Many people have chosen Inwood as a way to live out their New York City dream because of its beautiful parks, the strong sense of local identity and pride among its residents, and the easy access to the city (...when the subways are working!). For the city lover who also enjoys nature, public spaces, and a feeling of community, Inwood strikes the perfect balance as being close, but not too close.
Listen Closely is a sponsored project of Fractured Atlas, a non-profit arts service organization. Contributions for the charitable purposes of Listen Closely must be made payable to “Fractured Atlas” only and are tax-deductible to the extent permitted by law.
We are a collective of musicians living in uptown Manhattan. We love coming together to share chamber music, food, and good company.
Cellist | Co-Founder, Executive Director
James Waldo leads a diverse, genre-defying career as a freelance chamber musician, presenter, and educator. James' principal performance project is the international touring recital team A.W.Duo, in which James partners with his wife, pianist Alyona Aksyonova, to render brand-new as well as timeless masterworks for cello and piano. Other notable projects: Jazz at Lincoln Center with pianist Robert Rodriguez; principal cellist for Cecilia Chorus, guest musician with Cantori NY, guest solo cellist with the Chinese Ensemble of NYC, founding member of LeStrange Viols, and founding member of Spirits of the Red City. James studied with Timothy Eddy at Mannes College, and will be commencing a Doctorate of Musical Arts program as a fully-funded University Fellow at the UW-Madison this fall, with longtime mentor and friend Uri Vardi. James is most proud of his roles as a husband, father, dog and cat owner, primary household cook, and lifelong Episcopalian Christian.
Violist | Co-Founder, Director of Operations
Rose Hashimoto is a violist originally from Seattle, Washington. Rose came to New York to study at Juilliard and Mannes, stayed longer than she ever thought she would, and has since come to consider uptown Manhattan her second home.
Rose has loved chamber music ever since she was a teenager, because it was through playing chamber music that she first understood what it meant to be a part of a community. She has continued to be an active chamber musician, performing with ensembles including Shattered Glass, A Far Cry, and the Thalia Quartet, and at festivals including Birdfoot, Manchester Summer Chamber Music, Yellow Barn, Taos, and Kneisel Hall.
Along with playing chamber music, working with young people is Rose’s greatest inspiration. She is a certified Suzuki violin and viola teacher and serves on the faculty at the Lucy Moses School. When she’s not playing music, she is also an avid baker.
James Wu is a freelance A/V engineer who is experienced with both live events and film.
A trained classical violinist, pianist, and composer, James instinctively recognizes the nuances of speech and song and hears music in otherwise ordinary sound. His refined aural sensitivity serves him well in creation, capture, and the cutting room.
James has participated in most happenings behind the camera or stage. He's an experienced Finale typesetter, romantic composer, and diligent recordist; he's also experienced the joys of being a creative videographer, narrative editor, and illuminative photographer.
With experience in music, sound, film, and some lighting, James considers his primary purpose in life to be helping others. He's been known to stick around on sets to see that things aren't left hanging.
A native of Kyoto, Japan, composer Ayumi Okada was trained at Mannes College of Music, where she received her Masters of Music in Composition under the tutelage of David Loeb. Ayumi has been the recipient of composition awards including first prize in the Jean Schneider Goberman Competition (2010), the Mannes Orchestra Competition (2010), CIRCE competition (2011), and Martinů Composition Award (2011).
Ayumi is now actively composing in New York City. Her first EP, "Here, Where The Land Ends And The Sea Begins" (recorded by musicians of Listen Closely) is available, along with her catalogue of sheet music, through Abundant Silence Publishing. Her most recent chamber work, "The Gray Wolf," was commissioned and premiered by Listen Closely in March 2017.
In addition to her work as a composer of chamber music, Ayumi is passionately pursuing a career in musical theatre. She has served as music director at theaters including Columbia Stages and Bristol Valley Theatre. Her original songs have been performed at various venues in NYC, such as The Duplex, Secret Theatre, and Signature Theatre.
