Season 7

Featured musicians

Hailed by the New York Times as “outstanding clarinetist”, Pascal Archer leads an active career as a chamber musician, orchestral player and teacher.  He is the founder of the Exponential Ensemble since 2011.  He is principal clarinet of the Glimmerglass Opera Orchestra, the Northeastern Pennsylvania Philharmonic and acting principal clarinet of the Princeton Symphony.  He is also a former member of the New World Symphony where he performed for four seasons under the baton of Michael Tilson Thomas. 


In recent years he has collaborated with the JACK and St. Lawrence string quartets, Adaskin String Trio and toured with Musicians from Marlboro.  He has performed at renowned festivals such as Marlboro, Mostly Mozart, Monadnock, UBS Verbier Orchestra, Spoleto USA and the Sun Valley Summer Symphony.   Mr. Archer is on faculty at the Manhattan School of Music Precollege Division, the Hunter College (CUNY), Fordham University and the New York Summer Music Festival.  Originally from Québec, Canada, Mr. Archer holds a degrees from the Conservatoire de Musique de Montréal, Université de Montréal (BM), Indiana University  and a Masters in orchestral performance from the Manhattan School of Music.   

Croatian pianist Javor Braĉić  is the first prize winner of international piano competitions in Italy, Croatia, and Belgium. He was hailed by New York Concert Review for “deep, genuine musicianship and an outstanding technique” at his Carnegie Hall debut. His CD album Tribute to Haydn was released by Labor Records, and his performance was broadcast on WQXR. He was invited to perform throughout the USA, Europe, China, and South Africa.


Mr. Braĉić holds Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from the University of Mozarteum in Salzburg where he studied with Karl-Heinz Kämmerling. He holds another Master’s degree and a Professional Studies Diploma from Mannes College in New York where he studied with Pavlina Dokovska. He is currently pursuing a Doctorate of Musical Arts at the City University of New York, studying with Ursula Oppens, Richard Goode, and Norman Carey.


Gina Cuffari, Bassoon


Bassoonist Gina Cuffari is a versatile musician who performs with many orchestras and chamber ensembles in the New York City area.  Praised for her "sound that is ny turns sensuous, lyric, and fast moving" (Palm Beach Daily News), she was thrilled to become co-Principal Bassoonist with the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra in 2017, the newest member of the group.  Gina is also a member of the Lincoln Center-based Riverside Symphony, and is a regular performer with the Westchester Philharmonic, American Composers Orchestra, and Iris Orchestra.  In addition, she has made several appearances with the Orchestra of St. Luke's, American Ballet Theater, Stamford Symphony and New Haven Symphony.  Broadway productions include Fiddler on the Roof and Sunset Boulevard.   As a chamber musician, Gina is a member of the Jupiter Symphony Chamber Players, Sylvan Winds, and Quintet of the Americas.  She has performed in NYC restaurants as part of the tertulia Ensemble, and has performed live music with silent films at Lincoln Center as part of the BQE Ensemble.  She is a recent addition to the artist roster of the west coast-based Camerata Pacifica, a renowned ensemble which performs throughout California.  Gina is also a champion of new music, and has performed with the Argento New Music Project, ACME, and has recorded the Schoenberg Wind Quintet and Stokhausen Zeitmasse for Albany Records with the Phoenix Ensemble.  As a frequent collaborator with Alarm Will Sound, Gina has toured and performed with the group as bassoonist, contrabassoonist, pianist, and vocalist, and can be heard on their recent Slitting Adams album (music of John Adams).


Gina is a passionate educator, and is an Adjunct Professor of Bassoon at New York Univeristy and Western Connecticut State University.  

A native of Gulf Shores Alabama, Kemp Jernigan performs extensively in and around New York City in ensembles varying in size and style. A recent graduate of the Yale School of Music, Kemp has participated in the Sarasota Music Festival, Norfolk, Banff, Bowdoin, and the Ameropa Chamber Music Festival in Prague.  He has performed with the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, Orchestra of St. Luke’s and the American Ballet Theatre Orchestra as well as playing in many different New York City venues with the ensembles Contemporaneous and Le Train Bleu. Participating in these programs and performing in these ensembles has led him to meet and play with many incredible people and live a life of sharing his love for music with others. Kemp received his bachelor’s from The Hartt School at The University of Hartford, Performer’s Certificate from SUNY Purchase and master’s from The Yale School of Music. 

