the Dolce Suono Ensemble, and performs often with Network for New Music and Orchestra 2001. In 1997 he received the Career Development Grant from the Philadelphia Musical Fund Society, and in 2003 received the Creative Achievement Award from Temple University. He is a graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music, the Peabody Conservatory, and received his doctorate from Temple University. His teachers have included Natalie Phillips, Eleanor Sokoloff, Leon Fleisher, and Harvey Wedeen.
Daniel Matsukawa has been principal bassoon of The Philadelphia Orchestra since 2000. Born in Argentina to Japanese parents, he moved with his family to New York City at age three and began studying the bassoon at age 13. The following year he won his first competition and was featured as a soloist performing the Mozart Bassoon Concerto with a professional orchestra in New York. He was a scholarship student of the pre-college division of both the Juilliard School and the Manhattan School of Music, where he studied with Harold Goltzer and Alan Futterman. Mr. Matsukawa went on to study at Juilliard for two years before attending the Curtis Institute of Music, where he was a pupil of retired Philadelphia Orchestra Principal Bassoon Bernard Garfield.
Mr. Matsukawa has been a recipient of numerous awards and prizes, including a solo concerto debut in Carnegie Hall at the age of 18. He was also featured in a Young Artist’s Showcase on New York’s WQXR classical radio station. Since then he has appeared as soloist with several other orchestras, including The Philadelphia Orchestra, the National Symphony, the New York String Orchestra under Alexander Schneider, the Curtis Symphony, the Virginia Symphony, the Auckland (New Zealand) Philharmonic, and the Sapporo Symphony in Japan.
Mr. Matsukawa is an active chamber musician and has performed and toured with the Marlboro Festival. The Philadelphia Inquirer praised him for “his lyrical gifts, expressive range, and refined sense of ensemble” in a performance at Marlboro. He was also hailed by the Washington Post in a review of a solo concerto: “As an orchestral player, Matsukawa can be relied on for a burst of rich maroon and dark crimson in the collective sound. His playing is elastic and agile and thankfully accurate. The same goes for his gentle, songlike account of the Weber Bassoon Concerto. His soft tones were full and even, his passage work liquid and delicate, his second movement like an aria and his last movement filled with a calm modesty in its virtuoso romp. He is an invaluable asset to the orchestra.”
Mr. Matsukawa performs and teaches regularly at the Pacific Music Festival and the National Orchestral Institute, and he has been invited by Seiji Ozawa to participate regularly with the Saito Kinen Orchestra. Prior to his post with The Philadelphia Orchestra, Mr. Matsukawa served as principal bassoon with the National Symphony in Washington D.C., the Saint Louis Symphony, the Virginia Symphony, and the Memphis Symphony. In 1998 he performed and recorded Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 7 as acting principal bassoon with the New York Philharmonic under Kurt Masur. Mr. Matsukawa also conducts regularly in Japan, including at the Pacific Music Festival since 2009. He has studied conducting privately with Otto Werner Mueller, who was the head of the Conducting Department at the Curtis Institute of Music. Mr. Matsukawa is a regular member of the faculties at both the Curtis Institute of Music and the Boyer College of Music at Temple University.
DCS Concertmaster Nina Vieru has performed on many of the most prominent stages in Romania, playing an original Nicolo Gagliano violin. She was guest soloist with the Galati Philharmonic Orchestra, the Brasov Philharmonic Orchestra, and has twice appeared in concert at the George Enescu Festival in Bucharest. Ms. Vieru has successfully participated in more than 35 national and international violin competitions. In 2011 she won the Temple University Concerto Competition and the LISMA Foundation International Music Competition (New York City).
Ms. Vieru was born in Chisinau, Republic of Moldova, to a family of musicians. At the age of seven, she began her study of the violin at the Music High School in Chisinau. Six years later, her family moved to Bucharest, Romania’s capital, where she studied with noted violinist Stefan Gheorghiu. After graduation in 2007, Nina moved to the United States and studied violin with Edouard Schmieder at Temple University. She earned her bachelor’s and master's degrees at Temple, and is currently pursuing her doctor's degree in music there.
Flutist Nicole Ozdowski is a senior at Marple Newtown High School. She began to study the flute with Dr. Adeline Tomasone as a sixth grader in the year 2008, and participated in her first musical competition, the Tri-County Youth Festival, in 2009. She placed first in the Junior Winds division. She then proceeded to compete and place first in two other auditions before entering high school– the Flute Society of Greater Philadelphia’s Youth Soloist Competition in 2010 and the Nelly Berman School of Music’s Young Classical Virtuosos of Tomorrow competition in 2011.
When her high school career began in 2011, Nicole joined the Delaware County Youth Orchestra. She is still a member today. Nicole also continued to participate in competitions. She placed first in both the Flute Society of Greater Philadelphia’s Youth Soloist Competition and the Tri-County Youth Festival again, but in two different age divisions. She also placed first in two concerto competitions. As a winner of the 2012 Rose Tree Pops Youth Soloist Competition, Nicole played with the orchestra at Rose Tree Park. As a junior, she performed at both of Kennett Symphony’s 2013 Annual Children’s Concerts. She is also scheduled to perform with Kennett Symphony at Longwood Gardens in August 2015 as the winner of the 2014 Student Soloist Competition.
Violinist Jason Vassiliou is a 10th grade honors student at Conestoga High School and a violin student of Hirono Oka. He is a recipient of the Starling Violin Scholarship at Temple University Music Prep Center for Gifted Young Musicians where plays in the Youth Chamber Orchestra and in a quartet. Jason also holds a Settlement Music School Advanced Study Scholarship as a member of the Braverman Quartet. In addition, he is a member of the Philadelphia Youth Orchestra. He has been concertmaster of Philadelphia Young Artists Orchestra, of Luzerne (NY) Music Center Jr. Orchestra, Temple Music Prep Chamber Players, Schuylkill Valley Area Orchestras, and PA District 12 StringFest Orchestras. He has won or placed in competitions with the Old York Road Symphony, Bucks County Symphony, the Kennett Symphony, and the Tri-County Association Youth Festival Jr. Strings Division.
Jason is also a composer and music theory student of Sandrine Erdely-Sayo. His compositions have been performed at the Center Stage Strings Music Festival in Three Rivers (CA), the Luzerne Music Center, and with the Classic Strings Orchestra at Temple Music Prep. In 2014 and 2012 he was a Finalist in the American Society of Composers Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) Foundation Morton Gould Young Composers Competition, and in 2009 a string quartet of his won the Delaware Valley Philharmonic Orchestra Youth in Arts Competition.