RCMFS is pleased to introduce our Russian Chamber Music Piano Quartet in residence:
- Natalya Ageyeva – piano
- Brittany Boulding – violin
- Mara Gearman – viola
- Kevin Krentz – cello
Natalya Ageyeva has dazzled audiences throughout the United States and internationally, including Italy, Austria, and Israel, as well as on tour in her native Russia. Her performances have also been broadcast several times locally on KING-FM in Seattle and televised in Moscow and Chicago. She has appeared at a broad range of venues, including the Governor’s Mansion in Olympia, Carnegie Hall in New York, Benaroya Hall in Seattle, and the Rachmaninoff Hall in Moscow. Her pianism prompted one reviewer to write “Immediately apparent was a tremendous technique at the command of a sharp musical intelligence and fingers of steel.”
Her artistry has earned her awards and recognition around the world, including the Young Artist Competition in Moscow, Rotary Club Scholarship in Chicago, Brechemin Scholarship at the University of Washington, Solo Competition Award from the Ladies Musical Club of Seattle, the Green Lake Music Festival Competition in Wisconsin, Bradshaw & Buono International Piano Competition in New-York, and the Zinetti International Chamber Music Competition in Italy. An artist of great versatility, Ageyeva has performed as a recitalist, chamber musician, and soloist with orchestras internationally. She has also been an active participant in many music festivals, including the Seattle Chamber Music Society’s Summer Festival, Methow Valley Music Festival in Winthrop (WA), Mostly Nordic Chamber Music Series in Seattle, Second City Chamber Series in Tacoma (WA), First Sunday at the Commons Series in Bainbridge Island (WA), Seattle Symphony Chamber Music Series in Seattle (WA), Olympic Music Festival (WA), and Green Lake Music Festival (WI).
Ageyeva began formal piano lessons at the age of thirteen when she was accepted by the prestigious Special Music School for Talented Children in Moscow, and graduated with honors in the Masters Program from the world-renowned Tchaikovsky Conservatory in Moscow, where she studied with Valeriy Kastelsky. While at the Moscow Conservatory, Ageyeva was offered extensive solo and orchestra appearances throughout the former Soviet Union. She completed her doctoral degree at the University of Washington with distinguished pianists Bela Siki and Robin McCabe. She has also worked with well-known pianists John O’Conner, Victor Merjanov, and Helene Grimaud, and collaborated with conductors Vladimir Vais, Alexander Rudin, Peter Erös, and Michael Miropolsky.
Ageyeva previously taught at Moscow Conservatory and University of Washington, and has adjudicated piano competitions in Chicago, Seattle, and Vancouver BC.
Ageyeva is the Founder and Artistic Director of the Russian Chamber Music Foundation of Seattle. It is starting its sixth successful year of bringing high-level chamber music to the Seattle area.
In addition to growing the Foundation, she is currently focusing on her solo career and chamber music performances. Ageyeva is a member of recently formed “Thirty Fingers” group with pianists Deborah Dewey and Lisa Bergman.
For more information, please visit www.natalyapiano.com
Violinist Brittany Boulding performs as soloist and Concertmaster all over the country. Her most recent positions include Concertmaster of the Auburn Symphony Orchestra, Northwest Sinfonietta and Associate Concertmaster of the Pacific Northwest Ballet. She has also appeared as guest Concertmaster with the Seattle Symphony, Pacific Northwest Ballet, and Bellevue Philharmonic. As an active soloist, Ms. Boulding can been seen performing in front of orchestras from New Haven down to South Carolina, across the Midwest and throughout the Pacific Northwest. In the upcoming season, solo appearances will include Carmen Fantasy with Auburn Symphony and Cascade Symphony as well as Ravel’s Tzigane, among many others.
An avid chamber musician, Mrs. Boulding is a member of the Finisterra Trio and has been featured in the Simple Measures, Second City, Methow Valley, Auburn and Guemes Island Chamber Music series. During the summer season Brittany performs with the Bellingham Festival of Music and in the past has appeared as Concertmaster and Soloist with the Tanglewood Music Center, Banff Center and Spoleto USA orchestras.
