Kyle Kremer

Kyle Kremer

Dr. Kyle Kremer is an astrophysicist at Caltech and Carnegie Observatories in Pasadena, a position he began in Fall 2020.

Kremer’s dual interest in music and science began during his senior year of high school in Kettering, OH, when he published his first scientific article on the physics of baseball pitches and performed his first trumpet concerto with the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra. In 2012, Kremer completed his undergraduate degree at Northwestern University as a double major in trumpet performance and physics. As an undergraduate student, Kremer was an active member of the astrophysics department, publishing two research papers on the evolution of binary star systems in The Astrophysical Journal. Following a brief stint pursuing post-graduate studies in astrophysics at the University of Cambridge in the UK as a Winston Churchill Scholar, Kremer felt the pull of music and spent the next two years in Los Angeles where he earned a Master of Music degree at Colburn as a student of Jim Wilt.

In 2015, Kremer returned to Northwestern to pursue a PhD in astrophysics. After defending his thesis—titled The Role of Black Holes in Globular Cluster Dynamics—in 2019, Kremer began his current position at Caltech and Carnegie Observatories. His current work spans a variety of topics in astronomy from the detection of black hole mergers through gravitational waves to modeling the N-body dynamics of dense stellar systems like globular clusters to studying the electromagnetic signatures that result when stars are torn apart by black holes.

In addition to his research, Kremer enjoys speaking with public audiences about astronomy. Building upon his experience as a musician/scientist, Kremer developed Cosmos in Concert, an outreach program presenting multimedia shows combining astronomy education and music performance with the goal of making astronomy (and science in general) accessible to a broader audience. Over the past few years, Kremer has presented 16 concerts in six states including performances at Northwestern, Colburn, and with the Boulder Philharmonic Orchestra in Colorado. Outside of work, Kremer enjoys trying to maintain his trumpet chops, ironing out the flaws in his golf swing, and watching his wife Elyse Lauzon (also a Colburn alum!) perform with the San Diego Symphony.

Kako Miura

Kako Miura playing violin outside, smiling

Originally from Tokyo, Japan and now based in New York, NY, Kako Miura is a violinist who performs on both historical and modern instruments. She is the recipient of numerous awards, including first prize in the Nagano International Music Festival Violin Competition, Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra’s Young Artists Competition, and Sound Symphony Orchestra’s Solo Competition, as well as a National YoungArts Foundation Award.

Kako has appeared internationally as a soloist, performing concertos alongside orchestras in Asia, Australia, and the United States, and her solo and chamber music performances have taken her to such distinguished venues as Alice Tully Hall of Lincoln Center, Weill and Zankel Halls at Carnegie Hall, and the Sydney Opera House.

Deeply committed to community engagement and music education, Kako has worked extensively with the Music Advancement Program, a department of The Juilliard School’s Preparatory Division, o1ering instruction on violin as well as courses on historical performance and curricular studies. In 2019, she conceived, directed, and performed an original interactive concert centered around Baroque music for local elementary school students in New York City, titled A Day in the Life of a King, as part of The Juilliard School’s Young People’s Concerts series.

Kako currently studies at The Juilliard School, pursuing a graduate degree in Historical Performance under the guidance of Cynthia Roberts, Elizabeth Blumenstock, and Robert Mealy. She holds a Bachelor of Music degree from The Juilliard School, where she also attended the Pre-College program, as well as a Master of Music from The Colburn School. Her principal teachers have included Robert Lipsett and Masao Kawasaki.

Kako plays a Vuillaume workshop “St. Cecile des Thernes” violin and Sartory bow, generously on loan from the Nippon Violin Company, as well as a Kloz Baroque violin and several period bows from the Juilliard Instrument Collection. In addition to music, Kako loves food, tea, and naps.

Performances Are Back for the 2021–22 Season

Colburn recently announced the 2021–22 season, and we’re so excited to welcome students, faculty, and esteemed guest artists back to campus and to performances throughout the region. The upcoming season features a wide range of repertoire that we invite you to explore.

Please visit our Season Overview to find your favorites and to introduce you to some new ones! This season we’re also offering a livestream subscription package so that you can enjoy the return of performance from anywhere.

