Serena Canin


A native of New York City, violinist SERENA CANIN is an active chamber musician, teacher and presenter.  As a founding member of the Brentano Quartet, since 1992 she has performed to popular and critical acclaim around the world;  she has also been heard at the Marlboro Festival, Chamber Music Quad Cities, Salt Bay Chamberfest,  the Festival Internacional de Cartagena, the Continuum Series at Alice Tully Hall, and on tour with Music from Marlboro and the Brandenburg Ensemble.

With the Brentano Quartet, she is currently Artist-in-Residence at the Yale School of Music and makes recurring appearances at the Norfolk Chamber Music Festival and the Taos School of Music. She has worked with young musicians at the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, the Mannes Beethoven Institute, and the Chamber Music Center of New York.  Serena is the director of Music Middays, a noontime series promoting young professional musicians in New York, where she lives with her husband, pianist Thomas Sauer, and their two sons.  She holds degrees from Swarthmore College and The Juilliard School, where she studied with Robert Mann.


Tyler Duncan


With a voice described as “honey-coloured and warm, yet robust and commanding” (The Globe and Mail), baritone TYLER DUNCAN has performed worldwide to great acclaim in both opera and concert repertoire. Recent and upcoming engagements in 2021/22 include Handel’s Messiah with TENET Vocal Artists, Schubert’s Winterreise with the Aspect Chamber Music Series and selections from J.S. Bach’s Christmas Oratorio with Early Music Vancouver. In 2022, Mr Duncan will appear with Arizona Early Music in Handel’s Apollo e Dafne and Bach’s Ich habe genug, join Vancouver Symphony in Beethoven’s 9th Symphony, returns to the Handel and Haydn Society in C.P.E. Bach’s Magnificat, re-join Music of the Baroque as the bass soloist in Haydn’s Creation and reprise Bach’s Ich habe genug with Mercury Chamber Orchestra.

Mr. Duncan has performed at The Metropolitan Opera as Prince Yamadori in Madama Butterfly, Huntsman in Rusalka, Fiorello in Il barbiere di Siviglia, Moralès and Le Dancaïre in Carmen, Herald in Verdi’s Otello, Millhand in Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk and the Journalist in Lulu. At the Spoleto Festival USA, he debuted as Mr. Friendly in the 18th-century ballad opera Flora, returning the next season as Sprecher in Die Zauberflöte. Other notable appearances have included Raymondo in Handel’s Almira, Dandini in La Cenerentola with Pacific Opera Victoria and Demetrius in A Midsummer Night’s Dream at the Princeton Festival. In the realm of new opera, he recently performed the role of Raymond in Nic Gotham’s Nigredo Hotel with City Opera Vancouver and sang the world premiere of Jonathan Berger’s Leonardo at the 92stY in NYC. In the summer of 2021, Mr. Duncan covered the role of Arthur in Le roi Arthus (Chausson) at Bard Summerscape.

Mr. Duncan has received prizes from the Naumburg, London’s Wigmore Hall, and Munich’s ARD competitions, and won the 2010 Joy in Singing competition, 2008 New York Oratorio Society’s Lyndon Woodside Oratorio-Solo Competition, 2007 Prix International Pro Musicis Award, and Bernard Diamant Prize from the Canada Council for the Arts. Originally from British Columbia, Canada, he now resides in the scenic Hudson Valley of New York and holds a passport from both countries. Mr. Duncan earned music degrees from the University of British Columbia, Hochschule für Musik (Augsburg), and Hochschule für Musik und Theater (Munich) and is currently on the voice faculty of the Longy School of Music in Boston.