Wayne Lee and juliana han
Violin and Piano Duo
Wayne Lee, violin, and Juliana Han, piano, are recognized for their dynamic, thought-provoking, and virtuosic performances. The duo has performed across the country and presents an expansive repertoire, ranging from the complete violin and keyboard sonatas of Bach to new commissions by emerging American composers.
Based in New York City, Wayne and Juliana’s collaborations began at The Juilliard School, of which both are alumni. Individually, they also maintain diverse performance careers. Wayne Lee is a member of both the award-winning Formosa Quartet and the Manhattan Piano Trio, and has appeared prolifically with both groups. Juliana Han is an active collaborative and solo pianist, with recent performances at Carnegie Hall and Alice Tully Hall, among others. She is also a graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Law School, with prior careers in corporate law and business consulting.
In addition to their work as performers, Wayne and Juliana are founders and directors of the Piedmont Chamber Music Festival, which brings the nation’s top musicians to California's Bay Area for chamber music performances and educational and community engagement events. Due to its world-class performers and electrifying programming, the festival is quickly becoming a highlight of the area’s cultural offerings. Wayne and Juliana are both also dedicated teachers who have given masterclasses and workshops in the United States, Canada, and Asia.
As a native New Yorker, Jason Mellow is thrilled to join Listen Closely. Jason attended Mannes College of Music and Indiana University before returning to New York, where he has maintained a busy freelance career as a violinist and violist. He recently served as concertmaster of the Radio City Orchestra, and performs regularly with the American Symphony Orchestra, American Ballet Theater, and in the orchestras of many Broadway musicals. Jason has also toured extensively with the Mozart Orchestra of New York, singer Josh Groban, and the Tony Award-winning musicals The Bridges of Madison County and Kinky Boots, which took him to 30 cities in the USA and Canada. He can also be seen in two seasons of the Amazon original series Mozart in the Jungle. After presenting the New York premiere of Fazil Say’s Violin Concerto, Jason will be repeating the performance in 2017 for its Michigan premiere with the Jackson Symphony Orchestra.
Violist, composer, and curator Eric Lemmon received his Bachelors in Music at New York University’s Music and Performing Arts Program, a Masters in Viola Performance from the Mannes Conservatory and an Artist Diploma from University of Miami’s Frost School of Music where he was awarded a Mancini Fellowship. He is the founder and editor OpenSourceMusic.org and an artistic advisor to Nodes Performing Arts.
As a composer, Eric’s music has been described as using “a broad range of extended techniques and complex rhythms to create both a creepy and beautifully ethereal nebulousness of sound”. His works have appeared in venues ranging from alt-classical venue (le) Poisson Rouge to the FIGMENT arts festival on Governor’s Island. Eric has been awarded NYU’s Creative Collaboration Grant, Mannes’ Peter M. Gross Grant, and MetLife’s Creative Connections Grant.
As a violist, Eric has performed with The Manhattan Camerata, DETOUR New Music, the troupe Project Opera, New York Chamber Virtuosi, One World Symphony, The Chelsea Symphony, Highline Chamber Ensemble, The Sheep Island Ensemble, and for the non-profit Lower East Side Performing Arts.
Katherine Liccardo, a native New Yorker, made her Carnegie Hall Stern Auditorium solo debut at age 18 as the winner of the Metropolitan Youth Orchestra Concerto Competition. Katherine received her Bachelor of Music Degree from Mannes College The New School for Music and her Master of Music Degree from the Manhattan School of Music, studying with Laurie Smukler. She has participated in the Norfolk Chamber Music Festival, Kneisel Hall Chamber Music Festival, Manchester Music Festival, and Bowdoin International Music Festival. In April 2015, as a member of The Blue Hill String Quartet, Katherine was awarded first prize in the J.C. Arriaga Chamber Music Competition. She has also recently joined the conductorless chamber orchestra, Shattered Glass. This past May, the ensemble recorded Pulitzer Prize winner Caroline Shaw's "Entr'acte" to complete their debut album to be released next season. Katherine is a certified Suzuki teacher and holds a teaching position at the Queens College pre-college division, in addition to maintaining a private studio in Manhattan and on Long Island.