The following are some of the highlights for this exceptional season:

See the Music, Hear the Dance
October 2, 2021

Leading guest dance artists collaborate with Conservatory musicians for a world premiere performance of a new work for Los Angeles Ballet soloist and Colburn faculty member Jasmine Perry, choreographed by Silas Farley, Dean of the Trudl Zipper Dance Institute.

Yehuda Gilad leads the Colburn Orchestra with Martha Chan, Flute
October 16, 2021

This intimate program includes something for all musical tastes: a lively brass arrangement, Argentinian theme and variations, a masterful concerto for flute, and Mendelssohn’s charming “Italian” Symphony.

Sphinx Virtuosi Residency and Performance
October 28–31, 2021

Colburn School will host musicians from Sphinx Virtuosi, composed of the nation’s top Black and Latinx classical soloists, for a three-day residency and performance of Xavier Foley, Samuel Coleridge-Taylor, Florence Price, Jessie Montgomery, Ginastera and more.

Recovered Voices online mini-series highlights composer Erwin Schulhoff
Premiering November 2, 2021

Ziering-Conlon Initiative for Recovered Voices at Colburn expands into the digital sphere with a six-part online mini-series about composer Erwin Schulhoff; James Conlon, Artistic Director of the Initiative, gives three lecture presentations.

Esa-Pekka Salonen leads free concert with the Colburn Orchestra at The Soraya
November 13, 2021

Head of Colburn School’s Negaunee Conducting Program, Esa-Pekka Salonen leads the Colburn Orchestra and violinist Hao Zhou in a program of Shostakovich and Bruckner.

This concert is free in celebration of The Soraya’s 10th anniversary.

Academy Virtuosi
December 7, 2021

This elite chamber orchestra comprised of talented young musicians brings to life Mahler’s stunning arrangement of Schubert’s Death and the Maiden Quartet and Lyric for Strings by George Walker.

Community School Honors Recitals
December 11, 2021 and May 22, 2022

Top students from the Community School take the stage to perform solo and chamber music.

Community School Honors Chamber Recital
December 12, 2021

Top students from the Ed and Mari Edelman Chamber Music Institute present an afternoon of chamber works.

March 26, 2022

Music Academy and Dance Academy students perform celebrated choreography paired with musical masterworks in a performance that includes the premiere of a new work by Dance Dean Silas Farley.

Celebrate Colburn
April 3, 2022

Pianist and Colburn School Artist-in-Residence Jean-Yves Thibaudet joins students of Colburn’s Music Academy and Conservatory of Music in Zipper Hall for a side-by-side concert and annual gala event, Celebrate Colburn, to kick off the Music Academy’s second decade.

Amplify Series

Colburn’s Amplify concert series celebrates artists of color through week-long residencies that include performances, master classes, and panel discussions. Artists for 2021–22 include violist Nokuthula Ngwenyama, bassoonist Andrew Brady, bassist Marlon Martinez, and former New York City Ballet member and incoming Dean of the Trudl Zipper Dance Institute, Silas Farley.

Geraldine Walther, Demarre McGill, Nokuthula Ngwenyama, Andrew Bain, and more perform in the Colburn Chamber Music Society series

In her first concert as Colburn’s Interim Director of Chamber Music, Geraldine Walther performs works by Debussy, Mozart, and more; Seattle Symphony principal flute Demarre McGill performs contemporary works; violist and composer Nokuthula Ngwenyama performs Prokofiev, Dvořák, and her own works; LA Phil Principal Horn and Colburn faculty member Andrew Bain presents a program of Williams, Dvořák, Stravinsky, and more.

Learn More

A Fall Welcome from the President

Dear students, families, audiences, alumni, friends, and supporters of Colburn—welcome to the 2021–22 academic and performance season. This September, we celebrate the return of students and faculty to our campus. For the first time in almost 18 months, our practice rooms, studios, and concert halls are filled with musicians and dancers honing their craft under the guidance and mentorship of our remarkable faculty.

As we carefully resume activity on campus, I want to thank our entire community for their dedication, commitment, and support over the last year and a half. As many families and students have shared with me, Colburn’s robust remote learning program and virtual performance opportunities gave them a focus and sense of community throughout the pandemic. Despite the challenges, our students made remarkable progress and are returning to campus with newly acquired skills, ready to learn and perform.

