CLAUDIA CHUDACOFF

Claudia Chudacoff, principal musician, violinist, is concertmaster of the National Gallery Orchestra and the Alexandria Symphony, and recently retired as concertmaster of the U.S. Marine Band’s White House Chamber Orchestra. She is currently enjoying a temporary full-time contract with the National Symphony Orchestra. An active chamber musician, she performs regularly as a member of the Sunrise Quartet, appearing both locally and internationally. Claudia is the Director of the College Park Youth Orchestra’s Chamber Ensemble, and coach of the MCYO string quartet, which for the past two years successfully competed in international competitions. She was a teaching assistant to Sylvia Rosenberg while at the Eastman School of Music, where she earned both her Bachelor and Master of Music degrees. Claudia’s primary teachers were Michael Avsharian in Ann Arbor and Sylvia Rosenberg and Zvi Zeitlin at Eastman. This is her sixth season with Chamber Dance Project. Claudia is sponsored by Charlotte A. Cameron and Jerome Andersen.

Photo by Eduardo Patino.NYC


DEREK SMITH

Derek Smith, violist, performs regularly with the National Philharmonic Orchestra and the Washington National Opera Orchestra at Kennedy Center and is Associate Principal of the Annapolis Symphony Philharmonic. He also performs with Harrisburg Symphony Orchestra, Alexandria Symphony Orchestra, the Amadeus Orchestra, Eclipse Chamber Orchestra, and the Chesapeake Bay Orchestra. An active chamber musician, Derek is a member of the Teiber Trio and founding member of New Orchestra of Washington. He has played and worked with some of the best chamber musicians including the late Isidore Cohen, Pinchas Zukerman, the Guarneri String Quartet, and the American String Quartet. This will be Derek’s sixth season with Chamber Dance Project. He is sponsored by Liubov and David Keeton. (Photo: Eduardo Patino.NYC)

A native of Wisconsin, Derek began his musical studies at the age of 3 with early training from Dr. Rolan and Almita Vamos of Chicago and continued at the Interlochen Arts Academy, where he received his high school diploma. He received his Bachelor and Master music degrees in Viola Performance at the Manhattan School of Music where he studied with Sylvia Rosenberg and Patinka Kopec. The Manhattan School of Music awarded Derek with the Hugo Kortzchek Chamber Music Award for his outstanding work in the chamber music community.

Photo by Eduardo Patino.NYC


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CHAERIM SMITH

Violinist, Chaerim Smith, received her Bachelors of Music Degree from the Manhattan School of Music where she studied with Lucie Robert and later with Lisa Kim of the New York Philharmonic. Originally from Houston, Texas, Chaerim now resides in Springfield, Virginia with her husband, violist Derek Smith. She is currently a member of “The President’s Own” United States Marine Chamber Orchestra performing regularly at the White House and other high profile government venues. She is also co-founder of the New Orchestra of Washington. Mrs. Smith performs with various orchestras in the area, such as the National Symphony, Richmond Symphony, the National Philharmonic, the Virginia Chamber Orchestra and the Chesapeake Bay Orchestra in St. Mary’s, MD. Mrs. Smith is also a regular member of the Harrisburg Symphony, where she served as Assistant Principal Second Violin from 2005-2009. She has performed in many prestigious venues, such as Carnegie Hall, The Kennedy Center, Wolf Trap, The Verizon Center, Strathmore and the National Cathedral. She has had the privilege of playing under some of the world’s most prestigious conductors, such as Kurt Masur, Pinchas Zukerman, Gunther Schuller and Gerard Schwarz and has worked closely with world renown chamber musicians, Paul Katz, David Geber, Michael Tree and the late Isidore Cohen. Chaerim returns for her sixth season with Chamber Dance Project and is sponsored by Fanchon Silberstein. (Photo by: Eduardo Patino.NYC)

Being a diverse musician, Chaerim has performed with great popular artists such as U2, Barry Manilow, Olivia Newton John and Joel Grey.

