Clockwise from left to right: Hamilton Berry, Claire Bryant Caitlin Sullivan and Yves Dharamraj
DECODA CELLO QUARTET with special guest WINKIE GOODWIN
The first and only Affiliate Ensemble of Carnegie Hall, Decoda provides engaging performances, interactive concerts, and enlightening discussions serving the widest possible types of audiences. Now in its fifth season, Decoda's projects and performances have taken place in the United Kingdom, Germany, Abu Dhabi, Iceland, Japan, Hong Kong, India, Mexico, and across the United States.
Decoda is committed to supporting the international community of artists who wish to deepen their community involvement and understanding of high-level interactive performance. In order to effectively serve this community of burgeoning teaching artists, Decoda has established annual chamber music and leadership institutes at Skidmore College and in South Africa, as well as annual residencies in Merida, Mexico and as the Resident Ensemble in Creative Performance at the Guildhall School of Music in London, UK.
Music for Transformation, Decodas social justice initiative, brings creative songwriting projects to help empower vulnerable and disenfranchised voices. Decodas exemplary work in maximum-security prisons and in the juvenile justice system has been recognized by CNN, Huffington Post, the Associated Press, the Washington Post, and Billboard Magazine. Decoda has on three separate occasions been invited to the White House to perform and advocate for arts programming as a tool for criminal justice reform. For more information on Decoda please visit www.decodamusic.org.
Hamilton Berry, cello
Cellist Hamilton Berry's eclectic taste has led him to pursue a variety of performing, arranging, and composing projects in the New York area and beyond. He has performed with the Toomai String Quintet, Founders, A Far Cry, Novus NY, Con Brio Ensemble, Ensemble ACJW, the Orchestra of St. Lukes, and the Gotham Chamber Opera; collaborated with pop artists including Debbie Harry, Bjork, Becca Stevens, Vampire Weekend, FUN., and Cults; and written and arranged music for Speed Bump, a string trio co-founded with violist Nathan Schram and cellist Eric Allen. He recently joined the teaching roster of Musicambia, which offers music lessons to inmates at Sing Sing Correctional Facility.
A Nashville native, Hamilton has played at the Chelsea, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Olympic, and Yellow Barn music festivals. After completing undergraduate studies at Columbia University, he received his Master of Music in 2009 from Juilliard, where he was a student of Timothy Eddy. His previous teachers include Felix Wang, Grace Bahng, and Anne Williams. In the summer of 2010, he and several Juilliard colleagues taught master classes and played concerts for children in the favelas of São Paulo, Brazil, in partnership with the Guri Santa Marcelina program.
During his fellowship with Ensemble ACJW (2010-2012), Hamilton was a visiting teaching artist at IS61 on Staten Island.
Claire Bryant, cello
New York City-based cellist Claire Bryant enjoys an active and diverse career as a leading performer of chamber music, contemporary music, and the solo cello repertoire in premiere venues such as Carnegie Hall, Southbank Centre, Suntory Hall, Lincoln Center, and the Barbican Centre. Claire is a founding member of the acclaimed chamber music collective, Decoda - the Affiliate Ensemble of Carnegie Hall, and is a regular principal cellist of Trinity Wall Street's chamber orchestra, Novus NY. Claire has collaborated closely with artists such as Daniel Hope, Anthony Marwood, Emanuel Ax, Sir Simon Rattle, Dawn Upshaw, Ron Carter, and the Weilerstein Trio, Saint Lawrence String Quartet, and the Danish String Quartet. She is a frequent guest artist with Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, the Orchestra of St. Luke's, Carnegie Hall's Zankel Band and Ensemble Connect, of which she is an alumna.
A native of South Carolina, Claire is equally engaged as an educator and advocate for inclusive arts in our society. Her international body of work in these areas was recognized in 2010 with The Robert Sherman Award for outstanding innovation in community outreach and music education by the McGraw Hill Companies. She is the director of Decoda's justice initiative, Music for Transformation, which brings collaborative songwriting workshops into correctional facilities, juvenile justice centers, and high schools in South Carolina and New York. Decoda's work in the justice system has been widely celebrated, most recently receiving an invitation to perform at the White House on two occasions for events dedicated to the arts and criminal justice reform.
Recently appointed to the Advisory Board of DePauw Universitys 21CM chaired by cellist Yo Yo Ma, Claire is spending the spring semester at the University of Northern Iowa on an appointment as Visiting Artist.
She is a graduate of The Juilliard School and the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, where her primary teachers were Bonnie Hampton and Joel Krosnick. She was in the pilot class of The Academy -- A Program of Carnegie Hall, The Juilliard School and Weill Music Institute and served as an Assistant Faculty for Professor Bonnie Hampton at The Juilliard School from 2007 2012. For more information please visit clairebryant.com.
Yves Dharamraj, cello
A top prize winner in the Ima Hogg, Irving M. Klein, Florida Orchestra, Juilliard, and ASTA competitions, Dharamraj has appeared with the orchestras of Houston, Green Bay, Edmonton, Florida, Dominican Republic, and Juilliard, with which he performed William Schumans A Song of Orpheus at Avery Fisher Hall as part of the Juilliard Schools Centennial Celebration. Dharamraj explores the rich chamber music repertoire as a founding member of the Moët Trio and has collaborated with artists including Sir Simon Rattle, Itzhak Perlman, Miriam Fried, Christian Tetzlaff, Cho-Liang Lin, Gilbert Kalish, Ralph Kirshbaum, Mischa Dichter, Isabel Leonard, and members of the Emerson, Cleveland, Guarneri, and Orion Quartets.
