Kenji Bunch — viola:
Kenji Bunch has received acclaim from audiences, performers, and critics alike for his work combining vernacular influences with classical techniques into a unique personal vocabulary of New American music. Kenji’s works have been performed by over fifty American orchestras and in premiere venues on six continents. Recordings of his music are regularly broadcast on radio worldwide and are available on over a dozen recording labels.
Kenji maintains an active performing career, and is recognized for his own groundbreaking works for viola. Deeply committed to exploring connections with musicians from other backgrounds as well as with artists in other disciplines, Kenji has collaborated with choreographers, film directors, actors, visual artists, poets, scientists, and prominent rock, jazz, folk, and alternative/experimental musicians.
A graduate of the Juilliard School and a 20-year veteran of the New York City musical world, Kenji was a founding member of such influential groups as The Flux Quartet, Nurse Kaya, and Ne(x)tworks. He returned in 2013 to his native Portland, Oregon, where he lives with his wife, concert pianist Monica Ohuchi, their two children, and their dog Coffee. Currently, he serves as Artistic Director of FearNoMusic, a non-profit new music advocacy group and performing ensemble. Also a dedicated teacher, Kenji taught viola, chamber music, and composition at the Juilliard School Pre-College for twelve years, and now teaches at Reed College, Portland State University, and for the Portland Youth Philharmonic.
Sasha Callahan – violin:
Violinist Sasha Callahan has established a vibrant and diverse career as recitalist, chamber and orchestral musician. She has performed extensively throughout North America, Europe, Australia and Japan and is a founding member of Sheffield Chamber Players and the Willamette Valley Chamber Music Festival. Recent highlights include a sold out run as the violinist for the American Repertory Theater’s revival of Porgy and Bess, a performance as soloist on Brahms Double Concerto, and a solo Bach performance at the National Cathedral (D.C.). As an active chamber musician, Sasha can often be heard playing duos with her husband, cellist Leo Eguchi, as well as performances with groups such as the Aurea Ensemble, Walden Chamber Players, the Corigliano Quartet, the Lunaire Quartet, Trio Veritas, and ALEA III, and frequent chamber performances at the New Hampshire Music Festival (even on the occasional mountain top). Sasha is committed to sharing new music with audiences, and has worked closely with many composers such as Joan Tower, Nathaniel Stookey, Gabriela Lena Frank, Andrew Waggoner, Andrew List, Lukas Foss, and Gunther Schuller.
Sasha can be heard as a member of the Portland (Maine) Symphony, Rhode Island Philharmonic, and New Hampshire Music Festival, as well as with the Boston Pops, Boston Modern Orchestra Project, Boston Landmarks Orchestra, Boston Lyric Opera, Odyssey Opera, Emmanuel Music and the Boston Ballet Orchestra. Upcoming concerts include several exciting solo appearances, including a concerto performance with the Portland (Maine) Symphony.
A native of Portland, Oregon, Sasha attended Wilson High School and went on to receive her Bachelor of Music degree in violin performance from Rice University and Master of Music from Boston University. Principal teachers include Lucia Lin, Sergiu Luca, Denes Zsigmondy, and Carol Sindell. She currently resides in Boston with her husband Leo Eguchi, daughter Freya and two rather sedentary cats named Max and Katya.
Marilyn de Oliveira - cello:
Brazilian cellist Marilyn de Oliveira is the Assistant Principal Cellist of the Oregon Symphony, a position she has held since 2009. Since moving to Portland, Mrs. De Oliveira has became a founding member of the PDX-based string quartet Mousai Remix, initiated the Oregon Symphony Player’s Caroling Project—now in it’s 5th season, joined the faculty of Portland Summer Ensembles as well as Portland Youth Philharmonic Orchestras and is the cellist for Pyxis String Quartet.
Prior to joining the Oregon Symphony, Marilyn was a member of the San Antonio Symphony for three seasons, during which she was both a member of the section and acting assistant principal. In February of 2006 she was the Bronze Award Winner in the Senior Division of the 9th Annual Sphinx
Competition, an organization in which she is still actively involved as both guest artist and coach.
Before moving to San Antonio, Marilyn was a fellow of the New World Symphony in Miami, FL. While in Miami, she served as principal cellist during tours to Teatro Santa Cecilia in Rome and to Carnegie Hall, all under the direction of Michael Tilson Thomas.