Ms. Boulding received her BM from Rice University as a student of Kenneth Goldsmith and her Professional Studies Certificate from the Colburn Conservatory under the tutelage of Robert Lipsett. Brittany’s violin career also extends past her experience as a classical musician. Since the age of 6 she has been performing with her family the internationally acclaimed MAGICAL STRINGS touring throughout the U.S., Canada, Japan and Ireland. She has recorded on five of their sixteen albums and been a featured soloist at their annual Celtic Yuletide Concerts, a celebrated Northwest tradition.
While still early in her career, violist Mara Gearman is already an accomplished player with extensive experience in both orchestral and chamber music settings. She regularly performs with the chamber groups American String Project and Seattle Chamber Players, and has collaborated with such prestigious performers as Ani Kavafian, Peter Wiley, Vladimir Feltsman, and Dale Clevenger, the legendary principal horn of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. She is also a founding member of the Barston String Quartet as well as Trio Tara with pianist Oksana Ezhokina and Laurie DeLuca, clarinet.
Gearman has held or been awarded a number of orchestral appointments, including principal viola (at age twenty) under maestro Rossen Milanov, and principal viola at the Kansas City Symphony and at the Oregon Symphony under music director James DePriest. Currently she is the second desk violist for the Seattle Symphony Orchestra under maestro Gerard Schwarz.
As a solo performer Gearman has won solo awards at the Primrose and Tertis International Viola Competitions, performing viola solos ranging from American composers Alan Shulman and Derek Bermel to Hungarian composer Miklos Rozca.
A graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music, her primary teachers included Roberto Diaz, Pinchas Zukerman, and Karen Tuttle, as well as additional study in Canada, Germany, Holland, and Switzerland with Nobuko Imai, Barbara Westphal, and Gerard Causse.
Cellist Kevin Krentz is an award-winning performer in a wide variety of styles of music including classical, crossover, many popular styles, and amplified on his electric cello.
A native of Atlanta, Georgia, he began his musical life as a cellist at 12, but soon dropped the cello to sing for the rest of his youth. Picking up the cello in college, he has gone on to perform solo, chamber and contemporary music with various groups, bands, and orchestral ensembles across North America and Europe.
A devoted chamber musician, Kevin is Artistic Director of the Methow Valley Chamber Music Festival in Washington state. He has been a winner in the Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition with his trio In Flight 3 and winner in the Zinetti International Chamber Music Competition in Verona, Italy and the Greenlake National Chamber Music Competition with Finisterra Trio. He has played at the Ann Arbor, Seattle, San Juan and Seasons Fall Festivals as well as the Icebreaker IV Festival at On the Boards with the Seattle Chamber Players.
With Finisterra Trio, Kevin is devoted to performing contemporary works as well as the standard repertoire. The trio has commissioned new works by Daron Hagen, Gilda Lyons, Roger Zahab, Beth Wieman, David Rakovski, Daniel Gilliam and others including the chamber opera, “Cradle Song” and Trios 3 and 4 by Daron Hagen which were subsequently recorded for the Naxos label along with Hagen’s Trios 1 and 2. Finisterra Trio are Artists In Residence at the Phoenix Series in New York as well the Seasons Fall Festival in Yakima, Washington where Kevin is also Director of Chamber Music Studies. Finisterra has also collaborated with jazz artists like Chris Brubeck and the Bill Mays Trio including free improvisation with famed jazz drummer Matt Wilson in a performance that was later broadcast nationally on many NPR affiliates. Finisterra Trio has also collaborated with the Florestan Trio in London where they were presented in several concerts.
His teachers have included Florian Kitt and Jontscho Bayrov in Vienna, and Gary Hardie, Owen Carman, and Toby Saks in the US. Masterclass performances include Janos Starker, Matt Haimovitz, Paul Katz, and Tsuyoshi Tsutsumi. Chamber music studies include the Florestan Trio, Elsa Verdehr, Stephen Shipps, Ron Patterson and Ralph Votapek; masterclasses with Josef Gingold, the Cleveland, Vermeer, and Lark Quartets and the Eroica Trio. Kevin is also inventor of the only technology to actually play the strings of violin family instruments for weeks at a time in order to ‘play them in,’ or bring them to their potential far faster than the normal period of many years. www.Violinplay-in.com
Kevin plays cellos by Robert Brewer Young on models originated by Stradivari and Testore. His bows were made by Robert Morrow and Robert Shallock.