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The American Chamber Players

THE AMERICAN CHAMBER PLAYERS

"They have established standards of chamber music performance equal to any in the world," declared The Washington PostThe New York Times said, "They appealed to the heart and the head, offering a warm, seductively luxurious sound and an impressive precision and unity of purpose." 

Among today's most exciting and innovative chamber music ensembles, THE AMERICAN CHAMBER PLAYERS began in 1985 as a core group of artists of The Library of Congress Summer Chamber Festival.  The ensemble performs repertoire ranging from familiar masterpieces to neglected gems to newly commissioned American works, and their fascinating and delightful programs with varied instrumental combinations have been as enthusiastically praised as their extraordinary, dynamic performances.  They have toured throughout North America, engaged and re-engaged by prestigious concert series from Florida to British Columbia, and they have traveled to Paris for a series of special gala concerts at the Paris Opera and the Bibliothèque Nationale. They have also been heard countless times on National Public Radio's Performance Today and on local radio stations throughout the United States.  The American Chamber Players are the resident ensemble of the Peace Chamber concert series at the Peace Center in Greenville, S.C., the resident ensemble of the Kreeger Museum June Chamber Festival in Washington, D.C., and the Visiting Artists in Residence at the Society of the Four Arts in Palm Beach, Fla.

Cellist STEPHEN BALDERSTON appears internationally as a soloist, orchestral and chamber musician and coach. Professor of cello at Chicago’s DePaul University School of Music, Balderston was Assistant Principal Cello of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra for 10 years, and a member of the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra for 10 years. He performed as soloist with both orchestras and was an artist-in-residence at Washington University in St. Louis, Mo. He has appeared as featured artist at many prestigious festivals, including the Ravinia Festival, and the International Festival-Institute at Round Top, the Grand Teton Music Festival, the American String Project, Bargemusic, the Park City Music Festival, OK Mozart International Festival, Santa Barbara Chamber Music Festival, as well as the Affinis Music Festival in Japan and the International Music Festival in Shanghai, China. He also serves as a chamber music coach for the Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestras. Balderston began his studies on the cello with Gabor Rejto in his native southern California, and earned both Bachelor and Master of Music degrees from The Juilliard School, where he studied with Lynn Harrell.

MILES HOFFMAN, Artistic Director of Peace Chamber Programs at the Peace Center, is the founder and violist of The American Chamber Players, the resident ensemble of the Peace Center’s new Peace Chamber Program. For 30 years The American Chamber Players have toured throughout North America, engaged and re-engaged by prestigious concert series from Florida to British Columbia. Hoffman also appears frequently in recital and as viola soloist with orchestras across the country. His radio modules, A Minute with Miles, are a daily feature of South Carolina Public Radio, and he hosts the national radio broadcasts of Chamber Music from Spoleto Festival USA. Since 2002 he has been Music Commentator for NPR’s Morning Edition, a program with a national audience of nearly 14 million people, and his musical commentary “Coming to Terms” was a weekly favorite from 1989 to 2002 on NPR’s Performance Today. He has written articles for The New York Times, The Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, and The Wilson Quarterly, and his book, The NPR Classical Music Companion: An Essential Guide for Enlightened Listening, is in its 10th printing from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.  A distinguished teacher and clinician, and former dean of the Petrie School of Music at Converse College, Hoffman has presented countless master classes, workshops, children’s programs, and other educational programs at schools, colleges, and conservatories around the country, and he has been a featured lecturer and keynote speaker for orchestras, chamber music series, festivals, and various professional organizations and conferences. He is a graduate of Yale University and The Juilliard School, and in 2003 he was awarded an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree from Centenary College of Louisiana in recognition of his achievements as a performer and educator.

Born and raised in Colorado, violinist JOANNA MAURER has performed as orchestral soloist and recitalist throughout the United States, as well as in Germany, Austria, and the Czech Republic.  After initial studies with her parents, she received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees at The Juilliard School, where she studied with Dorothy DeLay and Robert Mann.  She has won first prizes in a number of competitions, including the E. Nakamichi Violin Competition, the Denver Young Artist Orchestra Competition, the Young Musicians Foundation Competition, and the National MTNA Selmer Competition. Now a resident of New York City, Maurer performs regularly with the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, in addition to her many solo, chamber, and recording engagements. Previously, she served as concertmaster of both the Metamorphosen and Prometheus Chamber Orchestras. A versatile artist with a broad repertoire, Maurer has collaborated with fiddler/violinist Mark O’Connor in, among other projects, performances of his Double Violin Concerto, and has been a featured artist in concerts with Sting.

Flutist SARA STERN leads an active and varied career as a recitalist and chamber musician.  As solo flutist of the 21st Century Consort, in residence at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C., she has premiered countless important new works and made many recordings.  She has presented solo recitals in the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Carnegie Recital Hall, and at many other concert halls around the country, and she has appeared as guest artist with the Emerson String Quartet and other distinguished chamber ensembles. Stern has also toured both here and abroad as one half of the duo "Stern and Levalier," with harpist Dotian Levalier, and she is a founding member of the Eastwind Consort, a critically acclaimed woodwind ensemble. 

Since winning the prestigious Ettore Pozzoli International Piano Competition in Milan, Italy, at age 17, Bulgarian pianist ANNA STOYTCHEVA has performed throughout North America, Europe and Japan.  She has appeared as soloist with the Orchestra del' Angelicum in Milano, the Juilliard Orchestra, the New World Symphony, and the Bulgarian National Radio Orchestra, among many others, and she has been the subject of several documentaries on Bulgarian National Radio and Television.  In New York City, where she now makes her home, she has graced the stages of all the major concert halls, and her extensive chamber music experience includes performances at the Marlboro Music Festival, the Banff Center for the Arts, the Music Academy of the West, Kneisel Hall, and the Bowdoin Music Festival.  She has also recorded two solo albums, distributed internationally on the GEGA NEW label, and she is a co-founder of the concert series “Bulgarian Concert Evenings in New York,” which takes place at the Consulate of Bulgaria. Stoytcheva holds Bachelor and Master of Music Degrees in Piano Performance from The Juilliard School, where among her many honors were the Vladimir Horowitz and William Petschek scholarships and the Rockefeller Award, the Peter Jay Sharp Award, and the Helen Fay Prize.