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© 2015 by Festival Internacional de Música de Esmeraldas

Biographies

 

Iria Porras

Ms. Porras earned a Bachelor´s degree at the Madrid Royal Conservatory in 2009 with honors.

 

Since 2010 to 2013, Ms. Porras was a student at the Escuela Superior de Música Reina Sofía under the guidance of Hansjörg Schellenberger. Simultaneously, she was a student in the Instituto Internacional de Música de Cámara de Madrid. As a student of the Escuela and the Institute, she formed part of the Chamber Orchestra and the Symphony Orchestra; furthermore, she was a member of the Trío D´anches, Cuarteto Stamitz, and Trio

Françaix with whom she has performed extensively in the “Ciclos de cámara Sony”, the ABC Museum, Fundación Juan March, in the chamber music series at the Auditorio Nacional and at the Santander Festival. 

As an oboe student she has participated in numerous masterclasses with professors such as: Andreas Wittman, Cristoph Hartmann, Casey Hill, Lucas Macías Navarro and Melinda Maxwell. Likewise, past and present chamber music teachers include Eduard Brunner, Klaus Thunemman, Radovan Vlatkovic, Dag Jensen and Jaques Zoon.

 

Orchestral training has been a fundamental part of Ms. Porras´ s development as an oboist. She has been part of the Galicia Youth Orchestra (2005-2006), JORCAM (Madrid Youth Orchestra) from 2008 to 2010, and the Dutch Youth Orchestra (NJO) in 2010, where she acted as principal oboist and english horn player, and where she worked with music directors including Alberto Zedda, Pietro Rizzo, James Ross and others.

 

Furthermore, she collaborates with professional orchestras such as the  Galicia Chamber Orchestra, Madrid Philharmonia Orchestra, Santa Cecilia Orchestra, Spanish Chamber Orchestra and the Colombian National Orchestra.

 

Aside from performance Iria Porras views teaching as an important aspect in music-making, being teacher of oboe, music theory, music history and aural training since 2008.

 

Awards and honors include Best Student of the year 2012 in the oboe class at the Escuela Superior de Música Reina Sofia where Mr. Schellenberger and Her Majesty the Queen Sofía recognized Ms. Porras by presenting her the honor.

 

Iria Porras is also Journalist at the Carlos III University, Madrid, Spain

 

 

 

 

 

Francisco Vila

Sensitivity, effortless technique and intensity of sound characterize the playing of Ecuadorian cellist Francisco Vila. He began playing the cello at age 8 and had his solo debut with orchestra at 14. Having concertized throughout Europe, North and South America, Vila has been described as “…an exceptionally talented young cellist and musician. He is heading for an important place in the world of music.” (Janos Starker, cellist) The Bloomington Herald-Times said of his performance of Lalo’s Cello Concerto that Vila “...displayed absolute command on stage...perfectly executed technical passages and induced the orchestra with his energy… tenderly revealed to us the romanticism of this concerto.”

 

Chamber music forms an important part of Mr. Vila's activities as a cellist.  This is a platform that has allowed him wonderful opportunities to collaborate with many of the world's great artists such as Nobuko Imai, Zakhar Bron, Gary Hoffman, Wolfram Christ, Lynn Chang, Martin Charlifour, Michel Arrignon, and others.

 

As soloist he has appeared with the Liège Royal Philharmonic, Royal Chamber Orchestra of Wallonia, Bolivia Clásica Youth Orchestra, Santander Festival Orchestra, Indiana University Philharmonic, and the Central Florida Orchestra. He has been a guest artist at the Beaumaris International Music Festival, Santander Music Festival, Stavelot Music Festival among others, and in such venues as the Los Angeles County Museum of Art in a radio broadcasted recital celebrating the bicentennial anniversary of F. Chopin; Carnegie Hall with the New York String Orchestra directed by Jaime Laredo; Zankel Hall at Carnegie Hall, Philadelphia’s Kimmel Center, Disney Hall and Japan's Phoenix Hall in chamber music collaborations; Weill Hall at Carnegie Hall with Apostolos Paraskevas in a performance of the composer/guitarist’s modern works.

