Amy Schwartz Moretti,
Amy Schwartz Moretti has a musical career of broad versatility that spans nearly two decades. Former Concertmaster of the Oregon Symphony and Florida Orchestra, Amy has served as guest concertmaster for the symphony orchestras of Houston, Pittsburgh, Atlanta, CityMusic Cleveland, New York Pops and Hawaii Pops, and the festival orchestras of Brevard, Colorado and Grand Teton. Director of the McDuffie Center for Strings since its inception in the Mercer University Townsend School of Music, Ms. Moretti has developed the Fabian Concert Series and holds the Caroline Paul King Chair in Strings. A performing artist with an affinity for chamber music, Amy maintains an active schedule of solo, chamber and concertmaster appearances and is a member of the Ehnes Quartet. She has recorded for Chandos, Harmonia Mundi, Onyx Classics, CBC Records, BCMF/Naxos and Sono Luminus. The Cleveland Institute of Music has recognized her with an Alumni Achievement Award and she is the 2014 San Francisco Conservatory of Music Fanfare Honoree, their first Precollege graduate to be recognized. Born in Wisconsin, raised in North Carolina and California, Amy lives in Georgia with her husband and two sons, enjoying all aspects of motherhood, especially their soccer and tennis activities. Recent performances include appearances at the Rome Chamber Music Festival, ChamberFest Cleveland, Les Rencontres Musicales d’Evian, Music@Menlo, Seattle Chamber Music Society, and Bridgehampton Chamber Music Festivals. (amyschwartzmoretti.com).
Timothy Braun, violin
A native of Los Angeles, California, violinist Timothy Braun has performed as a soloist and a chamber musician in North America, Europe, Australia and South Africa. He has given recitals in international concert venues such as Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw (Kleine Saal), Budapest’s Bela Bartok Palace of the Arts and Pretoria’s ZK Matthews Great Hall.
He has performed at many chamber music festivals, including the Itzhak Perlman Chamber Music Program (New York), Kneisel Hall Festival (Maine), Music@Menlo (California), as well as the Pan Pacific Festival (Sydney), Viana do Castelo (Portugal) as well as Kammermusikfest Kloster Kamp and Beethovenfest Bonn (Germany). He has collaborated with violinists Mihaela Martin, Jamie Laredo, Midori Seiler, violist Matthias Buchholz and cellists Ronald Leonard, Claus Kanngiesser, Paul Katz and Lynn Harrell, among others.
Mr. Braun was a Young Musician scholar of the Yehudi Menuhin Live-Music-Now Foundation (2010-2013) as well as the Villa Musica Foundation of Rheinland-Pfalz (2012-2015), where he has since become a guest artist and coach.
His principal mentors were Robert Lipsett at the The Colburn School in Los Angeles and Mihaela Martin at Hochschule für Musik und Tanz in Cologne.
Currently First Concertmaster of the Saarländisches Staatsorchester (The State Orchestra of Saarland), Timothy Braun has served as guest Concertmaster with the Badisches Staatskapelle Karlsruhe, Gurzenich Orchestra Cologne and the National Theater of Mannheim.
His first appearance with Chamber Soloists of Detroit was in the 2013 season.
Edward Arron, cello
Cellist Edward Arron has garnered recognition worldwide for his elegant musicianship, impassioned performances, and creative programming. A native of Cincinnati, Ohio, Mr. Arron made his New York recital debut in 2000 at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Since that time, he has appeared in recital, as a soloist with major orchestras, and as a chamber musician throughout North America, Europe and Asia.
The 2021-22 season marks Mr. Arron’s 13th season as the artistic director and host of the acclaimed Musical Masterworks concert series in Old Lyme, Connecticut. He is also the co-artistic director with his wife, pianist Jeewon Park, of the Performing Artists in Residence series at the Clark Art Institute in Williamstown, Massachusetts. Mr. Arron tours and records as a member of the renowned Ehnes Quartet, and he appears regularly at the Caramoor International Music Festival, where he has been a resident performer and curator of chamber music concerts for over a quarter of a century. In 2013, he completed a ten-year residency as the artistic director of the Metropolitan Museum Artists in Concert, a chamber music series created in 2003 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Museum’s prestigious Concerts and Lectures series. In January of 2021, Mr. Arron’s recording of Beethoven’s Complete Works for Cello and Piano with pianist Jeewon Park was released on the Aeolian Classics Record Label. The recording received the Samuel Sanders Collaborative Artists Award from the Classical Recording Foundation.
Mr. Arron has performed numerous times at Carnegie’s Weill and Zankel Halls, Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully and Avery Fisher Halls, New York’s Town Hall, and the 92nd Street Y, and is a frequent performer at Bargemusic. Festival appearances include Ravinia, Salzburg, Mostly Mozart, Bravo! Vail, Tanglewood, Bridgehampton, Spoleto USA, Santa Fe, Seattle Chamber Music, Kuhmo, PyeongChang, Evian, Charlottesville, Bowdoin, Telluride Musicfest, Seoul Spring, Lake Champlain Chamber Music, Chesapeake Chamber Music, La Jolla Summerfest, and Bard Music Festival. He has participated in Yo-Yo Ma’s Silk Road Project as well as Isaac Stern’s Jerusalem Chamber Music Encounters. Mr. Arron’s performances are frequently broadcast on American Public Media’s Performance Today.
