Milena Pajaro-van de Stadt

“…a silky tone and beautiful, supple lines”

Strad magazine

 Milena Pajaro-van de Stadt, has performed in recitals and chamber music concerts throughout the United States, Latin America, Europe and Asia, including an acclaimed 2011 debut recital at London’s Wigmore Hall, described in Strad as “fleet and energetic…powerful and focused.”

The founding violist of the Dover Quartet, she played in the group from 2008-2022. During that time, the Dover Quartet was the First Prize-winner and recipient of every special award at the Banff International String Quartet Competition 2013, and winner of the Gold Medal and Grand Prize in the 2010 Fischoff Chamber Music Competition. Ms. Pajaro-van de Stadt’s numerous awards also include First Prize of the Lionel Tertis International Viola Competition and top prizes at the the Sphinx Competition and the Tokyo International Viola Competition.

She has appeared as a soloist with the Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra, Jacksonville Symphony, and Sphinx Chamber Orchestra and has served on the juries of the Sphinx Competition and the Banff International String Quartet Competition.

Ms. Pajaro-van de Stadt graduated from the Curtis Institute of Music and received her Master’s Degree from Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music. While in the Dover Quartet, she was on the faculty at The Curtis Institute of Music and Northwestern University’s Bienen School of Music, and was a part of the Quartet in Residence of the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. She is now a member of the newly formed piano quartet “Espressivo!” along with acclaimed artists Jaime Laredo, Sharon Robinson, and Anna Polonsky.


Photo Credit: Roy Cox


Lawrence Brownlee, tenor

“…an international star in the bel canto operatic repertory”

The New York Times

 “…one of the most in-demand opera singers in the world today”


 Lawrence Brownlee is a leading figure in opera, both as a singer on the world’s top stages and as a voice for activism and diversity in the industry. He has been hailed as “one of the world’s leading bel canto stars” (The Guardian), captivating audiences and critics around the world.  He is a fixture at leading international opera houses and major orchestra halls.  Named “Male Singer of the Year” by both the International Opera Awards (2017) and Bachtrack, he has been featured on PBS, NPR, Sirius Radio, American Public Media and other national outlets. Included among his other numerous awards and distinctions are the Kennedy Center’s Marian Anderson Award, the Opera News Award (2021) and Grand Prize winner at the 2001 Metropolitan Opera National Council auditions.

Highlights of Brownlee’s past seasons include his role debut, to great acclaim, in the title role of Rameau’s Platèe with Opéra National de Paris; role debut as Edgardo in Lucia di Lammermoor at New National Theatre Tokyo; and he added Fernand to his repertoire in a new production of Donizetti’s La Favorite with Houston Grand Opera.  His signature Rossini roles include Rodrigo in Otello, the title role of Le comte Ory, and Tamino in Die Zauberflöte.

Brownlee’s acclaimed recording career includes Donizetti’s rarely-performed song repertoire and the album Rising, which was nominated for a Grammy in 2023.

In 2021, Brownlee joined The Juilliard School as a Distinguished Visiting Faculty Member. He serves as artistic advisor for Opera Philadelphia, Ambassador for Lyric Opera of Chicago’s Lyric Unlimited, and Ambassador for Opera for Peace.


Photo Credit Shervin Lainez

Isabel Leonard, mezzo-soprano

“One of the brightest talents on the American opera scene to emerge in the new millennium.”

Jason Victor Serinus, nationally published music critic, 2021

 Isabel Leonard continues to thrill audiences both in the opera house and on the concert stage. In repertoire that spans from Vivaldi to Mozart to Nico Muhly, she has performed at prominent international venues such as the Vienna State Opera, Paris Opera, Salzburg Festival, Carnegie Hall, Glyndebourne Festival, Teatro Comunale di Bologna, Aix-en-Provence Festival, Metropolitan Opera, and Lyric Opera of Chicago, among others.  Her roles include Rosina in Il barbiere di Siviglia, Angelina in La Cenerentola, Cherubino in Le nozze di Figaro, Dorabella in Così fan tutte, Charlotte in Werther, Blanche de la Force in Dialogues des Carmélites, Costanza in Griselda, the title roles in La Périchole and Der Rosenkavalier, as well as Sesto in both Mozart’s La clemenza di Tito and Handel’s Giulio Cesare, and Musetta in La bohème.