The Colburn School is an institution with deep local roots and a global reach. Students from across Los Angeles and throughout Southern California participate in our Community School and Youth Dance programs. This year, our Dance Academy welcomes students from Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Indiana, Maryland, Ohio, and Texas, while our Music Academy students come to Colburn from eleven countries, including Malaysia, Vietnam, Australia, and Hungary. The young artists in our Conservatory of Music come from 20 countries, including Brazil, Italy, Japan, Venezuela, and Belarus.

This fall, we resume some of our most popular series and performances and introduce new programming that highlights our alumni and celebrates artists of color. The Colburn Orchestra will perform in the intimacy of Zipper Hall and in major venues around Southern California. A wide variety of recitals will feature the incredible artistry of our faculty, students, and guest performers.

This academic year we welcome dancer, educator, and choreographer Silas Farley as dean of the Trudl Zipper Dance Institute, showcasing his work throughout the season. In the spring Counterpointe performance, Dance Academy students will perform Jerome Robbin’s rarely performed masterpiece The Goldberg Variations, as the first and only student ensemble ever granted permission to perform the work. And in April, we come together for our annual school-wide Gala to celebrate Colburn and our community of artists and supporters.

In many ways, the pandemic has crystalized what is truly important for Colburn: learning and performing together, in-person; ensuring access to a great performing arts education; developing new audiences; and investing in and supporting the next generation of musicians and dancers. As we gather together to study, rehearse, and perform, the safety of our community continues to be our top priority, and we will be monitoring the latest recommendations and resources from the LA County Department of Public Health, the State of California, the CDC, and others. We appreciate your ongoing patience and participation as we take all necessary safety precautions.

Our year ahead is full of promise and we are thrilled to welcome you back. Thank you for being part of the Colburn community. I look forward to greeting you on our campus in the coming weeks.

Sel Kardan
President and CEO, The Colburn School

The Primrose International Viola Competition Returns to Colburn

The Colburn School and the American Viola Society are proud to co-present the Primrose International Viola Competition, one of the most renowned string instrument competitions in the world. For over 40 years, the Competition has featured the world’s best and most promising young violists and attracted distinguished jurors from around the world.

The Competition has launched the careers of some of today’s most successful violists, including past first prize-winners Geraldine Walther, Interim Director of Chamber Music for the Colburn Conservatory and Nokuthula Ngwenyama (Community School ’93), 2021-22 Amplify Artist.

This December, the Primrose International Viola Competition returns to Colburn for a week of exceptional international competition, exquisite music, and an exhilarating conclusion when finalists perform with the Colburn Orchestra in Zipper Hall, led by Salonen Conducting Fellow Kyle Dickson. All rounds will be open to the public, and tickets go on sale later this fall. The American Viola Society will also present a mini-festival during the Competition.

Hillary Herndon, American Viola Society President; Sel Kardan, Colburn School President; and Barry Shiffman, Primrose Competition Jury Chairman reflect on the history of the competition and how it continues to launch professional careers and inspire young musicians today.

Tell us about the Primrose International Viola Competition. What has been its core mission since it started?
Hillary Herndon: The Primrose International Viola Competition (PIVC), named for the premiere viola soloist of the 20th century, William Primrose, was founded in 1979 by David Dalton and presented in conjunction with International Viola Congress VII in Provo, Utah, which Dr. Dalton also hosted. Primrose initially resisted having the competition named in his honor as he agreed with Bartok’s assertion that “competitions are for horses.” Eventually Primrose agreed to let his name be used for the competition.

Between 1987 and 2008, eleven iterations of the competition were held with the title of the “Primrose Memorial Scholarship Competition.” In 2009 the AVS revived the original name.

Since its inception, the core mission has been to provide a competition dedicated solely to the viola, its performers and its literature, thereby helping advance all three. The PIVC was the first international competition specifically for the viola; the Lionel Tertis Viola Competition was founded in 1980, followed by others such as the Maurice Vieux and Tokyo Viola Competitions. Numerous compositions have been commissioned for the PIVC, including works by Wayne Bohrnstedt, Richard Lane, Scott Slapin, Peter Askim, and Christian Colberg.

Hillary Herndon is indebted to Dr. Dwight Pounds and Dr. David Dalton for generously sharing the historical background on the Primrose Competition found in her responses.

