Well known as the former co-concertmaster and violin soloist of the Italian chamber group "I Solisti Venetia", Bettina Mussumeli is currently adjunct professor of violin and pedagogy at the University of Miami’s Frost School of Music. Ms. Mussumeli has performed throughout Europe, Australia and the Far East, and has made numerous recordings for the Erato, RCA, Tactus and Concerto labels. She collaborated frequently as guest concertmaster with the Orchestra Toscanini of Parma, Orchestra del Teatro Comunale di Bologna, Orchestra del Teatro di Cagliari and the Orchestra della Fenice. She holds B.M. and M.M degrees from The Juilliard School studying with Ivan Galamian and Dorothy DeLay. She studied chamber music with members of the Juilliard, Guarneri and Cleveland quartets. She has also studied with Kato Havas at Oxford, England, focusing on the elimination of tension in violin playing.
Soloist, chamber musician, and pedagogue Tarn Travers currently serves as Professor of Violin at DePauw University in Indiana, a post which he has held since 2015, after spending four years on the faculty of Luther College as well as concertmaster of the Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra. In 2001 he won the Heifetz Guarneri Auditions, which led to a performance on Heifetz’s beloved “ex-David” Guarneri del Gesu.
Travers spent three years as a violinist in the New World Symphony, where he often led the orchestra as concertmaster under numerous conductors, including Michael Tilson Thomas, baroque expert Ton Koopman, and new music specialist Susanna Mälkki. During his tenure with the orchestra, he appeared three times as a soloist (once in every season) to perform the music of Béla Bartók, Ramiro Cortés, and Chen Yi.
Since then Travers has performed widely, including the Sibelius Violin Concerto for an Austrian tour that culminated in a performance in Vienna’s Konzerthaus. He is a member of Chicago’s contemporary music collective Ensemble Dal Niente, with whom he has toured the United States, including performances in Boston, New York, Chicago, and at the Library of Congress in Washington, D. C, and participated in residencies at Harvard and DePauw Universities.
Travers' recordings include a performance on Johann Johannsson's album Orphee, released on the Deutsche Grammphon label, a portrait album of works by George Lewis with Ensemble Dal Niente, and several recordings featuring works by contemporary composers Randall Bauer, and Brooke Joyce, as well as standard repertoire by Beethoven and Brahms. After giving the world premiere of Maria Newman’s Triple Concerto, he was asked by the composer to record the piece, which was released in 2010.
Travers holds degrees from the San Francisco Conservatory, the Cleveland Institute of Music, and Stony Brook University. His primary teachers were William Preucil, Camilla Wicks, Axel Strauss, and Philip Setzer.
Jodi Levitz, Professor of Viola at the Frost School of Music at the University of Miami, boasts an international reputation as a consummate artist and a passionate advocate of exploring new musical possibilities for the viola. She brings that energy and experience to the classroom, having spent twelve years as principal viola and soloist with the critically acclaimed Italian chamber group I Solisti Veneti, a position she attained while still a student at The Juilliard School of Music.
Professor Levitz’s career has been built on stellar accomplishments. She has performed as soloist throughout Europe, South America, North America and Asia, and has recorded her music for such distinguished record labels as Concerto, Dynamic, Naxos and Erato. A highly regarded educator and pedagogue, she was on the faculties of the Ars Musica Academy at Imola and Progetto Orchestra, and she presently serves as co-artistic director of the Zephyr International Chamber Music Festival in Courmayeur, Italy. As Professor of Viola and Chamber Music at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, she served as both Chair of Strings and Chair of Chamber Music.
A 2011 recipient of the Sarlo Family Foundation Award for Excellence in Teaching, Professor Levitz has helped her students achieve a number of notable accomplishments. As a result of her guidance and encouragement, her students have claimed first prize awards from the Walter W. Naumburg and Fischoff chamber music competitions, while others have been recruited for positions in major orchestras and teaching institutions both here and abroad. In addition, her influence has motivated many of her students to become music activists throughout the world.
Professor Levitz herself was awarded first prize in the D'Angelo and Hudson Valley competitions, among many others. She entered The Juilliard School Pre-College Division at age 12, and holds a BM and MM from Juilliard. In addition to her principal teachers, Margaret Pardee, Paul Doctor, William Lincer and Dorothy DeLay, she studied chamber music with members of the Juilliard Quartet, Felix Galimir, and Josef Gingold.