New York based horn player, Bert Hill, is an active and versatile concert artist.  From orchestral concerts on stage at Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall to Mexican Banda, late night in the Bronx, he is at home performing a wide array of musical styles and genres!  He has been heard in recent performances with the Harrisburg Symphony Orchestra, NEPA Philharmonic, Banda Nueva York, Princeton Symphony, Contemporaneous, the Chamber Orchestra of New York and was a member of the 2016 Radio City Christmas Spectacular Orchestra.  He most recently recorded as principal horn on an album titled “The Lark Ascending” on Naxos Records featuring the music of Ralph Vaughan Williams’ with the Chamber Orchestra of New York.

South African, mezzo-soprano Samantha Malk is an artist devoted to the love of her craft. She began carving out her career focusing on recital and concert repertoire. Some of her collaborations include Mark Morris Dance Group, International Contemporary Ensemble and Brooklyn Art Song Society. In the operatic arena, Samantha has portrayed the roles of Dido in Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas, Zerlina in Mozart’s Don Giovanni, Cherubino in Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro as well as Mercedes in Bizet’s Carmen. She is an alumna of Tanglewood Music Center and Steans Music Institute at Ravinia Music Festival. This performance marks Samantha’s first collaboration with Exponential Ensemble.

Cellist Laura Metcalf, acclaimed for her “brilliant” playing (Gramophone Magazine), and described as “a cellist whose passion for music is as evident as her artistry and talent” (I care if you listen), has performed in nearly all 50 states and across six continents, including South Africa, Nepal, Argentina, Qatar, Mongolia, India, Japan, Korea, Kazakhstan, and Australia. Her 2016 solo album, First Day, debuted at #7 on the Billboard Classical Charts, and her 2017 release “Boyd Meets Girl” with her husband guitarist Rupert Boyd, reached #3 on the same chart. She is cellist of string quintet Sybarite5, winners of the Concert Artists Guild competition, and of cello-percussion quartet Break of Reality, selected for an ongoing world tour as musical ambassadors of the US State Department. She is also founder and co-artistic director of GatherNYC, a unique weekly concert series in Manhattan. 

With orchestral solos hailed as "sterling" by the New York Times and "sensitively shaped" by the Chicago Tribune, Nathan Mills is a young oboist and concert musician on the rise in the classical music scene. Nathan currently serves as acting principal oboist of the Columbus Symphony Orchestra, principal oboist of the Grant Park Music Festival in Chicago and is an active freelancer in the New York City area. Outside of these engagements he has also performed with several other notable ensembles including the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, among others. Nathan is a graduate of the Juilliard School, where he received his undergraduate and graduate degrees studying with Nathan Hughes and Elaine Douvas. 

A versatile NYC freelance musician, bassoonist Allison Nicotera enjoys a busy career playing with professional ensemble and teaching aspiring young players.  Allison received her Bachelor’s degree in Bassoon Performance at the Hartt School of Music in her native state of Connecticut and her Master’s degree from The Juilliard School.  When she’s not practicing, making reed, teaching lessons or rehearsing with one of the many ensembles she performs with, Allison enjoys walking her dog, Clara Schumann. 

Daniel Ott is a 2013 recipient of the Goddard Lieberson Fellowship from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. He has received commissions from the National Symphony Orchestra, New York City Ballet's Choreographic Institute, the Chiara Quartet, and Bargemusic, among others, and has been honored multiple times by the ASCAP Foundation. His music has been set to dance by some of the world’s leading choreographers, including Larry Keigwin, Benjamin Millepied, Alexei Ratmansky, and Christopher Wheeldon. Ott’s music has been heard all over the world, most notably at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, the Kennedy Center, Sadler’s Wells, the Musée du Louvre, the Guggenheim Museum, and the Foro Internacional de Música Nueva in Mexico. He holds degrees from the Curtis Institute of Music and the Juilliard School, and currently serves on the faculty of both Juilliard and Fordham University, where he is Associate Professor of Music Theory and Composition.


