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Praised for her “phenomenal maturity” and “fresh and spontaneous, yet emotionally profound and intellectually well-structured performance” (Jerusalem Post), American violinist Stella Chen has been bursting onto the world stage following her first prize win at the 2019 Queen Elizabeth International Violin Competition. In the last year alone, Stella was named a recipient of a prestigious 2020 Avery Fisher Career Grant and 2020 Lincoln Center Emerging Artist Award.
Highlights of her 2020-21 season include a European tour with the Malta Philharmonic Orchestra, including her concerto debut at Vienna’s Musikverein; concerto appearances in China, Armenia, and Germany; and recitals at Théâtre des Champs-Elysées in Paris, the Phillips Collection in Washington, DC, and at Germany’s Kronberg Academy.
Stella’s most recent engagements include debuts with the Belgian National Orchestra, Brussels Philharmonic and the Luxembourg Philharmonic, first appearances at the Salzburg Mozarteum, Ravinia, and Kronberg Academy Festivals, and performances throughout Europe, East Asia, and India. Originally scheduled appearances with the Chicago Symphony and the Juilliard Orchestra have been postponed because of the pandemic. Stella has appeared as a chamber musician in festivals including the Perlman Music Program, Music@Menlo, the Sarasota Festival, and YellowBarn. In 2021-22 she will join the Bowers Program at the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center starting. She is the first recipient of the Robert Levin Award from Harvard University, the top prize winner of the Tibor Varga International Violin Competition and youngest ever prize winner of the Menuhin Competition.
Pianist Albert Cano Smit is already becoming an audience favorite for his performances as soloist with orchestra and in recital. This past season, he performed the Brahms Concerto No. 2 with the Las Vegas Philharmonic conducted by Donato Cabrera, and he has also appeared with the San Diego Symphony, Montreal Symphony, Orquesta Filarmónica de Boca del Río, Barcelona Symphony and Catalonia National Orchestra, Manchester Camerata, Nottingham Youth Orchestra, and American Youth Symphony.
Mr. Cano Smit won First Prize at the 2019 Young Concert Artists International Auditions. He also won First Prize at the 2017 Walter W. Naumburg Piano Competition, which presented him in recital at Carnegie’s Weill Recital Hall. Most recently, Mr. Cano Smit was awarded the 2020 Arthur Rubinstein Piano Prize from The Juilliard School.
This season, Mr. Cano Smit will appear in the Young Concert Artists Series at New York’s Merkin Concert Hall and the Kenney Center’s Terrace Theater. Invitations this season include Orquesta Filarmónica de Boca del Río, the Barcelona Symphony and Catalonia National Orchestra, Elgin Symphony Orchestra, Onstage Ogden, the Artists Series Concerts of Sarasota, Abbey Church Events, Chamber on the Mountain, Bach Festival Montreal, Ithaca College, University of Florida Performing Arts, Queens College, and the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts. He has also performed at the Herbst Theatre in San Francisco, and for the Steinway Society The Bay Area in San Jose, New York’s Salon de Virtuosi, and Bravo! Vail, and has been in residency at the Tippet Rise Art Center. He has given recitals abroad in Xiamen, China, in France at the Wissembourg Festival and Fondation Louis Vuitton in Paris, at Germany’s Rheingau Music Festival, and throughout Spain. Mr. Cano Smit is also a sought-after collaborative pianist, and has toured with violinist William Hagen in venues throughout the U.S. and in Germany, and with flutist Anthony Trionfo he has performed across the United States.
Mr. Cano Smit is currently pursuing his Artist Diploma with Robert McDonald at The Juilliard School. Previous teachers include YCA alumnus Ory Shihor, Graham Caskie and Marta Karbownicka. He has benefited from extensive artistic advice by YCA alumni Richard Goode and Jean-Yves Thibaudet, the latter with whom he gave four-hand performances at Zipper Hall in Los Angeles and Wallis Annenberg Center Hall in Beverly Hills. Mr. Cano Smit is an alumnus of both the Colburn School and the Verbier Festival Academy.