The Astralis Chamber Ensemble is an innovative and dynamic ensemble performing with much acclaim across the globe. Through creative programming and presentations on the works performed in a small ensemble setting, ACE aims to make classical music more accessible and for audiences to make a lasting connection to the music and performers. ACE includes an assortment of musicians to cover a broad range of repertoire and ensemble combinations to fit each type of performance. These musicians have performed together for many years and some for over a decade on major concert series and at notable universities. Another focus of the ensemble is to support the development of art through new compositions and bring recognition to the composers that surround us today.
Kris Marshall is principal trumpet with the Southwest Florida Symphony Orchestra and has built an active career performing with multiple orchestras across the state of Florida, including the Jacksonville Symphony, Charlotte Symphony, Venice Symphony, Naples Philharmonic, and regular performances with The Florida Orchestra. Marshall has been a featured soloist with the Southwest Florida Symphony Orchestra on many occasions and received invitations to perform with the 5th Avenue Chamber Orchestra on J.S. Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto No. 2 and Shostakovich’s Concerto for piano, trumpet, and strings. As a founding member of the Astralis Chamber Ensemble, he presents several chamber recital tours each year and participates in commission projects to increase the chamber repertoire for trumpet. At the age of fifteen, he won first prize in the Florida Orchestra Young Artist Competition and was later selected to attend the Chautauqua Institution Summer Music Festival where he studied with Chuck Berginc, principal trumpet with the Phoenix Symphony Orchestra. Other significant instructors include Robert Smith, principal trumpet with The Florida Orchestra, and Ed Cord, former principal trumpet with the Israel Philharmonic and Utah Symphony. Marshall pursued degrees in trumpet performance at Florida State University, Indiana University, and the University of South Florida.
Cellist Troy Chang, a native of Concord, Massachusetts, is in demand in a wide array of musical settings, including symphonic, operatic, chamber, and solo music. He joined the Sarasota Opera Orchestra in 2013, followed by the Sarasota Orchestra, and was selected as principal cello of the Southwest Florida Symphony in 2015. In the past, he has served on faculty at the Luzerne Music Center in Lake Luzerne, New York where he curated the Faculty Chamber Music Series. He currently spends his summers with the Artosphere Festival Orchestra in Fayetteville, Arkansas and serves as principal cello with the Charlottesville Opera Orchestra in Charlottesville, Virginia. On faculty at Florida Southern College, he resides in Tampa and performs regularly with The Florida Orchestra. He holds a Master of Music in Cello Performance from the Manhattan School of Music and a Bachelor of Arts from Brown University. His principal teachers include Fred Sherry, David Geber, Carol Ou, and Joan Esch.
Trace Johnson is an adventurous young American cellist whose passionate intellect and effortless musicality inspire all of his endeavors. Originally from Madison, Wisconsin, Trace now resides and works extensively throughout Florida as a performing cellist and teacher. Trace holds positions with the Sarasota Orchestra, Sarasota Opera, Southwest Florida Symphony, and Orlando Philharmonic and has served as guest principal cellist at the Nu Deco Ensemble, Southwest Florida Symphony, and South Florida Symphony. As a soloist, he has performed in Belgium, Holland, Germany, China, Canada, and the United States. Trace won first prize in the 2015 Lyric Chamber Society of New York's Chamber Competition, first prize at the 2017 John Oliveira String Competition, and was selected to perform the Brahms Double Concerto with the Lynn Philharmonia after winning their annual concerto competition. Trace regularly performs with the nationally acclaimed chamber music festival, Bach Dancing and Dynamite Society in Madison, Wisconsin. He received his Bachelor of Music degree in cello performance from the Cleveland Institute of Music and his Master of Music degree from Lynn Conservatory. His principal instructors have been David Cole, Dr. Melissa Kraut, Joseph Johnson, and Dr. Tanya Carey.
A native of Portland, Oregon, Alexis Colner began her classical harp studies at the age of five while living abroad in the Netherlands. Over the course of her 20 plus years of private study, Alexis has worked with such distinguished teachers as Valerie Muzzolini, Principal Harpist of the Seattle Symphony; Marie-Pierre Langlamet, Principal Harpist of the Berlin Philharmonic; and Nancy Allen, Principal Harpist of the New York Philharmonic. As an orchestral musician, she has a recurring position as a substitute player with the New World Symphony, The Orchestra NOW, and The New York Philharmonic where she has had the pleasure of playing under the batons of world-renowned conductors such as Alan Gilbert, Peter Oundjian, Michael Tilson Thomas, and Jaap van Sweden. Alexis has spent summers at the Music Academy of the West, Aspen Music Festival and School where she was the recipient of the Harp Fellowship, Spoleto USA Festival, and touring with the Orchestra of the Americas. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the USC Thornton School of Music where she graduated suma cum laude and a Master of Music degree from The Juilliard School.
Taiwanese pianist Hsin-I Huang captivates his audiences with his virtuoso performances, in which he exhibits masterful playing and profound musical sensitivity. His impressive range has attracted much praise, and his illustrious career has earned him many awards. Mr. Huang has performed throughout Asia, Europe, and the United States and continues to hold recitals around the world. Mr. Huang gave his debut in the United States at the age of sixteen at the world-renowned Carnegie Hall. He has won numerous competitions, including the first prizes of the International Music Competition Paris Grand Prize Virtuoso 2015, the Bradshaw & Buono International Piano Competition, and the Daniel Piano Competition for Young Artists. Mr. Huang has performed with such distinguished orchestras as the Evergreen Symphony Orchestra, the National Taiwan Symphony Orchestra, the Raleigh Symphony Orchestra, and Spectrum Symphony New York. He has also had the honor of performing with venerable musicians such as Zuill Bailey, Joshua Bell, Alexander Kobrin, Phil Setzer, and Ransom Wilson. Mr. Huang is now an adjunct professor at Queens College and has been invited to conduct masterclasses in both the US and Taiwan. His solo albums are available on iTunes and in 14,000 stores worldwide.
A dynamic and versatile pianist, Dean Zhang appears internationally in critically acclaimed performances. Dr. Zhang has been praised by The Miami Herald as “a powerful keyboard player” with a “smooth, fluid touch at the keyboard, bringing maximum expressiveness.” A laureate of numerous competitions, he has been featured as a soloist with the National Repertory Orchestra, New World Symphony, Shanghai University Symphony, Southwest Florida Symphony, and University of Wyoming Symphony. Dr. Zhang currently serves as principal keyboardist for the Canton Symphony, Southwest Florida Symphony, and Tucson Symphony. His previous orchestral positions include principal keyboardist for the Omaha Symphony, piano fellow with the New World Symphony in Miami Beach, Florida, and two summers as principal keyboardist of the National Repertory Orchestra in Breckenridge, Colorado. Under the tutelage of Paul Schenly and Kathryn Brown, Dr. Zhang earned the Doctor of Musical Arts degree in piano performance from the Cleveland Institute of Music. He also studied extensively with Joela Jones, principal keyboardist of The Cleveland Orchestra. He received his Bachelor and Master of Music degrees as a student of Dr. Theresa Bogard at the University of Wyoming.
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