Cellist Nicholas Canellakis has performed throughout Europe and the US, and has participated in the festivals of Santa Fe, Mecklenburg, Ravinia, Music@Menlo, Bridgehampton, Moab, Verbier, Aspen, Music from Angelfire, and Sarasota. Mr. Canellakis is an artist of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, in which he frequently performs in Alice Tully Hall and on tour throughout the country. From 2008–2010, he was in residence at Carnegie Hall as a member of the Academy. A regular performer at Bargemusic in New York City, he has also concertized in Weill and Zankel Hall, Merkin Hall, the Kennedy Center, Jordan Hall, and Disney Hall among others. Mr. Canellakis graduated form the Curtis Institute and the New England Conservatory, studying with Orlando Cole, Peter Wiley, and Paul Katz. He is on the faculty of the Manhattan School of Music Precollege and Hotchkiss Summer Portals. His website is www.nicholascanellakis.com.
Katja Stroke-Adolphe (b. 1998), currently a student at LaGuardia High School in New York, began her violin studies at the age of four with Dorothy Kaplan Roffman at the Thurnauer School of Music, and since age 10, has been a student of Shirley Givens. Since 2011, Katja spends her summers at the Kinhaven Music School in Vermont. She attended the Mannes Preparatory Division from age 10 to 14. In addition to being a violinist, Katja is an actress and singer. She attended the Bank Street Shakespeare Camp for five summers, where she appeared as Richard III in Richard III, Malvolio in Twelfth Night, Bottom in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Lord and Lady Capulet (combined) in Romeo and Juliet, and First Witch in Macbeth. Katja has been studying modern dance and choreography with Ellen Robbins since 2007. Katja has studied acting with Peter Friedman and is currently enrolled in the Young Actors at Strasberg program at the Lee Strasberg Institute in New York. She has been improvising on the violin with her father, Bruce Adolphe, since she was very small.
Hailed by Yo-Yo Ma as the “ideal musician of the 21st Century”, Mike Block is a pioneering multi-style cellist, composer, and educator living in New York City. While still studying at the Juilliard School, Mike joined Yo-Yo Ma’s Silk Road Ensemble, and shortly thereafter also joined Mark O’Connor’s Appalachia Waltz Trio, which he played in for over three years. Mike has also toured extensively with Darol Anger’s Republic of Strings and The Knights orchestra.
A dedicated teacher and clinician, Mike founded the Mike Block String Camp in Vero Beach, Florida in 2010, which empowers students to compose, arrange, and perform music by ear, with instruction in multiple non-classical styles. The camp has since expanded to a second week for Advanced students, as well as additional locations in Michigan, Maine, and NYC, where Mike directs the Brooklyn Pop String Camp. In 2012, Mike was appointed Associate Professor at the Berklee College of Music (Boston), and he has been an ongoing Guest Artist/Teacher at Southern Methodist University (Dallas) since 2009. From 2009-2012, Mike was also Lead Teaching Artist for Silk Road Connect, a program in the NYC and Boston public schools through which Mike taught and played with musicians from around the world.
His most recent album of original songs, Brick by Brick, features music he wrote and recorded while missing nine teeth, as the result of a traffic accident. In 2011, Mike released Naive Melody, an instrumental folk album with The Triborough Trio, and in 2009 and 2010, released two albums of original music with The Mike Block Band: Words R Words (songs), and After the Factory Closes (instrumental).
Praised by The Washington Post for his “warmth, energy, and exuberance,” Japanese-American violinist Nicolas Kendall has emerged as one of the most compelling musicians of his generation, increasingly recognized as an artist of uncompromising musical standards with an exhilarating combination of technique and passion.
Kendall’s dynamic performances place him in high demand as a soloist, chamber musician, and recitalist. While dedicated to the standard repertoire, Kendall’s affinity for contemporary and improvisatory music has led to numerous innovative collaborations.
Kendall’s lifetime passion for uniting diverse musical genres was the driving force in uniting with two fellow Curtis Institute of Music graduates Ranaan Meyer (bass) and Zachary De Pue (violin) to create Time for Three (tf3). Performing music from Bach and Brahms to their own arrangements of The Beatles, Katy Perry, Kanye West and Justin Timberlake, they have performed everywhere from Carnegie Hall to Jazz clubs, European festivals, NFL games and the Indy 500. Their hit YouTube anti-bullying video “Stronger”, featured on CNN and the Huffington Post, has inspired students around the globe. Their packed 2012/13 season will include the release of their second album, a return to Carnegie Hall, their first tour of Asia, and the world premiere of a new concerto by William Bolcom, in addition to their continuing residency with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra.
In addition to Time for Three, Kendall co-founded the Dryden String Quartet with his sister and fellow Curtis alum Yumi Kendall (cello), cousin Daniel Foster (viola), and Nurit Bar-Josef (violin), and the critically acclaimed East Coast Chamber Orchestra (ECCO).
As a soloist, he has graced the stages of Chicago, San Francisco, Cleveland, New York, Tokyo, and Chile. He has performed the Sibelius Violin Concerto, the Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto, John Corigliano’s Red Violin Suite, Kenji Bunch’s Fantasy, Vivaldi’s Four Seasons, and Piazzolla’s Four Seasons of Buenos Aires with esteemed ensembles including the Anchorage Symphony Orchestra, Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra, Maryland Symphony Orchestra, Hudson Valley Symphony, Metamorphosen Chamber Orchestra, Youngstown Symphony, Sinfonia Gulf Coast, Wichita Symphony, Asheville Symphony, and San Diego Symphony, among others.
Kendall, a Washington, D.C. native, began playing the violin at three years of age and hails from a musical family. His grandfather John Kendall was the first string teacher in the United States to pioneer the Suzuki method. In the spirit of this rich musical heritage, Kendall participates in numerous outreach activities nationwide.