Violinist Ricardo Cyncynates has performed extensively as soloist, recitalist, and chamber musician throughout the United States, Europe, and South America. Mr. Cyncynates is Assistant Concertmaster of the National Symphony Orchestra and was appointed to this position by Mstislav Rostropovich following Mr. Cyncynates's tenure with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra. Since then he has appeared as soloist with the orchestra in concertos by Mozart and Vivaldi as well as in Sarasate's Carmen Fantasy, Saint-Saëns's Havanaise, Introduction and Rondo Capriccioso , Sibelius's Six Humoresques and Paganini's 24th Caprice for solo violin on a program led by Music Director Leonard Slatkin for the League of American Orchestras’ National Conference Concert.
Mr. Cyncynates has performed as soloist with a number of other Washington area orchestras in concertos by Bach, Brahms, Busoni, Dvorak, Mendelssohn, Mozart, Paganini, Saint-Saëns, Sibelius, as well as in Bernstein's Serenade.
An active chamber musician, Mr. Cyncynates frequently performs in Washington's most prestigious venues including the Library of Congress, Corcoran Gallery, National Gallery of Arts, Smithsonian Institution and the Terrace Theater of the Kennedy Center. In 1990, together with clarinetist Claire Eichhorn and pianist Anna Balakerskaia, he founded The Ensemble da Camera of Washington, today widely considered one of the premier ensembles in their instrument combination. Their national concert tours, radio broadcasts and several recordings for the Vernissage Records label have met with unanimous acclaim by audiences and critics alike. Their annual concerts at the Lyceum of Old Town Alexandria are all fundraisers for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. Among their many educational activities, they are the In-Residence Ensemble of the American Youth Philharmonic Orchestra. The ensemble has developed an innovative and intensive program of chamber music instruction for the AYPO. This program, which has received generous grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, includes intensive coaching, public masterclasses, and concerts. To find out more about the Ensemble da Camera of Washington, please visit www.EDCWashington.com.
Born in Rio de Janeiro, Cyncynates started violin studies with his father and made his debut at age 11 as the winner of Brazil's National Young Soloists' Competition. By age 19 he had an extensive solo career to his credit and was appointed First Concertmaster of the Brazilian Symphony Orchestra. He completed his studies at the Santa Cecilia Conservatory in Rome, Accademia Chigiana in Siena, and at Indiana University, studying under Arrigo Pelliccia, Salvatore Accardo, and Franco Gulli. He is recipient of awards given by the Brazilian National Research Council, Schering Corporation and Encyclopædia Britannica.
Mr. Cyncynates is a renowned teacher with students receiving prizes in national and international competitions. Several of his former students are also members of major orchestras in the US, Europe and Asia. He has given master classes throughout the United States, Asia and South America. His violin is the 1873, ”The David” Jean-Baptiste Vuillaume. He also plays a Cremonese violin by Francesco Rugeri made in 1686 on loan to the National Symphony by the Fondazione Pro Canale. Mr. Cyncynates is a Larsen Strings Performing Artist.
Claire Eichhorn is the clarinetist and a founder, along with Ricardo and Anna, of the Ensemble da Camera of Washington. She was born in Stuttgart, Germany to a family of musicians, being immersed with great chamber music her whole life.
Claire has made chamber music and teaching the center of her professional life. Over the years, she has performed at the Library of Congress, National Gallery of Art, Corcoran Gallery, French and German Embassies, The Highlands Chamber Music Festival in Highlands, N.C. to name just a few. She has been a frequent guest artist at the annual Brahms Festival at Florida Atlantic University and among the artists with whom she has collaborated are the Shanghai String Quartet, the Sistrum New Music Ensemble, cellist Tsuyoshi Tsusumi, pianist Judith Burganger, and the Stratford Chamber Players. Claire played with the National Symphony Orchestra, Kennedy Center Orchestra, Baltimore Opera, Virginia Chamber Orchestra, Washington Concert Opera, National Gallery Orchestra and for ten years was a member of the Washington ChamberSymphony. Ms Eichhorn recorded for the Vernissage Records Label.
Ms. Eichhorn is a sought after teacher, both at The Eichhorn Clarinet Studio in Fairfax County and as a faculty member of the Levine School of Music. Wanting to create a program that offered gifted high school students a summer opportunity that immersed them in high level teaching, workshops and playing opportunities, she conceived and developed the Clarinet Workshop. She spearheaded the development of the clarinet curriculum for the Levine School of Music. Claire was instrumental in developing the Chamber Ensemble Program at the American Youth Philharmonic Orchestras. Now in its 9th year, the program is highly successful and continues to receive support from the National Endowment for the Arts.
Ms. Eichhorn is a graduate of the University of Michigan having also attended Indiana University. Among her teachers were Alfred Zetzer, Fred Ormand, and Bernard Portnoy. She also worked with Menachem Pressler, Rostislav Dubinsky, and James Buswell in Chamber Music. In 1983 she was the recipient of the Alfonso D’Emilia Award given by the School of Music at Indiana University.
