Who we are
Musican / Manager
Peter was born in a musical family, his father being a cellist, his mother a singer/composer/pianist, and his grandfather a drum teacher at the conservatory. Peter first began to play the violin at the age of six, then took up the viola and continued his studies at the Conservatory of Bratislava, Slovakia, from where he graduated in 2002. Peter then studied at the University of Art in Bratislava, while traveling and performing with orchestras around the world (Europe, Asia, U.S.).
Peter came to the U.S. in 2006 to study under the Artist Certificate Program at the College of Charleston under Jan Marie Joyce, principal violist of the Charleston Symphony Orchestra. Peter has been a member of the Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra, the baroque ensemble Musica Aeterna, the Capella Istropolitana chamber orchestra, the Junge Philharmonie of Vienna, the Donau Philharmonie Ulm, the Europa Philharmonie Magdeburg.
He currently performs with the Charleston Symphony Orchestra, the Hilton Head Symphony Orchestra, the Beaufort Symphony Orchestra and the Greenville Symphony Orchestra on a regular basis. In 2009 Peter established the Charleston Virtuosi Ensemble.
A National Conservatoire Competition winner, Lujza Durisova, was born in Bratislava, Slovakia. A graduate from the Academy of Performing Arts in Bratislava, she studied with Professor Jozef Podhoransky. During her studies, she participated in several international master courses led by renowned teachers and soloists such as Maria Kliegel, Christoph Richter, Arto Noras, Patrizio Serino and Thomas Demenga. In January 2011, Lujza moved to the United States to study in the Artist Certificate Program at the College of Charleston, with Professor Natalia Khoma.
As a cellist, Lujza has participated in several performances in her home country and abroad. Some of these events include the New Slovak Music Festival, Central European Music Festival, International Theatre Festival, Atelier XXI - radioART (Live Broadcast Slovak Radio), and Anglo - Czechoslovak Trust in London. She also performed in the Bohuslav Martinu Foundation Interpretation Competition in Prague, with the Bohdan Warchal Chamber Orchestra and in the Piccolo Spoleto - Young Artists Series in Charleston. As a member of the youth orchestras, Lujza appeared in Sibelius Hall with the Helsinki Strings conducted by Géza Szilvay in 2005 and at the 37th International ESTA Congress 2009 in Vienna under the leadership of Ernst Kovacic.
Lujza also participates in multimedia projects which include electroacoustic music and modern dance. Her cello repertoire consists of classical pieces, as well as electroacoustic compositions by contemporary Slovak composers. In 2005, Lujza performed at the EBU Ars Acustica Live Broadcast in Prague. The piece for cello with electroacoustic music was composed by Rudolf Pepucha and is called "The End". In 2004, "The End" was awarded the First Prize at the International Competition of Electroacoustic Compositions in Rome - ROSTRUM 2004.
A native of Darlington, South Carolina, Meghan Henson began studying violin with Suzuki teacher Starr Ward at age 9. She has long held a passion for chamber and orchestral music, and has participated with numerous groups since the age of 11. Meghan graduated from the Governor’s School for the Arts and Humanities where she studied under Paul Statsky and Kathryn Dey. Here she also participated in many chamber music opportunities, including masterclasses with violinist Chee-Yun and the Miami String Quartet, as well as two time winner in Charleston’s Piccolo Spoleto Rising Stars Competition. Meghan came to the College of Charleston in August of 2010 where she studies with violinist Lee Chin Siow, and is concertmaster of the CofC Chamber Orchestra.
Susan S. Messersmith
Susan Sievert Messersmith, a native of northeast Ohio, completed the Bachelor of Music Degree at the Baldwin-Wallace College Conservatory of Music in 1990 (studying with James Darling and Mary Squire). She also attended the Eastman School of Music (studying with Barbara Butler) where, in 1992, she earned the Master of Music degree in Performance and Literature, as well as the Performer’s Certificate. She then began postgraduate studies at the Cleveland Institute of Music with Michael Sachs.
In 1993, Susan won the national audition for Second Trumpet in the Charleston (SC) Symphony Orchestra and began a 14-year tenure in that position. Susan has been a member of the Shenandoah Valley Bach Festival since 2000, and is also a member of the Wintergreen Performing Arts Summer Music Festival. In 2011 she performed on the Symphonic Voyages orchestra’s debut sailing on a Caribbean cruise on the Celebrity Mercury. She has performed with the symphony orchestras of San Antonio, Phoenix, Rochester, Canton, Wooster (performing twice as soloist), Savannah, Jacksonville, Roanoke, Chautauqua, and Hilton Head, and has performed concerts in Germany, Italy, Spain, and Denmark. She is an adjunct faculty member at Charleston Southern University, and is the author/composer of Heavenly Descants for Trumpet on 118 Hymn Tunes.
