Ashley Stanfield - Viola
Hailed as “The Polynesian Paganini” (KC Arts Beat) violinist Keith Stanfield is Concertmaster of The Kansas City Civic Orchestra, the Kinnor Philharmonic Orchestra, a member of The Opus 76 Quartet, an Associate of The Royal Academy of Music (London, UK) and an active concert violinist based in the US.
As a member of the Opus 76 Quartet, and one of a tiny handful of professional classical musicians from Western Samoa, violinist Keith Stanfield performs over 200 concerts a year. His discography and streaming portfolio includes Mozart’s 4th Violin Concerto, all eighteen Beethoven String Quartets, the Schubert Quintet, Mendelssohn’s op.44 no.1, the Brahms F minor Piano Quintet, and much more. Most recently, he recorded the "Six Quartets Dedicated to Haydn" by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart for NPR affiliate Kansas Public Radio in Fall of 2021.
In 2021, he served as Guest Concertmaster with The Kansas City Ballet. The Quartet will make its debut at Carnegie Hall (New York, USA) in March 2023.
In early 2022, Keith became the first musician to win the Independent's prestigious "Rising Stars of Kansas City" award. He gives 10 recitals and concerto performances a year at venues throughout the American Midwest. A recent performance of Paganini’s First Violin Concerto was reviewed in K.C. Arts Beat: “Stanfield then dashed off the violin entry with confidence, marked by a lusciously deep, resonant tone..[played] with considerable sensitivity by Stanfield, his tone and depth of feeling profoundly moved me.” A recent recital celebrating the life of W.A. Mozart was described as “banger after banger!” (FeverUp).
Keith is a former soccer player, who represented Western Samoa in the 2010 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers. He played five matches for the country (scoring two goals) before retiring to focus on the violin. He has coached soccer in the UK and the USA. He has also written articles for a number of publications including The Strad and the The Catholic Herald. He teaches at the Royal Academy of Music as a visiting lecturer, and at The Youth Symphony of Kansas City, where he serves as the Director of the Chamber Music Program.
He started playing the violin with Alison Apley aged 3 and is an alumni of the Suzuki Violin Method, Purcell School of Music (UK), the Royal Academy of Music (UK). He made his recital debut aged 6, and appeared as a guest soloist aged 10 on the BBC TV show: "Brian Connelly's Crazy Christmas." Winning a number of solo violin competitions and prizes, he has performed in many of the world's finest concert venues, which include Wigmore Hall, The Royal Festival Hall and Royal Albert Hall (London), The Philharmonie (Berlin) and Teatro alla Scala (Milano).
Violin coaches included the late Erik Huston, Remus Azoitei and Karoly Schranz.
October 2022. Please disregard all previous versions.
Hungarian violinist Zsolt Eder has established himself as a versatile and engaging performer and teacher. He is Professor of Violin and Viola at Washburn University (Topeka, Kansas) and has been Concertmaster of the Topeka Symphony Orchestra since 2011. He is a founding member of the Opus 76 String Quartet and also performs with Spire Chamber Ensemble, newEar Contemporary Chamber Ensemble, the KC Baroque Consortium, Ensemble Iberica, the Sunflower Music Festival (Topeka), the Kansas City Symphony, as well as his chamber music group Zsolt Eder and Friends.
With most performances cancelled in 2020, Zsolt and the Opus 76 Quartet immersed themselves in the complete Beethoven string quartets - performing and recording the 18-piece cycle at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Kansas City. Another recent highlight was the completion of Topeka Symphony’s 75th anniversary season (2020/21) and a digital residency with Musica para Respirar, a Bolivian organization presenting free, live performances on WhatsApp to people affected by the pandemic across South America.
Zsolt has performed extensively in North and South America, Europe, Asia, and Australia. Highlights include performing in the first Canadian Ring Cycle (Wagner) with the Canadian Opera Company, the Beijing Modern Music Festival in China, IMS Prussia Cove in England, and at the International Classical and Folk Music Festival in Kyrgyzstan. He has performed as a soloist with the Cleveland Institute of Music Symphony Orchestra, the Topeka Symphony, the Symphony of Northwest Arkansas, the City of Asuncion Symphony Orchestra (OSCA) in Paraguay, the Washburn Symphony, the Via Salzburg Chamber Orchestra (Toronto, Canada), the Midwest Chamber Ensemble and the Medical Arts Symphony (Kansas City). In 2018, Zsolt appeared as guest concertmaster of the National Symphony of Colombia (South America). He has appeared live on Kansas Public Radio, Hungarian National Radio and ABC Australia.
Zsolt is passionate about education, working with organizations like UMKC Conservatory Bridges, Heartland Chamber Music, the Blanche Bryden Chamber Music Institute, Harmony Project KC, Topeka Strings for Success and CityMusic Cleveland. He is frequently invited to adjudicate and present lectures and masterclasses. In 2019 he completed a week-long residency at the National University of Paraguay.
Born in Budapest, Hungary, Zsolt spent most of his childhood in Perth, Australia. College studies brought him first to Toronto, Canada, where he studied with Lorand Fenyves. Zsolt then continued with Paul Kantor at the Cleveland Institute of Music, earning his Bachelors and Masters Degrees there. In Kansas City he studied with Benny Kim at the UMKC Conservatory and received a Doctoral Degree in Violin Performance in 2018. He lives in a suburb of Kansas City with wife Gloria and their two children.
