Core ensemble

Hailed by the New York Times as "outstanding clarinetist", Pascal Archer leads an active carreer as a performer and teacher. Since 2011 he is the artistic director and found of the Exponential Ensemble.  


During the 2019-20 season Pascal will be acting principal clarinet of the New Jersey Symphony (one year position).  


He is the principal clarinetist of the Glimmerglass Festival Orchestra and the NEPA Philharmonic.  He also performs regularly in Broadway shows orchestras, most recently on "My Fair Lady" at Lincoln Center. He is also a former member of the New World Symphony, America's Orchestral Academy 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, Camerata Pacifica and toured with Musicians from Marlboro.  He has performed at renowned festivals such as Marlboro, Mostly Mozart, Monadnock, UBS Verbier, Spoleto USA and the Sun Valley Summer Symphony.


Pascal is on faculty at the Manhattan School of Music Precolle Division, the Chamber Music Center of New York and Fordham University.


Originally from Québec, Canada, Mr. Archer holds degrees from the Conservatoire de Musique de Montréal, Univertsité de Montréal, Indiana University and the Manhattan School of Music. 


Photo: Darren Elias

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, 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 core member of the Exponential Ensemble and a founding member of the ensemble Soundmind. In the fall of 2019 Kemp will join the faculty of The Hartt School.  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’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. 

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.

Guest musicians

Canadian composer Amy Brandon's pieces have been described as '... mesmerizing' (Musicworks Magazine) and ‘Otherworldly and meditative ... [a] clashing of bleakness with beauty …’ (Minor Seventh). Recent and upcoming 2018-19 events include premieres by Ekmeles (NYC - ICEBERG New Music), Chartreuse Trio (Music in Bloom, Indiana), Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, Pro Coro (Banff Centre), trombonist Dale Sorensen, pianist Yumi Suehiro (Tesselat), Continuum Contemporary Music Ensemble (PIVOT) as well as performances at Music in New Technologies (CAN), New Music Edmonton, and the centre d’experimentation musicale in Quebec. She has received Canadian and international composition awards from the Leo Brouwer Guitar Composition Competition (Grand Prize), Central European String Quartet ('Most Innovative'), Groundswell and RMN Classical (Europe). She has performed as a guitarist in Canada, the USA, Australia, Brazil, New Zealand, the UK and is currently completing an interdisciplinary PhD in music cognition at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

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.



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.

Daniel Ott, composer

Robert Paterson, composer

Kristi Shade, harp

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 was a principal violist of the Juilliard Orchestra, and received the William Schuman Prize for Outstanding Achievement and Leadership in Music. Caeli was a prizewinner of Juilliard’s Concerto Competition and appeared as a soloist with the Juilliard Orchestra in Alice Tully Hall. She has collaborated with many distinguished musicians in chamber music settings, including Leon Fleisher, Ani Kavafian, Timothy Eddy, and Roger Tapping.


A dedicated journalist, Caeli’s articles have appeared in The Philadelphia Inquirer, as well as Strings and Symphony magazines. Caeli is a New York Philharmonic Teaching Artist, and teaches on the faculty of HeifetzPEG at the Heifetz International Music Institute. She is a member of Noree Chamber Soloists; Symphony in C; Frisson; and frequently appears with the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra. Caeli is a fellow with Carnegie Hall’s Ensemble Connect for the 2018-2020 seasons.

Eric Stephenson is cellist and cofounder of the high energy chamber group Project Trio.  The group was founded in 2005 and has since been active educating and performing for audiences around the world.  Mr. Stephenson has appeared with the St. Louis Symphony, Milwuakee Symphony, Toronto Symphony, New Jersey Symphony, and LA Chamber orchestra, among many others, performing original compositions and arrangements.  He has been key in engineering, mixing, and producing their five acclaimed albums, which have topped the classical and jazz iTunes charts.  Teaching has been an important part of Project Trio’s mission and they have worked with over 500,000 students worldwide and held intensive music camps around the country.  In 2013 they were selected as musical ambassadors for the United States and were sent on a government sponsored tour of Ukraine, Belarus, and Russia.


In addition to chamber music, Mr. Stephenson has held an exciting and varied orchestral career.  A native of Louisville, KY, Mr. Stephenson began playing the cello at the age of three.  His musical studies include degrees with honors from the Cleveland Institute of Music, as well as an alumni achievement award.  He was the principal cellist of the Caton Symphony in Ohio and also performed with the Cleveland Orchestra.  His solo career led him to perform concerti with the Louisville Orchestra, World Youth Symphony, and National Repertory Orchestra.  Today he continues to perform regularly with the IRIS Orchestra in Memphis, TN and is a renowned studio musician.  He has appeared on indie, pop, and rock recordings by artists such as Son Lux and Dawn Landes as well as commercials for Nike, Smartcar, and Tide.


In his spare time Mr. Stephenson plays all genres of music and many different interments including the piano, guitar, banjo, and mandolin.  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. For more information, visit