After moving to the United States to pursue her musical career, Marilyn received her Bachelor of Music degree from Indiana University under cellist Emilio Colon and her Master of Music degree at Rice University with Norman Fischer. While in school, Marilyn attended several prestigious American music festivals such as Tanglewood Music Center (where she received the Karl Zeise Memorial Cello Prize), Spoleto Festival USA, Kent/Blossom Music Center, the Youth Orchestra of the Americas as well as European Music Festivals. Some of her live solo performances can be heard regularly on National Public Radio’s Performance Today. Marilyn is married to fellow Oregon Symphony cellist Trevor Fitzpatrick.
Leo Eguchi – cello:
Leo Eguchi has been described as “copiously skilled and confident” (New York Times) with performances that were "ravishing" (New Bedford Standard-Times) and "played with passion and vitality" (Boston Music Intellegencer).
A native of Michigan, Leo has performed extensively across North America, Europe, Australia and Asia. He enjoys an active and multi-faceted performance schedule – Leo can be heard in myriad chamber music settings, including the Willamette Valley Chamber Music Festival and Sheffield Chamber Players; in larger ensembles as principal cellist of the New Bedford Symphony, a member of the Pro Arte Chamber Orchestra, the New Hampshire Music Festival and the Portland Symphony; and in frequent appearances with the Boston Pops and Boston Ballet.
A strong advocate of new music, Leo has premiered dozens of pieces by, and worked closely with, many notable composers including William Bolcom, Bright Sheng, George Crumb, Lukas Foss, Joan Tower, Ken Ueno, Yehudi Wyner, Marti Epstein, Nathaniel Stookey, Gabriela Lena Frank, Evan Ziporyn, Ketty Nez, Michael Daugherty, and Kati Agocs.
Recent performing highlights include several Grammy nominated recording releases from Parma recordings, concerto appearances, an artist residency and solo performances in Kabul, Afghanistan, and opportunities to share the non-classical stage with the likes of Pete Townshend, Queen Latifah, Melissa Etheridge, Demi Lovato, Brian Wilson, Kelly Clarkson, C-3P0, Peter Gabriel, Billy Idol, Jennifer Hudson, Nick Jonas, Josh Groban, and Audra McDonald, to name a few.
Degrees include BM (Cello Performance) and BS (Physics) cum laude from the University of Michigan, and MM (cello performance) from Boston University, where he received the String Department Award for Excellence. Leo, along with violinist wife Sasha Callahan and cat-obsessed daughter Freya, live in Boston and spend their non-musical time free time appreciating the outdoors, food and wine. Leo has tasted enough obscure wine grapes to earn a Doppel membership in The Wine Century Club.
Greg Ewer - violin:
Greg Ewer, hailed by the New York Times for his ‘refinement and spirit,’ has been a member of the Oregon Symphony since 2001. Ewer is also well known to Portland audiences for his regular appearances with the Portland Baroque Orchestra, Third Angle New Music Ensemble and Pink Martini. He is the founder and artistic director of 45th Parallel, a highly acclaimed chamber music series founded in 2009 featuring musicians of the Pacific Northwest.
Ewer has appeared recently as a guest recitalist at Yale University and at the National Library in Mexico City. He has performed at numerous summer festivals including the Tanglewood Music Center, San Luis Obispo Mozart Festival, Grand Teton Music Festival, Moab Music Festival and the Montana Baroque Festival.
His recent recording of the Complete Sonatas for Two Violins of Jean-Marie Leclair with longtime collaborator Adam LaMotte, was described as a ‘landmark recording’ and hailed for its ‘zest and athleticism’ by The Strad Magazine. Ewer is on the music faculty of Reed College in Portland.
Amelia Lukas - flute:
Known for her especially pure tone, flexible technique, and passionate, committed performances, flutist Amelia Lukas enjoys a wide range of solo, chamber and orchestral playing. A resident of Portland, Oregon, Amelia’s recent performances include those with Chamber Music Northwest, the Eugene Symphony, Portland Piano International, March Music Moderne, Northwest Art Song, Friends of Chamber Music, Astoria Music Festival, Music in the Woods, Oregon Music Festival and 45th Parallel. During her time living in New York City, Amelia was a member of the American Modern Ensemble, Ear Heart Music Ensemble, Trio Kavak, the Nouveau Classical Project, Ensemble Sospeso, Arkora, Opera Cabal, and the NeoLIT ensemble, and performed frequently with Counter(induction, the American Composers Alliance, and Columbia Composers. Past projects include flute fellowships at the Norfolk Chamber Music Festival and Orford Sound Art Festival in addition to performances at Carnegie Hall (Main Stage, Zankel Hall, and Weill Recital Hall), Lincoln Center, The Stone, Bargemusic, (Le) Poisson Rouge, Subculture, Roulette, and New Music New York Festival. Lauded for her "fine balance of virtuosity and poetry” and “considerable technique” (The New York Times), Amelia is a member of Fear No Music and has worked with many notable living composers including Joan Tower, Kaija Saariaho, Mario Davidovsky, David Lang, Aaron Jay Kernis, Tania Leon, Thomas Svoboda, Robert Patterson, Gabriela Lena Frank, Kenji Bunch, Lewis Nielson, Mikael Karlsson, Angelica Negron, David Schiff, and Texu Kim. She holds degrees from the Manhattan School of Music and the Royal Academy of Music in London where she received three prizes for musical excellence. Her greatest mentors include John Heiss, Trevor Wye, Kate Hill, William Bennett, Patricia Morris, and Tara Helen O’Connor.
