Ben Russell, violinist, vocalist and songwriter, has an unmistakable passion for music. The Hilly Town Press describes his unique intensity saying, “[Ben Russell], the fiddle player, was like none I’ve ever seen.” A native of San Diego, Ben moved to New York City in 2006 to form the Bryant Park Quartet. The energetic string quartet specializes in creating diverse programs that contrast historical masterpieces with contemporary works. They also enjoy performing originals and arrangements of folk tunes, rock songs and Renaissance music. The BPQ emphasizes outreach wherever they go and have been established as the Ensemble-in-Residence at the Stony Brook Pre-College for the past three years. In addition to his quartet, Ben is a member of ACME, the Wordless Music Orchestra, and the Mark Morris Dance Group. His work in NYC has led him to collaborate with such musicians as Sufjan Stevens, Nico Muhly, Bryce Dessner, Low, Arcade Fire, John Cale, and Paul McCartney.
In 2012, Ben released his first solo album featuring original compositions for his voice and violin, recorded live in Astoria, NY. Ben’s studies include a Masters degree from the New England Conservatory of Music, a Bachelor’s degree from Biola University, and one year at the Amsterdam Conservatory in the Netherlands. All his studies were in violin performance.
"A one-woman contemporary-classical commissioning machine," ( Pitchfork ) violist Nadia Sirota is best known for her singular sound and expressive execution, coaxing solo works from the likes of Nico Muhly, Daníel Bjarnason, Judd Greenstein, Marcos Balter, and Missy Mazzoli. Her debut album First Things First was released in 2009 on New Amsterdam Records and named a record of the year by The New York Times , and her sophomore album, Baroque , released in March on Bedroom Community and New Amsterdam has been called "beautiful music of a higher order than anything else you will hear this year" by SPINMedia website PopMatters .
In addition to her work as a soloist, Nadia is a member of yMusic, ACME, and Alarm Will Sound, and has lent her sound to recording and concert projects by such artists and songwriters as Grizzly Bear, Jónsi and Arcade Fire. Nadia also hosts a radio show on WQXR's New Music radio stream, Q2Music, for which she was awarded the 2010 ASCAP Deems Taylor Award in Radio and Internet Broadcasting. Nadia is the recipient of Southern Methodist University's 2013 Meadows Prize, awarded to pioneering artists and scholars with an emerging international profile. She received her undergraduate and Masters degrees from the Juilliard School, and since 2007 has been on faculty at the Manhattan School of Music in their Contemporary Performance Program.
Caitlin Lynch has been described as a performer for whom the term “‘gifted’ hardly does justice” (The Oregonian). An avid soloist, chamber, and orchestral musician, Caitlin has performed in fourteen countries on five continents. She has appeared as soloist with numerous orchestras, whose tours have featured her concerti performances across North America and Europe.
As a chamber musician, she performs as the violist of the New York-based Fidelio String Quartet. Additionally, Caitlin has had the honor of performing chamber music with Itzhak Perlman, members of the Tokyo, Cleveland, Juilliard, and Cavani String Quartets, the Weilerstein Trio, and ACME. Caitlin has held principal positions in the Charlotte Symphony and CityMusic Cleveland Chamber Orchestra, in performances from Carnegie Hall to international tours. She has also performed with the Cleveland Orchestra, A Far Cry, Richmond Symphony, Virginia Symphony Orchestra, and New World Symphony.
As an educator, she is the Chamber Music Teaching Assistant at the Perlman Music Program Summer Music School, has taught in the public schools of Harlem as a Morse Fellow at The Juilliard School, traveled to South America to teach masterclasses and orchestral sectionals for Ecuador’s Sinfonia por la Vida, taught students with Williams’ Syndrome at the Berkshire Hills Music Academy, was part of the Cleveland Chamber Music Society’s Educational Outreach Quartet, and did a Visiting Artist teaching and performance residency at The College of William and Mary. Caitlin is a graduate of the Cleveland Institute of Music and The Juilliard School.
Alex has commissioned, premiered, and recorded with some of the most exciting composers and song-writers of our time, including Björk, Nico Muhly, Sufjan Stevens, The National, Philip Glass, Jonsí of Sigur Ros, Martha Wainwright, Gabriel Kahane, Bryce Dessner, and St. Vincent. Also a composer and improvisor, Alex will soon make her solo recording debut with an album on the New Amsterdam label.
A regular performer both in the US and abroad, she has performed at the BBC Proms, Bang on a Can Marathon, Bargemusic, Lucerne Fetsival, Dumbarton Oaks, Melbourne International Arts Festival, Look and Listen Festival, MATA Festival, Norfolk Chamber Music Festival, Spoleto Festival dei Due Mondi, Festival WhyNote Dijon, Carlsbad Music Festival, and the Bowdoin Festival.
A native of St. Croix, US Virgin Islands, Alex completed both her Bachelors and Masters degrees at The Juilliard School where she was a student of Carol Wincenc and Robert Langevin.