Violist Ashley Stanfield is a founding member of The Opus 76 Quartet. An experienced chamber musician, she is a former and founding member of the Hampden String Quartet, with whom she won the Sir John Barbirolli Prize for Chamber Music at the Royal Academy of Music (London, UK). As violist of that Quartet, she performed regularly at the Oxford Proms and the Prom's at St. Jude's concert series, as well as at a ceremony to celebrate the London 2012 Olympics at St. James’s Palace for members of the British Royal Family. Reviews in numerous journals and magazines included The Financial Times (London, UK) who remarked: "I don't think anyone was unmoved by the ardour and commitment with which this group delivered the soul harrowing slow movement of Schubert's "Death and the Maiden" quartet and the exuberant finale of Beethoven's op. 130."
Outside of her recordings and performances with The Opus 76 Quartet, Ashley performs regularly with the Kansas City Symphony and Des Moines Symphony, Lyric Opera of Kansas City & Kansas City Ballet. She has also served as guest Principal Violist for both the Kinnor Philharmonic and the Saint Joseph Symphony. She has appeared as a guest artist with the Bach Aria Soloists, Spire Ensemble and the KC Baroque Consortium, and has also performed as a guest soloist with a number of orchestras, most recently with the Kansas City Civic Orchestra, playing Mozart's "Sinfonia Concertante". She has enjoyed performing with several rock/pop bands including Michael Buble, “Belle and Sebastian”, “Hanson” and Johnny Mathis.
Ashley is an alumni of both the Interlochen and Idyllwild Arts Academies and holds a Bachelors' Degree in Viola performance as well as a Teaching Licentiate from the Royal Academy of Music, where she was a student of London Symphony Orchestra Principal Violist, Paul Silverthorne. Other teachers include Miami String Quartet violist, Scott Lee, Evan Wilson, Donald McInnes, and Christine Grossman. As a part of her studies at the Academy, Ashley worked with many prominent conductors including Trevor Pinnock, Leif Segerstam, Yan Pascal Tortelier, Tadaaki Otaka, and Sir Colin Davis, with whom she recorded Mozart's Marriage of Figaro and Beethoven's Symphony No.9.
A native of Kansas City and a passionate educator, Ashley enjoys teaching and has extensive experience at the beginner through to collegiate level. She currently teaches group violin (elementary level) in the Kansas City Missouri School district via the KC Harmony Project program and formerly served as a teaching artist on the faculty of Drake University. Many of her private students are members of the Kansas City Youth Symphony and the Kansas All-State and District Orchestras. She lives in Kansas City with her husband and son and their faithful Labrador, Miley, and in addition to her career as a violist, is pursuing a degree in Psychology at Harvard University.
Daniel Ketter, born and raised in Kansas City, was appointed in 2018 as Assistant Professor of Music at Missouri State University, where he teaches courses in cello, chamber music, and music theory. In Springfield, Missouri, Daniel is principal cello of Springfield Symphony Orchestra and specializes in performance of contemporary and classical chamber music, regularly collaborating with Ensemble Alla Balena, Rio Verde String Quartet, Cellax Duo, and other groups nationally and internationally.
Daniel Ketter is Co-Director and cellist of American Wild Ensemble (www.musicintheamericanwild.com), which celebrates the people and places that define American communities with new music. In 2018, American Wild Ensemble released a two-hour album of eleven original works on the ArtistShare label, including an hour-long music video album available on YouTube. With support from the National Endowment for the Arts, these works were commissioned and performed for a national tour of 25 performances in seven national parks celebrating the centennial of the National Park Service in 2016. Since 2016, AWE has collaborated with ten different national parks and historic sites and commissioned and premiered over thirty new chamber music works, with support from Washington’s National Park Fund, Chamber Music America, Mid-America Arts Alliance, The Paul R. Judy Center for Applied Research, The Aaron Copland Fund for Music, Missouri State University, Missouri Humanities, and New Music USA.
Daniel completed his Doctor of Musical Arts degree at Eastman School of Music in Rochester, NY, where he is now summer faculty for the Eastman Cello Institute. In Rochester, Daniel also taught cello and chamber music at Hochstein School of Music and Dance and co-coordinated their Chamber Music Connections Program. He founded the Eastman Cello Ensemble, which gave annual performances for “Live at Hochstein” broadcast on the radio by WXXI and for “If Music Be the Food…” benefiting Rochester’s Foodlink. In Springfield, Daniel coaches chamber music for the annual MSU String Fling.
In 2020, Daniel finished a Ph.D. in Music Theory at Eastman School of Music, and serves as Co-Chair for Society for Music Theory’s Performance and Analysis Interest Group. His research interests include essential voices in Schenkerian theory, history of music theory, and performance and analysis. Daniel’s dissertation defines the concept of an essential voice in Schenkerian theory, grounding it in historical music theory and tracing it through J. S. Bach’s works for solo melodic instruments.
Daniel has a MM in cello performance and pedagogy from Peabody Conservatory, studying with Alison Wells, and graduated with high distinction from both Eastman School of Music (BM ’10, cello performance) and from University of Rochester (BA ’10, mathematics). He joined the Opus 76 Quartet in June 2021.
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