Cellist Julia Henderson is a versatile performer and teacher based in New York City. A graduate of Oberlin Conservatory and The Juilliard School, recent performances have found her at Carnegie Hall, the Joyce theater, and at SOFAR New York headquarters. Julia is a trained Suzuki teacher, and especially loves opportunities that combine chamber music performance and music education. For the past three summers she has performed and taught on the island of Montserrat, West Indies, as faculty with the Montserrat Music Festival. She also plays weekly with Chamber Music Associates, a New York City organization that brings together amateurs and professionals to play chamber music. Julia is on faculty at the Larchmont Music Academy and is a teaching artist with Sonic Explorations, an El Sistema program in Orange, NJ. She is also an avid cyclist and reader.
Pianist Alyona Aksyonova is a native of Voronezh, Russia. At age 16, Alyona won the Premiere Open Young Pianists Competition in Voronezh, Russia, and went on to perform with the Voronezh Symphony Orchestra. Alyona received top prize in the 2nd Gavrilin Governor's International Competition for Young Musicians in Vologda, Russia, and was finalist in the 3rd International Gnessin Piano Competition in Moscow. Alyona completed her studies in New York City at Mannes College, where as a full merit scholarship recipient (BM, MM) she studied with Pavlina Dokovksa and Vladimir Feltsman. Alyona is now an active performer, appearing regularly with Listen Closely and as a founding member of internationally touring cello/piano team A.W.Duo. Alyona has a unique claim to fame - wherever she goes, pianos appear! Alyona has been given three fine pianos by generous supporters of her career, and a chamber music series even purchased a Steinway for their venue after hearing Alyona play, so that she could come and play there. In addition to playing piano, Alyona loves teaching, traveling, dancing salsa, and spending quality time with her sweetest little daughter, Sofia.
Ariadne Greif, praised for her "luminous, expressive voice" (NY Times), began her opera career as a ‘boy’ soprano in the Los Angeles area and at the LA Opera, eventually making an adult debut singing Lutoslawski’s Chantefleurs et Chantefables with the American Symphony Orchestra. She has starred in roles ranging from Therese/Tirésias in Poulenc’s Les Mamelles de Tirésias, singing a “thoroughly commanding and effortless” run at the Aldeburgh Festival, to Sappho in Atthis by Georg Friedrich Haas, for which the New York Times noted her “searing top notes,” and “dusky depths,” calling it “one of the most searingly painful and revealing operatic performances in recent times.”
When she isn't trotting the globe with Shuffle Concert or starring in a stage role, Ariadne can be found in her home neighborhood of Inwood at various locales such as Park View ("Bark Mew"), Darling Coffee, and ChocNYC. If you are lucky, you might even catch her serenading customers at Dichter Pharmacy!
Originally from San Diego, violinist Alex Fortes is recognized for his versatility and warmth. Recent chamber music and orchestral performances have included engagements in France, Germany, Denmark, Austria, and Indonesia as well as throughout North America with groups such as the Dalí Quartet, Henschel Quartett, Franklin String Quartet, the Momenta Quartet, the Orchestra of St. Luke’s, the Knights, and A Far Cry. His playing is featured on A Far Cry's 2014 GRAMMY-nominated album, Dreams and Prayers. He holds degrees from Harvard College and Mannes College, and his teachers include Mark Steinberg, Peter Zazofsky, Hernan Constantino, Mary Gerard, and Michael Gaisler.
Dutch violinist Karen Dekker grew up surrounded by music. She studied at the Amsterdam Conservatory and the Manhattan School of Music, and is currently pursuing a Diploma in Historical Performance at The Juilliard School.
Recent highlights include a solo performance with Orchestra of St. Luke’s at the Massachusetts Museum of Modern Art and a recording of Debussy and Mahler with the Smithsonian Chamber Players.