As an artist also dedicated to the performance of contemporary music, Dharamraj is a founding member of the genre-defying Bohemian Trio and indulges in the avant-garde as the cellist of Ne(x)tworks. He followed his passion for teaching artistry, arts advocacy, and engaging new audiences as a fellow of the Academy, a musical initiative between Carnegie Hall, Juilliard, the Weill Music Institute, and the New York City Department of Education. He continues outreach activities as a member of Decoda, and cofounded New Docta International Music Festival in Cordoba, Argentina in 2013 to mentor and nurture Latin American talent. Dharamraj was a pupil of Aldo Parisot at Yale University where he graduated cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in History (Medieval Mediterranean Studies), a Master of Music, and an Artist Diploma. He further studied in Joel Krosnick and Darrett Adkinss studio at the Juilliard School where he earned his Doctor of Musical Arts degree. He has also worked with Paul Katz at the New England Conservatory. Dr. Dharamraj taught cello at Juilliard as assistant to Mr. Krosnick from 2006 to 2009. He plays an 1842 Jean-Baptiste Vuillaume cello. In his leisure time, he loves to learn about and taste the great wines of Burgundy and Bordeaux, and is a zealous supporter of the Chicago Cubs, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and Arsenal FC.
Captivating his audiences with a primer of technical feats (New York Sun), and his warm, lush tone that might be described as something akin to rich old wood (Boston Musical Intelligencer),
Dharamraj has earned a worldwide reputation as a dynamic cellist who blends an immaculate command of the instrument with deep musical understanding to express his fresh and elegant interpretations.
As soloist, recitalist, chamber musician, and teaching artist, the Franco-American cellist enjoys a multifaceted career that takes him to the major stages of the United States and abroad, including appearances at Carnegie Hall, and Lincoln Center (New York); the Kennedy Center (DC); Orchestra Hall,Ravinia Festival, and Chicago Cultural Center (Chicago); Disney Hall (LA); National Arts Center (Ottawa);Berliner Festspiele; Téatro Nacional (Dominican Republic); Panama Jazz Festival; and the ThailandNational Cultural Center (Bangkok).
A sought-after musician throughout the New York scene, cellist Caitlin Sullivan can be found equally on the stages of Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall, and at unconventional spaces like clubs, art galleries, or even a double-decker bus. Recognized as having the understanding and emotional projection of a true artist by the New York Concert Review, Ms. Sullivan has designed a multi-dimensional career as a performer of both classical and contemporary music. In addition, Ms. Sullivan has a strong passion for music education and advocacy, frequently performing in schools and community venues, and working with aspiring music students around the world.
Having formidable performance experience with a variety of groups, Ms. Sullivan is a member of many celebrated young ensembles including The Knights, Decoda, IRIS Orchestra, Wordless Music Orchestra, and Ensemble Signal; she is also a substitute player with veteran orchestras including the New York Philharmonic and Princeton Symphony Orchestra, as well as Boston-based chamber orchestra A Far Cry. Additional ensemble experience includes Ms. Sullivans membership with Ensemble ACJW (now Ensemble Connect), which enabled her to perform chamber music regularly as part of a Carnegie Hall subscription series in 2007-2009.
As a member of The Knights, a NYC-based chamber orchestra focused on innovative programming and reenergizing the concert experience, Ms. Sullivan has been performing extensively with the group since 2010. Collaborations with special guest artists have included Yo-Yo Ma, Bela Fleck, Gil Shaham, Dawn Upshaw and the Mark Morris Dance Group, with appearances throughout the US, the Ravinia Festival, Tanglewood, Caramoor, as well as in Germany and Austria. Ms. Sullivan co-curated a chamber music performance with The Knights at SubCulture in 2015, and has recorded several Knights albums for Ancalagon and Warner Classics.
Believing in the power of music education and advocacy, Ms. Sullivan has dedicated much of her time to teaching artistry and mentoring. Most recently, Ms. Sullivan has been a Teaching Artist for the New York Philharmonic at PS 81 in the Bronx, as well as The Learning Arts, in a program dedicated to bringing concerts and workshops to students throughout the rural Adirondack region of New York. As a member of ClassNotes, Ms. Sullivan has participated in school residencies in New York, New Jersey, and Florida in targeted programs that bridge academic subjects with ideas central to playing chamber music. As a component of her two-year fellowship with Ensemble ACJW, Ms. Sullivan was a Teaching Artist at PS 153 in Harlem, during which time she co-created The MUSIC Exchange (Musically Uniting Students In Correspondence), a mentorship program involving public school music students and orchestral musicians that combined pen-pal letter writing with a culminating side-by-side musical performance. As a cello and chamber music coach, Ms. Sullivan has taught at the Belvoir Terrace Summer Camp for girls, PRIZM Camp, ArtsAhimsa Summer Festival, and has been a chamber music substitute coach for the Juilliard Pre-College Division.