Composer Jonathan Kane is a composer and violist from Newington,
Connecticut. He began his musical studies at age seven with violin
lessons at the Hartt School Community Division at the University of
Hartford. He continued at the Hartt School until graduating high
school, also taking lessons in composition, viola, and music theory,
as well as playing in the Connecticut Youth Symphony. Jonathan
attended the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York, as well
as Eastman’s “parent” institution, the University of Rochester,
getting a Bachelor of Music in Composition, and a Bachelor of Science
in Mathematics. Since graduating, he has performed with the
Connecticut Virtuosi Chamber Orchestra and taught viola and music
theory, as well as continuing to compose, arrange, and perform
elsewhere. He is currently pursuing a master’s degree in composition
at the Boston Conservatory. Jonathan has written commissioned pieces
for the Grammy Award-winning Ying Quartet and for Connecticut
Virtuosi Chamber Orchestra, which premiered his orchestral work Shesh
in 2017. His musical style brings together diverse influences,
including the music of past composers such as Bach, Debussy,
Shostakovich, and Hindemith, but also living composers such as Sofia
Gubaidulina.

STEFAN SZKAFAROWSKY, known for his beautiful bass voice and his
impeccable vocal technique. Mr. Szkafarowsky has sung not only at the
Met but at many well-known opera houses in the United States and
abroad, including such venues as the LA Opera, Virginia Opera, Seattle
Opera, Dallas, Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Opera Colorado, Florida
Grand Opera, Sao Paulo Opera in Brazil, Teatro Lirico in Cagliari,
Italy, Savonlinna Music Festival in Finland and the Lviv Opera in
Ukraine. The main bass roles that he has performed have been from
world-renowned operas such as “Aida,” “Macbeth,” “Nabucco,” “Don
Carlos,” “The Marriage of Figaro,” “The Barber of Seville,” “Eugene
Onegin,” “Rusalka,” “Boris Godunov,” “The Magic Flute,” “Rigoletto,”
“Il Trovatore,” “La Boheme,” “Lucia di Lammermoor” and “Aleko.” Mr.
Szkafarowsky has had the great honor to share the stage with wonderful
artists as Placido Domingo, Luciano Pavarotti, Paul Plishka, Sherill
Milnes, Maria Ciara, Piero Cappuccilli and many of today’s fantastic
artists.

The young Viennese baritone, Christian Kotsis, completed his master’s
degree in opera singing with distinction at the University of Music
and Performing Arts Vienna with Prof. Adler, Prof. Meier, and Prof.
Nickler. He attended master classes with Prof. Gerhard Kahry and
Maestro Alessandro Corbelli. In 2017, he celebrated his debut in the
leading role of “Guglielmo” (Così fan tutte) in a Teatro Barocco
production at the Laxenburg Palace Theater near Vienna. May 2018 his
next role debut as “Graf Boni” (Die Csárdásfürstin) at the Bolzano
City Theater. As a new member of the Balthasar Neumann Choir &
Soloists under Thomas Hengelbrock, the first concerts in the Hamburg
Elbphilharmonie, Kiel Castle and the Lübeck Concert Hall followed in
early July 2018, all as part of the Schleswig-Holstein Festival. A
series of Bach concerts with Luca Pianca’s Ensembele Claudiana in the
Wiener Konzerthaus were among his other creative powers. Guest
appearances in the USA with the Connecticut Chamber Orchestra round
off his artistic career to date.

Elida Pali began her cello studies at the age of eight at the Artistic
Lyceum “Jordan Misja” and the Academy of Arts of Tirana. She received
her diploma with the highest vote in 1992. In 1994 she won the
Scholarship of the International Rotary Club to study with Amedeo
Baldovino at the Scuola di Musica di Fiesole. During that year, under
the guidance of Maestro Amedeo Baldovino, she was a founding member of
the “Trio of Tirana”. She studied at the Chigiana Academy in Siena and
performed at the “Estate Fiesolana”, the Festival of Ravello, the 73rd
season of the Chigiana Academy, and at the Palazzo del Quirinale in
Rome. Ms. Pali continued her cello studies with Andrea Nannoni and
Rocco Filippini at the Stauffer Academy of Cremona. Ms. Pali has
performed in many important Italian orchestras, including the
Orchestra of the “Fondazione Arena di Verona”, the “Guido Cantelli”
and the “Giuseppe Verdi” of Milan. In the summer of 2003 she won the
audition for the Orchestra Camerata Musicale of Prato with which she
regularly collaborates. Since 2003 she has been the principal cello of
the Orchestra Opera Festival (Firenze). Recently with the Quartet of
Pistoia she performed for the Foundation F.M.Napolitano of Naples and
at the Saloncino Manzoni of Pistoia. In September of 2009 she took a
second diploma in cello at the Conservatory “Luigi Cherubini” of
Florence with the highest votes and merit. In December of 2010 Elida
Pali won the audition for the position of assistant principal cello
with the Orchestra del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino.

Albanian American violinist Brunilda Myftaraj has drawn enthusiastic
accolades from audiences as well as critical acclaim for her masterful
musicianship in her native Albania, as well as Italy, Greece, France,
Marocco, Austria, Switzerland, Poland, Israel and in the United
States. The New London Day critic praised her as an “especially fine
and beautiful player.” She graduated with the Highest Honors from the
renowned Conservatory of Fine Arts in Tirana and has studied
throughout Europe and the United States. Her teachers have included
some of the world’s finest, Proletare Skenderi, Piero Faulli, Alberto
Lissy, Phil Setzer, Eugene Drucker, Rafael Druian and Renato Bonacini.
She has been featured as a soloist with the Hartford Symphony
Orchestra and the Connecticut Virtuosi Chamber Orchestra as well as
other orchestras. She is an active recitalist, some of the series
included Piano and Friends Chamber Music in Tucson Arizona, Mostly
Mozart in Napa Valley, the Schubert Club in Minneapolis Westchester
chamber music series, Music & friends of Manchester, and many more.
She received first prize in the Van Rooy competition, Emerson Quartet
competition, Trinity auditions in NY. She was semifinalist and
participant in prestigious competitions such as the Young Artist Guild
in NY, Indianapolis International Violin Competition, and the Lipizer
Competition in Gorizia, Italy. Ms. Myftaraj serves as a concertmaster
for the Connecticut Virtuosi Chamber Orchestra, Connecticut lyric
opera, and Greve festival in Italy.