Featured Performers for June 2018

Max Geissler


Praised for his “superb artistry and beautiful sound,” cellist Max Geissler is currently pursuing his Doctor of Musical Arts degree at Rice University under the tutelage of Desmond Hoebig. Before his studies at Rice, he earned his undergraduate degree from the University of Michigan working with Richard Aaron. Previous mentors have also included Catherine Lehr-Ramos of the Saint Louis Symphony and Michel Strauss during a semester of study abroad in Paris.


As featured soloist, he has performed with several orchestras in the St. Louis area, including the Saint Louis Symphony. Max is devoted to the chamber music literature and takes any opportunity he can to better acquaint himself with the repertory, working closely with chamber musicians such as James Dunham, Norman Fischer, Joel Krosnick, Ronald Copes, and Laurie Smukler.


As former principal cellist and project manager of the conductorless string orchestra KINETIC, Max assisted in building the nonprofit from the beginning and strongly advocated for the ensemble's communicative chamber music making in the Houston area.


Max is also a sought-after new music collaborator, having premiered many pieces for solo cello, string quartet, as well as chamber orchestra as a part of KINETIC. He has performed regularly as a part of the new music organization MUSIQA in Houston, as well as alongside Brian Connelly on his chamber music series, Music in Context.


Together with Leah Gastler, he co-founded the Kalmia Garden Chamber Music Festival.

Timothy Krippner


Praised as “a true artist” by the late Aldo Ciccolini, pianist Timothy Krippner embraces the solo and chamber repertoire with equal enthusiasm. He holds a Master of Music from Rice University where he studied with Dr. Robert Roux, and a Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Michigan where he studied with Dr. Logan Skelton.


He has won top awards in competitions including Seattle International Piano Competition and the University of Michigan concerto competition, and has performed with musicians such as cellist Desmond Hoebig of the Rice University faculty. He has been a featured soloist with the University of Michigan Symphony Orchestra and the Spokane Symphony. As the resident pianist of the Kalmia Gardens Chamber Music and Arts Foundation, he frequently performs on chamber series and solo recitals and has the opportunity to engage his audiences with preconcert talks. This commitment to education extends to his private studio and work with local music schools in the Houston area.


Mr. Krippner has performed in summer festivals including Pianofest in the Hamptons; PianoSummer at SUNY New Paltz; Beethoven Institute at Mannes; Amalfi Coast Music and Arts Festival in Italy; and the Bösendorfer International Piano Academy in Vienna, Austria. He has worked in masterclasses with artists such as Aldo Ciccolini, Benedetto Lupo, Jonathan Biss, and John Perry.

Evie Chen


Evie began her violin studies with Jenny Rudin in Palo Alto, California, and is currently a student of Professor Paul Kantor at the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University in Houston, Texas.

She made her first debut with Fremont Symphony Orchestra at age 8, after being the youngest contestant to win the Nafisa Taghioff Award of the Fremont Symphony Orchestra’s 2000 Young Artists Competition. Since then, she has performed concertos and solo works with the San Francisco Chamber Orchestra, Palo Alto Chamber Orchestra, California Youth Symphony, and the Eastman Philharmonia. 

After that first competition, she continued to win prizes at organizations such as the UC Davis Mondavi Center Young Artist Competition, the American String Teachers Association’s Solo Competition, the 3rd Yankelevitch International Violin Competition in Omsk, Russia, and the MTNA National Competition.

As an avid music educator, Evie began her teaching career as a chamber coach for the Palo Alto Chamber Orchestra at the age of 15. In addition to teaching privately, she is currently an instructor of Music Fundamentals at Rice University, has given presentations promoting new music, and conducted masterclasses on technique and injury prevention to high school music students.

In addition to holding a B.M. in violin performance from the Eastman School of Music where she studied with Mikhail Kopelman, she also earned a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Rochester. Evie received her Master’s degree from the Shepherd School of Music and is currently pursuing a DMA at the Shepherd school. In her time off, she enjoys learning about Alexander Technique on the side.

Boson Mo 


Hailed by the Houston Chronicle as having “stole(n) the show…with his rousing assertion of Fauré’s Violin Sonata…” at his 2016 Da Camera of Houston début, Boson’s recent performances include those at the Montreal Chamber Music Festival, the Toronto Summer Music Festival, Müzewest of Vancouver, Festival Pontiac Enchanté, the French Institute Alliance Française in New York City, and his summer of 2018 will feature appearances at the Vancouver Chamber Music Society, Rockport Chamber Music Festival, Festival de Lanaudière (Québec), as well as both Casalmaggiore International Music Festival and Festival Emilia-Romagna in Italy.


Winner of Third Prize at the 2013 Michael Hill International Violin Competition, Boson was named as one of Canada’s “30 under 30 Top Classical Musicians of 2015” by CBC Radio-Canada.  One of the top 25 candidates at the 2015 International Tchaikovsky Competition, he was also awarded the “Prix Joseph-Rouleau” at the 2010 Montreal International Violin Competition and is a recipient of Canada’s prestigious Sylva Geber Foundation Award.


