Core 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 and currently acting principal clarinet of the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra, principal clarinet of the Glimmerglass Opera Festival Orchestra and the NEPA Philharmonic, He is also a former member of the New World Symphony.


He has collaborated with the JACK and St. Laurence String Quartets, Camerata Pacifica and toured with Musicians from Marlboro. He has performed at renowned summer festivals such as Marlboro. Mostly Mozart and Verbier, to name a few.


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Oboist Kemp Jernigan performs extensively in and around New York City in ensembles varying in size and style. A graduate of the Yale School of Music, Kemp has been a guest artist at festivals such as Bridgehampton, White Mountains Music Festival, Martha’s Vineyard Chamber Music Society, Ocean Reef, Washington Friends of Music, Black Hills Chamber Music Society, Millbrook Music Assembly, and Musical Bridges over San Antonio. He is a frequent guest performer with the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, Orchestra of St. Luke’s, Mark Morris Dance Group Ensemble, as well as a founding member of the ensemble SoundMind and a core member of the Exponential Ensemble. Kemp is on the faculties of The Hartt School and The State University of New York at Purchase. Performing with these ensembles and festivals 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 of Music degree from The Hartt School at The University of Hartford, Performers Certificate from SUNY Purchase and Master of Music degree from The Yale School of Music.


A versatile soloist, chamber music artist and orchestral musician, flutist Anna Urrey has been celebrated as "a revelation" and "a great young talent" (Il Giornale, Spoleto, Italy.)


Anna has performed with orchestras in the United States, Canada, Finland, France, Germany, and Oman.  She performs regularly as Principal Flute of the Washington Heights Chamber Orchestra in NYC, and has performed with the International Contemporary Ensemble, New Jersey Symphony, American Symphony Orchestra, Symphony in C, the Mark Morris Dance Company and Novus NY.  Anna enjoys a wide variety of creative perforamnce projects as a core member of the Exponential Ensemble, Music from China's East-West Ensemble, and can be heard in the feature film, Little Women.  A dedicated educator, she is a Wm. S. Haynes Ambassador Clinician, New York Philharmonic Teaching Artist and a faculty member of the Marymount School of New York.  Anna holds the Master of Music degree and Performance Certificate from the Manhattan School of Music and Bachelor of Music degree from Rutgers University. 

           Season 9        

    Guest Musicians 

Canadian composer and guitarist Amy Brandon's pieces have been described as '... mesmerizing' (Musicworks Magazine) and ‘Otherworldly and meditative ... [a] clashing of bleakness with beauty …’ (Minor Seventh). Upcoming 2019-20 events include premieres by KIRKOS Ensemble (Ireland) and Symphony Nova Scotia as well as performances and installations at the Winnipeg New Music Festival, the Canadian Music Centre and the centre d’experimentation musicale in Quebec. She has received Canadian and international composition awards including the Leo Brouwer Guitar Composition Competition (Grand Prize) and is currently completing an interdisciplinary PhD at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

Geoffrey Burleson, pianist, has performed to wide acclaim throughout Europe and North America. Current recording projects include Camille Saint-Saëns: Complete Piano Works, on 6 CDs, for the new Naxos Grand Piano label.The first five volumes have been released to high acclaim from GramophoneInternational Record Review, Diapason (France) and elsewhere.


Other noteworthy recordings include Vincent Persichetti: Complete Piano Sonatas (New World Records), which received a BBC Music Choice award from the BBC Music Magazine, and AKOKA (Oxingale Records), featuring Messiaen’s Quartet for the End of Time, as well as companion works, for which Burleson was nominated for a 2015 JUNO Award for Classical Album of the Year. Concerto appearances include the Buffalo Philharmonic, New England Philharmonic, Boston Musica Viva, and the Holland Symfonia in the Netherlands.  He has also appeared as featured soloist at the Bard Music Festival, International Keyboard Institute and Festival (New York), Monadnock Music Festival, Santander Festival (Spain) and the Mänttä Music Festival (Finland).   He is a core member of the American Modern Ensemble, Boston Musica Viva, and Ensemble Ipse. Mr. Burleson is on the piano faculty of Princeton University, and is Professor and Director of Piano Studies at Hunter College-CUNY.

Gilad Cohen is an active composer, performer and theorist in various genres including concert music, rock, and music for theater.  His music was commissioned by ASCAP, Barlow Endowment for Music Composition, and Concert Artists Guild; released by Albany Records and Naxos/Delos; and won international awards in the US, Europe, Asia, and the Middle-East, including the Barlow Prize and the Israeli Prime Minister Award for composers. Gilad performs regularly around the US, playing piano, bass guitar, and guitar.  Holding a Ph.D. in composition from Princeton University, Gilad is an Associate Professor of Music at Ramapo College of New Jersey.





The Composers Collective is community of talented individuals with a passion for the promotion and performance of new music. They hold multiple concerts for different ensembles voted on by members, and write new music for every performance. Each member has their own style, and has the opportunity to experiment with new techniques, genres, and instrumentation. By composing for various ensembles and enjoying the occasional guest speaker at the regular membership meetings, the composers learn more about modern composition, important industry skills, and hone their craft. Though the process of experimental writing can be daunting - especially for ensembles of which they've never composed for before, and having a deadline to complete new works in time for the concerts - the composers come together as a community to encourage, advise one another, and help each other grow - and get to that deadline!

