Mike Grittani is a photographer and filmmaker based in Chicago and San Francisco. Having a background in cello performance, Mike’s aim is to bring classical music into a modern light and to represent its artists in a fresh way through his work. Aside from his music-based projects, he enjoys exploring architectural and landscape photography. He is also on a mission to brew the perfect cup of pour-over coffee.
Cellist Alexander Hersh performs internationally as a soloist and chamber musician. He performs regularly at festivals worldwide and serves as co-Artistic Director of NEXUS Chamber Music, a collective of international artists committed to stimulating interest in chamber music.
Raised in Chicago, Hersh began playing the cello at the age of 5. He attended Jones College Prep before going on to receive his B.M. and M.M. from New England Conservatory where he graduated with academic honors. Hersh was a recipient of the Frank Huntington Beebe fund for studies in Berlin during the 2017-2018 academic year, where he studied with Nicolas Altstaedt at the Hanns Eisler Hochschule for Musik Berlin. His previous teachers include Laurence Lesser, Hans Jørgen Jensen, Kim Kashkashian, and Paul Katz. Read more »
Violinist Stefan Hersh enjoys a varied career, equally at home as a chamber musician, soloist, orchestral musician and pedagogue. He currently serves as Artistic Director for Guarneri Hall NFP, a non-profit classical music incubator in Chicago, IL. Since 2003 Hersh has been on the faculty at the Chicago College of the Performing Arts at Roosevelt University. Hersh is also an expert appraiser in rare violins and bows, and a partner with Darnton & Hersh Fine Violins in Chicago.
With a growing reputation for passionate and powerful performances, Korean-American violinist Brian Hong is forging a career as a soloist and chamber musician. Known for his commanding stage presence, palette of sonic colors, and honest interpretations, Mr. Hong has performed with such orchestras as the Springfield Symphony and the Juilliard Orchestra. A dedicated chamber musician, Mr. Hong’s festival credits include Marlboro, Yellow Barn, the Taos School of Music, Kneisel Hall, and the Perlman Music Program, as well as NEXUS Chamber Music Chicago, of which he is co-Artistic Director.
Mr. Hong is a graduate of The Juilliard School’s Artist Diploma program under the guidance of Laurie Smukler and Catherine Cho. Mr. Hong also served as a Fellow with Carnegie Hall’s Ensemble Connect from 2018-2020, performing in a variety of venues in NYC and abroad as well as maintaining a two-year teaching partnership with Celia Cruz High School of Music in the Bronx. When he is not teaching or performing, Mr. Hong can often be found in a specialty coffee shop or brewing his own single origin coffee beans at home in Fairfax Station, VA. Read more »
Four-time Grammy award-winning sound engineer Chris Willis has been part of the Guarneri Hall team since its creation. Chris has recorded professionally for most of Chicago’s classical music institutions, including the Chicago Symphony, Lyric Opera, WFMT radio, Music of the Baroque, Elgin Symphony, Grant Park Symphony, and others. He spends his summers mixing the PA at Millennium Park for various classical music presentations.
In 2017, Chris created his own recording label, Bérto records, to feature the work of some of Chicago’s best known classical artists. Read more »