Zachary Whitaker graduated from the Shenandoah Conservatory with a B.M. in Cello Performance and later received a Masters of Music in Cello Performance from George Mason University. Throughout Zachary's cello career, he has had the opportunity to perform with musicians such as Robert deMaine, Amit Peled, Nurit Bar-Josef, and film composer Hans Zimmer. In addition, Zachary has extensive performance experience with numerous ensembles, including the Fairfax Symphony Orchestra, the Tysons McLean Orchestra, and the Loudoun Symphony Orchestra where he served as their principal cellist. He has also performed in numerous venues including the Kennedy Center, Carnegie Hall, and the Music Center at Strathmore. Zachary was a member of the National Orchestral Institute Philharmonic on their album Ruggles, Stucky & Harbison: Orchestral Works, which was recorded by Naxos Records and nominated for the 2019 Grammy Award for Best Orchestral Performance.
During his summers, Zachary has attended the Eastern Music Festival, the National Music Festival, and was a fellow with the National Orchestral Institute and Festival. Zachary has also attended Magic Mountain Music Farm, where he studied under Burton Kaplan.
Zachary has been teaching privately since 2012, and enjoys working with students of all ages and skill levels.
Tara Planeta teaches violin at the Catoctin School of Music in Leesburg, and is also the Executive Director of the Fauquier County Youth Orchestra in Warrenton. In addition to teaching, Ms. Planeta is an active performer and the owner of Atoka String Quartet, also based in Loudoun/Fauquier counties. She holds a Master's Degree in Music Performance from Arizona State University and is a current doctoral candidate in Educational Leadership at Liberty University.
Quentin Walston is an active composer, pianist, and music educator in Northern Virginia. He composes for piano and his jazz combo, blending memorable melodies and striking rhythms with adventurous improvisations. Recently, Quentin recorded his new album for jazz trio set to release this fall. “The Good Book Suite”, based on his favorite passages in Scripture, showcases his development in improvisation and composition. Quentin is also a music and jazz educator. Teaching lessons and classes to individuals of all ages, Quentin spreads the joy of learning and playing music. Quentin studied jazz, piano and composition/arranging at James Madison University. To find out more about Quentin Walston and his upcoming projects, please visit his website, QuentinWalston.com and follow him on Facebook and Spotify.
T. J. Maistros
TJ Maistros is a versatile percussionist and drum set player based out of the D.C. and N.Y.C. areas. In 2018 he graduated from New York University with a Masters in Percussion Performance, and in 2016 he graduated from George Mason University with a Bachelors in Percussion Performance. T.J. began taking private lessons in Virginia with David Goiser in 2003 and Marc Collier in 2010. At George Mason University, T.J. studied with Professors John Kilkenny, Joe McCarthy, and John Spirtas. At NYU, T.J. has studied with Professors Jonathan Haas, Simon Boyar, James Saporito, and Tony Moreno.
Since performing with brothers Tyler and Ryan Lindsay, T.J.’s experiences have included recording in Quad and Premier Studios in Times Square, New York, and appearances at The Bitter End, the U.N. Building in New York (hosted by the International Council for
Caring Communities), and opening for Dave Mason and Johnnie Sambitaro on David Webb’s Sirius XM Radio Broadcast live on the U.S.S. Wasp. T.J. has also performed with artists Chris Brubeck and Edward Kalendar, Mark Barasch and Brian Choper. At NYU, TJ participated in NYU Steel performances at the 2016 Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival with the New York Theatre Ballet and the 2017 Drum Boogie Festival, NYU Steinhardt Musical Productions “Brigadoon” and “The Mystery of Edwin Drood,” NYU Percussion Ensemble collaborations with renowned composers Elliot Cole, Mortin Subotnick, and President of the Percussive Arts Society, Dr. Brian Zator, as well as a multitude of other university ensembles. Other classical honors include the Sewanee Summer Music Festival (2017, 2014), Philadelphia International Music Festival (2016) and the NYU Broadway Percussion Seminar (2015).
TJ currently teaches lessons in the Northern Virginia area at the Catoctin School of Music, Stone Bridge High School’s marching band (2014-Present), and will be working with Guiding Arrows this coming school year. He is currently focusing on a variety of recording projects, and pursuing his post-graduate studies with jazz legend Tony Moreno.
Fiona Studebaker began playing the fiddle at age 9 in her hometown, Bolivar, TN. Her brothers and sisters formed a gospel bluegrass band and performed at churches and bluegrass festivals across Tennessee. At age 12 she began classical violin lessons and later pursued a violin performance degree at the University of Memphis in TN. She earned her Master's degree and Artist Diploma at Shenandoah Conservatory in Winchester, VA. She was a member of the Southwest Florida Symphony in Fort Myers, FL for 2 years after college. Before the pandemic she regularly performed with the National String Symphonia in Frederick, MD and was a substitute violinist in the Roanoke Symphony and Maryland Symphony. She currently lives in Winchester, VA where she also teaches private violin, fiddle, and viola lessons.