UNH Cello Festival 2024
Join us for the 2024 UNH Cello Festival! This one-day event will feature cello ensemble, masterclasses, and lectures by our distinguished faculty and guest artists.
- DATE: Saturday, March 3, 2024
- TIME: 9 am -5 pm
- WHERE: Paul Creative Arts Center
- For All Ages
Dr. Jacques Lee Wood (University of New Hampshire, UNH Cello Festival Director)
Dorothy Braker (Aliento Chamber Players)
Johnny Mok (Aroma Duo, St. Anselm College)
Velléda Miragias (Philips Exeter Academy, Rivers Conservatory)
2023 Featured Guest Artist Recital and Masterclass
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9:30 Cello Ensemble Reading
11:00 Instrument Viewing with Johnny Mok
11:30 Lunch Break
12:30pm Masterclasses with Faculty Artists
3:00pm Featured Guest Artist Recital: Ashley Bathgate
4:00pm Featured Masterclass with Ashley Bathgate
5:00pm Festival Concludes
Jacques Lee Wood, UNHCF director
Boston-based cellist Jacques Lee Wood has performed around the world as a solo artist, chamber, and orchestral musician. His activities as a performer reflects a broad range of interests - historical performance on period instruments, commissioning new works for both modern and baroque cello, improvisation that incorporates live electronics, and composing his own material are just a few of the areas he explores in his creative scope. Dr. Wood is Principal Cello of the Cape Symphony, and is a member of several musical groups including Aston Magna, StringLab, Pedroia Quartet, Antico Moderno, and the NYC-based bluegrass band Cathedral Parkway. He is a frequent guest artist with A Far Cry, Boston Baroque, House of Time, Yale Schola Cantorum, Trinity Baroque Orchestra, Bachsolisten Seoul, Bach Collegium Japan, Juilliard 415, and the Handel and Haydn Society. A recognized pedagogue, Wood is the cello professor at the University of New Hampshire and faculty at the Boston Youth Symphony Orchestra (Intensive Community Program, BEAM Program). He has held residencies at the Yale School of Music, Boston Conservatory, Avaloch Farm (composition) and Tufts University to name a few. Wood has received fellowships from the Norfolk Chamber Music Festival, the Yale Center for East Asian Studies for research at Sogang University (Seoul, South Korea), and the Yale School of Music for postdoctoral studies in early music with noted scholar and baroque violinist Robert Mealy. Dr. Wood is the founder and artistic director of the UNH Cello Festival and currently the cello faculty at the Summer Youth Music School (University of New Hampshire), Norfolk Chamber Music Festival, and Point Counterpoint. An active guest lecturer and clinician, Dr. Wood has presented on a broad range of topics ranging from historical performance practice for the modern musician to music technology in the pedagogical process. He is a frequent guest artist at the Great Mountains Festival (South Korea), Korea Strings Research Institute, Bari International Music Festival, Banff Centre, Aston Magna, and the Manchester Summer Chamber Music Festival. A grammy-nominated recording artist, Wood has released recordings on the Hyperion, Musica Omnia, and Navona labels. Dr. Wood completed his BM at the New England Conservatory of Music under Laurence Lesser, and holds a MM and DMA from Yale University, where he studied with Aldo Parisot.
Dorothy Braker (cello): BM and MM (The Juilliard School) had her very first lesson in music at the age of 4 with Dr. Shinichi Suzuki, whose new idea about musical study through unlocking each child’s innate potential was first being brought to the United States. Her studies in cello were with Lois Yopp, Phil Blum, Karl Fruh, and Harvey Shapiro. As a native of the Chicago area with a rich tradition in orchestral music, she has performed in an orchestral setting throughout her career, winning awards to attend Interlochen, Southern Illinois music festival, Congress of Strings, and Waterloo Music Festival under Gerard Schwarz. Here in New Hampshire, Braker has performed as principal cellist with the Portsmouth Symphony, the Great Bay Symphony, the Connecticut River Valley Orchestra, and the New Hampshire Philharmonic(Guest principal), and performs with other local orchestras. From her debut at the age of 13 performing the Lalo Cello Concerto, she has performed as concerto soloist with area orchestras including the Portsmouth Symphony and Merrimack Valley Orchestra. In addition to many chamber music appearances with area groups, since she has been in New Hampshire she has coached chamber music and has a vibrant studio of cellists who have gone on to major in music at major conservatories, while other students have continued their cello studies into their secondary schools. As an organizer and principal cellist with The Portsmouth Symphony, she created the Concerto and Aria Competitions, the MyPSO youth music arm of the Portsmouth Symphony that also had an outreach concert series for local schools, and the “Get Cozy with the Portsmouth Symphony” monthly chamber music concert series at the Dance Hall in Kittery, Maine. As the founder and Artistic Director of Aliento Chamber Players, she has spent a decade creating unique chamber music performances throughout the Seacoast area of Massachusetts, Maine and New Hampshire.
