For more info:

Kristina Jones
ph: (330) 972-8404
solaris@uakron.edu
fax: (330) 972-6409

          Biographies

Jack Cozen Harel Heidi Ruby-Kushious - flute

Heidi Ruby-Kushious recently joined the faculty of the University of Akron School of Music as the Instructor of Flute and flutist of Solaris. A native of Southern California, Heidi received her Bachelor of Music degree from The Curtis Institute of Music as a scholarship student of Julius Baker, John Krell, and Murray Panitz. She continued her studies with Thomas Nyfenger at the Yale Graduate School of Music and with Alain Marion at the Salzburg Mozarteum. Heidi made her solo recital debut in Carnegie Hall and was described by Tim Page of the New York Times as a “virtuosic, agile, expressive player with unusual technical accomplishment.” She has also performed solo recitals in New York’s landmark Columbia Artists (CAMI) Hall and Salzburg’s Wiener Saal. Heidi has been featured as concerto soloist with the Bavarian Radio Orchestra in Herkules Saal in Munich, City Music Cleveland, Curtis Symphony, Yale Philharmonia, Red {an orchestra}, and in a duo concerto with Jean- Pierre Rampal and the Columbus Symphony Orchestra. “Their phrasing was a perfect match. The crowd was on their feet at the end.”- Columbus Dispatch. As the first American flute finalist in 21 years, Heidi was Laureate prizewinner of the prestigious Munich International Flute Competition. She received first prize in the Artists International, New York Flute Club, and National Flute Association competitions, and was a featured soloist at the National Flute Convention in St. Louis. Heidi was also the recipient of the distinguished C.D. Jackson Master Award at Tanglewood. Upon receiving her Bachelor’s Degree from Curtis, Heidi was Principal Flute of the Curtis Symphony Evian Festival tour in France. In addition to her fourteen orchestral seasons in the Columbus Symphony Orchestra, Heidi has held Principal Flute in the Tanglewood, Spoleto-Italy and USA, National Repertory, Cleveland Pops, Red {an orchestra}, and the Blossom Festival Band and Orchestra. She has had the honor of playing under the baton of many world renowned conductors, including Leonard Bernstein, Frubeck de Burgos, Christoph Von Dohnanyi, Charles Dutoit, Erich Leinsdorf, Kurt Masur, Zubin Mehta, Franz Welser-Most, Otto-Werner Mueller, Ricardo Muti, Seiji Ozawa, Andre Previn, Alessandro Siciliani, Leonard Slatkin, and Michael Tilson Thomas. Heidi is a founding musician and is currently in her tenth season as Principal Flutist with City Music Cleveland Chamber Orchestra, where she performs a vast array of repertoire in neighborhood churches throughout Northeast Ohio. She has received enthusiastic reviews from clevelandclassical.com, coolcleveland.com, and the Cleveland Plain Dealer, where her performances have been described as “ tranquil, mystical, beautiful, warm, exotic, royal, graceful, frisky, refined, nimble, poetic, sparkling, pristine and superb.” Since 1995, Heidi has continued to enjoy the opportunity of playing extra flute in the Cleveland Orchestra flute section and has had the distinct honor of playing with them on many domestic and international tours. She has also had the privilege of joining the Detroit Symphony Orchestra flute section for parts of their 2008-2013 seasons, most recently performing in the celebrated 2013 Beethoven Festival and the Spring for Music Festival at Carnegie Hall. In the Autumn of 2012, Heidi auditioned and accepted the Solo Piccolo position with the Columbus Symphony Orchestra, where she launched her orchestral career years ago. She and her husband, Cleveland Orchestra cellist Paul Kushious, tour as a chamber music duo called INNovation, performing at inns, resorts, and music festivals worldwide. Their two children often join them on their tours. Heidi has maintained a successful private teaching studio for many years, and has also been on the faculties of Kenyon College and Capital University. Her dedicated students have been accepted at prestigious conservatories around the world. Heidi’s favorite teaching and chamber music venues include Alves by Forres in Moray Scotland, Verbania on Lago Maggiore in Italy, Krems an der Donau in Austria, Pontresina at the Val Bernina in Switzerland, and Dorset in the Taconic Mountains of Vermont.