Kim Laskowski


KIM LASKOWSKI joined the New York Philharmonic in September 2003 as Associate Principal Bassoon. Born in Brooklyn, she attended the High School of Music and Art and The Juilliard School, where she studied with Harold Goltzer, former Associate Principal Bassoon of the New York Philharmonic. While at Juilliard she won the Walter and Elsie Naumburg Award for Orchestral Excellence. She completed a master's degree at Juilliard while playing in the National Orchestral Association, and has also participated in the Tanglewood and Spoleto festivals. A recipient of a Fulbright grant for foreign study, she attended the Conservatoire National Superieure de Paris, where she was a student of Maurice Allard. While at the Conservatoire, she toured Europe as a member of the Orchestre des Prix. As an active player on the New York musical scene, Ms. Laskowski has appeared with ensembles such as the Orchestra of St. Luke's, American Symphony Orchestra, and Eos Orchestra. She can be heard on numerous television, radio, and film scores, and holds two platinum records for CDs recorded with the rock group 10, 000 Maniacs. As a chamber player, she has performed and recorded several CDs with Music Amici in classical, jazz, and 20th century works for mixed ensembles.Before joining the joining the Philharmonic, Ms. Laskowski played second bassoon in the New York City Ballet Orchestra. She was also principal bassoon of the Mostly Mozart Festival Orchestra from 1999 - 2003.

Kim Laskowski performs regularly as a chamber musician and soloist around the world. She has participated in the Aspen Music Festival, the Bowdoin Festival, and the Benefaio Festival . She has been invited to give master classes in Frankfurt, Monte Video Uruguay, University of Southern California, and in Taiwan. She is on the faculty of the Manhattan School of Music and the Juilliard School.


Julia Lichten


JULIA LICHTEN enjoys a varied career as soloist, chamber musician, and teacher in the New York City area and beyond. She was a member of the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra from 1995 to 2014, and has toured with Orpheus, Musicians from Marlboro, and the American Chamber Players. She has also served as an Artistic Ambassador for the U.S. State Depart- ment.

Her festival engagements have included the Marlboro Music Festival, Tanglewood Music Center, Taos Chamber Music Festival, Library of Congress, Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts, Rockport Chamber Music Festival, Chesapeake Chamber Music, Bowdoin International Music Festival, and Rencontres Musicales d’Évian. She has recorded for Marlboro Recording Society, Arabesque, Koch International Classics, Music Masters, Sony Classical, and Deutsche Grammophon.

She is an annual guest artist with the Brooklyn Chamber Music Society and has served as artist/faculty at Kneisel Hall Chamber Music School and Festival, Mannes College Beethoven Institute, National Orchestral Institute, Bowdoin International Music Festival, Vivace, Heifetz Institute, and Meadowmount School of Music. She is a member of the cello and chamber music faculty at Manhattan School of Music.

A native of New Haven, Connecticut, she received degrees from Harvard-Radcliffe and from the New England Conservatory. Her princi- pal teachers and mentors included Mischa Nieland, Paul Tobias, Felix Galimir, David Soyer, and Leon Kirchner.

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Lisa Nakamichi


Ms. Nakamichi will judge the YouTube Competition only for IGMC 2024.

LISA NAKAMICHI, known for her exquisite performances of Mozart has been called “born to play Mozart” by Honolulu Advertiser critic on her concerto performance with the Honolulu Symphony Orchestra.

Her successful Tokyo solo debut recital sponsored by the Japanese Ministry of Culture launched Ms. Nakamichi’s career in Japan. Ms. Nakamichi has since appeared in concerto performances throughout Japan among them the New Star Japan Philharmonic in Tokyo, the Kyushu Philharmonic in Nagasaki, Kyoto Symphony in Kyoto and the Hiroshima Symphony in Hiroshima. Her performance with the Hiroshima Symphony was reviewed as “brilliant Mozart playing” .

In March 2012, Ms. Nakamichi was the featured soloist in the inaugural concert of the newly revived Hawaii Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Maestro Naoto Ohtomo.  Concerto performances with the Honolulu Symphony have totaled over a dozen times and her performance of the Mozart Concerto was reviewed in the Honolulu Advertiser as “above all beautiful”.  She has collaborated with the Hawaii Youth Symphony in a performance of Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue, celebrating Louis Vuitton’s 150th anniversary concert.