She has appeared with some of the foremost conductors of her time: Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Seiji Ozawa, Gustavo Dudamel, James Levine, James Conlon, Marin Alsop, Sir Andrew Davis, and Michael Tilson Thomas with the Vienna Philharmonic and major orchestras throughout the U.S.

Ms. Leonard, in constant demand as a recitalist, is on the Board of Trustees at Carnegie Hall and the Artistic Advisory Board of ArtSmart. She is a multiple Grammy Award winner. Television and film appearances include Sesame Street and host for The Metropolitan Opera’s Live in HD movie theater transmissions.

Ms. Leonard is the recipient of the Richard Tucker Award and has lent her voice, in honor of her father who died from the disease, to the Prostate Cancer Foundation by filming a public service announcement (PSA).

Hanick/Hawley Duo

“[Hanick’s] technical refinement, color, crispness and wondrous variety of articulation benefit works by any master.”

New York Times

 “[Hawley:] An intellectually astute, and technically untouchable clarinetist”

Casa magazine

 Through collaboration with some of music’s leading composers and integration of this work with the classic music of the genre, the Hanick Hawley Duo seeks to reinvigorate the repertoire for clarinet and piano. Having met as faculty members at Santa Barbara’s Music Academy of the West, they perform regularly at its renowned summer festival and school.

The Times’ Anthony Tommasini says pianist Conor Hanick’s playing is reminiscent of a “young Peter Serkin.” Regarded as one of his generation’s most inquisitive interpreters of music, Hanick has been presented by The Gilmore Festival, the New York Philharmonic, Caramoor, Cal Performances, Philadelphia Chamber Music Society, and the Park Avenue Armory, and performed with American orchestras. He has premiered over 200 works and collaborated with composers both emerging and iconic. He served as co-artistic director of the Ojai Festival in 2022. Since 2014, he has been a faculty artist at the Music Academy of the West. He has given lectures and master classes internationally and is on the piano and chamber music faculty of The Juilliard School and the Peabody Institute of Music.

Appointed principal clarinet of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra in 1994, Richie Hawley left that position in 2011 to become Professor of Clarinet at Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music. He regularly appears on international stages as a soloist and chamber musician. He toured with the legendary Musicians from Marlboro for the 50th anniversary performance at Carnegie Hall. His numerous awards include first prize at the Coleman Chamber Ensemble Competition and the Presidential Scholar in the Arts Gold Medal awarded by President Ronald Reagan. Mr. Hawley made his orchestral solo debut at age 13 with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, and at 14 performed with the New York Philharmonic.

Photo Credit:  Sham Hinchey       

Martin James Bartlett

“Martin James Bartlett is not only a prodigy of the piano but an accomplished artist who counts among the greats of his generation.”

Nice Matin

“With Martin James Bartlett on the piano, this was like hearing Gershwin for the first time, he gave it new life, new confidence.”

Behind the Arras, 5 stars, November 2022

British pianist Martin James Bartlett, known for his fearless technique, was the inaugural recipient of the Prix Serdang in 2022.  In 2021, he was awarded the Queen Mother Rosebowl by HRH Prince (now King) Charles and, in 2020, won the Virtu(al)oso Global Piano Competition by Piano Cleveland. From 2020 to 2022, Bartlett was the RCM Benjamin Britten Piano Fellow, and made his play-direct and conducting debut with the London Mozart Players at the Cheltenham and Ryedale festivals in 2022. In 2019, Bartlett earned first place at the 2019 Young Concert Artists International Auditions in New York and, in 2018, won second prize and the Audience Award at the Kissingen Piano Olympiad.

Bartlett’s early public success was as winner of the BBC Young Musician of the Year in 2014, leading to engagements with several orchestras.  In 2015, he was one of the youngest-ever soloists to debut at the BBC Proms, with reviews in The Daily Telegraph and The Times praising his musical insight and maturity.

Bartlett has performed with many European orchestras and in recital internationally, including a debut US tour in 2022 in the Young Concert Artists Series in New York and at the Kennedy Center in Washington DC.  He has released two widely acclaimed albums: Rhapsody (2022), featuring concerti by Rachmaninoff and Gershwin; and his debut recital album Love and Death (2019), an exploration of elemental themes from Bach to Prokofiev.

Photo Credit:  Paul Marc Mitchell