Jack Cozen Harel Jack Cozen Harel - oboe

Jack Cozen Harel, oboist, joined the faculty of the University of Akron in 2010. Active as a soloist and chamber musician, Mr. Harel has been recognized with numerous awards including: Best Classical Soloist by Downbeat Magazine, winner of the Baroness Leni Fe Bland Competition, winner of the Yamaha Young Performing Artist Competition, recipient of the Eckstein Grant and William Banovetz Scholarship. He is the oboist of the world-renowned Solaris Quintet and has been an exclusive Yamaha Performing Artist since 2008.

Mr. Harel also serves on the faculty of the Cleveland Institute of Music and is oboe teaching artist for the Los Angeles Philharmonic. He has taught at the California Institute of Technology, Long Beach College, and Northwestern University. Additionally, he holds the Guinness World Record for "Fastest Oboe Playing". This record was set by performing all 409 notes of Rimsky-Korsakov's Flight of the Bumblebee in a time of 26.1 seconds.

Mr. Harel began his professional career at age 18 as the principal oboist of the San Francisco Sinfonietta. He holds degrees from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and Northwestern University, where he served as teaching assistant to the oboe faculty. Mr. Harel also holds an Artist Diploma from the Colburn School, where he was the first oboist ever accepted into the prestigious conservatory program. His teachers include John de Lancie, James Moore, William Bennett, Grover Schiltz, and Allan Vogel.


Kristina Belisle Jones Kristina Belisle Jones - clarinet

Kristina Belisle Jones is Professor of Music (Clarinet) at The University of Akron, clarinetist of the Solaris Wind Quintet, Principal Clarinetist of the Akron Symphony Orchestra, the Blossom Festival Orchestra, the Blossom Festival Band, and has frequently freelanced with The Cleveland Orchestra. An active soloist, Jones has performed concertos with the Houston Symphony, the Flint Symphony, the Cleveland Chamber Symphony, the Akron Symphony Orchestra, the Akron Youth Symphony, the Conway Symphony Orchestra and university orchestras/wind ensembles throughout Arkansas and NorthEast Ohio.

She has won numerous awards including the William C. Byrd National Young Artist Award for Winds and Brass and the Ima Hogg National Young Artist Award. As a chamber musician, she has performed with the Renaud Chamber Music Series, the Chamber Music Society of Ohio, the Fontana Festival of Music and Art, the Norfolk, Bowdoin, and Garth Newel Chamber Music Festivals. As a founding member of Southspoon Winds, a woodwind quintet based in New York City, she received top prizes in the Fischoff and Yellow Springs Competitions and Honorable Mention in the prestigious Concert Artist Guild Competition.

Internationally, Kristina Belisle Jones has performed recitals in Japan, Italy, and China and given masterclasses in China and Taiwan. She recently completed a four-year term as Secretary of the International Clarinet Association, performing yearly at the organization’s International ClarinetFests. National symposium appearances include recitals at the National Association of College Wind and Percussion Instructors National Symposium (NACWPI), the Oklahoma Clarinet Symposium, and regional clarinet conferences in Alabama, Arkansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Mississippi, Montana, North Dakota and Ohio. The NACWPI Journal wrote of her conference performance: "Belisle's playing indicates that she may be one of the most gifted clarinetists teaching at the college level." The Clarinet hailed Belisle's Oklahoma performance as "superb".

Jones holds Doctor of Musical Arts and Master of Music degrees from Michigan State University where she studied with Elsa Ludewig-Verdehr. Her undergraduate work was completed at The University of Georgia where she was a student of Theodore Jahn. She can be heard in CD with Solaris in "American Quintets II", released by Capstone Records.


