Lauded as one of today's probing musical voices, Nancy Zhou harbors a robust presence that seeks to invigorate appreciation for the art and science of the violin. Her thoughtful musicianship resonates with a global audience in such a way that brings her on stage with leading orchestras around the world.
Nancy has collaborated with the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic, Würzburg Philharmonic, and Finnish Radio Symphony; Shanghai and China National Symphonies and Hong Kong Philharmonic; San Diego and Kansas City Symphonies, among others. Alongside projects as a soloist, she harbors keen interest in chamber music and music education. She has performed for the Tanglewood, Verbier, Ravinia Festivals and devotes time to a select, online studio as well, teaching students across the globe and presenting masterclasses on fundamental training and cultivating mindful awareness critical to performance.
The past seasons, the violinist has explored works outside the traditional oeuvre. In collaboration with the New Jersey Symphony and conductor Xian Zhang, she presented Zhao Jiping’s first violin concerto at Alice Tully Hall and gave the premiere of Unsuk Chin’s “Gran Cadenza” for two violins with Anne-Sophie Mutter across the US; in the forthcoming season, she will perform Chen Qigang’s “La joie de la souffrance” with the Rogue Valley Symphony and commission a work by Canadian composer Vivian Fung for violin and electronics, exploring the intersection of various art forms and, indeed, music and culture.
American-born, Nancy commenced violin studies with her father, later studying with Miriam Fried at the New England Conservatory while simultaneously pursuing her interest in literature at Harvard University. She is additionally an Associated Artist at the Queen Elisabeth Music Chapel.
Dr. Erika Burns
Dr. Erika Burns is a violinist and educator dedicated to helping musicians develop artistic independence and play with physical freedom. She champions anatomy and kinesiological-informed approaches to violin pedagogy in order to better prepare violinists for careers in teaching and support current private studio teachers.
Born from her struggles with chronic pain and musculoskeletal injuries, Erika’s doctoral dissertation, “Rethinking Violin Pedagogy: A Handbook for Teaching Violin from a Movement-Based Perspective,” investigates how violinists can incorporate movement education principles from somatic disciplines and sports in the music studio. Her research was a finalist in the University of Oklahoma’s 3M Thesis Competition. Erika is now one of a few musicians in North America certified as a Franklin Method Educator. She teaches principles of healthy movement, anatomy, and somatic exercises to musicians in workshops and private sessions.
As a soloist, Erika has appeared with the Everett Symphony, the University of Oklahoma Civic Orchestra, and Icicle Creek Chamber Orchestra. She is a past winner of the Western Washington University Music Competition in honor of Virginia Glover. Erika’s lifelong love of collaboration and chamber music grew from playing violin-piano duos with her mom nightly throughout childhood. As a 2018 Emerging Artist Fellow at Garth Newel Music Center, she performed chamber music throughout the mountains of Virginia and West Virginia. She is proud to have trained additionally at Tafelmusik Baroque Summer Institute, Icicle Creek Chamber Music Institute, Duo526 Sonata Seminar, and ARIA International Summer Academy where she performed with renowned flutist Judith Mendenhall.
Erika appeared as a featured guest artist with the University of Oklahoma School of Dance in the world premiere of “Sand”, a new ballet commissioned by the 2018 Puterbaugh Festival of International Literature and Culture, and the Oklahoma premiere of Sympatico. As an orchestral musician, Erika has played with Fort Smith Symphony and Tulsa Opera. She can be heard on Fort Smith Symphony’s most recent recording of Florence Price’s Symphonies no. 1 and 4.Currently, Erika maintains a private violin studio in the Seattle area. She previously taught applied violin and beginning string methods at the University of Oklahoma and has served on the faculty at the Northwest Music Retreat and Pipestone String Camp. Erika holds performance degrees from the University of Oklahoma (DMA, MM) and Western Washington University (BM, magna cum laude). Her principal teachers include Dr. Min-Jeong Koh, Hal Grossman, and Walter Schwede. When she’s not playing or teaching, Erika enjoys long walks, copious amounts of loose-leaf tea, and watching soccer and figure skating competitions. Connect with Erika on Instagram @erikaburnsviolin or visit her website, www.erikaburnsviolin.com.
Dr. Katherine Emeneth
Dr. Katherine Emeneth (“Dr. E”) is an enthusiastic performer, collaborator, clinician, pedagogue, and teacher with a passion for education.