Nakamichi has appeared in numerous recitals in major cities of the U.S., Canada, Europe, and Japan. For the past decade, she has been invited by dignitaries and diplomats to perform in solo recitals, including the residence of the Japanese Ambassador to the United States in Washington, D.C. and residence of the Consul General of Japan in Honolulu. In September 2011, Nakamichi was presented in a recital at the residence of the Japanese Ambassador to Austria in Vienna. Nakamichi has also appeared in recitals at the Tokyo Bunka Kaikan in Tokyo, The Symphony Hall in Osaka, Eroica Saal in Vienna, Libby Hall at University of Utah, and University of Alaska, Anchorage, among others.

As juror, Nakamichi has served on the jury of the Cooper International Piano Competition (Cleveland), Waring International Piano Competition (Palm Springs), and Alaska MTA, where she also conducted masterclasses. Nakamichi served on the jury of the PTNA Competition (Piano Teachers’ National Association) for their national finals in Tokyo in August 2018.

Lisa Nakamichi received her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from The Juilliard School under the tutelage of Martin Canin and doctoral degree from the State University of New York at Stony Brook. She is the founding artistic director of the Aloha International Piano Festival in Honolulu, Hawaii.


Kurt Nikkanen


Mr. Nikkanen will judge the YouTube Competition only for IGMC 2024.

American violinist KURT NIKKANEN is an international soloist of the highest order. Born in Hartford, Connecticut, he began his violin studies at the age of three, later studying with Roman Totenberg and Jens Ellerman. At twelve he gave his Carnegie Hall debut, performing with the New York Symphony; two years later he was invited by Zubin Mehta to perform the Paganini Concerto No.1 with the New York Philharmonic for a Young People’s Concert. He is a graduate of the Juilliard School, where he was a scholarship student of Dorothy DeLay.

Mr. Nikkanen regularly receives invitations from the leading orchestras and presenters in the USA and Europe, and has toured Japan and the Far East. In North America he has appeared with the Dallas Symphony, Minnesota Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony, Los Angeles Philharmonic and Cleveland Orchestra, and in Europe with the BBC Symphony, Royal Philharmonic, BBC Philharmonic, Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, Rotterdam Philharmonic and the Dresden Staatskapelle. He has worked with many leading conductors.

An enthusiastic advocate of contemporary music, Kurt Nikkanen has given numerous performances of the John Adams Violin Concerto, with orchestras such as the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic, London Sinfonietta, Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, Oregon Symphony, Hallé Orchestra and Cincinnati Symphony (all under the composer’s direction).

Highlights of recent seasons have included a UK tour with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, performances with the Gothenburg Symphony and Neeme Jarvi at the BBC Proms, and concerts with the Rotterdam Philharmonic, Prague Symphony and RTE Orchestra in Dublin; also with the Bayerischer Rundfunk and Suddeutscher Rundfunk orchestras, both with the late Yakov Kreizberg, and the Royal Scottish National Orchestra with Junichi Hirokami. He has also appeared with the Belgian National Orchestra, Trondheim Symphony and the orchestra of RAI Turin, the Detroit Symphony and Orchestra of Galicia, the Bilbao Symphony, the Malaysian Philharmonic and performances of the Dvorak concerto with the Czech Philharmonic and Vladimir Ashkenazy, both in Prague and on tour in the USA, with concerts in New York and Chicago. In 2011, he was featured as soloist in a performance of the Barber Violin Concerto and Ravel Tzigane with the Turku Philharmonic in a live webcast that was streamed worldwide.

Mr. Nikkanen has had many works written for him, including Steven R. Gerber’s violin concerto, which he has recorded for Koch International. In 2009, Mr. Nikkanen performed the world premiere of Mikko Heinio’s concerto Alla Madre, subsequently recording it for Sony Classical with the Turku Philharmonic under Petri Sakari and released in 2010. His recording of William Walton’s Violin Concerto with the New Haven Symphony Orchestra was released on the Nimbus Alliance label in 2010 and was chosen as “Critics Choice for 2010” in Gramophone Magazine.

