Arnold Irchai was born in Leningrad (now St. Petersburg), Russia, into a musical family. His father worked at the Kirov Opera and Ballet Theater as a violinist for over forty years. His mother was a prominent piano teacher. Dr. Irchai began studying bassoon at the Leningrad Special Music School for Gifted Children and continued his studies at the State Leningrad Conservatory, USSR. At the Conservatory he received his masters and doctoral degrees. He has performed with major symphony orchestras since his school years. Throughout his career, he has gained extensive performance and teaching experience. From 1974 to 1990, he was principal bassoonist of the Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra under such world-renowned conductors as Kiril Kondrashin and Dmitry Kitaenko. Dr. Irchai taught bassoon at the Gnessin Academy of Music in Moscow, Russia. Among his awards are the first prize in the All-Russia Music Competition for Woodwind Quintets and the Distinguished Artist of the Russian Federation Award. He has toured Europe, Asia and the Americas with the Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra and other world-class orchestras.
Dr. Irchai has been performing solo recitals as well as chamber music recitals throughout the United States and the world for many years. His recent solo performances include appearances at the Lincoln Center, NY; Kennedy Center, Washington, DC; the Lyceum, Alexandria, VA; the F. Scott Fitzgerald Theater, Rockville, MD; Strathmore Hall, MD; Lyceum of Arts, St. Petersburg, Russia; Castelnuovo di Garfagnana, Italy; and at other venues.
Dr. Irchai’s performances have been widely reviewed and featured in local, national, and international mass media. His performances elicited admiring comments that “Irchai … was impressive not only for flexibility of his performance which audience have come to expect, but also for his tone quality – sweet but not cloying, with an even focused vibrato in the lyrical passages and deep tones that resonated with warmth” and “bassoon at its best” in the Washington Post. Mount Vernon Gazette rightly praises Irchai as “a master of his instrument” having “singing tone and superb technique”.
Dr.Irchai was the Principal Bassoon of National Philharmonic Orchestra and on the faculty of Washington Conservatory of Music, Washington, DC, Columbia Union College, Takoma Park, MD, and University of Florida, Gainesville, FL.
Currently, Dr. Irchai is on the faculty at the International Academy of Music, St. Petersburg, Russia, and Castlenuovo di Garfagnana, Italy, as well as at the Summit Music Festival, Manhattenville College, NY, and Burgos International Music Festival, Burgos, Spain. and the Principal Bassoon of the Ocala Symphony Orchestra, and The Gainesville Orchestra,
He is a founding member (with Dr. Tama Kott) of the DT Duo, a group dedicated to commissioning and performing contemporary music for two Bassoons. Their first CD, Duettino, was recently released and features mainly commissioned works. Dr. Irchai arrangements have been published by TrevCo Music.
Dr. Irchai has been a Fox Products Corporation Performing Artist, and, recently became a Moosmann Performing Artist-Bernd Moosmann, Germany,and also represent Miller Marketing, USA.
Dr. Irchai performs on Moosmann Bassoon 222-CL.
“…simply the best clarinetist in the world!”- Nezavisimaya Gazeta, Moscow, Russia
With a unique, branded sound, a virtuosic technical ease and a musical imagination that has captivated critics and audiences alike around the world, Julian Milkis carries the rare honor of being the only student of the clarinet legend Benny Goodman. Mr. Milkis’ unique interpretations and artistry have earned him an international stature of a dazzling soloist, chamber musician, recitalist and jazz clarinetist, with performances at principal venues of virtually every continent, including the Far East, Europe and the Americas.
His numerous solo appearances include The Toronto Symphony, CBC Vancouver Orchestra, State Symphony Orchestra of Russia (Gosorkestr), St. Petersburg Philharmonic, L’Orchestre Nationale de Lyon, L’Orchestre Colonne, L’Orchestre Symphonique Francaise, KBS Symphony of Seoul, Korea are only some of the symphony orchestras that featured Julian Milkis as their soloist on some of the world’s most prominent stages in New York’s Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Salle Pleyel, Salle Gaveau in Paris, Great Halls of the Moscow Conservatory and the St. Petersburg Philharmonic of Russia, Roy Thomson Hall and Weston Recital Hall in Toronto, National Concert Hall in Taipei, and others.