William Hoyt Margaret Tung- horn

Dr. Margaret Tung is the newly appointed Assistant Professor of Horn at The University of Akron. Hailed as “masterly” in the Chicago Classical Review, she has performed with the famed Chicago Symphony Orchestra (CSO), Zurich Opera Orchestra, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra, Virginia Symphony Orchestra, and was a member of the Civic Orchestra of Chicago. In 2011, Dr. Tung had the privilege of collaborating with Yo-Yo Ma in Once Upon a Symphony, a new CSO project. She performed the world premier of Spangled Unicorn by Anna Clyne with the CSO’s new music ensemble, MusicNOW. As an avid chamber musician, Dr. Tung is a member of the Solaris Wind Quintet. She is also the founder of Brass in the City and a founding member of Lincoln Park Brass. Dr. Tung performed Mozart's Horn Concerto No. 3 with the Colorado College Summer Music Festival as the concerto competition winner. Other festivals she attended include Music Academy of the West, National Repertory Orchestra, and Spoleto Festival USA. She can be heard as a featured soloist with Anima on their CD release, An Anima Christmas.

Dr. Tung is an education enthusiast and has been on faculty at Towson University, Kutztown University of Pennsylvania, Olivet Nazarene University, Wheaton College, Zurich International School in Switzerland and is currently on faculty at the Marrowstone Music Festival in Bellingham, WA. Dr. Tung completed her Doctorate of Musical Arts at The Ohio State University and holds a Master of Music from Rice University and a Bachelor of Music from DePaul University. Her teachers include world renowned Dale Clevenger, William VerMeulen, Oto Carrillo, Jon Boen, David Griffin, and Bruce Henniss. During her free time she enjoys hiking and cooking.


Cynthia Cioffari Cynthia Cioffari - bassoon

Cynthia Cioffari teaches bassoon at The University of Akron and is a member of the Solaris Wind Quintet. She is also contrabassoonist/section bassoonist of the Columbus Symphony Orchestra and bassoonist with the Wintergreen (VA) Summer Music Festival Orchestra. She has performed with the Roanoke Symphony Orchestra, ProMusica Chamber Orchestra, Southwest Virginia Chamber Orchestra, Toledo Symphony, West Virginia Symphony, Fort Wayne Philharmonic, Tuscaloosa Symphony Orchestra, Columbus Light Opera, Broadway Across America-Columbus and the Winds of Wintergreen.

Prior to joining the faculty at The University of Akron, Ms. Cioffari held adjunct positions at Capital University, Otterbein College and Denison University. She has also taught at the University of Alabama, Heidelberg College and Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp. Ms. Cioffari has appeared as a soloist or ensemble member at the International Double Reed Society Convention, National Flute Association Convention, International Clarinet Association Conference, Midwest Band and Orchestra Clinic and at the International Horn Symposium in Cape Town, South Africa. In 1983, she was a finalist in the International Double Reed Society's Gillet Young Artist Competition at Tallahassee, Florida.

Cynthia Cioffari can be heard on CD with the Columbus Symphony Orchestra (“CSO Showcase” and “Live at Carnegie Hall”), with the Bowling Green State University New Music Festival and with the Bexley Chamber Ensemble. Recent premiere performances for her include “Petite Suite” for oboe and bassoon by James Geiger, “Breve Dúo Latino” for flute and bassoon by Richard Cioffari, “Nocturne #1, Opus 529” for Chamber Ensemble by Stan Smith and “Variations on a Theme of Grieg” for woodwind quintet by Richard Cioffari. She holds a bachelor's degree in music performance from Bowling Green State University and a master's degree in woodwinds from the University of Michigan. Her teachers have included L. Hugh Cooper, Robert J. Moore and Russell Hinkle. Prof. Cioffari is listed in “Who’s Who in America.”

 

Solaris on Capstone Records


Alec Wilder
Woodwind Quintets

"The Performances by the Solaris Wind Quintet are terrific"
– Flute Talk


American Quintets

"It's a pleasure to listen to"
– Kilpatrick
American Record Guide


American Quintets II

"It's addictive listening"
– Elaine Guregian
Akron Beacon Journal


Ragtime Feast

 

Other Music News

Crystal Records just released Solaris' CD of Alec Wilder Woodwind Quintets, (Nos. 5, 7, 8, 10, and 12)
- works that have not been recorded to date, except by Solaris.
This CD is dedicated to the memory of Todd Evan Fulmer.

Solaris' recording of the Samuel Barber "Summer Music", first released on our
American Quintets CD from 2000, was chosen to be re-released in the Fall of 2011
by Navona Records (PARMA Recordings) on a compilation disc of American music.


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