Spencer Martin has performed and taught at music festivals throughout the U.S., Canada, Israel, and Europe as both violist and conductor. An active chamber and orchestral musician, he has appeared as guest violist with the Pro Arte String Quartet and the Amelia Piano Trio. His solo performances include Berlioz’s Harold in Italy with the Luther College Symphony Orchestra in venues in Austria, including Vienna’s Konzerthaus. Spencer has served as Principal Violist in the Tuscaloosa Symphony, and also frequently performed in the viola sections of the Minnesota Orchestra, the Alabama Symphony Orchestra, the Wichita Symphony Orchestra, and the Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra. Spencer’s solo, chamber, and orchestral performances have been featured in numerous radio broadcasts including National Public Radio, Canadian Brodcasting Corporation, Minnesota Public Radio, and Kansas Public Radio.
Spencer’s CD, “Gems Rediscovered,” was released to critical praise on the Delos label in 2012 and features lesser-known works for viola and piano by Ernest Walker, Paul Juon, Robert Fuchs, and Benjamin Dale. Spencer can also be heard on the Innova label on the disc “Waves of Stone, Music by Brooke Joyce.” A former member of the music faculty at the University of Alabama, Spencer holds degrees from Butler University, Wichita State University, and the University of Minnesota. His teachers include Korey Konkol, Catherine Consiglio, and Barbara Westphal. Also an avid proponent of Baroque music, Spencer performs frequently on Baroque violin and has studied in Berlin with Baroque violinist Bernhard Forck. To see and hear excerpts of Spencer's performances, or for further information, visit his website.
Gal Faganel is an acclaimed cello performer, teacher, coach, and recording artist. He has been praised in the press for his “exceptionally sensitive interpretation” (Slovenec – Slovenia), his “powerful and beautiful tone” (Dornse Krant – Netherlands), and his “brilliant virtuosity and youthful vigor” (Primorske Novice – Slovenia). As a performer, Faganel is frequently heard in recital, in chamber music concerts, and as a soloist with orchestra throughout North America and Europe. Until 2010 he served as the acting principal cellist of the Phoenix Symphony. He is a winner of a number of international competitions including the International Cello Competition “Antonio Janigro” in Croatia, he won the American String Teacher’s Association Competition in California. Since 2006 Faganel has been researching, cataloging, performing, and recording music for cello by Slovenian composers. He has also done live broadcasts and archival recordings for National Radio Slovenia, Holland Radio, Classical KUSC in Los Angeles, and KBAQ in Phoenix. He received a doctorate degree from the University of Southern California. His mentors include Eleonore Schoenfeld, Nathaniel Rosen, Daniel Rothmuller, Peter Marsh, and Dobrila Berković-Magdalenić. Faganel greatly enjoys teaching cello and coaching chamber music as a professor at the University of Northern Colorado. As the String Area Head, he works tirelessly to enhance students’ experience and to optimize their learning environment. He regularly conducts master classes and teaches at summer music programs in the United States and Europe. Innovative teaching approaches utilizing video conferencing technology allow Faganel to be accessible to students worldwide.
Cellist and Gambist Tulio Rondón performs throughout the United States, Europe, Middle East, and North and South America as a soloist and chamber musician. Known for his vivid depth, passionate performances and strong leadership, he started his professional life early as principal cellist of the Aragua Symphony Orchestra in Venezuela. Tulio Rondón's performance career has taken him all over the world, sharing the stage with many internationally celebrated artists.
Tulio Rondón is in demand as a chamber musician and early music specialist. He is currently a faculty member of the IMFA (International Music Festival of the Adriatic) in Duino, Italy, and Cellistiko PR in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
Born in Venezuela, Tulio Rondón began his cello studies through El Sistema, quickly moving up to the highest orchestra by age fifteen. He received his Bachelor of Music from the Simón Bolivar Conservatory, his Master of Music from Miami University (Oxford, OH), and completed a Doctoral Degree in performance at the University of Arizona. Pursuing his strong interest in historic performance practice, he continued his studies in The Netherlands, doing post-graduate studies on baroque cello and viola da gamba with Jaap ter Linden and Rainer Zipperling at The Royal Conservatory in The Hague. Mr. Rondón is currently the violoncello professor at the University of Wisconsin in Eau Claire.