A musical prodigy as a child, Dave Eggar began playing the cello and piano at age three, performed on Broadway and with the Metropolitan Opera at age seven, and debuted at Carnegie Hall at age 15.  He is a graduate of Harvard University and the Julliard School's Doctoral Program.

Dave Eggar has performed worldwide as a solo cellist and pianist.  A virtuoso of many styles, Dave has performed and recorded with artists in numerous genres including Evanescence, The Who, Michael Brecker, Josh Groban, Coldplay, Beyonce, Pearl Jam, Fall Out Boy, Dave Sanborn, Kathleen Battle, Ray Lamontagne, Roberta Flack, The Spin Doctors, Dianne Reeves, Brandy, Carly Simon, Phil Ramone, Hannah Montana, Duncan Sheik, Sinead O'Connor, Bon Jovi, Manhattan Transfer, Corinne Bailey Ray and many more.

His list of awards and accomplishments includes accolades from Time Magazine, ASCAP, the National Endowment for the Arts, Sony Records Elevated Standards Award in classical music, the Geraldine Dodge & Leonard Bernstein Foundations, and at 15 was the youngest winner in the history of the Artists International Competition. Dave's 4th solo release, Kingston Morning, was recorded in Brooklyn, NY, Kingston, Jamaica, and Big Stone Gap, Virginia.  It will be released on Domo Records in late April 2010.

Dave's mission to "not just cross over, but to cross through" multiple genres of music are apparent with all of his releases.  Whether it's classical, reggae, bluegrass, jazz, pop, or world music, he finds a common voice within his musical vocabulary and introduces it with his own unique imaginative vision.

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.

Robert Paterson has won awards for his music in virtually every classical genre, and he has been called a “modern day master” and “the highlight of the program” (The New York Times).


Named “The Composer of The Year” by the Classical Recording Foundation, his music is featured on over twenty albums and has been performed by over one hundred ensembles, including the Minnesota Orchestra, American Composers Orchestra, Delaware Symphony, and many others. Past performances include The Nashville Opera world premiere of Three Way. Other recent premieres include those by the American Brass Quintet, Claremont Trio, the Indianapolis Quartet, and the Euclid Quartet. For more information, visit 

Ever since his concerto debut at the age of eight with the Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra, Igor Pikayzen regularly appears as a soloist with major orchestras spanning Europe, Asia, North & South America. Highlights of 2019-20 include solo appearances with Filarmonica de Boca del Rio, Sinfonia Toronto, Istanbul Symphony, Orquesta Sinfonica del Estado de Mexico, La Crosse Symphony Orchestra, recitals at the Dame Myra Hess series in Chicago and New York’s Bargemusic amongst countless others. A graduate of Juilliard and Yale University, he is currently Professor of VIolin at the Lamont School of Music at the University of Denver.


Kristi Shade is a harpist based in New York City, where she maintains an active performing schedule and private teaching studio.


Kristi is the Principal Harpist with The Chamber Orchestra of New York, with which she has recorded four albums on the Naxos label. She is a member of the flute-viola-harp trio, Hat Trick, and the harp duo, Duo Scorpio.


Duo Scorpio has been the recipient of numerous grants and awards from Chamber Music America, the Classical Recording Foundation and the American Harp Society. Kristi has been a guest artist with the Baltimore Symphony,

the Florida Philharmonic, the Miami Symphony and the Albany Symphony Orchestra.


She has been on faculty at the Manhattan School of Music Precollege Division since 2007 and served as the Vice President of Metroharp,
the New York Chapter of the American Harp Society, from 2010-2015.

Violist Caeli Smith was born in Philadelphia and made her debut as an orchestra soloist at age ten with the Philadelphia Classical Symphony. She holds Bachelor and Master of Music degrees from Juilliard, where she received the William Schuman Prize for Outstanding Achievement and Leadership in Music.


Caeli is a New York Philharmonic Teaching Artist, a teaching assistant for the ACHT viola studio at Juilliard, and on the faculty of the Heifetz International Music Institute. Caeli is currently a fellow with Carnegie Hall's Ensemble Connect.  

Cellist Eric Stephenson has held an exciting and varied career in music. A Native of Louisville (KY), Mr. Stephenson began playing the cello at the age of three. He holds degress with honors from the Cleveland Institute of Music, was the principal cellist of the Caton Symphony and also performed with the Cleveland Orchestra.


Currently Eric teaches and performs with PROJECT Trio, Iris Orchestra, and freelances in the New York City area. In his spare time Mr. Stephenson plays many different instruments in a range of styles.  He enjoys cooking Italian food and collecting vinyl records. 

Caleb van der Swaagh is an alumnus of Ensemble ACJW (now known as Ensemble Connect) - a program of Carnegie Hall, The Juilliard School, and the Weill Music Institute. He is the recipient of the Tanglewood Karl Zeise Memorial Cello Prize and the Manhattan School of Music Pablo Casals Award, and was also a grant recipient from the Virtu Foundation.


A native New Yorker, Caleb graduated magna cum laude from Columbia University as part of the Columbia-Juilliard Exchange program with a degree in Classics and Medieval & Renaissance Studies. Caleb received his master’s degree with academic honors from New England Conservatory and later studied at the Manhattan School of Music. His primary teachers are Bonnie Hampton, Laurence Lesser, and David Geber.


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