Andrea (“Annie”) Daigle, violin, has been a member of the Louisville Orchestra since 2016. Prior to her time in Louisville, she spent four years as a fellow with the New World Symphony in Miami, where she appeared regularly in leadership positions and was featured as a soloist at the 2016 New World Symphony Gala. She also performs as a substitute musician with the Cleveland Orchestra and the Pittsburgh Symphony. During the summer season, Annie enjoys playing in the Artosphere and Britt Festival Orchestras. Previous summer activities include the New York Symphonic Ensemble Japan Tour and studies at the Tanglewood Music Center, Spoleto Festival USA, and the Aspen Music Festival. She received both MM and BM degrees from the Cleveland Institute of Music, where her primary teachers were William Preucil and David Updegraff.
Noted for his “expressive warmth” [Chicago Classical Review] NYC based and Los Angeles born violinist Brendan Speltz has toured the globe as an in demand chamber musician. Recently appointed as second violinist of the prestigious Escher String QuartetHighlights this year include appearances at the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, the Aspen Music Festival, the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, and Wigmore Hall, among others. He’s also toured with groundbreaking ensembles such as A Far Cry, Ethel, the Harlem Quartet, Shuffle Concert, and the Manhattan Chamber Players, and with members of the Guarneri, Juilliard, Orion, and Dover Quartets. An avid believer in the power of classical music to reach young adults, Speltz has produced innovative concert events across the U.S. and Canada which have been described by The New Yorker as “Thrilling, poignant, unexpected, and utterly DIY.” Recent productions include curating the closing concert experience of the prestigious Chamber Fest Ottawa in 2018 and before that co-creating a cross-disciplinary presentation of Steve Reich’s Different Trains with aerial dance troupe ABCirque which was sponsored by Meyer Sound Labs in Brooklyn. In NYC he has performed as guest with the New York New Music Ensemble, Mark Morris Dance Group, American Ballet Theatre, The American Symphony, and Orchestra of St. Luke’s and as a founding member of the conductorless string orchestra Shattered Glass. He received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Southern California with Los Angeles Concertmaster Margaret Batjer and his Master’s degree from the Manhattan School of Music with Laurie Smukler. He plays a 1925 Carl Becker violin.
Brittany MacWilliams has a rich and diverse career both as performer and educator. She made her professional solo debut at age ten with the Louisville Orchestra and went on to win numerous competitions including the Music Teachers National Association competition. Ms. MacWilliams has performed extensively as soloist and concertmaster in such diverse locales as Istanbul, Beijing, Salzburg, Munich, Lisbon, and New York. She has had solo engagements with such orchestras as the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, Louisville Orchestra, Munich Hochshule Orchestra, Kentucky Symphony, and Aspen Chamber Symphony. Ms. MacWilliams can be heard as soloist on two critically acclaimed compact discs of Giornovichi Violin Concerti for the Arte Nova Classics/BMG label. Ms. MacWilliams is a passionate educator and has an active and varied teaching background. She has been a professor of violin and viola at the University of Louisville School of Music for fourteen years. She has also been the Director of the UofL String Academy, a program for talented and dedicated pre-college students, and is founder and director of LaPS (Leadership and Performance for Strings) at the Oldham County Schools Arts Center. She taught as a member of the collegiate violin faculty at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music and taught violin, viola and chamber music at Xavier University. She served as director and a member of the violin faculty of the Starling Preparatory String Project at the University of Cincinnati for twelve years. During the summers, Ms. MacWilliams has served on the faculties of the Aspen Music Festival and the Great Wall International Music Academy in Beijing, and she currently teaches at the Sewanee Summer Music Festival, where she has been a member of the artist faculty for ten years. In 2001, Ms. MacWilliams was the first winner of the prestigious Dorothy Richard Starling Teaching Fellowship, and over the years her students have won national competitions, performed with major orchestras, won teaching positions at numerous institutions, and received music scholarships to many top universities and conservatories. Ms. MacWilliams’ teachers include Kurt Sassmannshaus, Dorothy Delay, David Updegraff, Peter Oundjean, Henri Meyer, Virginia Schneider, Peter McHugh, Hiroko Driver and Cho-Liang Lin.
