Pianist John-Paul Pendowski has performed both in domestic as well as international settings. He has performed most often in the Chicagoland area at venues such as Chicago’s Symphony Center, DePaul University, University of Illinois at Chicago, the Chicago Waldorf School, Park District of Palatine, Harper College, College of Dupage and for WFMT’s Bach Keyboard Music Festival. He has also had the privilege of performing for venues in the United States at Auburn University, Alabama State University, University of Montevallo and other venues in Alabama and Georgia.
John-Paul is a Master’s of Music degree candidate at DePaul University under the direction of internationally renowned pianist George Vatchnadze. Before this, he has been honored to study under pianists such as Leon Fleischer, Angela Yoffe, and Brenda Huang while also receiving invaluable instruction from Cheryl Lim.
John-Paul’s passion for music extends into many fields outside of solo performance. He has a passion for collaborative piano work with special interest in exploring new composers as well as giving much-needed attention to composers outside the classical canon. Along with this, John-Paul’s performance practice is informed and supported by his love for research and meticulous study of socio-musicological history.
Russian American violinist Aviva Chertok has performed around the U.S. as well as in England, Israel, and China. An avid string quartet player, Aviva has received numerous awards, including silver medal at the St. Paul International String Quartet Competition, 1st place at the Discover National Chamber Competition, and 1st place at the 17th Annual Rembrandt Chamber Music Competition. She has been featured on Chicago’s WFMT radio station and on National Public Radio’s From the Top.
Aviva earned her Masters of Music in violin performance in 2018 from the Royal College of Music in London, where she studied with Itzhak Rashkovsky and Michal Cwizewicz. While in the U.K., Aviva
served for two seasons as assistant concertmaster of the Young Musicians Symphony Orchestra, performing in the historic St. John’s Smith Square concert hall near Westminster. Other notable performances included recitals at the Austrian Cultural Forum and the V&A Museum.
Aviva holds a Bachelor’s of Music in violin performance with Honors from the University of Michigan, where she studied with Andrew Jennings. Her past teachers include Gerardo Ribeiro and David Yonan, and she has played in masterclasses for Alina Ibragimova, Alice Schoenfeld, Ruggiero Ricci, Shmuel Ashkenasi, the Calidore Quartet, and more.
Aviva recently moved home to the Chicago area, where she teaches violin, plays in the Skokie Valley Symphony Orchestra, and performs chamber music with friends.
Violinist Lara Maria Madden has had the honor of performing throughout the United States, Europe, and Asia. She is an enthusiastic orchestral, chamber, and solo musician. Since arriving in Chicago in the Fall of 2016, Lara has served as Concertmaster with DePaul University’s Symphony Orchestra, as well as Thompson Street Opera Company. Lara has had the opportunity to study and perform music abroad, and in the summer of 2017, she attended Music Masters Course Japan, performing in Yokohama and Tokyo.
Lara has received numerous awards for violin performance, including a Jacobs School of Music Emerging Young Artist Award to attend Indiana University from Fall of 2012 to the Spring of 2016. Her most influential teachers have included Guillaume Combet, Gerardo Ribeiro, Grigory Kalinovsky, and Olga Kaler. Originally from River Forest, Illinois, Lara began studying the violin and piano at the age of three, and attended music programs throughout the Chicago area during her childhood and teen years. She is a firm believer in music fostering community wellness, and seeks to spread the joy of music with those around her.