A founding member of the American String Quartet, Laurie Carney holds the distinction of performing quartets longer than any other woman in this elite field. The ASQ began concertizing while she was still an undergraduate at Juilliard. Apart from the Quartet, she has performed trios with her husband, cellist William Grubb, and pianist Anton Nel; duos with violist Michael Tree; and as an ensemble partner to such artists as Isaac Stern, Pinchas Zukerman, Salvatore Accardo, Cho-Liang Lin, Joshua Bell, Yefim Bronfman, Misha Dichter, Ralph Kirshbaum, Alain Meunier, and Frederica von Stade. Carney's concerto appearances include performing Mozart's Sinfonia Concertante with the Bournemouth Symphony, Basque National Orchestra, and the Welsh National Orchestra. She gave the premiere of Gianpaolo Bracali’s Fantasia for violin and piano. Most recently, Robert Sirota composed his Violin Sonata No. 2 for her, and in addition to performing the premiere last spring, she will record the work later this season. A faculty artist at the Aspen Music Festival and School since 1974 and the Manhattan School of Music since 1984, Carney has held teaching positions at the Mannes College of Music, Peabody Conservatory of Johns Hopkins University, University of Nebraska, University of Michigan, Shepherd School at Rice University, and the Taos School of Music. Her dedication to the development of young players brings frequent invitations to offer master classes, most recently in California, Colorado, Illinois, Michigan, and New Mexico. Carney is a member of a prodigious musical family: her father was a trumpeter and educator, her mother a concert pianist, and all three siblings are professional violinists.
Her violin is by Carlo Tononi (Venice, 1720).
Guillermo Figueroa is Artistic Director of Guillermo Figueroa is Artistic Director of The Figueroa Music and Arts Project, an innovative organization that combines music with other art forms. He is the new Music Director and Conductor of the Lynn Philharmonia, and is also Music Director of the Music in the Mountains Festival in Durango, Colorado. Additionally, he was the former Music Director of both the New Mexico Symphony and the Puerto Rico Symphony. With this last orchestra he performed to critical acclaim at Carnegie Hall in 2003, the Kennedy Center in 2004 and Spain in 2005.
His international appearances as a Guest Conductor include the Toronto Symphony, Iceland Symphony, the Baltic Philharmonic in Poland, Orquesta del Teatro Argentino in La Plata (Buenos Aires), Xalapa (Mexico), the Orquesta de Cordoba in Spain and the Orquesta Sinfonica de Chile. In the US he has appeared with the symphony orchestras of Detroit, New Jersey, Memphis, Phoenix, Colorado, Berkeley, Tucson, Santa Fe, Toledo, Fairfax, San Jose, Juilliard Orchestra and the New York City Ballet at Lincoln Center.
Mr. Figueroa has collaborated with many of the leading artists of our time, including Itzhak Perlman, YoYo Ma, Hilary Hahn, Placido Domingo, Joshua Bell, Olga Kern, Janos Starker, James Galway, Midori, Horacio Gutierrez, the Emerson and Fine Arts String Quartets, Ben Hepner, Rachel Barton Pine, Pepe and Angel Romero, Elmar Oliveira, Vadim Gluzman and Arnaldo Cohen.
A Berlioz specialist, he created the most comprehensive Berlioz Festival in the US in 2003 for the composer’s Bicentennial. Mr. Figueroa has conducted the premieres of works by important composers, such as Roberto Sierra, Ernesto Cordero and Miguel del Águila. An advocate for new music, Mr. Figueroa and the NMSO won an Award for Adventurous Programming from the League of American Orchestras in 2007.
A renowned violinist as well, his recording of Ernesto Cordero’s violin concertos for the Naxos label received a Latin Grammy nomination in 2012. Figueroa was Concertmaster of the New York City Ballet, and a Founding Member and Concertmaster of the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, making over fifty recordings for Deutsche Grammophon. Also accomplished on the viola, Figueroa performs frequently as guest of the Fine Arts, American, Amernet and Orion string quartets.
Figueroa has given the world premieres of four violin concertos written for him: in 1995 the Concertino by Mario Davidovsky, at Carnegie Hall with Orpheus; in 2007 the Double Concerto by Harold Farberman, with the American Symphony at Fisher Hall, Lincoln Center; in 2008 the Violin Concerto by Miguel del Aguila, commissioned by Figueroa and the NMSO and in 2009 Insula, Suite Concertante, by Ernesto Cordero with the Solisti di Zagreb in Zagreb.
He is a regular performer at the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, Music in the Vineyards in California, and Music from Angel Fire. Figueroa has recorded the Three Violin Sonatas by Bartok for the Eroica Classical label, with pianist Robert Koenig, and an album of virtuoso violin music by for the NMSO label, with pianist Ivonne Figueroa.
Mr. Figueroa studied with his father and uncle at the Conservatory of Music of Puerto Rico. At the Juilliard School his teachers were Oscar Shumsky and Felix Galimir. His conducting studies were with Harold Farberman in New York.
BM, University of Kansas; MM, Performer’s Certificate, Indiana University. Studied with Raymond Stuhl and Janos Starker. Recording for Vox. Master classes, solo and chamber music performances throughout the United States. Artist faculty, Aspen Music Festival (1974- ). Recipient, 2004 Eva Janzer Memorial Award at Indiana University for universal contributions to the art and teaching of cello playing. Performed with the Cleveland Quartet, the Eastman Quartet and Rochester Chamber Soloists. Principal cellist, Rochester Chamber Orchestra (1966-72) and Eastman Chamber Orchestra (1965-68). Assistant principal cellist, Rochester Philharmonic (1965-69). Faculty member, Inter-American University, Puerto Rico (1959-61), Ohio Wesleyan University (1961-65), Aspen Music Festival (1974-), Cleveland Institute of Music (1976-84, 1987-99), Northwestern (1984-87), Eastman (1965-76, 1986-87, 1994-98, 99-).