Born and raised in Louisville Kentucky, Cayleigh Stewart found her love and future career of playing the violin at the age of ten after spending all day in the local music shop with her grandparents. In seemingly no time, Cayleigh invested all her energy in surrounding herself with as much music as possible-resulting in attending the Youth Performing Arts School and taking private lessons from Louisville Orchestra member, Kimberly Griffiths. Now an active freelancer and private studio teacher in the Ohio and Kentucky area, Cayleigh enjoys taking up as many musical opportunities as possible and studies with Associate Concert Master of The Cleveland Orchestra, Peter Otto. Cayleigh graduated with her undergraduate degree in music performance from Baldwin Wallace Conservatory of Music in 2020, where she performed as concert master from her sophomore to senior year, performed in many chamber groups, new music festivals, Bach Festivals, awarded solo convocation performances, and was president and historian of Mu Phi Epsilon. Since her time at BW, Cayleigh has attended the Aspen Music Festival, performed with Cleveland chamber group, Lyceum2, performed in master classes with esteemed soloists and orchestral players such as Augustin Hadelich and Cleveland Orchestra’s Takako Masame, and performed many inspiring concerts with her hometown orchestra, the Louisville Orchestra. Cayleigh looks forward to attending Indiana University, Jacobs School of Music this fall to receive her Master’s degree in music performance. She is always thankful to her family, friends, teachers, and colleagues for their support and kindness.
Violinist Heather Thomas is a member of the Louisville Orchestra, the NouLou Chamber Players, and also performs as Duo Criquet with her partner violinist James McFadden-Talbot. Previously, she was a Fellow with the New World Symphony founded and directed by Michael Tilson Thomas. Heather received her Master of Music degree from Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music studying with Kathleen Winkler and a Bachelor of Music degree from CSU’s Schwob School of Music studying with Sergiu Schwartz. Over the summers, she has attended the Bowdoin International Music Festival, Music Academy of the West, Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival, Tanglewood Music Festival, and the Lakes Area Music Festival. Heather is from Northeast Harbor, Maine.
Violinist James McFadden-Talbot joined the Louisville Orchestra in 2018 and became Assistant Concertmaster in 2023. In 2020, he gave his solo debut on Vivaldi’s Spring Concerto from the Four Seasons with Teddy Abrams conducting. Also a chamber musician, James performs in Duo Criquet with violinist Heather Thomas. The duo recently performed at the Opus 74 Festival in Flaine, France, and with the National Youth Ballet of Germany in Hamburg. James studied with Midori Goto at the University of Southern California where he won First Place in the 2018 Bach Solo Competition. He received a Master of Music degree in Germany from the Hamburg Hochschule für Musik und Theater with Tanja Becker-Bender. During his graduate years, he attended Tanglewood Music Center, and was a substitute in New World Symphony. Before college, he studied violin at the Colburn School of Performing Arts with Henry Gronnier while studying composition with Steven Stucky in the Los Angeles Philharmonic Composer Fellowship Program. His foundational teachers were Frank Becker, Cara Chang, and Philip & Natalia Vaiman.