A native of the greater Washington D.C. Metropolitan area, Grace McNally discovered her passion for the classical guitar at age five. She studied under Risa Carlson, student of Manuel Barrueco, at the Levine School of Music for six years. Ms. McNally has had the pleasure to perform at local D.C venues, compete and place in regional competitions and participate in master classes with David Russell and Nicholas Goluses. Apart from her solo work, Ms. McNally toured with the Levine Guitar Orchestra for seven years during which they were invited to perform at the French Embassy (Washington, D.C), 2009 Guitar Foundation of America Convention (Ithaca, N.Y), and Guitar Fest at Loyola Marymount University (Los Angeles, C.A). Her dedication to the guitar has rewarded her a music scholarship to the College of Charleston. She is currently a classical guitar performance major under Grammy nominated guitarist, Marc Regnier.
vocalist & pianist
Henriët Fourie, a native of South Africa, was granted a scholarship to continue her music studies in the USA. She received her Bachelor’s degree, cum laude, in Vocal and Piano Performance, as well as an Artist Certificate in Vocal Performance from the College of Charleston in Charleston, South Carolina. Henriet is currently pursuing her Master of Music Degree in Vocal Performance at DePaul University in Chicago, Illinois, where she studies with Julia Bentley.In 2006 Ms. Fourie won 1st Prize in the SC Young Artist Competition of the Music Teachers National Association as well as 1st Prize in the SC division of the National Association of Teachers of Singing competition.
For two consecutive years, 2006 and 2007, the College of Charleston granted her the Marguerite Elfe Erckman Award for Outstanding Voice Student, and in 2007 the Outstanding Student in Performance Award. Ms. Fourie has performed extensively as soloist including several performances during Piccolo Spoleto Festival, USA. These performances include Gloria, Vivaldi; Oratorio de Noël, Saint-Saëns; Cantata No. 51, Jauchzet Gott, J.S. Bach; and Europe, Montéclair. With the College of Charleston Opera Ms. Fourie appeared as Monica, The Medium; and Adele, Die Fledermaus. Since her recent move to Chicago, IL, Ms. Fourie now regularly sings with the St. Cecilia Choir at St. Cantius Church, a small choir specializing in early music. Performances include Missa Ave Maris Stella, Josquin Desprez; Requiem, KV 626, Mozart; and The Messiah, Handel.
Erica was born in San Dona’ di Piave in 1985, and began studying violin with Franca Pellegrinotti Mari at the “Scuola Comunale di Musica C. Monteverdi”- Musile di Piave. Her studies continued with Caterina Carlini and Igor Volochine. In January 2007 she was accepted to study with Domenico Nordio in the “Accademia Nazionale S. Cecilia”- Rome, for Post-Graduate violin studies. Erica earned her High School Diploma with perfect scores and honourable mention, and her Violin Performance Diploma from the Music Conservatory “Giuseppe Tartini” of Trieste with the highest grades, with Giancarlo Nadai.
Erica has won several National and International competitions, including: “Concorso Nazionale Dino Caravita”- Fusignano (Ravenna), “Concorso Internazionale di esecuzione violinistica Città di Schio” (Vicenza), “Concorso Internazionale Città di Trieste”, “Concorso Internazionale di esecuzione musicale Città di Padova -A.GI.MUS.” In 2005 Erica was one of the three finalists in the “Premio Nazionale delle Arti”, open to the best students of all the Italian Music Conservatories, and won a special prize. In that summer she also won the Concerto Competition of the Music Conservatory “Giuseppe Tartini” of Trieste.
As a soloist and orchestra member Erica has performed in Italy-Rome, Venice, Milano... and in other European Countries as Germany, England, France...
She is also involved with her brother Edoardo Carpenedo (piano) on a regular basis, playing many duo concerts.
B.M., M. M. (Violin & Musicology ) Lithuanian Academy of Music. Winner of two National competitions. Scholarship of Open Fund of Lithuania. Former assistant concertmaster of Lithuanian State Symphony Orchestra. Performed as a soloist with Lithuanian National Symphony Orchestra. Formerly Concertmaster of New York Chamber Opera Orchestra. Member of South Carolina Philharmonic, Greenville Symphony Orchestra, Symphony of Augusta, and Salisbury Symphony Orchestra.
Alan Molina began his violin studies at the age of three with Betty Haag-Kuhnke and later with Cyrus Forough. He received his Bachelor's degree in violin performance at Indiana University where he was a student and teaching assistant to Mauricio Fuks. Alan went on to earn his Masters degree in chamber music at the San Francisco Conservatory where he had the opportunity to perform with acclaimed artists such as Menahem Pressler, Jorja Fleezanis, Gilbert Kalish, and Ian Swensen.