She is the owner of the Georgia Flute Academy where she specializes in pre-college flute education in northeast Georgia. In her studio, she creates individualized curriculum, organizes studio events that range from guest artist masterclasses to student recitals at local retirement homes, prepares students for local and national flute competitions, and designs unique project-based learning opportunities.
She is in demand as a clinician, adjudicator, and speaker at various middle, high schools, and colleges throughout the southeast and beyond.Dr. Emeneth established the Atlanta area’s first immersive summer flute camp in 2022. The Flute Intensive of North Georgia (FLING!) is a week-long summer camp for middle and high school students in the area.
Additionally, Dr. Emeneth is the founder and CEO of KE Creative, a digital education company that supports classical musicians in advancing their teaching, business, and entrepreneurial skills. She has helped hundreds of classical musicians from around the world create their own thriving careers as private teachers, performers, and beyond.
Dr. Emeneth’s professional performances include both solo and ensemble appearances with the Charleston Symphony Orchestra, Chattanooga Symphony Orchestra, Hilton Head Symphony Orchestra, Seattle Collaborative Orchestra, Seattle Metropolitan Chamber Orchestra, Washington-Idaho Symphony Orchestra, and Gwinnett Ballet Orchestra. Dr. Emeneth has served on the faculties of the University of Washington and Georgia Gwinnett College where she was the recipient of the 2017 Outstanding Teaching Award. She holds degrees from the University of Georgia and the University of Washington. She lives in Sugar Hill, Georgia with her husband, niece, and Old English Sheepdog, Barney.
Jonathan Feist is writer, editor, teacher, and composer/songwriter. He is editor in chief of Berklee Press, where he has been bringing music education products to a worldwide market since 1998. He is the author and instructor of Berklee Online courses "Project Management for Musicians" and "Music Notation and Score Preparation Using Finale.” He is author of the books Project Management for Musicians (Berklee Press, 2013) and Berklee Contemporary Music Notation (Berklee Press, 2017) and the co-author of Essential Songwriter (Berklee Press, 2004) and The Berklee Practice Method Teacher's Guide (Berklee Press, 2004).
He has also written hundreds of articles about music, published through About.com, Keyboard Magazine, MakeMusic's Finale blog, and Berklee’s TakeNote online magazine. As an editor, he is credited on over two hundred books about music. Jonathan is a composer, songwriter, and photographer. He holds a bachelor's and master's degree in composition from New England Conservatory of Music.
Dr. Renee-Paule Gauthier
Dr. Renée-Paule Gauthier is a passionate performer, coach, and teacher whose career has taken her across the United States and Canada as a soloist, recitalist, chamber musician, and orchestral leader. She performs in the second violin section of the Chicago Lyric Opera Orchestra, is a member of some of Chicago’s finest ensembles, including the Joffrey Ballet Orchestra, Elgin Symphony, and Chicago Philharmonic, and is a substitute with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.
A devoted educator, Dr. Gauthier is the String Area Coordinator, Co-director of the Chamber Music Program, and Violin Instructor at North Park University. Dr. Gauthier is also Concertmaster and faculty at the Birch Creek Performance Center, and is an occasional coach and clinician for the Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestra, the University of Chicago, and several schools and organizations in the Chicago area.
An accomplished concert artist, Dr. Gauthier was mentioned as one of the "best upcoming violinists of the new generation" in the book Violin Virtuosos, from Paganini to the 21st Century (Henry Roth). Dr. Gauthier has won awards in several competitions, including the exclusive three-year loan of the Taft Stradivari violin through the 2009 edition of the Canada Council for the Arts’ Musical Instrument Bank Competition. She made her Kennedy Center solo debut in April 2014.
Dr. Gauthier was Concertmaster of the New World Symphony; Assistant Concertmaster of the Calgary Philharmonic; a member of the first violin section of the National Arts Centre Orchestra; and is the Founding Artistic Director of the Rendez-vous Musical de Laterrière, a chamber music festival in the province of Québec.
Her dissertation, The Mind First and Foremost: An Exploration of Mindful Practice Techniques and Strategies for Violinists, explores how cutting-edge research on mindfulness and personal growth can help violinists in the practice room.
She blogs about creating a meaningful practice at her website, Mind Over Finger, hosts the Mind Over Finger Podcast, and travels throughout the United States giving masterclasses and clinics on the topics of mindful practice, audition preparation, and anxiety management.
Dr. Gauthier is a graduate of the University of Montreal, the Eastman School of Music, and Northwestern University. She performs on a modern violin by Canadian luthier Marcel Nadeau, and a 19th century Auguste Barbé bow.