Jae Cosmos Lee
American violinist, Jae Cosmos Lee, who’s performances have been acclaimed as “Delicate and beautiful” (Syracuse Post-Standard) and “Bursting with color” (Boston Globe), is Concertmaster of the Cape Symphony (Cape Cod, MA), and co-founder of A Far Cry, the Grammy nominated, resident chamber orchestra of the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston. He is also Curator & Director of the Nth Degree Chamber Music Series based in Falmouth, MA, first violinist of the Boston based Pedroia String Quartet and the Associate Concertmaster of the Boston Philharmonic Orchestra. Jae has been a guest artist with the Audubon, Borromeo and Jupiter String Quartets, Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble, ECCO, Boston Musica Viva, Sound Impact, the Firebird and Radius Ensembles, and has performed in concert halls throughout Europe, the United States, Canada and Asia. He is a recipient of numerous awards and honors, and has performed in many of the finest music festivals including Apple Hill, Aspen, Chautauqua, Norfolk, Sarasota, Vail, Banff, Seoul, Scotia, New South, Skaneateles, Salzburg, Ottawa, Prussia Cove and Kneisel Hall. Jae has worked closely with the members of the Cleveland, Juilliard, Takács and Tokyo String Quartets and holds degrees from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, the Cleveland Institute of Music, and the New England Conservatory. His performances have been heard widely on American Public Media’s Performance Today, Boston’s WGBH and New York’s WQXR, along with public radio stations across Georgia, Maine & Vermont.
Israeli violinist Kobi Malkin, winner of the prestigious 2011 Ilona Kornhauser prize, is making his mark as both an exciting soloist and a sensitive chamber musician. Malkin performed with important orchestras around the world including the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra, the Chicago Philharmonic and the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra and as an active chamber musician has collaborated with Itamar Golan, Frans Helmerson, Kim Kashkashian, Mitsuko Uchida and Peter Wiley in such festivals as Ravinia, Music@Menlo and the Marlboro Music Festival. His performances are regularly broadcast on radio in Israel and the US. A scholarship recipient of the America Israel Culture Foundation, he is an alumnus of Ensemble Connect - a joint program of Carnegie Hall, The Juilliard School and Weill Music Institute and was recently appointed concertmaster for the American Ballet Theatre orchestra. Malkin holds a Master of Music degree from the Juilliard School, where he studied with Sylvia Rosenberg and Donald Weilerstein, and a Bachelor of Music degree from the New England Conservatory, where he worked under the guidance of Miriam Fried.
A recipient of the 2015 Avery Fisher Career Grant, as well as a top prizewinner of the 2012 Walter W. Naumburg Competition and the Astral Artists’ 2010 National Auditions, Kristin Lee is a violinist of remarkable versatility and impeccable technique who enjoys a vibrant career as a soloist, recitalist, chamber musician, and educator. “Her technique is flawless, and she has a sense of melodic shaping that reflects an artistic maturity,” writes the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, and The Strad reports, “She seems entirely comfortable with stylistic diversity, which is one criterion that separates the run-of-the-mill instrumentalists from true artists.” In addition to her dynamic performing career, Lee was recently appointed to the faculty of University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music as Assistant Professor of Violin. She is the artistic director of Emerald City Music in Seattle, a chamber music series she co-founded in 2015. Also an accomplished chamber musician, Kristin Lee is a member of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, performing at Lincoln Center in New York and on tour with CMS throughout each season. Kristin Lee has appeared as soloist with leading orchestras including The Philadelphia Orchestra, St. Louis Symphony, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, New Jersey Symphony, Hawai’i Symphony, Hong Kong Philharmonic, Ural Philharmonic of Russia, Korean Broadcasting Symphony, Guiyang Symphony Orchestra of China, Orquesta Sinfonica Nacional of Dominican Republic, and many others. She has performed on the world’s finest concert stages, including Carnegie Hall, Avery Fisher Hall, the Kennedy Center, Philadelphia’s Kimmel Center, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Ravinia Festival, the Louvre Museum in Paris, Washington, D.C.’s Phillips Collection, and Korea’s Kumho Art Gallery. Born in Seoul, Lee began studying violin at age five and within one year won First Prize at the Korea Times Violin Competition. In 1995, she moved to the US to continue her studies under Sonja Foster and in 1997 entered The Juilliard School’s Pre-College. In 2000, Lee was chosen to study with Itzhak Perlman after he heard her perform with the Pre-College Symphony. Lee holds a Master’s degree from The Juilliard School. For more information, visit www.violinistkristinlee.com.