Mr. Molina spent two seasons with the New World Symphony under the direction of Michael Tilson Thomas and other conductors such as Robert Spano, Franz Welser-Möst, Roberto Abbado, and Sir Roger Norrington. Alan is currently in his third season as Principal Second Violin with the Charleston Symphony.
Megan Allison began her violin studies at aged four in her native New Zealand. She received her Bachelor’s degree in violin performance with First Class Honors from Victoria University, Wellington, studying with Vera Rubin and then Donald Armstrong. By age 22 she received her Master’s degree from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music studying with Ian Swensen. She has performed solo recitals in both New Zealand and San Francisco and performed as a soloist with the Victoria University Orchestra, Wellington Chamber Orchestra and the Manawatu Sinfonia Orchestra.
As a chamber musician, she has had the opportunity of working with, and being coached by, many world class acclaimed musicians such as Robert Mann, Manahem Pressler, Gilbert Kalish, Sadao Harada, Mark Sokol, and Jodi Levitz, and also performs regularly with Chamber Music Charleston. With a passion for orchestral playing, Megan has played with numerous professional orchestras including the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, New Zealand Chamber Orchestra, the Wellington Sinfonia, the Seraphic Fire Chamber Orchestra in Miami, FL. and the Charleston Symphony Orchestra.
Edoardo Carpenedo was born in Italy in 1990. He started studying piano at the age of five with Daniela Vidali at the Claudio Monteverdi Accademy. At age eleven he continued with Bruno Mezzena at the Accademia Musicale Pescarese. In 2004 he began studying with Riccardo Risaliti of the Imola Academy and the concert pianist Jeffrey Swann. He participated in master classes held by Boris Petrushansky, Matti Raekallio, Claudio Martínez Mehner and Emanuel Krasovsky. In 2008 Mr. Carpenedo graduated “cum laude” from the “G.Tartini” Conservatory in Trieste. Currently Mr. Carpenedo is studying with Enrique Graf in the Artist Certificate Program at the School of the Arts, College of Charleston. Mr. Carpenedo has won numerous international and national competition in Italy. He won his first competition at the age of five, First Prize of the “Concorso Internazionale di Esecuzione Pianistica Johannes Brahms” - Acqui Terme, of the “Concorso Pianistico Nazionale Città di Gabicce Mare” sponsored by the Pesaro Chamber Orchestra. First Prize of the “P. Squartini medal” at the “Concorso Città di Perugia”, First Prize of the “Concorso Nazionale Coppa Pianisti d’Italia”, First Prize winner of the 10th “Concorso Strumentale Città di Giussano”, First Prize of the 12th “Concorso Pianistico Nazionale Città di Cesenatico”, and the “Yamaha-del Rio” and “Trofeo Febo Villani” prizes.
Mr. Carpenedo has given recital in Italy, Swiss and Spain. He debuted with orchestra at the age of 13, with the “Orchestra del Veneto Orientale”. In 2005 he was invited by UNICEF to perform in a benefit concert in “Palazzo Valentini”, Rome. He has appeared at “Sala Vivaldi” of the Tomadini Conservatory (Udine), at ”Sala Tartini’ of the Trieste Conservatory, at the Teatro Olimpico (Vicenza), at the Teatro “La Bicchieraia” (Arezzo), at the “Miramarestate” concert series, in the “Sala del Trono” of the castle of Miramare (Trieste). He performed at the “Estate musicale di Portogruaro Festival”during the international masterclasses, at the “Festival delle Nazioni 41° edizione”, Città di Castello (Perugia) and in “Villa Lippis” for the Musical Association “Musica Pura”, Pordenone.
Often described as having the voice of an angel, Boonie Bevins got her start at the young age of 5 years old, singing in the band 4 Wheel Drive and regularly performing at Guy and Tina’s Pickin Parlor in Bethea, SC. At the age of 13, she took first place at her first local talent show by an overwhelming majority. Boonie has performed at Coastal Coffee Roasters and Single Smile Café in Summerville, SC as well as being a guest singer with the local band The Lowhills. She also has become the featured vocalist for the Leonard School of Music Jazz Band and performed in the "Women on" Series at the Charleston Music Hall. Along with creating her own original songs, Boonie and her brother Austin frequently perform together. Her natural talent for music is clear to any listener as she tackles every musical genre with grace and ease from classic jazz to modern day rock. Boonie’s voice is pure and strong, with flexibility and range to spare.