Sel Kardan: The Primrose Competition is one of only a handful of international viola competitions and the most important regular viola competition in North America. From the beginning of the competition, it has attracted violists from around the world aspiring to multifaceted careers as soloists, chamber musicians, orchestral players, and pedagogues. Prize winners of the Primrose have gone on to highly distinguished professional lives.

This is the third time the Colburn School has hosted the competition, presenting it in partnership with the American Viola Society. The permanence of location and positive working relationship with the AVS, along with the appointment of experienced and renowned jury members and significantly more robust prizes, have continued to elevate the Primrose in the international competition arena.

How does William Primrose continue to inspire young string players even today?
Sel Kardan: William Primrose almost single-handedly established the viola as a solo instrument, inspiring numerous composers to explore the instrument’s rich sonority and wide range. His extraordinary virtuosity and impeccable technique brought the viola into the spotlight and made evident that the viola and viola repertoire were worthy of the public’s attention. Primrose made numerous recordings as a soloist and chamber musician and collaborated with the greatest artists of his day, including Jascha Heifetz and Gregor Piatigorsky. His brilliant transcriptions became standards of the viola literature, and his teaching legacy was significant. Almost 40 years since his passing, Primrose remains an icon of the viola world and his playing an inspiration to all who play the instrument.

How important do you feel competitions are for launching a young musician’s performance career?
Barry Shiffman: Creating awareness around a young person’s artistry is a constant challenge. With the explosion of promotion and awareness via social media and other modern outlets, one would think it is easier now than in the past to get recognized. My experience suggests that while gaining awareness is indeed possible with new avenues such as social media, the huge proliferation of content, including a great deal that is not at a high artistic standard, creates challenges. Competitions recognize and celebrate excellence with the expertise of a knowledgeable and experienced jury, and that recognition can be a very important asset for an early career. Occasionally we see a new career launched with great speed, but more commonly careers are built incrementally, with a long series of successes that build the reputation. A win at a major competition like the Primrose is a very efficient way to move your career forward several paces. Doors are opened and opportunities are presented, and then it is up to the young artist to earn the return engagements.

There are many competitions today and many 1st, 2nd, and 3rd prize winners, what do you feel are the differentiating elements that propel some young musicians to a successful and sustainable performance career?
Barry Shiffman: Sustainable careers require a great number of things. Of course, a given is the consistency of compelling performances, but there is so much more that is needed. Understanding the role of the presenter and developing skills that allow you to work with the presenter to inspire their followers. I remember early on in my own career with the young St. Lawrence Quartet and having the opportunity to tour with the legendary Tokyo Quartet. The concert day required an early morning 8:00 am flight, a 3-hour rehearsal at the venue, a concert that was broadcast live on radio, and a post concert dinner reception. At 11:00PM after this long day, while packing up our belongings from the dressing room, a member of the Tokyo Quartet looked at my quartet and said, “only after the last guest has left is your work done”. The generosity and concern they brought to their music making on stage was a part of all their interactions and that lead to lifelong relationships with organizations around the globe.

What are you most looking forward to at this year’s competition?
Sel Kardan: This year’s edition of the Primrose will be celebratory in that it will bring some of the most gifted violists to Los Angeles from around the world – many traveling and seeing each other for the first time in over a year and a half. I’m looking forward to hearing the viola in Zipper Hall and to experiencing some of the new and diverse repertoire that I know competitors will choose to perform. I am also excited that the Colburn Orchestra will perform for the final concerto round with one of our gifted Salonen Conducting Fellows on the podium. I’m also very pleased to be welcoming a very distinguished jury of internationally acclaimed artists to participate in the competition and related events. All in all, it will be a wonderful conclusion to the fall semester.

Condensed from an interview originally posted on The Violin Channel.

Student Accomplishments, September 2021

Emma Lee (cello, MM ’23), Jonathan Wisner (percussion, PSC ‘23), Cristina Cutts Dougherty (tuba, BM ’19), Javier Morales-Martinez (Community School ’18) were 2021 London Symphony Orchestra Keston MAX Winners at Music Academy of the West. They will have the opportunity to perform with the the opportunity to perform with the London Symphony Orchestra and Music Director Sir Simon Rattle in 2022.

