Christopher Otto, violin
Christopher Otto performs with ensembles including Ensemble Signal, The Cellar and Point, Alarm Will Sound, Talea Ensemble, International Contemporary Ensemble, The Theatre of Eternal Music String Ensemble, Ne(x)tworks, and The Knights. He has premiered and recorded several chamber works by John Zorn and has performed and recorded as soloist in Zorn's violin concerto Contes de Fées. Christopher has also performed as soloist in Brian Ferneyhough's Terrain with Ensemble Signal. His violin teachers include Cyrus Forough and Timothy Ying. He is a founder, along with his wife Emily DuFour, of Hutchins East, an ensemble performing on a set of eight proportionally-sized string instruments made by Carleen Hutchins, and has written and arranged several works for the ensemble. He studied composition at the Eastman School of Music with Robert Morris, David Liptak, Martin Bresnick, and James Willey as well as mathematics at the University of Rochester. Christopher has written works in just intonation for string quartet, violin duo, violin octet, violin with electronics, and ensembles of Hutchins instruments. His violin duo was recorded by Erik Carlson and is available on SoundCloud along with his violin octet. An article on his violin octet appears in Arcana VII, an anthology edited by John Zorn.
Austin Wulliman, violin
Praised as a “gifted, adventuresome violinist” by the Chicago Tribune and as a “remarkable, unbelievable violinist/violist extraordinaire” by the syndicated radio program Relevant Tones, Austin Wulliman has gained critical and audience attention through his “wide technical range and interpretive daring” (New Music Box) as a soloist and chamber musician. He first forged his reputation in Chicago with the collective Ensemble Dal Niente, serving as the group’s Program Director, and winning the Kranichstein Music Prize (the grand prize for interpretation) at the Darmstadt Summer Course in 2012. Austin was also a founding member of Spektral Quartet, serving as Ensemble in Residence (as well as Adjunct Instructor of Violin) at the University of Chicago from 2011-2016. Consistently in search of new musical pathways through ensemble work, Austin has collaborated with a wide range of musical voices, from artists like Deerhoof and Julia Holter, to Miguel Zenon and Billy Childs, or Brian Ferneyhough and Kaija Saariaho. Furthermore, he has also been a guest artist with groups such as Eighth Blackbird, and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s MusicNow Ensemble. His debut solo release Diligence Is to Magic as Progress Is to Flight was released in 2014 in collaboration with bassoonist/composer Katherine Young. Austin holds degrees from the University of Michigan and Northwestern University, as well as having held fellowships at the Aspen Music Festival and Lucerne Academy.
John Pickford Richards, viola
Called "wholesome-looking" by the New York Times, violist John Pickford Richards has gained a reputation for performing new and unusual music around the globe. His recording of Roger Reynolds' imagE/viola can be heard on NEUMA Records. He was a founding member of the ensemble Alarm Will Sound and now serves both as JACK's violist and Executive Director. John has appeared with artists including Björk and Grizzly Bear and has performed as soloist with the Pasadena Symphony, Armenian Philharmonic, Wordless Music Orchestra, OSSIA, and with the Lucerne Festival Academy Orchestra playing the solo part to Luciano Berio's Chemins II under the direction of Pierre Boulez. He holds degrees from the Interlochen Arts Academy and Eastman School of Music where his primary teachers were David Holland and John Graham.
Jay Campbell, cello
Cellist Jay Campbell has been recognized around the world for approaching both old and new works with equally probing curiosity and emotional commitment. His performances have been described as “brilliant and insatiably inquisitive”, “electrifying”, and “prodigious” by the New York Times, and “gentle, poignant, and deeply moving” by the Washington Post. A recipient of the prestigious Avery Fisher Career Grant, Jay performed with the New York Philharmonic in 2013 and was a curator for the New York Philharmonic’s 2016 Biennale. He has soloed in major venues around the globe including Carnegie Hall’s Stern Auditorium, Avery Fisher Hall, and Lucerne’s KKL and performed recitals in Carnegie’s Weill Hall, the Kennedy, Mondavi, and Krannert centers. Dedicated to introducing audiences to the music of our time, Jay has worked closely with some of the most creative minds of the 20th/21st centuries including Pierre Boulez, Elliott Carter, Matthias Pintscher, Kaija Saariaho, and countless others from his own generation. His close association with John Zorn has resulted in over a dozen works written for him including The Aristos, a Pulitzer Prize runner up resulting in the release of Hen to Pan (Tzadik), listed in the New York Times Best Recordings of 2015. Forthcoming discs in ‘16/17 include George Perle’s cello concerto with the Seattle Symphony and Ludovic Morlot, a disc of Beethoven, Debussy, Stravinsky and Pintscher (Victor Elmaleh Collection), and a disc of works commissioned for Jay by David Fulmer (Tzadik). Also beginning in 2017, Jay will be the cellist of a new piano trio with violinist Stefan Jackiw and pianist Conrad Tao. He has been a guest at the Marlboro, Chamber Music Northwest, Moab, HeidelbergerFruhling, DITTO, and Lincoln Center festivals.