Norbert Lewandowski was born in Milwaukee, WI and began cello studies at the age of 13. He holds a Master’s degree in performance and literature from the Eastman School of Music and currently resides in Charleston, SC where he is the principal cellist of the Charleston Symphony Orchestra. Prior to his position in Charleston Norbert performed as a member of the Charlotte Symphony, the Rochester Philharmonic, the New World Symphony, and the chamber music festival in Taos, New Mexico. He has also been featured as a soloist on numerous occasions including past performances with the New World Symphony, the South Carolina Philharmonic, and the Charleston Symphony Orchestra. Norbert's extensive experience with new music includes a wide array of performances and recordings with the groups Alarm Will Sound and Brave New Works, and was highlighted in 2008 by an appointment as cellist of the Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble.
Ulyana Machneva, Ukraine - born, started playing classical guitar at the age of 6. She graduated from Kharkiv State University of Arts as a classical guitar performer, teacher, and composer.
As a classical guitar virtuoso, Ulyana won highest honors in many international competitions, such as: The Young Virtuoso (Kyiv, Ukraine), The International Guitar Competition (Krynica, Poland), The XIV International “Millennium” Guitar Competition (Esztergom, Hungary), The XIII International Festival and Competition “Renaissance of the Guitar” (Gomel, Belarus), the Rosario Guitar Festival and Competition (Columbia, SC), and several times the Annual Columbus State University Guitar Competition and Symposium (Columbus, GA). Her melodious musical renditions have resounded in concert halls throughout Russia, Belgium, Romania, Ukraine, Bulgaria, Germany, Switzerland, Czech Republic, and America. As a composer, Ulyana was a multiple winner of The Renaissance of the Guitar International composition competition (Gomel, Belarus).
She performed numerous solo concerts at the Guitar Muse Series, The Annual Bethlehem Guitar Festival at Moravian College, Wofford College Troubadour Series, North Carolina All-State Guitar Festival, St. Luke Recital Series, Monday Night Concert Series, Charleston Music Club, Rush Hour Concert Series and Piccolo Spoleto Young Artist Series.
Ulyana was a soloist with the Summerville Community Orchestra, and The Southcoast Symphony Community Orchestra. She also performed with the Charleston Renaissance Ensemble. At present time Ulyana continues her musical carrier, composing, playing solo recitals, teaching Guitar, Composition, and leading the Guitar Orchestra at Charleston Academy of Music.
Anne Lloyd Durant has performed on both the Scottish clarsach and the classical pedal harp all over the Low Country for over fifteen years. She is a founding member of Savannah’s only Early Music ensemble, The Goliards. She plays in various combos under the names “Everyman” (with John Hillenbrand on Vielle and Baroque violin) and “Clanjamfrie” (with Christopher Kohut on lute/arch guitar/wooden flute).
Dan Urbanowicz holds both a master's degree from the New England Conservatory of Music and a bachelor's degree from the Cleveland Institute of Music. During the year Dan is a regular guest musician with the Charleston Symphony Orchestra while also directing the string orchestra at Allegro Charter School of Music.
Internationally Dan has been featured as principal viola of the Schleswig-Holstein Festival Orchestra in Germany and principal viola of the Pacific Music Festival Chamber Orchestra in Japan. In addition to playing the viola Dan enjoys delving into historical performance on the Viola d'Amore and has been featured in the College of Charleston's 2nd Monday series along with Soprano Deanna McBroom.
vocalist / trombone player
Vocalist/Trombonist Peter Nelson brings clarity and a warm sound to the Charleston music scene.
Born into an artistic household in Lansing, MI., Nelson quickly became immersed in music, performing professionally by age 14. Earning a degree in Jazz Studies at Michigan State University allowed Peter to study and perform with some of today’s top jazz artists such as renowned bassist Rodney Whitaker. After spending a year producing and recording his second album as a leader, Nelson moved to Brooklyn, NY where he currently performs and produces in a number of musical settings.
Leading multiple groups performing new exciting original music, Nelson has developed a name for himself among today’s top up and coming jazz artists. Also a sought after section player, he has performed with jazz orchestras backing the likes of John Hendricks, McCoy Tyner, Benny Golson, Jamie Cullum and Terence Blanchard to name a few.
Nelson’s voice has been heard in some of the most prestigious venues across the country. In a review of his current release, Watercolors, his vocal styling were said to “Embody the sensitivity of Chet Baker and the extroversion of Mark Murphy”. His writing for strings was also applauded as “Neither saccharine nor maudlin, but a sweeping touch here, a pizzicato moment there”. -Mike Stratton, Vinyl Side of Midnight
Nelson’s versatility as a performer has led to a wide variety of performances and recordings with artists such as Verve Pipe, Rodney Whitaker, The Captain Black Big Band, Jamie Cullum, Marianne Solivan, Dan Pugach nonet, Matt Wilson, Kid Rock, Grupo Aye’, The George Gee Swing Orchestra, Fleur Seule, Valerie Ponomarev, Michael Dease Big Band, and a score of others. Truly an Artist to keep an eye on!