GMCMF Welcomes New Faculty

Submitted by Amanda Stenroos on
caleb, kyung sun, jordan

Green Mountain welcomes new and returning faculty to the festival in 2024!

Currently cellist in the GRAMMY-nominated Aizuri Quartet and cello professor at the Conservatory of Music at Purchase College, Caleb van der Swaagh is an alumnus of Ensemble ACJW (now known as Ensemble Connect) – a program of Carnegie Hall, The Juilliard School, and the Weill Music Institute in partnership with the New York City Department of Education. Caleb is the recipient of the Tanglewood Karl Zeise Memorial Cello Prize and the Manhattan School of Music Pablo Casals Award, and was also a grant recipient from the Virtu Foundation.

An advocate of contemporary music, Caleb is a member of counter)induction, Ensemble Échappé, and Ensemble Ipse. He also performs regularly with leading contemporary music ensembles including Argento Chamber Ensemble, Talea Ensemble, Either/Or, S.E.M Ensemble, and Hotel Elefant. He has premiered works by such composers as Georg Friedrich Haas, Beat Furrer, Christian Wolff, Roscoe Mitchell, and Iancu Dumitrescu, among others, as well as performing his own compositions and arrangements. We look forward to welcoming you in 2024, Caleb!

Kyung Sun Lee is professor of music in violin at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music. Lee captured a bronze medal in the 1993 Queen Elizabeth Competition, sixth prize in the 1994 Tchaikovsky Competition, first prizes at the Washington and D’Angelo International Competitions, and third prize in the Montreal International Competition, where she also won the Audience Favorite and Best Performance of the Commissioned Work prizes.

Subsequent to winning these awards, Lee has enjoyed ever-increasing popularity as a performer and received high critical acclaim: “Exceptional tonal suavity and expressive intensity in equal measure.” — The Strad. “Godard's ‘Concerto Romantique’ could not have had a more outstanding soloist than Kyung Sun Lee.” — Harris Goldsmith, New York Concert Review Inc. “Fluidity and grace; pathos and emotion.” — ThePalm Beach Post. “Lee is the most musical, the most intelligent soloist to have played with the orchestra in quite a while.” — Tuscaloosa News. “Penetrating clarity, a strong sense of style and a technical supremacy that conquered all difficulties with unruffled ease.” — Miami Herald. “Beyond superb execution, she conveyed [Vieuxtemps’s Concerto No. 5] particular Romanticism expertly.” — Dennis Rooney, The Strad. Lee returns to the faculty of Green Mountain in 2024 after a number of years away.

Award-winning Jamaican-American violist Jordan Bak has achieved international acclaim as a trailblazing artist, praised for his radiant stage presence, dynamic interpretations, and fearless power. Critics have described him as “an exciting new voice in Classical performance” (I Care If You Listen), “a powerhouse musician, with a strong voice and compelling sound” (The Whole Note) and lauded his “haunting lyrical grace” (Gramophone). The 2021 YCAT Robey Artist and a top laureate of the 2020 Sphinx Competition, Bak is also a Grand Prize winner and Audience Prize recipient of the 2019 Concert Artists Guild Victor Elmaleh Competition, the recipient of the 2019 Samuel Sanders Tel Aviv Museum Prize and the 2019 John White Special Prize from the Tertis International Viola Competition. Other recent accolades include being named one of ClassicFM's "30 Under 30" Rising Stars, Musical America’s New Artist of the Month and being a featured artist for WQXR’s inaugural Artist Propulsion Lab.

Bak currently serves as Assistant Professor of Viola at University of North Carolina School of the Arts (UNCSA). He was a former faculty member of Bowling Green State University in Ohio and served as a visiting artist and Ambassador for Music Masters in London. Additionally, he has given masterclasses at Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University, Oberlin Conservatory, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Royal Birmingham Conservatoire (UK), Conservatorio del Tolima (Colombia), and the Brevard Music Center. Welcome, Jordan!