Charles Castleman, perhaps the world’s most active performer/pedagogue on the violin, has been soloist with the orchestras of Philadelphia, Boston, Brisbane, Chicago, Hong Kong, Moscow, Mexico City, New York, San Francisco, Seoul and Shanghai. Medalist at Tchaikovsky and Brussels, his Jongen Concerto is included in a Cypres CD set of the 17 best prize-winning performances of the Brussels Concours’ 50-year history.
Mr. Castleman was second to record the complete Ysaye Solo Sonatas co(for Nonesuch), in a CD made at the time of his unique performance of the set at Tully Hall, Lincoln Center, New York City, His other solo CDs include eight Hubay Csardases for Violin and Orchestra, and ten Sarasate virtuoso cameos on Music and Arts, Gershwin and Antheil on MusicMasters, and contemporary violin and harpsichord music for Albany. Selected by the Ford Foundation as one of the sixteen most important Concert Artists under the age of 35, he commissioned the David Amram Concerto, premiering it with Leonard Slatkin and the St. Louis Symphony, recording it for Newport Classic. He is dedicatee of "Lares Hercii" by Pulitzer winner Christopher Rouse.
Charles Castleman has performed at such international festivals as Marlboro, AFCM (Australia), Budapest, Fuefukigawa, Montreux, Shanghai, Sheffield, and the Vienna Festwoche. His recitals have been broadcast on NPR, BBC, in Berlin and in Paris.
Professor and former String Department Chair at the Eastman School, Mr Castleman has conducted master-classes in London, Vienna, Helsinki, Kiev, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Beijing, Seoul, Tokyo, and all major cities in Australia, Canada and New Zealand. His students have been winners at Brussels, Munich, Naumburg and Szeryng, are in 30 professionally active chamber groups and are 1st desk players in 11 major orchestras. He is founder/director of THE CASTLEMAN QUARTET PROGRAM, an intensive workshop in solo and chamber performance. Yo-Yo Ma has praised it as “the best program of its kind..a training ground in lifemanship."
Charles Castleman’s long-term chamber music associations have included THE NEW STRING TRIO OF N.Y. with BASF recordings of Reger and Frank Martin and THE RAPHAEL TRIO with CDs of Dvorak, Mendelssohn, Beethoven, and Wolf-Ferrari for NONESUCH, SONY CLASSICAL, DISCOVER, UNICORN, and ASV, and with premieres by Rainer Bischof and Frederic Rzewski for the Vienna Festival and Kennedy Center.
Mr. Castleman earned degrees from Harvard, Curtis, and University of Pennsylvania. His teachers were Emanuel Ondricek (teaching assistant of Sevcik, Ysaye student) and Ivan Galamian. His most influential coaches include David Oistrakh, Szeryng, and Gingold. He plays the “Marquis de Champeaux” Stradivarius and "Sammons" Goffriller from 1708, and chooses from over 80 bows.
Claudia Hoca is a graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, where her teachers included Eleanor Sokoloff and Mieczyslaw Horszowski. She has a Master's degree from the State University of New York at Buffalo, where studied with Leo Smit. A Fulbright grant enabled her to return to her native Austria, where she pursued advanced studies under Bruno Seidlhofer. Ms. Hoca is the recipient of numerous awards, including top prizes in the Chopin Young Pianist Competition and the Washington International Bach Competition.
She has appeared with the New York Philharmonic, the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Boston Pops and the Philharmonia Virtuosi of New York. During the 1990s she played over twenty different concertos with the Buffalo Philharmonic as conducted by Semyon Bychkov, Christopher Keene, Kazuyoshi Akigama, Hermann Michael, Carlos Kalmar, and Maximiano Valdes. She has appeared in recital throughout the United States and abroad, and she is much sought after as a chamber music collaborator. He repertoire ranges far and wide, extending from Bach, Mozart, Chopin and Brahms to Stravinsky, Bernstein and Messiaen.
Her Spectrum recording of the piano music of Leo Smit was included in a list of best classical recordings of 1984 by Buffalo News critic Herman Trotter, and subsequently on Harris Goldsmith's 1985 "Christmas Shopping List" in Opus Magazine. Her critically-acclaimed recordings of Swiss composer Frank Martin's Petite Symphonie Concertante with harpsichordist Anthony Newman and the Philharmonia Virtuosi was released in 1991 on Richard Kapp's Essay label. Her live performance at SUNY Purchase of Poulenc's Aubade with the Philharmonia Virtuosi has recently been release on Essay. The CD, titled French Dressing, is available at www.essaycd.com .