Edward Arron began playing the cello at age seven in Cincinnati and continued his studies in New York with Peter Wiley. He is a graduate of the Juilliard School, where he was a student of Harvey Shapiro. In 2016, Mr. Arron joined the faculty at University of Massachusetts Amherst, after having served on the faculty of New York University from 2009 to 2016.
Erik Ásgeirsson, cello
Cellist Erik Ásgeirsson has earned high praise from conductors, composers, audience members and critics alike for his “refined magic of tone colors…exquisitely beautiful melodies and enormous virtuosity” (Der Westen, Germany). He has been featured as soloist with orchestras in his native Michigan, Florida and Germany, with several of his world premiere collaborations broadcast on German National Radio (WDR).
Ásgeirsson performed his Chicago debut recital on the prestigious Dame Myra Hess Memorial Concert series in 2015. As an alum of the Lucerne (Switzerland) Festival, he was invited to perform in a series of events entitled Matthias Pintscher’s Universe at the Elbphilharmonie Hamburg, returning to Lucerne and Hamburg in 2019 to serve as co-principal cellist under the baton of Riccardo Chailly. Other credits include Italy’s Amici Della Musica and Gustav Mahler Festivals, France’s Festival Music Alp and Germany’s “Romanische Nacht” Festival, Forum Neue Musik, Franz Liszt Akademie, Kölner PhilharmonieLunch series and Beethovenfest Bonn.
In 2017, he was appointed Solocellist (Principal) of Philharmonie Sudwestfalen (Siegen), following two years as a member of the Staatskapelle Weimar Orchestra and Academy Fellowship positions in the Berlin Radio and Komische Oper (Berlin) Orchestras.
A native of West Bloomfield, Michigan, Ásgeirsson was the winner of numerous regional youth competitions and became the principal cellist of the Detroit Symphony Civic Orchestra. Formative studies with Paul Wingert and Erling Blöndal Bengtsson and summer programs with Philippe Muller (Festival Music Alp), Steven Geber and the late Orlando Cole (Encore School for Strings, Cleveland) culminated in a performance degree at the Eastman School of Music under the tutelage of Steven Doane, with an exchange year of study at Musikhochschule Freiburg with Christoph Henkel. He holds a master’s degree in performance from the Hochschule für Musik und Tanz Köln, where he studied with Maria Kliegel, Frans Helmerson and Johannes Moser.
Born to Icelandic and Canadian parents, Erik Ásgeirsson is a citizen of three countries. He returns for collaborative performances with Chamber Soloists of Detroit as his schedule will allow.
Paul Laraia, viola
Acclaimed by The Strad for his “eloquent” and “vibrant” playing, award-winning violist Paul Laraia enjoys a multifaceted career as soloist, chamber musician, and new music advocate.
He has performed as featured soloist with the Pittsburgh Symphony, Atlanta Symphony, Filharmonica De Bogata, New Jersey Symphony, Nashville Symphony, and St. Paul Chamber Orchestra and been an invited artist at major festivals such as the Yellow Barn, Sarasota, Vail International Dance, Festival Del Sole, Incheon Music Hic Et Nunc!, Hong Kong Generation Next Arts, Sitka, Banff, Grand Canyon, and Cornell’s Mayfest. Chamber music collaborations include performances with world renowned artists such as Gil Shaham, Joshua Bell, Yo-yo Ma, Jorg Widmann, Vadim Repin, Edgar Meyer, Donald Weilerstein, Cho-lang Lin, Roger Tapping, Anthony Marwood, Daniel Phillips, and Paul Huang.
The New Jersey native first studied viola with Brynina Socolofsky, disciple of viola pedagogue Leonard Mogill. He continued studies on scholarship through Temple University’s Center for Talented Youth and the Settlement Music School in Philadelphia, and entered the New England Conservatory of Music on full scholarship in 2007 to study with Kim Kashkashian.
In 2011, Laraia won First Prize at Detroit’s Sphinx Competition by unanimous vote, and maintains a close relationship with the Sphinx Organization and its mission to encourage diversity in classical music performers and audiences. In 2019, he competed in the 13th Lionel Tertis International Viola Competition held on the Isle of Man, and was awarded the First Prize and a Wigmore Hall recital in London.
Paul Laraia performs on a beautiful Hiroshi Iizuka viola in the ‘viola d’amore’ style, a Belgian bow by Pierre Guillaume awarded by the Bishops Strings Shop in London, and is a proud supporter of Pirastro’s Eva Pirazzi strings.