BLUE STREAK ENSEMBLE
Madeline Lucas, flute • Amitai Vardi, clarinet • Sharon Roffman, violin
Maaike Harding, cello • Nathan von Trotha, percussion • Shuai Wang, piano
In 2011 composer Margaret Brouwer brought together a group of vibrant, young musicians to form the Blue Streak Ensemble. The musicians, graduates of the Cleveland Institute of Music, had already begun impressive professional careers throughout the world, performing at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Merkin Hall, Severance Hall, Kennedy Center and with the Cleveland Orchestra, New World Symphony, Cleveland Chamber Music Society, and many more. The ensemble was originally formed to launch a concert series along the shores of Lake Erie in Ohio, and was named by Brouwer after The Blue Streak, the oldest roller coaster at Ohio’s Cedar Point. The group achieved immediate success and Brouwer quickly expanded the concerts to include tours beyond Ohio. Brouwer is dedicated to presenting concerts with an eclectic array of the latest, most interesting, expressive, and exciting new music, featuring her own and that of other fine living composers. Some of Blue Streak Ensemble’s programs include repertoire that spans 400 years, juxtaposing the old and the new to show the value of the connection between the rich music of the past and recently written new music.
Violinist Sharon Roffman, prizewinner at the 2003 Naumburg Foundation International Competition, has collaborated with Itzhak Perlman in Vivaldi’s Concerto for Four Violins, and with members of the Guarneri, Juilliard, Brentano, Shanghai, and Miami Quartets. Her teachers include Itzhak Perlman and Donald Weilerstein.
Cellist Maaike Harding joined the New World Symphony in 2011 and has recently played under conductors such as Michael Tilson Thomas and Esa-Pekka Salonen. She studied with Richard Aaron and Desmond Hoebig.
Flutist Madeline Lucas has performed over twenty American and world premières. Her teacher was Joshua Smith.
Clarinetist Amitai Vardi performs with the Cleveland Orchestra and Chautauqua Symphony and is assistant professor of Clarinet at Kent State University.
Percussionist Nathan von Trotha has premièred works by Magnus Lindberg, Margaret Brouwer, John Cage and Keith Fitch. His teachers were Paul Yancich and Richard Weiner.
Pianist Shuai Wang has performed at the Kennedy Center, Merkin Hall, and in Boston, Buffalo, Tianjin, Chicago and San Francisco. She serves on the piano faculty at the Cleveland Institute of Music and is director of the Classical Revolution Cleveland.