Patrick Pridemore, French horn, is originally from Evans, Georgia, and now is a resident of New York City. He appears with many of the country’s most prestigious musical organizations, such as the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, the Philadelphia Orchestra, and the Orchestra of St. Luke’s. An accomplished and highly sought-after chamber musician, Mr. Pridemore is a member of the Marlboro Music Festival, and has performed with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, the Boston Chamber Music Society, the American Chamber Players of Washington, D.C., and is a founding member of the Zéphyros Quintet. As a soloist, he has performed the Strauss Concerto No. 2 for Horn with the Prometheus Chamber Orchestra in Merkin Hall. Mr. Pridemore has performed under many esteemed conductors, including James Levine, Kurt Masur, Sir Simon Rattle, Wolfgang Sawallisch, Sir André Previn, and David Zinman. He was heard as the principal horn of the Juilliard Opera Center production of Hansel und Gretel, which was seen nationally on Public Television’s “Live from Lincoln Center” series. He has recorded for EMI. Mr. Pridemore attended The Curtis Institute of Music as a student of Myron Bloom, and The Juilliard School, where he studied with William Purvis.

Michael James Smith is a former pianist at Ensemble Connect, Carnegie Hall’s chamber music fellowship. He has performed throughout New York, the United States, and Europe in a variety of venues, including Carnegie’s Weill Hall, Steinway Hall, Bernard Haitink Hall, Subculture, Merkin Hall, Seiji Ozawa Hall, National Sawdust, and the Mondavi Center. He has appeared at festivals including Music@Menlo, Tanglewood, and Norfolk. Michael has premiered works by major American composers such as Meredith Monk and Stacy Garrup, and worked with other major composers like Kaija Saariaho, Marc Neikurg, Steven Mackey, Martin Bresnick, Gitz Razaz, Timo Andres, and Jeremy Flowers. Michael received a Doctorate degree at Stony Brook University under Gilbert Kalish and is the cofounder of Golden Gate Music Bridge, a San Francisco program that trains high school musicians to produce interactive concerts in local communities.

Finnish-American flutist Anna Urrey is a passionate musician who enjoys a wide variety of creative performance projects. She has performed in numerous orchestras, including the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra, the American Symphony Orchestra, Symphony in C, the Mark Morris Dance Company and spent three summers in the festival orchestra under the direction of Maestro Lorin Maazel at the Castleton Music Festival. A dedicated educator, Anna is a New York Philharmonic Teaching Artist and teaches flute at the Marymount School of New York. She holds the Performance Certificate and Master of Music from the Manhattan School of Music, and the Bachelor of Music from Rutgers University.

Scott Wheeler, Composer


Scott Wheeler is a composer, conductor, and pianist. His music has been commissioned and performed by the orchestras of Minnesota, Houston, Toledo, and Indianapolis, as well as New York City Opera, soprano Renée Fleming, and the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center. Wheeler's opera Democracy: An American Comedy, on a libretto of Romulus Linney, was commissioned and premiered by the Washington National Opera. His most recent commission is for an opera for the Metropolitan Opera and Lincoln Center Theatre. The Construction of Boston, Wheeler's first opera, is available on the Naxos American Classics recording. In July 2010, Naxos releases Wasting the Night: Songs of Scott Wheeler. As a conductor, Wheeler has appeared with Deutsches Symphonie-Orchestra Berlin, the Chamber Ensemble of St. Luke's, the Wellesley Composers Conference, and Boston new-music ensemble Dinosaur Annex, which he co-founded in 1975. He has received awards and commissions from the Guggenheim Foundation, the Koussevitsky Foundation, the Fromm Foundation, Tanglewood, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Massachusetts Cultural Council, the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the American Academy in Berlin, Yaddo, and the MacDowell Colony. Wheeler has received the Stoeger Prize for excellence in chamber music from the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center and the 2010 Composer of the Year award from the Classical Recording Foundation.