 

As the Second-Prize laureate of the Sphinx 15th Annual Competition, prize-winner of the 22nd Concours FLAME (2011) in Paris, Vila has been the recipient of several honors including the Presidential Scholarship at The Boston Conservatory, a National Society of Arts and Letters Award for Performance the Olimpia Barbera and the Eva Heinitz Fund Scholarships at Indiana University.

 

Aside from performance Vila views teaching as an important aspect in music-making and is regularly invited to give classes at The Boston Conservatory and Indiana University as well as Bolivia Clásica in La Paz, Bolivia, an educational music program founded by pianist Ana-Maria Vera.

Mr. Vila´s principal teachers include Janos Starker, Sharon Robinson and Gary Hoffman, and chamber music with Menahem Pressler at Indiana University, where he was also the first-prize winner of the ’09-’10 concerto competition.

 

Upcoming appearances include concerts as soloist and in the chamber music setting in Los Angeles, Brussels, Boston, chamber music tour with Macondo Chamber Players and recitals with pianist Maria João Pires. Vila performs on a fine 1790 Vincenzo Panormo cello on generous loan from the Saul B. and Naomi R. Cohen Foundation as well as the “ex-Janos Starker” E. Tubbs bow.

 

 

 

 

 

The St. Petersburg-born violinist Daniel Austrich has distinguished himself by winning major prizes at the Sarasate and the Paganini Moscow international competitions. Despite his young age, his performances are highly acclaimed by the international press. The Strad magazine compared him to Vadim Repin and Christian Tetzlaff, and the Washington Post characterized his playing as the “most impressive”.

 

Austrich studied at the St.Petersburg Conservatory School and the Oberlin Conservatory with Alla Aranovskaya and continued his studies with Viktor Tretyakov at the Hochschule in Cologne.

 

Since his debut at the age of 11 at the Great Philharmonic Hall in St.Petersburg, his performances have taken him to concert halls including the Tchaikovsky Hall in Moscow, the Laeiszhalle in Hamburg, Tonhalle in Düsseldorf,  Philharmonie in Cologne,  Tonhalle in Zurich, the Strathmore Center in Washington, and the Palacio de Bellas Artes in Mexico City. He has soloed with the Moscow Philharmonic, the Moscow State Symphony Orchestra, the St.Petersburg Camerata, the Zurich Chamber Orchestra, the Cologne New Philharmonic, the Charleston Symphony Orchestra, and the Orquesta Sinfonica de San Luis Potosi to name just a few.

 

Daniel has been a guest at festivals including Schleswig Holstein, Usedom, Davos, Ottawa, Mendocino, and has performed chamber music together with Itzhak Perlman, Donald Weilerstein, David Geringas, Julian Steckel, the St.Petersburg Quartet, and has recorded a duet with José Carreras.

He plays a 1695 Pietro Guarneri of Mantua violin, on loan from the Deutsche Stiftung Musikleben of Hamburg, Germany.  In 2012, he joined the renowned Michelangelo String Quartet.

 

 

Daniel Austrich

 

Jenny Lewisohn

British violist Jenny Lewisohn completed her Bachelor of Music with highest honours and Masters of Music with Distinction from London's Guildhall School of Music and Drama in 2014 where she was also awarded the Concert Recital Diploma.

 

She won joint first prize at the Kenneth Page Foundation competition and is a member of the award-winning Hieronymus Quartet. The quartet won the CAVATINA Intercollegiate String Quartet Competition in 2012 as well as the Audience Prize. In April 2014 they were selected for one of ChamberStudio’s three prestigious Mentorships.

 

Upcoming performances include a complete Beethoven quartet cycle for Music at Woodhouse.