Photo by Eduardo Patino.NYC



SEAN NEIDLINGER

Cellist, Sean Neidlinger, received his Bachelor of Music from the Cleveland Institute of Music under the tutelage of Richard Aaron and pursued further studies at New England Conservatory with Paul Katz. Described as “fiery” and “impassioned” by the Washington Post, Sean’s playing has garnered top prizes at several orchestra concerto competitions. He has been featured as a soloist and chamber musician at the Korean, German, French, and Austrian embassies, the Phillips Collection, the Kennedy Center Millennium Stage and Terrace Theatre, the Washington Metropolitan Philharmonic and the Friday Morning Music Club orchestras. He also has performed with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, the Kennedy Center Opera House Orchestra, the Eclipse Chamber Orchestra, and has served as principal cellist of the Amadeus, Winchester, McLean Orchestras. Sean toured Europe as a chamber musician and as a soloist for the world premiere of the Rodriguez Elegy and Rondo for cello and wind ensemble. He also toured throughout the Caribbean on a program of cultural outreach sponsored by the Department of State. Sean won a grant to create a performance installation alongside the Warhol exhibition at the National Gallery of Art. Sean returns for his fifth season with Chamber Dance Project and is sponsored by Reina and Brad Brekke.

Photo by Eduardo Patino.NYC

SALLY MCLAIN

Violinist Sally McLain received her Bachelor and Master of Music degrees with High Distinction from Indiana University, where she studied with and was assistant to James Buswell. Critically hailed as a “violinist with lots of style” (Washington Post), Ms. McLain has performed as soloist to critical acclaim in a variety of venues that include the Clarice Smith Center Gildenhorn Hall, Kennedy Center Terrace Theater, Library of Congress, Lisner Auditorium, National Gallery of Art and Smithsonian American Art Museum. She was a member of the Theater Chamber Players, as well as the Potomac String Quartet, which recorded the complete quartets of David Diamond and Quincy Porter for Albany Records. She is a founding and current member of the Left Bank Quartet, which has been praised for its “brilliant focus and timbral variety” (Gramophone Magazine). She is also an Adjunct Chamber Music Faculty member at the University of Maryland. Ms. McLain was the concertmaster of the Washington Chamber Symphony for ten seasons and is currently concertmaster for Washington Concert Opera and the Washington Ballet.

Photo by Geoff Sheil

URI WASSERTZUG

Violist Uri Wassertzug has performed professionally in many locations around the world including Alaska, California, and Utah in the U.S. as well as the UK, Italy, Japan, and New Zealand. Since 1998 he has been a member of the Kennedy Center Opera House/ Washington National Opera Orchestra as well as Idaho’s Sun Valley Summer Symphony. He occasionally serves as Guest Principal Viola with the National Philharmonic. He has also performed with the San Francisco Opera and Symphony, the National Symphony, the Sacramento Symphony, the Cabrillo Festival, and the California Symphony, among many others.
Uri is a member of the National Chamber Ensemble and appears frequently on the Kennedy Center’s Millennium Concerts series. Other chamber music appearances and affiliations have included the New Zealand Festival of Chamber Music, Mozart in Monterey, the Foulger International Music Festival, the Empyrean Ensemble, the Sun Quartet, and the Beau Soir Ensemble.
Uri is on the faculty of George Washington University. His own studies were at the University of Maryland, the Aspen Music Festival (on a fellowship), and the San Francisco Conservatory of Music (awarded the Germaine Prevost Scholarship). Some of his teachers included the members of the Guarneri Quartet, Isadore Tinkleman, and Robert Becker. An aficionado of coffee, Uri has been roasting his own coffee beans for several years. He lives in Virginia with his wife, violinist Elizabeth Field, and their son.

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Learn more by contacting Ellie Hardwick ellie[at]chamberdance.org


Header Photo

Claudia Chudacoff, Chaerim Smith, Derek Smith, and Sean Neidlinger
Photo by Eduardo Patino.NYC