LAURA HAMILTON was Principal Associate Concertmaster for the MetropolitanOpera Orchestra, where she led hundreds of performances over 33 years. She was concertmaster for many of the Met's popular “Live in HD” videocasts, including Carmen,Parsifal, Turandot, Faust, Salome, and Madama Butterfly. Previously a member of theChicago Symphony, she appeared there as concerto soloist with Maestro Sir Georg Solti.In 2020 Laura was appointed Interim Artistic Director for the summer festival ClassicalTahoe in Nevada, where she is also Concertmaster. She also leads the orchestra andteaches at Festival Napa Valley. She has performed in the Marlboro, Manchester, andBard Music Festivals, in summer festivals in Norway and Greece, and on the Met ChamberEnsemble series at Carnegie Hall. She appeared as guest concertmaster for the SeattleSymphony, the American Symphony Orchestra, the Welsh National Opera, and theAdelaide Symphony in Australia. In 2014, while on leave from the MET, Laura servedfor one season as concertmaster at the Sydney Opera House. A highlight of her Sydneyexperience was a gala concert with famed tenor Jonas Kaufmann; her rendition ofMassenet's Meditation from Thais garnered rave reviews praising her “radiant,”“serenely beautiful interpretation.”Born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, Laura is a graduate of ManhattanSchool of Music, where she was the Nathan Milstein Scholarship recipient. LauraHamilton teaches violin and chamber music at New York University. She hasbeen visiting faculty at New World Symphony, Manhattan School of Music, and atBel Canto Institute in Florence, Italy. Her instrument was made in Venice in 1732by the golden-age luthier, Carlo Tononi. Laura and her husband, cellist LannyPaykin, reside in Oakland, New Jersey.
n award-winning cellist, Charles Zandieh is rising to the top of the classical music scene.
A native of New York, Charles began his cello studies at the age of 4 with Mr. Alex Croxton and at age 10 was accepted to The Juilliard School’s Pre-College Program under the tutelage of Ms. Clara Kim.
Since then, he has accumulated numerous awards and accolades. He has been a 2-time winner of the Juilliard Pre-College Cello Concerto Competition, a 2-time YoungArts winner, a 2-time prize winner of the Adelphi Orchestra Competition, the first-prize winner of the New York Music Competition, the first-prize winner of the Bellagrande International Music Competition, and a prize winner of the Ensemble 212 Young Artist Competition.
Charles has performed extensively across the tri-state area, including solo and chamber performances at venues such as Alice Tully Hall, Carnegie Hall, the Tilles Center, and Steinway Hall, among others. His press features include articles and highlights in The Daily News and News 12 Long Island, and he was headlined on Ovation TV’s original series, “Young Marvels.” Additionally, he occasionally performs with his two brothers, violinist Cameron and pianist Christopher, and together they form The Zandieh Trio.
Charles is currently a sophomore at The Juilliard School, where he is pursuing his Bachelor's Degree in Music (BM). His playing is characterized by delicate intimacy, flaring versatility, and jovial charisma. He currently plays on a mid-1790s Forster cello on generous loan by The Juilliard School.
Recipient of the 2020 Salon de Virtuosi Career Grant, and youngest ever to win the Windsor Festival International String Competition, Nathan has been a soloist with the Philharmonia Orchestra, the Orchestre national d'Île-de-France, the Royal Northern Sinfonia, and the Aalborg, Adelphi, Berlin, Concepción, Evansville, Indianapolis, Medellín, and Pittsburgh orchestras, among others, performing in Argentina, Austria, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Denmark, France, Germany, Israel, Italy, Switzerland, the UK, and across the US.
As a recitalist and chamber musician, Nathan has performed at ChamberFest Cleveland, Giardini La Mortella, the Heidelberger Frühling, the Krzyżowa Festival, the Moritzburg Festival, the Musical de l’Orne, the Perlman Chamber Workshop, and the Verbier Festival Academy. He has been a concert artist with Omega Ensemble since 2016.
Nathan’s 2020-21 season includes the release of his debut CD with Rohan De Silva, a UK concert tour, and the launch of Opus Illuminate, an online concert series dedicated to the works of composers from underrepresented communities.
Nathan studies with Itzhak Perlman and Li Lin at Juilliard. He performs on the “Ames, Totenberg” Antonio Stradivari violin, Cremona 1734, generously on long-term loan from Rare Violins In Consortium, Artists and Benefactors Collaborative.