Pierce Kagari Emata, Piano
A Bluthner Concert Artist currently residing in Las Vegas, Nevada, Pierce Emata received his Bachelor and Master degrees in Piano Performance from Indiana University's Jacobs School of Music, where he coached with international concert artists Alfonso Montecino, John Ogdon, and Gyorgy Sebok. He has also coached with Hungarian concert artist Istvan Nadas, as well as John Simms. He has appeared in many solo and orchestral concert series, such as the Dame Myra Hess nationally broadcast concerts in Chicago.
Across the United States and abroad, in addition to traditional solo concert and orchestral appearances, Mr. Emata is well known for his innovative and entertaining commentary-concerts, trademarked and titled Concerts & Conversation. These presentations bring audiences closer to the artist, his personal experiences, the music, and the personal lives of various composers by including commentaries at various levels with a solo concert. These performances have also been broadcast on National Public Radio affiliates in various states.
He has been awarded numerous artist grants and fellowships from the Indiana, South Dakota and Nevada arts councils in recognition for his accomplishments in concertizing, recording, advanced teaching, and composition. He has concertized throughout the United States and abroad; in 2017 and 2019 he performed in Pune, India, and will return to India next season for concerts and master classes, as well as in Japan. He is in demand as a juror for various competitions across the country and abroad such as the Music Teachers National Association's Divisional and State competitions, Steinway & Sons piano competitions, and the Musiquest National India Piano Competition. He is also in demand as a presenter and conference artist to state music teacher organizations and conventions, speaking on best practices in teaching and performing, style interpretation, playing technique, and career coaching to enable students to become credible 21st century musicians. In addition, he has served on national grant committees for the Music Teachers National Association (MTNA), as well as performance grant committees for the Indiana Arts Commission.
Mr. Emata is on the summer piano faculty at the internationally renown Interlochen Center for the Arts, which brings together 2700 students from 50 countries annually, where he teaches master classes and private lessons to gifted students.
Described as “exceptional ambassadors for classical music” and “innovative programmers”, Chicago-based Axiom Brass designs concert experiences for audiences that stretch the imagination and expand sensibilities. Their concert programs regularly pair original works by composers such as Christopher Rouse, George Walker, and Augusta Read Thomas with early musical translations by Barbara Strozzi and rousing tangos by Astor Piazzolla. As strong advocates for the creation and performance of “living music”, the ensemble actively engages with their audiences to showcase the importance of performing the music of living composers. Axiom has presented concerts all over the world, including the Merkin Concert Hall in New York City, Gallo Center for the Arts in California, Shenzhen Concert Hall in China, and Museu Nacional Soares dos Reis in Portugal.
In 2021, to celebrate the 100th birthday of Argentinian composer Astor Piazzolla, Axiom Brass recorded an entire album showcasing his music entitled Astor, becoming the first brass quintet to record an entire album of Piazzolla’s works.
In 2016, the Chicago-based ensemble commissioned ten new works to celebrate their 10th anniversary, including compositions by Augusta Read Thomas, Liduino Pitombeira, David Faleris, Matt Ulery, and Ben Hjertmann. These compositions can be heard on their album, First Impressions.
The only brass ensemble to ever win the Fischoff Educator Award, Axiom creates custom- tailored workshops and residency activities for presenters and their communities. The group’s commitment to education and their interactive teaching style has led to residencies at the Grand Tetons Music Festival and the Boston University Tanglewood Institute, as well as being featured as ensemble-in-residence for the National Brass Symposium.
Praised for their “ intensity and bravado” and the “cohesion and intonation one might expect from an ensemble twice their age” (Third Coast Review), the Callisto Quartet brings together four dedicated and passionate musicians who share a love for chamber music and a true desire for excellence.
Since their formation in 2016 at the Cleveland Institute of Music, the quartet has quickly garnered top prizes in nearly every major international chamber music competition and has been hailed by audiences across North America and Europe. Grand prize winners of the 2018 Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition and Second Prize Winners of the 2019 Banff International String Quartet Competition, the Callisto Quartet has also taken home prizes from the Bordeaux (2019), Melbourne (2018), and Wigmore Hall (2018) competitions.
Maya Anjali Buchanan, Violin
Native of Rapid City, Indian-American violinist Maya Anjali Buchanan is a top medalist of the Washington, Stulberg, Stradivarius and Johansen International Competitions. She has performed in Europe, China and with orchestras throughout the United States, including the Chicago Symphony Orchestra as the winner of the 2017 CSO Young Artist Competition. Festival debuts include the Harpa International Music Festival, Peninsula Music Festival and the Aspen Music Festival as the recipient of the 2019 Dorothy DeLay Fellowship Award. An alumna of the Music Institute of Chicago Academy, Maya currently studies at the Curtis Institute of Music with Ida Kavafian. She plays on a violin generously loaned by the Stradivari Society of Chicago.
"I started Kindermusik at age two and my very first introduction was to Grieg’s “Peer Gynt”. I’m told that when this character was being chased by the trolls “In the Hall of the Mountain King”, I would become very animated and start dancing whenever and wherever this was played. I was further introduced to classical music through the Suzuki method and started playing the violin when I was 4 years old at the local Black Hills Suzuki School in Rapid City, South Dakota."
Dr. Patrick Kreeger, Organ
Giving his Carnegie Hall debut at age 17, Patrick Kreeger has established himself as one of the leading musicians of his generation. Praised by The Philadelphia Inquirer for his “elegantly detailed phrasing,” as well as having “a lot to offer beyond the organ console,” Patrick maintains a versatile career as a pianist, organist, choral conductor, and educator.
Kreeger has performed in many prestigious venues around the world, including Carnegie Hall (NY, NY), Benaroya Hall (Seattle, WA), Meymandi Hall (Raleigh, NC), Verizon Hall (Philadelphia, PA), Bulgaria Hall (Sofia, Bulgaria), St. Patrick’s Cathedral (NY, NY), Peterborough Cathedral (U. K.), Musée des Augustins (Toulouse, France), Kunsten Museum of Fine Art (Aalborg, Denmark), as well as numerous other venues in the U. S., U. K., France, Italy, Israel, Denmark, and Bulgaria. He gave his symphonic debut in 2008, performing Rachmaninoff’s first piano concerto under the baton of William Henry Curry and the North Carolina Symphony, and has also been guest soloist with the Musica Sacra Chamber Orchestra, Symphonicity-Virginia Beach Symphony, Chilliwack Symphony Orchestra, Barton College/Wilson Symphony Orchestra, SUNY-Purchase Conservatory Orchestra, and the New York City Chamber Orchestra.
A native of Jacksonville, Florida, Patrick holds degrees from The Curtis Institute of Music (B. Mus.), Yale University (M. M.), and The Juilliard School (D. M. A.), where his main teachers included Alan Morrison and Susan Starr, Martin Jean, and Paul Jacobs, respectively. At Yale, he was the recipient of the Robert Baker scholarship and was awarded the Margot Fassler Prize for excellence in sacred music performance. At Juilliard, Patrick was a C. V. Starr doctoral fellow, and was awarded the Richard F. French Doctoral Prize for outstanding research in his dissertation examining Brahms’s views on spirituality and mortality.
A devoted educator, Patrick was appointed to the faculty of The Juilliard School in 2019, where he teaches music theory in the college and Evening Division programs. He also serves as the Associate Organist at New York City’s historic Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church. During the summer, he teaches choral conducting, chamber music, and musical studies at Curtis Institute of Music’s Young Artist Summer Program.