Mr. Nikkanen gave the New York premiere of the Violin Concerto by Thomas Adès in May 2010 and has since performed it in Australia with the Perth Symphony Orchestra conducted by Paul Daniel.

In addition to his orchestral appearances, Kurt Nikkanen performs regularly as a recitalist both in the US and abroad with his wife, pianist Maria Asteriadou, presenting repertoire ranging from the complete Beethoven sonatas to Piazzolla tangos.

He is the Concertmaster of the New York City Ballet Orchestra and maintains a private teaching studio in New York, where he resides with his family.


Thomas Sauer


American pianist THOMAS SAUER performs regularly as soloist, chamber musician, and recital partner.  His large and varied repertoire encompasses Bach to the present day and includes both staples and neglected masterworks.  Audiences and critics alike praise his playing for its clarity, expressivity, and assured stylistic sense.  Some of Mr. Sauer’s recent solo appearances include concertos with the Quad-City and Tallahassee Symphonies and the Greenwich Village Orchestra, and recitals at Mannes College, Merkin Concert Hall, Rockefeller University, St. John’s College, Oxford, and Vassar College.  In the spring of 2009 he appeared on Broadway as the pianist in 33 Variations, a play about the composition of Beethoven’s Diabelli Variations.  With his long-time duo partner, English cellist Colin Carr, Mr. Sauer has appeared at the Wigmore Hall (London), Holywell Music Room (Oxford), the Amsterdam Concertgebouw and Musikgebouw, Bargemusic (New York City), the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum (Boston), and Princeton University, among many other venues.  Other duo recitals include violinists Midori (Berlin Philharmonie and the Palais des Beaux Arts in Brussels) and Jennifer Koh (Kennedy Center).  Among Mr. Sauer’s numerous chamber-music appearances are performances at the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center and the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society; performances with members of the Juilliard String Quartet at the Library of Congress; and numerous concerts with the Brentano String Quartet (including piano quintets by Schumann, Brahms, Franck and Carter).

Mr. Sauer has performed at many of the leading festivals in the United States and abroad, including Marlboro, Caramoor, Music@Menlo, Chamber Music Northwest, El Paso Pro Musica, and the Chamber Music Festivals of Seattle, Taos, Four Seasons (North Carolina), Portland and Salt Bay (Maine); as well as Lake District Summer Music (England) and Festival des Consonances (France).

Mr. Sauer’s varied discography includes recordings of Beethoven and Haydn piano sonatas for MSR Classics; the complete cello and piano works of Beethoven and Mendelssohn with Colin Carr on Cello Classics; a disc of Hindemith sonatas with violist Misha Amory (Musical Heritage Society); music of Britten and Schnittke with cellist Wilhelmina Smith on Arabesque; music of Ross Lee Finney with violinist Miranda Cuckson on Centaur Records; and violin sonatas of Mozart with Aaron Berofsky on Blue Griffin Recordings.  Mr. Sauer regularly performs  the music of today both as soloist and chamber musician and in recent seasons has premiered works by Philippe Bodin, Robert Cuckson, Sebastian Currier, Keith Fitch, David Loeb, Donald Martino, David Tcimpidis, and Richard Wilson.

A committed teacher, with students at Mannes College, Vassar College, and the Graduate Center of the City University of New York, Mr. Sauer is the founder and director of the Mannes Beethoven Institute, a highly-regarded week-long summer training program in New York.  A graduate of the Curtis Institute, Mannes College of Music and the Graduate Center of the City University of New York, his major teachers included Jorge Bolet, Edward Aldwell, and Carl Schachter.