 

Jenny has participated in solo masterclasses with Nobuko Imai, Tatjana Masurenko, Lars Anders Tomter and Hartmut Rohde amongst others. She has frequently participated in the Encuentro de Musica y Academica de Santander and IMS Prussia Cove where she has been invited to return for Open Chamber Music in the autumn.

 

As part of the Guildhall New Music Ensemble she has been broadcast on BBC Radio 3 and in 2011 a movement of a work for solo viola by composer Raymond Yiu was dedicated to Jenny.

 

 

 

José Romero

Born in Colombia, José Romero began playing the violin at the age of 5 with Liliana Arboleda. Already at a young age he performed with the Cali Philharmonic under Francesco Belli and appeared in festivals such as the Aspen Music Festival in Colorado and the Preludio Program in Ithaca, New York. Other festival appearances include the Pablo Casals International Festival and the Mozaeteum Summer Academy.

 

José’s performances have taken him throughout South-America , United States and Europe in venues such as the Frederick Loewe Theatre in New York, Sala Beethoven, Teatro Julio Mario Santo Domingo, Teatro Guillermo Valencia and Teatro Municipal de Buga in Colombia, Casa de La Música in Quito, Ecuador,  David Josefowitz hall in London, Sanders Theatre in Boston and Wiener Saal in Salzburg.

 

José holds a Bachelor of Music from the Boston Conservatory, studying with Rictor Noren and Lynn Chang, and further studies at the Royal Academy of Music in London under Nicholas Miller guidance. Additional mentors include Joseph Silverstein, Pamela Frank, Thomas Brandis, Jack Liebeck and Weigang Li. He currently studies with world-renowned violin professor Mauricio Fuks. 

 

José is a founding member and Artistic Director of Macondo Chamber Players (MCP), a chamber music society that brings together established, and emerging artists to perform, teach, and encourage international understanding in Latin America. MCP has appeared in Cali, Bogotá, Buga, Popayán and Medellín in Colombia, as well as Esmeraldas and Quito in Ecuador, presenting several free concerts for hundreds of people, and developing various educational projects for local music students.

 

In addition to his musical studies, José has pursued the study of literature and philosophy at Harvard Extension School and Kings College London.

 

José performs on a Jean Baptiste Vuillaume violin from 1865 and a Louis Bazin bow.

 

Carlos Vargas

Pianist Carlos Vargas’s performances have taken him throughout the United States, South America and countries in Europe in venues such as “Teatro el Circulo”, Argentina; “Sala Eduardo Brito”, Dominican Republic and Wiener Saal, Salzburg among others.

 

A native of Dominican Republic he began his studies at a young age with renowned Cuban pianist and pedagogue Karelia Escalante. Since a young age Mr. Vargas has been an active participant and winner of national and international competitions, getting the Manuel Rueda award in year 2005 in the Festival of Latin-American music celebrated in his country. Other prizes include third prize in The Steinway Competition of Massachusetts, Second Prize in The Churchill Scholarship Competition and second prize at the Bradshaw and Buono International Competition.

 

During the 2008 season Carlos Vargas toured Argentina with his duo partner, Sebastian Plano, giving concerts as the special guests of the concert season of “Teatro El Círculo” and with the Orchestra of Rosario, Argentina. For this reason the young pianist was invited by the President of Dominican Republic to play for the opening of the literary festival celebrated every year in Santo Domingo.

 

Mr. Vargas has a particular interest in developing programs that facilitate musical education to people that because of their social status and economic situation wouldn’t be able to receive this type of training. For this reason he was been awarded since 2008 a Grant by the Boston Public Library that allowed him to create a piano program in which dozens of kids are able to receive lessons in piano and theory for free.

 

Mr. Vargas was awarded since 2005 the Zitrin scholarship and completed both his bachelors and master degree at the Boston Conservatory on full scholarship under the guidance of Dr Jonathan Bass.