Hailed for her virtuosity and vibrant musical spirit, bassoonist Eleni Katz has established herself as a prominent soloist, chamber musician, and orchestral player. Eleni is a winner of the 2022 Concert Artist Guild Competition and has performed with the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, the Sarasota Orchestra, and as a member with the New World Symphony. Other recent appearances include a 2022 fellowship with the Phoenix Chamber Music Society, where she performed alongside David Shifrin, Valerie Coleman, and Gabriel Kovach.
A classically trained singer from Iowa City, Katz has always believed that the bassoon should emulate the organic nature of the human voice. In 2021, she commissioned and premiered “Sea Glass Partita for Singing Bassoonist” with composer Lila Meretzky. Drawing its lyrics from a poem that Eleni composed, the piece interspersed bassoon performance with singing and visual projections.
Eleni’s festival appearances include the Music Academy of the West, Spoleto Festival USA, National Repertory Orchestra, Orchestra of the Americas, and the Norfolk and Madeline Island chamber music festivals. She was a semifinalist in the Meg Quigley Vivaldi competition in 2019, an international concerto competition for young women bassoon players.
Deeply passionate about musical collaboration, Eleni made her first appearance with the Willy Street Chamber Players in the 2022 season. She has also been featured as a guest artist at the Lake George Chamber Music Festival for the past four summers.
Eleni received her B.M. at University of Wisconsin’s Mead Witter School of Music under Marc Vallon. She earned her master’s degree at the Yale School of Music, studying with Frank Morelli. She was the winner of the Yale Philharmonia’s 2019 Concerto Competition, a finalist for the Eastern Connecticut Symphony’s Instrumental Competition, and recipient of the Thomas Daniel Nyfenger Prize for demonstrating “the highest standard of excellence in woodwind playing.” She currently resides in Miami, Florida.
A native of Brisbane, Australia, Maxwell Foster started studying the piano at the age of three. Moving to Melbourne at the age of twelve, Maxwell attended the Australian National Academy of Music under the guidance of Rita Reichman. During his time in Melbourne, Maxwell became a staple amongst the classical music community, winning the Young Performer of the Year award and regularly appearing in the concert seasons of every major Orchestra in Australia. Maxwell has made numerous appearances at Hammer Hall, the Sydney Opera House, the Perth Concert Hall, and the Queensland Performing Arts Centre, and has performed at such international venues as Carnegie Hall and Wigmore Hall.
After moving to the United States to study, Maxwell has gained his Bachelor of Music and Master of Music degrees at the Juilliard School, and his Master of Musical Arts degree at Yale University. Maxwell is now pursuing his Doctorate of Musical Arts degree at the Peabody Institute of Johns Hopkins under the guidance of Yong-hi Moon.
The concerts are generously sponsored by the Paul M. Angell Family Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Illinois Arts Council and by individual donors.
06 December 2023
13 December 2023
17 December 2023
10 January 2024