Karen performs regularly as a chamber musician in ensembles throughout New York. She plays with the Orchestra of St. Luke’s, Mark Morris Dance Group, Harrisburg Symphony Orchestra, String Ensemble Shattered Glass, and in the pit of Broadway’s The Book of Mormon as a substitute violinist and violist.
Doug Balliett is a composer, instrumentalist, and poet based in New York City. As a leading performer of contemporary music and a professor of historic performance at Juilliard, he draws on music from the past and the future, always in the service of telling a story.
Doug has received commissions from the St. Lawrence String Quartet, Carnegie Hall, the Tanglewood Music Center, the San Antonio Symphony, William Christie, Metropolis Ensemble, and SOLI, and has written for some of New York’s finest singers, including Grammy winners Estelí Gomez and Dashon Burton as well as young breakout singers like Charlotte Mundy, Davone Tines, and Ariadne Greif. Notable projects include the evening-length A Gnostic Passion, written with his twin brother, Brad Balliett, and commissioned by CANTORI NYC; a cycle of songs based on stories from The Brothers Grimm which premiered at the Lucerne Festival; and a series of rap cantatas based on Ovid’s Metamorphoses, which have been commissioned from musicians across America. Doug has held composer-in-residence positions with the Bloomingdale School of Music (as winner of the 2016 ConEdison Exploring the Metropolis Composer Residency Program), the Lucerne Festival Academy, the Chelsea Music Festival, New Vintage Baroque, the Millennials, and the Colonials.
You can find Doug tackling trivia night at the Indian Road Cafe or lurking late at night at La Lomita Mexican Deli on 10th Avenue.
The Ulysses string Quartet
Tina Bouey and Rhiannon Banerdt, violins. Colin Brookes, viola. Grace Ho, cello.
Winners of the Grand Prize and the Gold Medal in the Senior
String Division of the 2016 Fischoff National Chamber Music
Competition, the Ulysses String Quartet was founded in the summer of 2015. Hailing from Canada, the United States, and Taiwan, members have performed in prestigious halls such as Esterházy Palace, Carnegie Hall, and the Taiwan National Concert Hall. The group competed in the Semifinals Round of the 2016 Banff International String Quartet Competition and garnered a Career Development Grant.
Recent and upcoming season highlights include appearances at the Louis Moreau Institute, Cohen Hall, University of Prince
Edward Island, and Abravanel Hall, as well as the Schneider
Concerts, Music Talks, Nth Degree, and NOVA chamber series. In addition, the quartet will perform at the Kneisel Hall, “Produced by Ichiyanagi”, Oregon, Emilia Romagna Music Festivals, and the La Jolla Music Society Summerfest as Fellowship Artists.
Members perform on instruments and bows graciously on loan from the Canada Council of the Arts Instrument Bank and the Maestro Foundation.
The name ‘Ulysses’ pays homage to Homer’s hero Odysseus and his ten year voyage home. Additionally, the quartet’s base in Washington Heights, New York City, lies in close proximity to the resting place of former U.S. president, Ulysses S. Grant.
Transcending her humble musical beginnings involving a macaroni box disguised as a violin, Chloe Fedor has since received critical acclaim for her “lovely, plush, seductive tone” (New York Times) and appears as soloist, concertmaster, and chamber musician in ensembles throughout the country. An avid gut-string enthusiast, Chloe frequently performs on Baroque violin and has soloed and led New York Baroque Incorporated, The Sebastians, Amor Artis, The Bach Society of Charleston, Juilliard415 and has appeared as principal for Trinity Wall Street Baroque Orchestra and Oregon Bach Festival. This season, Chloe is thrilled to join the cast of Broadway’s Farinelli and the King as an onstage Baroque musician. A Suzuki-trained pedagogue, Chloe is passionate in her effort to inspire young people to create and communicate through music. She is currently on faculty at Opportunity Music Project, a nonprofit that provides free lessons to students from low-income families. During her studies at Juilliard, Chloe was a Morse Teaching Fellow, Gluck Community Service Fellow, and recipient of the Career Advancement Fellowship. Her major teachers include Charles Castleman, Ronald Copes, Cynthia Roberts and Monica Huggett.
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