Conservatory violinist Fiona Shea (BM ’22) won the 2022 Dorothy DeLay Fellowship at the Aspen Music Festival and School. She also soloed with the Pacific Symphony in August 2021, performing Bruch Violin Concerto No. 1.

Community School pianist Lillian Feng was selected as a recipient of the 2021 Chopin Foundation Scholarship.

Music Academy pianist Daniel Wang (’23) was selected as a recipient of the 2021 Chopin Foundation Scholarship.

DeVonte’ Tasker (Dance Academy ‘18) will join the faculty of Ballet Arts Tucson, the official school of Ballet Tucson, to teach Modern, Theater Dance, and Hip Hop/Jazz Funk.

Conservatory harpist Anya Garipoli (AD ’23) was appointed Principal Harpist with the Venice Symphony in Venice, Florida.

Music Academy pianist Lindsey Yang (’24) was a finalist in 2021 Gina Bachauer International Junior Piano Competition.

Devan Jaquez (Conservatory ’19) has been named Principal Flute of the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra.

Isabella Bertagni (Dance Academy ’21) has been accepted into the Professional Division of the Pacific Northwest Ballet.

Justin Cummings (Conservatory ’18) has been named Principal Bassoon of the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra.

Conservatory cellist Benett Tsai (BM ’24) was a semi-finalist for 2021 ABC’s Young Performers Award, one of Australia’s most prestigious awards for young classical musicians.

As a first prize winner of the International Music Competition “Grand Prize Virtuoso,” Music Academy flutist Nikka Gershman-Pepper (’26) performed in the historic Beethoven House in Bonn. Nikka also performed a solo concert with the LA Jewish Symphony and won first prize of Rising Stars Grand Prix 2021 – International Music Competition Berlin.

PBS SoCal and KCET will broadcast The Music Center’s Spotlight Virtual Grand Finale featuring Grand Prize Finalist and Music Academy student William Ju (oboe, ’22).

Modern dancer Tess McCharen (TZDI ’17) signed a contract with the Limon2 dance company.

Community School cellist Nathaniel Yue received first prize in the Young Artist Category of the Chicago International Music Competition.

Abigail Ullendorff (Dance Academy ’18) has been appointed the President of the student-run ballet company at Duke University, Devils en Pointe.

Music Academy clarinetist Noah Jung (clarinet, ’22) performed in Carnegie Hall with the National Youth Orchestra.

Ryan Davis

Ryan Davis

Hailed as a “lovely violist” (The WholeNote), and chosen as a “Top 30 Under 30” by CBC Music (upcoming 2021), Ryan Davis is swiftly emerging as a singular creative voice. Ryan graduated from the Colburn Conservatory of Music in 2019 and recent performance highlights include an appearance on NBA Champion and former Toronto Raptors player Serge Ibaka’s Instagram Live show, How Talented Are You?, and a featured performance of Christos Hatzis’s The Mega4 Meta4, as an invited soloist in the 21C Music Festival at The Royal Conservatory of Music. Ryan is an innovative composer-performer under the moniker Radia, combining inspiration of classical, folk, electronic, and hip-hop music with a loop pedal. His compositions have been featured in diverse spaces and communities, including in Toronto’s Koerner Hall, The Violin Channel, in Los Angeles’s Skid Row, and on ABC Channel 7 News LA. In 2019 he was chosen as the first ever violist in the Rebanks Family Fellowship & International Performance Residency Program in Toronto.

Makiko Hirata

Makiko Hirata

An international pianist and a recording artist with ten released albums, Makiko Hirata is “Dr. Pianist,” on a mission to promote the power of music to heal and unite us. In addition to her concerts, she collaborates with neuroscientists to quantify the benefit of music and promote music as an overlooked social resource through speaking engagements, workshops, and writing. She is a US-Japan Leadership Program Fellow.

Dr. Hirata has given recitals, lectures, concerto performances and outreach concerts in the Americas and Eurasia with ensembles and artists, such as the River Oaks Chamber Orchestra, the Pecs Hungarian Symphony Orchestra, conductor Leon Fleisher, and clarinetist David Krakauer. She has taught at New York University, Colburn Conservatory of Music, Rice University, and Lone Star College, and given master classes and lectures internationally.

Dr. Hirata is a Shigeru Kawai Artist.

