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.
Larisa Marian’s biggest joy is to create meaningful learning communities with her students. Mrs. Marian graduated Cum Laude from George Mason University’s Bachelor of Music Education program, where she studied violin with Dr. Laura Kobayashi and Dr. Elizabeth Adams. She is pursuing her Masters in Music Education from George Mason University.
Mrs. Marian was awarded the Virginia American Strings Teachers Association Outstanding New Strings/Orchestra Teacher Award for the year 2016-2017. She presented at the VMEA Conference in November 2019. She received the George Bornoff Memorial Scholarship to attend the American Strings Teachers Association Conference in March 2017, and a scholarship to attend the Bornoff Pedagogy Workshop in June 2017. In 2016 she received the PTA Teacher Recognition at Woodburn ES in 2016. During the summers, Mrs. Marian’s work has included: the Paul Rolland Kids on the Move Camp, Annandale Strings Camp, Future Music Educators Camp, and creating and directing the Woodburn Strings Camp. Mrs. Marian has taught for 6 years in Fairfax County Public Schools, before moving to Loudoun County.
Mrs. Marian’s two passions are pedagogy and community. She holds certifications in Paul Rolland pedagogy Levels 1,2, and 3; as well as certifications in Orff Schulwerk Level 1 and Bornoff Pedagogy Level 1. Her philosophy of music education is to build collaborative, dynamic music environments where students can be unafraid to make music. A native from Romania, she remains engaged with the Romanian community in DC. She helps with the musical activities of the Sunday School of Holy Cross Church in Alexandria, VA. In her spare time, she enjoys playing her violin and guitar, exploring alternative musical styles, and enjoying the outdoors with family and friends.
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.
Ms. Caravan received her undergraduate and graduate degrees in music education and violin performance from the Eastman School of
Music. She studied violin with Charles Castleman, Camilla Wicks, Lynn Blakeslee and music education with Louis Bergonzi. In addition to her master’s degree, she has trained with Ronda Cole, Edmund Sprunger, Tom Wermuth, David Strom and Linda Fiore in the Suzuki approach. She taught in the private school as an orchestra director for the Kanack School of Music and public schools in Rochester, NY and Fairfax County, VA.
Currently Ms. Caravan teaches at J. Michael Lunsford Middle School in Chantilly, VA. She created a Suzuki in the Schools hybrid program with her beginning 6th grade string students and conducts the 7th and 8th grade string ensembles. In one year the string program grew to become the second largest string program in Loudoun County. Her Tiger and Panther string ensembles have earned superiors at District 16 Orchestra Assessment since the school opened in 2011. Her students were recently featured as a demo group at the Virginia Music Educators Association state conference.
Ms. Caravan has a wide variety of experiences in music. She has composed and performed the original soundtrack for a local Rochester, NY documentary film, Jurs, Edge of Discovery about sculptor and artist Nancy Jurs. She has performed in orchestras for Stevie Wonder, The Gary Sinise Foundation at the Kennedy Center, Kevin Spacey, Clay Johnson, Annie Sellick, Wayne Newton, Johnny Mathis, Jeremy Davis and The Fabulous Equinox Orchestra. She is also the co-founder and artistic director of the Sforza Suzuki Strings Ensemble located in Manassas, VA.
Ms. Caravan is the board chair and president of the Suzuki Association of the Greater Washington Area. She also serves as the dean at the Castleman Quartet Program during the summer session at the State University of New York at Fredonia. During the academic year she performs regularly with Manassas Ballet Theatre Orchestra and the Savannah Philharmonic Orchestra in Savannah, GA.
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.
Carlos Figueroa is an emerging cellist from the beautiful country Venezuela. Music has been a part of him since an early age. After receiving piano and solfege lessons for a couple of years, he quickly fell in love with the melodies of an instrument that he never imagined he could play, the cello. Enthusiastic and eager to be part of big music ensembles, he joined the Latin American Academy of Cello in his home country and was also awarded a spot in two of the most prominent symphony orchestras of his hometown. He then decides to study his instrument professionally and embarks on a trip to the United States where he earned a scholarship to pursue his musical career at Shenandoah University under the mentorship of renowned cellist, Julian Schwarz.
His passion for music never stopped and he was always striving to one day share the stage with famous musicians and to be a concert soloist. Over the years, Carlos has collaborated with renowned conductors, musicians, and composers for classical and contemporary music alike. He played a symphony under the baton of Gustavo Dudamel, worked tirelessly for the release of Winton Marsalis’ Symphony in Blue, participated in a film festival with Marco Beltrami, and performed with composer Jenifer Higdon. Excited about his musical career, Carlos quickly gained confidence and decided to assume the role of a concert soloist. He participated in two musical competitions and won first prize at both the Virginia Music Teachers Association and the Student Soloist Competition, playing works by Elgar and Shostakovich.
His dedication and determination to accomplish his goals not only made him successful in music, but also in the world of fitness. He believes musicians are in charge of playing beautiful pieces, but are also responsible to portray a stunning physical image when performing on stage. After all, we all want to spread melodies full of happiness to the world with our performances, but why not do it while feeling fulfilled within ourselves as well? Carlos’ performances have certainly improved since he started taking care of his physical health, and the levels of confidence have now become stronger than they have ever been.
Carlos believes music is more than just notes. Music is about connection and that connection is what will bring people together. Music should be available for everyone even if they don't know anything about it. Through his professional experience, Carlos has become a performer of a vast variety of genres including classical, modern, contemporary, popular, etc., and is able to perform beautiful melodies with both the acoustic and the electric cello. At the end, he plays with the purpose of sharing the gift of music with every person that listens to his music.
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.