As the Principal and Founder of Aligned Artistry, Amelia offers sophisticated PR consulting services to the Portland arts community. An entrepreneur and new music pioneer, Amelia founded and directed the “impressive (and)… feisty contemporary-classical concert series” (The New York Times) Ear Heart Music, which "arrived as a major cultural resource in the city." (New York Arts) Based at Roulette in Brooklyn, this multimedia showcase of highly talented and adventurous performers, composers, and collaborative artists, included 85 unique concerts with over 60 premieres during its six seasons. Her speaking engagements include both the Chamber Music America and Dance USA conferences, as well as Philip Glass' MATA Festival. She has held positions as Director of Community Engagement for All Classical Portland and as Promotions Manager at G. Schirmer, and served on the Board of Directors for The Walden School, Opera Cabal, and on the advisory board for High Concept Laboratories.
Learn more at amelialukas.com.
Charles Noble – viola:
Charles Noble has been assistant principal viola of the Oregon Symphony since 1995. He holds degrees from the University of Puget Sound, the University of Maryland, and the Peabody Institute at Johns Hopkins University, where his primary teachers were Joyce Ramée, Joseph de Pasquale, Michael Tree, and Roberto Díaz.
During the summer months Charles serves as principal viola of the Sunriver Music Festival. He has also played with the Oregon Bach Festival orchestra since 1996, and was a participant in the 2015 Bang on a Can Marathon in New York City. Past festival appearances have included the Methow Valley Chamber Music Festival, Cascade Festival of Music, the Mt. Angel Abby Bach Festival, and the Ernest Bloch Music Festival. In 2002, 2004, and 2006, Charles was a featured performer at the International Viola Society’s annual Congress.
In addition to his orchestral work, Charles is an active chamber musician. He is a founding member of both the Arnica String Quartet and the Pyxis String Quartet, which is part of the newly-created 45th Parallel Universe musical collective.
Away from the viola Charles can be found riding his bike, reading, watching movies, enjoying craft beer and local wines, and cooking with his wife Stephanie and their two cats.
He writes a classical music blog (soon to be joined by a podcast) at www.nobleviola.com and tweets @nobleviola.
He plays on a 1997 viola by Gabrielle Kundert and a 2018 bow by Darrell Hanks.
Megumi Stohs Lewis — violin:
Raised in Portland, Oregon, Megumi Stohs Lewis started playing the violin at age three, but grew up with a dream of studying agricultural science. The summer she turned sixteen, she attended the Olympic Music Festival, held on a beautiful farm in Washington State, and realized that music and the countryside were a perfect combination. Since then, Megumi has soloed with orchestras throughout the US and Japan, and has toured with ensembles throughout Australia, New Zealand, and Europe. Now residing in Boston, she is a co-founder of A Far Cry Chamber Orchestra; has been a guest with Yo-Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble, the Radius Ensemble, the South Coast Chamber Players and the North Country Chamber Players. Starting in 2008, Megumi picked up the baroque violin and quickly fell for the gut strings and a variety of period bows. This love has led to performances with Boston Baroque, and the formation of Antico Moderno, a new ensemble actively commissioning contemporary works for period instruments. She also loves to fiddle and play rock and has regularly toured with Britain’s Jethro Tull. Megumi’s primary influences include her teachers Lucy Chapman at the New England Conservatory and Camilla Wicks and Ian Swensen at the San Francisco Conservatory. Especially in chamber music and period performance, Roger Tapping, Phoebe Carrai, Manfredo Kraemer, and Mark Sokol have been significant mentors. Her early studies were guided by Edie Bennett, Bette Boyer, and Kathryn Gray. Megumi is currently satisfying her longing for agriculture through heirloom vegetable gardening.