Aside from being an established solo artist, Julian Milkis is a sought-after chamber musician, having collaborated with some of today’s leading artists including Yuri Bashmet, Misha Maisky, Alexander Rudin, Polina Osetinskaya, the Borodin String Quartet and the St. Lawrence String Quartet, to name a few. A multifaceted musician, Mr. Milkis is one of the leading voices for his instrument in the field of Jazz. His treasured collaboration with the jazz pianist Dick Hyman – Benny Goodman’s old bandmate, who has transcribed a number of King of Swing’s classics for Julian, and recently dedicated Ragtime Concerto for him – provides a rare and genuine insight into the golden era of Jazz.
With an extensive amount of music written for him, including a number of concertos, Julian Milkis has had the honor of working with iconic music personalities, such as Giya Kancheli, Olivier Messiaen, and Mieczyslaw Weinberg. Mr. Milkis has recorded for Russian Melodiya, Warner Classics’ Lontano, the French Suoni e Colori, Sony’s Russian division CEAUX, Russian Seasons, and Brilliant Classics.
Julian Milkis performs exclusively on Yamaha Clarinets and Rico reeds. His sell-out tours of 2018 included a South American tour with Sinfonia Toronto to Peru, Argentina, and Uruguay with a return engagement to Montevideo, Uruguay only 5 months after the tour. Julian will return to the Russian Federation with engagements in Moscow in September, and St. Petersburg in March, 2019, when he will be featured in already a sell-out performance with the St. Petersburg Philharmonic featuring a world premier of the Kancheli Clarinet Concerto. Music Festival at the Rancho La Puerta in Mexico will return for the third year in February, 2019, where Julian holds a position of the Founder, as well as a Music Director.
For several decades, Julian has been a great advocate of the Canadian music. Numerous public performances and recordings around the world have been sponsored and supported by the Canada Council.
Recently, Julian Milkis became the recipient of the very prestigious title of the Knight of Honour of Maltese Order, St. John Grand Priory.
David Whiteside is Principal Flutist with the National Philharmonic Orchestra. The Washington Post called his playing “dazzling”, “eloquent” and “evocative” and the Boston Globe “fiery and virtuosic.” Solo appearances include the Boston Pops, the Manhattan Philharmonic, with Jean-Pierre Rampal and Julius Baker, with James Galway at the Edinburgh (Scotland) Festival, and the St. Cecilia Orchestra. He has appeared in recital throughout the Unites States and in Europe including Weill Recital Hall, Merkin Hall, and the Kennedy Center Terrace Theater to name a few. Whiteside is flutist with the VERGE Ensemble of the Contemporary Music Forum of Washington, the edgEnsemble, and the Dinosaur Annex Ensemble. He has worked closely with a number of eminent composers including George Crumb, Donald Martino, and Joseph Schwantner. In 1999 he gave the Washington premiere of Melinda Wagner’s Pulitzer Prize winning Concerto for Flute, Strings and Percussion. Whiteside played with the Aeolian Chamber Players and served on the faculty of the Bowdoin Summer School of Music (now the Bowdoin International Festival). Mr. Whiteside studied with James Galway, Jean-Pierre Rampal, Julius Baker and Walfrid Kujala and holds the Master of Music degree and Performer’s Certificate from the Eastman School of Music.
Tenor Nils Neubert was born and raised in Hamburg, Germany, and maintains active performing and teaching
Festival Orchestra Conductor
Chamber Orchestra Conductor
Born and educated in Russia, Eduard Schmieder has been characterized as an “extraordinary musician of the late 20th century” (Henry Roth). As artist and teacher, Schmieder amalgamates and creatively transforms the great traditions of American and European art. He maintains a concert schedule as conductor and violinist and teaches an internationally selected class of students, who become winners of top prizes at the most prestigious international competitions, have established careers as soloists, chamber musicians, and hold leading positions in orchestras in Europe, Asia, and the United States.
Schmieder has performed in prestigious concert halls worldwide and has collaborated with such musicians as Yehudi Menuhin, Ida Haendel, Martha Argerich, Brooks Smith, Jon Kimura-Parker, Erick Friedman, Tsuyoshi Tsutsumi, and many others. In 1996, Eduard Schmieder performed a recital in Genoa on Paganini’s famous Guarneri del Gesu “Il Cannone” violin.