Jose Luis Oviedo began trumpet at the age of 10 with his father in Mexico. He later enrolled as a student in the National Conservatory of Music of Mexico City where he later earned a bachelor’s degree while pursuing his studies in the USA. He has played with some of the most prestigious orchestras in Mexico City such as the Mexican National Philharmonic, Mexican National Symphony, Mineria Symphony Orchestra, and Bellas Artes Chamber Orchestra. In 2002, he was invited to play with the New England Symphonic Ensemble at Carnegie Hall, New York, and was awarded a full scholarship to study at Washington Adventist University where he earned his Bachelor of Music. Since then, he has toured and performed as a soloist with the NEYE throughout the USA and over 25 countries including venues as Windsor Castle, St. Martin-in-the-Fields, Ely Cathedral, Salzburg Cathedral, Crystal Cathedral, Kennedy Center and Strathmore Hall. During his studies at the University of Maryland, where he earned a Master of Music degree, he had the honor of studying with Chris Gekker and Steve Hendrickson. He is currently a member of the New England Symphonic Ensemble, with whom he has performed several concerts at Avery Fisher Hall and Alice Tully Hall in the Lincoln Center and over 40 concerts at Carnegie Hall. He was appointed assistant director to the Washington Concert Winds at Washington Adventist University in 2013 and is also a freelance artist in the Washington DC metropolitan area.
Dr. Victor Yuzefovich was born and raised in Moscow, Russia. After receiving his Undergraduate degree in Music Performance, Music Pedagogy and Musicology at the Gnessin Music Institute, he went on to earn his Honors Diploma from the State Gnessin Music Academy.
The different sides of Dr. Yuzefovich's work became entwined and beneficiary to one another. His research about the Moscow school of violin playing in the beginning of the XXth century and its leader Ivan (Ian) Grzhimali went far beyond the normal requirements for a diploma, and was soon published.
For fifteen years Dr. Yuzefovich served as the Assistant Principal violist in the Central Radio and Television Symphony Orchestra of the USSR, his participation on its Artistic Board, and his active participation in various chamber ensembles not only widened his knowledge of music, but also helped shape his future profession as a musicologist whose main interest is focused on the issues dealing with the Art of Performance.
The interest to these issues once again brought Victor Yuzefovich to the student bench. This time it was to receive an Undergraduate Degree in History of Theater, Music and Theater Criticism at the Lunacharsky State Theater Institute. The Theater department became for him an ideal place to hone his skill as a performance critic - both musical and theatrical. A close collaboration with the leading magazines of that time - "Theater", "Theater Life", "Sovietskaya Myuzyka" and "Musical Life" sharpened his pen as a critic, having allowed for a switch from the art of performing to the art of musicology. He would later lead a seminar on critique at The State Gnessin Music Academy. His diploma work on Michael Chehov contributed to the beginning of a long journey exploring Russian Culture abroad.
For almost two decades, Dr. Yuzefovich worked as Chief of the Performing Arts section of the leading musical Magazine in the USSR - "Sovietskaya Muzyka" ("Soviet Music"). While there, he found himself in the epicenter of the country's musical life, having regular conversations with the most renowned musicians, both Russian and foreign. On numerous occasions, he represented his magazine abroad on trips to International Music Festivals, participated in National and International Music Congresses and Conferences. Dr. Yuzefovich was the initiator of the "Round Table" discussions among the jury members of The International Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow, actively published his work in music magazines across the world. During these years, he completed his book "David Oistrakh", which was published in USSR, Germany, UK, Bulgaria and Hungary.
The scholarly interests of Dr. Victor Yuzefovich are not limited to just Performing Arts. This, in part, is clear from his dissertation "Hector Berlioz and his symphony Harold in Italy", which earned him a Ph.D. in Musicology from the Moscow Tchaikovsky Conservatory in 1972. Another example is his book "Aram Khachaturian", published in USSR, Japan, and USA. In 1991, Dr. Yuzefovich's work on a book about Serge Koussevitzky him to the United States as a winner of a fellowship from the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, D.C. His work as a consultant at the Library of Congress resulted in the organization and systematization of the gigantic Koussevitzky Archive.