Boston-based Parisian cellist Velléda Miragias has received critical acclaim from le Confolentais for her "impeccable technical mastery, [and] strong expression," and currently enjoys a diverse career as a freelance solo, chamber, and orchestral musician, educator, and entrepreneur across the United States, Europe, and Asia. A French native, Ms. Miragias studied at the Conservatoire National de Boulogne and Conservatoire Supérieur de Paris rue de Madrid, where she won first prizes in cello performance, chamber music, and theory—receiving unanimous decisions of the jury for chamber music and theory. Following her European studies, she earned Indiana University's prestigious Performer Diploma as a student of Iseut Chuat and János Starker, and a Master of Music from Boston University.
Ms. Miragias is the recipient of France's coveted Ministry of Culture Award, a first-prize winner of the Prix de la ville d'Epernay string competition, and has participated in the Festival de violoncelle de Beauvais and the Festival d'Aix-en Provence, where she performed with violinist Renaud Capuçon and cellists János Starker, Iseut Chuat, and Jian Wang. She made her concerto debut at the age of 19, performing the Haydn Concerto in D Major with the Lourmarin Youth Symphony in France, and has had the honor of performing in the public master classes of iconic string pedagogues Isaac Stern, Natalia Gutman, and Anner Bylsma, in addition to studying conducting with Jean-Sébastien Béreau in Paris.
A committed educator, Ms. Miragias is instructor of cello at Phillips Exeter Academy and cofounder of Artisan Music Studio and Artisan Childcare Center, a comprehensive music-immersion program for infants through preschoolers. Additionally, she serves on the faculties of New England Conservatory's Preparatory School and the Rivers School Conservatory, and is an active string coach at Tufts University and with the Boston Philharmonic Youth Orchestra. Ms. Miragias's teaching philosophy encourages the development of well-rounded artistic personalities through a personalized curricula focused on instrumental technique, music theory, solfège, rhythm, and Alexander Technique principles to provide a holistic approach to everyday practice and performance that allows students to develop an acute awareness of the body's needs while nurturing their individual musical voices.
Ms. Miragias is an active chamber musician throughout the Greater Boston area and beyond. One of the founding members of the Craft Ensemble and the Trio Primavera, she also performs with the United Nations Chamber Music Society, with the pianist Mika Tanaka as Duo Terre de Sienne, as well as a number of regional chamber-music ensembles and as part of the Stoneham Chamber Music Series. As a member of the Boston Philharmonic Quartet, she has helped to raise vital funds supporting that orchestra.
As an orchestral performer, Ms. Miragias is currently associate principal with the Boston Philharmonic, assistant principal with the Cape Symphony, and regularly performs and records with the Handel and Haydn Society, the Grammy Award–winning Boston Modern Orchestra Project (BMOP/sound), Rhode Island Philharmonic Orchestra, Boston Baroque, L'Académie, Portland Symphony, Odyssey Opera, Pro Arte Chamber Orchestra, Les Bostonades, Boston Lyric Opera, Boston Landmarks Orchestra, and at the Monadnock Music Festival.
Ms. Miragias is a 2021–22 musician in residence with the Boston Public Library and a principal collaborator with Giovanna Confalone on the Mel Bonis Project, a nonprofit collaborative dedicated to disseminating the work and histories of 19th-century French women composers.
Johnny Mok, a Boston-based Cellist, Freelancer, and Teacher, was born in Hong Kong, China. Mok performs regularly across the United States, and he is an active teacher and a highly sought-after cellist in the US. He was a prizewinner in several competitions including, CICA International Competition, Birmingham Music Club Scholarship Competition, and American String Teacher Association Music Competition in the Junior and Senior Division, etc. As a result of these achievements, Mok had appeared as soloist and featured cellist with orchestras and concert venues across the US. Mok is also an active chamber musician, and had been invited as Guest Artist at the Orvieto Musica Chamber Music Festival in Orvieto, Italy.
In April 2011, Mok made his first major soloist debut at the Popejoy Hall, Albuquerque, NM, performing the great Dvorak Cello Concerto in B minor, under the direction of Gabriel Gordon. At the age of twenty, Mok won the position of Section Cello with the Huntsville Symphony Orchestra spawning his first professional orchestra debut. In 2015, Mok performed Shostakovich’s First Cello Concerto, under the baton of Blake Richardson, as the first prize winner of Camilla Huxford Competition. In 2022, Mok performed Tchaikovsky's Variation on a theme of Rococo with the New Hampshire Philharmonic. Mok was invited to participate in Portugal where he performed in the Verao Classico Festival.
In recent years, Mok founded the Aroma Duo with his piano partner, Tianhong Yang. Together they have been actively performing in various Chamber Music Series and venues across the New England Area.
He is currently the Adjunct Cello Faculty at the Middlesex Community College and Saint Anselm College.