Inesa Sinkevych


A laureate of the 12th Arthur Rubinstein International Piano Master Competition, Ukrainian- born pianist INESA SINKEVYCH has also won first prizes in the Maria Canals International Piano Competition in Barcelona and the Concurso Internacional de Piano Premio “Jaén” in Spain, as well as awards in the Minnesota International Yamaha Piano-e-Competition; the Vianna da Motta and the Porto international competitions in Portugal among others. Inesa Sinkevych has been praised for her “intense, thrilling and sophisticated playing” (General-Anzeiger, Germany), “brilliant note-perfect fluency” (New York Concert Review), “grand passion and elegant lyricism” (Audiophile Audition), and “rich cantabile” (Ritmo, Spain). She has been described as a “Schubertian of real distinction,” with a “maturity that belies her age (Music Web International), and as an “artist with intuition that knows to look far beyond technique” (Diario de Noticias, Lisbon). “Grasping the overarching structure and purpose,” writes JWR Review, “is Sinkevych’s strength.”

As soloist she has appeared with the Israel Philharmonic, the Minnesota Orchestra, the Gulbenkian Orchestra of Lisbon, Orquesta Nacional del Cuba, the Gran Canaria Philharmonic of Spain, the Porto Symphony of Portugal, the Tenerife Symphony of the Canary Islands, the Warsaw Symphony Orchestra, and the Kharkov Youth Orchestra, among others. She has performed as recitalist, chamber player, and orchestral soloist at the Mann Auditorium in Tel Aviv, the Purcell Room in London’s Royal Festival Hall, the Minnesota Orchestra Hall, the Palau de la Música Catalana in Barcelona, the Hong Kong City Hall, Guanghualu Arts Center in Beijing, Joaquin Rodrigo Auditorium in Madrid, the National Philharmonic Hall of Ukraine, and the Great Hall of the Centro Cultural de Belém in Lisbon. Recent performances include appearances at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall and Merkin Concert Hall in New York, Bar Harbor Music Festival, Dame Myra Hess Concert Series in Chicago, Festival de El Valle de Anton in Panama, with the Orquesta National del Cuba and Orquesta Mozartiano de La Habana, as well as in Shanghai, Beijing, Shenyang, and Guangzhoua in China on tour. Inesa Sinkevych appeared live on WFMT Chicago, Kol Israel, Classical WETA Washington, the RDP Portugal, Minnesota Public Radio, and Mezzo Classic TV Channel, France. She performed at the Israeli Presidential Conference (2008) in Jerusalem for U.S. President G.W. Bush and Israeli President Shimon Peres.

Dr. Sinkevych has been a member of the Piano faculty of Manhattan School of
Music’s College Division since 2014 and Precollege Division since 2008, and is serving as a Co-Head of the Piano Department at the Manhattan School of Music since 2022.


Jo-Ann Sternberg


JO-ANN STERNBERG leads a diverse musical life in the New York area as a chamber musician, orchestral player, music educator, and interpreter of new music. Jo-Ann is a member of the Borealis Wind Quintet, the Richardson Chamber Players, and the Riverside Symphony; principal clarinet of the orchestras of the Oratorio Society of NY, the NY Choral Society, and St John the Divine; and she regularly performs and tours with Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, the American Composers Orchestra, Mark Morris Dance, the American Symphony, and Musicians from Marlboro; and can often be heard playing in a number of different Broadway musicals. 

Ms. Sternberg graduated from Tufts University/New England Conservatory's dual degree program (BA in English/BM in Clarinet Performance) mentored by Peter Hadcock. She continued her studies at Yale University with David Shifrin and at The Juilliard School with Charles Neidich where she was awarded the William Kapell Memorial Award.  Currently, Ms. Sternberg serves on the faculties of Princeton University, Juilliard's MAP, and MSM Pre-College. She is Founder/Artistic Director of The Maine Chamber Music Seminar at Snow Pond for college/graduate level musicians. She performs and teaches at the CMC & Composers’ Forum of the East, and participates in numerous performance residencies throughout New England.   

Ms. Sternberg is a Selmer Artist.