While concluding his work on Koussevitzky, the first volume of which ("Serge Koussevitzky - The Russian Years") was published in Russia in 2004, Dr. Yuzefovich became the initiator of a much broader project - "Music of Russians Abroad". This project has already been endorsed by the Russian Institute of Art, and the State Glinka Museum of Music Culture. To find out more about this project, please click on the above link.
Dr. Victor Yuzefovich combines his research work with pedagogy - from 1994 until 1996 he worked as a Visiting Researcher at the Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., in 2003-2004 he was a Professor at the Shenandoah University in Virginia, and has been a Professor at the Washington Adventist University in Takoma Park, Maryland since 1994."
Laurien Laufman is an artist of international stature, having performed throughout Europe, the United States, Canada, South America, India, and The People's Republic of China.She studied with many eminent cellists, including Janos Starker, Aldo Parisot, Andre Navarra, and Paul Tortelier. Miss Laufman won numerous competitions, including the 1975 Concert Artist Guild Competition in New York, and was awarded the Silver Medal in the 1976 Villa-Lobos Competition in Rio de Janeiro. She is Professor Emeritus at the University of the Illinois School of Music, and now resides in the Washington, DC area. She has performed many chamber music concerts throughout her career, was a member ofMusica Camerata Montreal, founded Chamber Music Chicago, and has performed at the Corcoran Gallery Chamber Music Series, Dumbarton Oaks, several embassies in Washington, and at the Phillips Collection. Miss Laufmanhas performed as a solo artist for radio and television in the United States, Canada, Brazil, Poland, and Switzerland. Shehas recorded for Classica Records and Medici Music Press. Musical America/High Fidelity Magazine called her "An altogether outstanding instrumentalist and a true artist.
Brian Liu holds a Doctorate of Musical Arts in Violin Performance from the Catholic University of America and a Master of Music in Performance and Literature from the Eastman School of Music. His principle professors include Mikhail Kopelman, Charles Castleman, Jody Gatwood, Christian Teal, and Mark Reneau. He has performed with numerous orchestras including the symphony orchestras of Alexandria, Chattanooga, Huntsville, Augusta, Hilton Head, and the Skaneatles Festival. As soloist, he has appeared with the East Tennessee Symphony Orchestra, SAU Symphony Orchestra and the CA Chamber Orchestra.
Having a special interest in Asian-American music, he has performed and studied in-depth the music of Zhou Long. His final project for his Doctoral studies was entitled: Zhou Long: A Blend of Eastern and Western Influences.
In addition to maintaining a private studio, Liu has served as adjunct professor in the Department of Fine Arts at Augusta State University, Keuka College, and on the violin faculty at the Augusta State University Conservatory program.
Currently he is adjunct faculty at Washington Adventist University and on the artist faculty at the Roberson School of Music. In addition to his teaching responsibilities, he has just been named Conductor and Music Director of the East Tennessee Symphony Orchestra.
Prof. John Spirtas joined the Washington National Opera Orchestra and Kennedy Center Opera House Orchestra in 2000 as Principal Percussionist. In this capacity he has performed with Placido Domingo and many other stars in the world of opera. He has accompanied the Bolshoi, Kirov, Royal, American Ballet Theater, and New York City Ballet Companies as well.
Prior to joining the WNOO/KCOHO Prof. Spirtas was a percussionist in the New World Symphony, in Miami Beach, Florida. He performed with the NWS in the 2000 American Mavericks Festival in San Francisco under the batons of Michael Tilson Thomas and composer John Adams. He was a fellow at the Tanglewood Music Center in 1998, and at the Pacific Music Festival in Sapporo Japan in 1996 and 1997. He also attended the Aspen, Eastern and Chautauqua festivals.
Prof. Spirtas is a graduate of the University of Michigan and the New England Conservatory of Music. His teachers include Alan Abel, Will Hudgins, Salvatore Rabbio, Michael Udow and Nora Davenport.