More on Dr. Hirata is at:

For her videos, please visit:

Evin Blomberg

Evin Blomberg

Violinist Evin Blomberg has won praise for her “virtuoso technique” and “commanding musical presence”. At 13 years of age, Evin won 1st Prize at the Korea Times Competition in the United States, and she has continued to receive top prizes at international competitions ever since. Most recently, Evin received 4th Prize at the 2016 International Irving M. Klein String Competition, 2nd Prize at the Schmidbauer International Competition (Junior Division), and was also a competitor at the 8th International Fritz Kreisler Competition in Vienna, Austria. At the age of 15, Evin Blomberg was accepted into the studio of Robert Lipsett at The Colburn School Conservatory of Music, where she received a Bachelor of Music degree at the age of 19 and Artist Diploma two years later. Evin went on to study at the Manhattan School of Music as a student of Pinchas Zukerman, and received a Master of Music degree as a student in the Pinchas Zukerman Performance Program.

In recent years, Evin has given solo performances throughout California, as well as in Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall in New York, generously hosted by the Steinway Society and American Fine Arts Festival. She performed the Brahms Violin Concerto in D Major with the The Colburn Orchestra in Los Angeles, and has given recitals in Sierra Madre, Three Rivers, Malibu, and Beverly Hills.

Evin has collaborated with many artists through several educational institutions, most notably The Colburn School and the Aspen Music Festival and School. As a part of the Colburn Chamber Music Society concert series, Evin has performed with artists such as Robert DeMaine, Jennifer Frautschi, Clive Greensmith, Viviane Hagner, Ronald Leonard, Robert Levin, John Perry, Elizabeth Schumann, and the Ebène Quartet. She has also been a dedicated member of several piano trios, and has intensively studied numerous works in the repertoire with chamber musicians and pedagogues such as Martin Beaver, James Dunham, Clive Greensmith, Wu Han, Ronald Leonard, Menahem Pressler, and Sylvia Rosenberg. As concertmaster of The Colburn Orchestra, Evin had the opportunity to work with conductors such as Esa-Pekka Salonen, Gilbert Varga, and James Conlon, and even garnered a review in the Los Angeles Times for her work with James Conlon. Evin has been a member of almost every orchestra at the Aspen Music Festival and School since 2010, and she also participated in the 2010 New York String Orchestra Seminar at Carnegie Hall. Evin has taken part in several productions in the film and entertainment industry for the GRAMMY Foundation, ABC television network, and several music records. As a native of California, Evin attended pre-college at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, where she studied with Davis Law and Alexander Barantschik, Concertmaster of the San Francisco Symphony.

Evin has also shown great commitment as a teacher, and in 2013, Evin was a recipient of a Teaching Fellowship from The Colburn School. The Fellowship provided the opportunity to work with local music students, while studying teaching styles and the psychology of learning. Evin also pioneered an early music program with pre-school students in Northern California, and also started working on a summer extension of the program. While living in New York, Evin maintained a small private studio, and was an assistant faculty member at the 2016 Manhattan in the Mountains Summer Festival in Hunter, New York.

Evin currently lives in Cincinnati, Ohio, where she plays in the Second Violin Section of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra. Previously, Evin was based in London and performed frequently in the violin sections of the London Philharmonic Orchestra and the Philharmonia Orchestra. She is also the violinist of the American string duo DuoSkope.

Evin plays on a 1772 Joseph Gagliano violin.

Janice Ying

Dr. Janice Ying is a board certified orthopedic physical therapist and the founder of Opus Physical Therapy and Performance based in Los Angeles, CA. Prior to her career in physical therapy, she received her degree in Piano Performance and Music Education from Pepperdine University with an emphasis in Violin Performance. She received her Doctor of Physical Therapy degree from the University of Southern California and has been practicing for over a decade. She is internationally recognized as an expert in the field of Performing Arts Medicine, particularly with developing injury prevention and rehabilitation strategies for instrumental musicians. Dr. Ying has recently been awarded the 2021 Emerging Leader Award by the American Physical Therapy Association for her contributions towards advancing the field of Performing Arts Medicine in Physical Therapy. She currently serves as Adjunct Instructor of Clinical Physical Therapy at the University of Southern California and is a frequent guest lecturer throughout the US and abroad.