Boson has been featured as Young Artist in Residence of American Public Media’s “Performance Today,” and has been broadcast both nationally in the U.S.  as well as internationally on Radio New Zealand and CBC Radio-Canada.  He has performed as soloist with the Auckland Philharmonia (New Zealand), Orchestre symphonique de Longueuil (Canada), the CIM Orchestra, and the F.A.C.E. Symphony Orchestra.


Boson served as Acting Assistant Concertmaster of the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra in the autumn of 2017. He has also performed as First Violin with the Ensō Quartet as part of their 2016 summer season. Additionally, Boson has performed extensively in the U.S. as a duo with pianist Andrew Staupe, as well as in a trio with cellist Desmond Hoebig. A graduate of the Cleveland Institute of Music, Boson is completing a Doctoral degree at the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University under Paul Kantor.  Boson currently performs on a violin by Carlo Antonio Tonoi (1757), graciously on loan from the Canada Council for the Arts.

Sergein Yap


A native of Miami, Florida, violist Sergein Yap studied with Ivo van der Werff at Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music, with Martha Katz at the New England Conservatory, and with Jeffrey Irvine and Lynne Ramsey at the Cleveland Institute of Music.


In 2016, Sergein was selected as a Zarin Mehta Fellow with the New York Philharmonic’s Global Academy Fellowship Program. Summer festival appearances include the Banff Centre, ENCORE School for Strings, Heifetz International Music Institute, Kneisel Hall, Music Academy of the West, the Perlman Music Program, Sarasota Music Festival, and Tanglewood Music Center.

Recent chamber music collaborations include performances with Brian Connelly, David Halen, Richie Hawley, Paul Katz, Roger Tapping, and David Coucheron. Sergein has also been featured in recitals through the Carl Flesch Academy in Baden-Baden, Germany, and the Summer Academy Bad Leonfelden, Austria.

Sergein performs regularly as a substitute with the Houston Grand Opera, Houston Ballet, and is a core member of the KINETIC: The Conductorless Ensemble. Sergein is on faculty at the University of St. Thomas and serves on the executive board of the Houston Viola Society. Highlights for the 2017-2018 Season include performances with KINETIC, Loop38, the Melos Sinfonia of London, England, and Da Camera of Houston’s Young Artist Program.

Timothy Steeves


Canadian violinist Timothy Steeves has performed throughout North America and Europe as a soloist, chamber musician, orchestral musician, and advocate of contemporary music. He has performed in such venues as Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center in New York, the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. and the Salzburger Festspiele and his performances have also been heard on BBC Radio, NPR, and Radio Canada among others. Timothy made his solo debut in 2004 with the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra and has since performed with orchestras in both Canada and the United States in repertoire ranging from Vivaldi to Corigliano.


Timothy was recently named Acting Associate Concertmaster of the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra. Previously, he served as Concertmaster for the world-premiere recording of Darius Milhaud’s Oresteia of Aeschylus, which was nominated for a GRAMMY® Award for Best Opera Recording. Timothy’s chamber music collaborators have included Pierre Amoyal, Andrés Cárdenes, Nancy Ambrose King, Steven Mackey, and Paul Schoenfeld. He has also performed throughout the United States as the founding violinist of the new music ensemble Latitude 49, whose debut album Curious Minds was released in January of 2017. Timothy has also toured both Canada and the United States as a duo with pianist Jani Parsons and with soprano Alexandra Smither.


Timothy completed a Bachelors and Masters of Music in Violin Performance at the University of Michigan, studying with David Halen and Stephen Shipps and is currently pursuing a Doctor of Musical Arts at Rice University under the tutelage of Cho-Liang Lin. Timothy performs on a 1871 Jean-Baptiste Vuillaume, on loan by the Canada Council for the Arts Musical Instrument Bank.

Jarita Ng


Jarita joined the viola section of the Houston Symphony in 2015. Prior to becoming a part of the symphony, she performed with Verbier Festival Orchestra in Switzerland, Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival Orchestra in Germany, Houston Grand Opera Orchestra, New York String Orchestra, and Hong Kong Sinfonietta. She has played under such conductors as Christoph Eschenbach, Valery Gergiev, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Charles Dutoit, Zubin Mehta, Manfred Honeck, Semyon Bychkov, Michael Tilson Thomas, and Gianandrea Noseda, among others.


A multifaceted musician, Jarita found her love for contemporary music during her undergraduate studies at the University of Michigan, after having worked with Roger Reynolds at ONCE. MORE. Festival in 2009. Since then she has collaborated with composers including John Adams, Paul Schoenfield, and Bernard Rands. Her enthusiasm in new music has led her to commission, perform, and record solo or chamber pieces by student composers. In 2014, she was invited to present the American Viola Society (AVS) Gardner Competition-winning piece Exit, Pursued by a Bear by Matthew Browne at the 2014 AVS Congress in Los Angeles.


Jarita graduated from Rice University in May 2015 with a master’s degree studying with James Dunham. She was recognized and given scholarship for Best Achievement in Music. She holds a Bachelor of Music in Performance, studying with Yizhak Schotten, and a Bachelor of Science in Biology (distinction) from the University of Michigan. Upon graduation, she was given the Albert Stanley Medal, the highest honor awarded by the School of Music, Theatre & Dance to the most outstanding graduating senior.

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