Helping Children To Be Musicians

2011 Judges

Chris Arrell

 The music of Chris Arrell, described as "sensuous" and "highly nuanced" by critics James L. Paulk and Pierre Ruhe of the Atlanta Journal Constitution, has been performed by such ensembles as Boston Musica Viva, Sonic Generator, Sospeso, Thamyris, Bent Frequency and newEar, among others, at venues across the US and in South America, Europe, and Australia.  Honors include commissions from Boston Musica Viva, the Fromm Foundation of Harvard University, Music at the Anthology, Spivey Hall, and Cornell University, prizes from the Salvatore Martirano Composition Competition, the League of Composers/ISCM, SCI, and ASCAP, and residencies from the MacDowell Colony and the Atlantic Center for the Arts.  Commercial recordings of Arrell's music include "A is for Andiamo" and "Reel" (Electroshock Records), and “Ghosts” (Beauport Classical).

Arrell is Assistant Professor of Music at College of the Holy Cross and taught previously at Clayton State University in suburban Atlanta.  A West Coast native, he attended the University of Oregon for his undergraduate education (BM) before moving to the Lone Star State to pursue his graduate studies (MM) as a pupil of Dan Welcher at the University of Texas.  Arrell earned his doctorate from Cornell University, studying with Steven Stucky and Roberto Sierra, and also participating in the Cornell-Columbia Exchange Scholar Program under the tutelage of Tristan Murail.

Manabu Takasawa

Noted for his “sensitive touch” by The Washington Post and for his “beautiful sound with an abundant sense of fantasy” by Musica Nova magazine (Japan), pianist Manabu Takasawa is Associate Professor of Music at the University of Rhode Island.  His interest in music education has taken him to performances in regional elementary and secondary schools in Rhode Island as well as schools in Japan, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam.  He also serves as the director of the young artists and chamber music competitions for the Eastern Division of the Music Teachers National Association.

Since making a solo recital debut at The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in 1992, Manabu has performed in the United States, Europe and Asia including a recital at the Czech Embassy in Washington, D.C. and a sold-out recital in Tokyo’s Opera City Recital Hall.  His concert activities and interviews have been broadcast on WSCL-FM89.5 and WBOC-Channel 16 in Maryland, internationally on Mercury Radio (Poznán, Poland) and on a News 5 evening news broadcast in Belize.  He is also the creator and director of the URI Piano Extravaganza!, a piano festival of concerts and events for professional and amateur pianists, held annually in spring.


Harris Shilakowsky

Violinist, Harris Shilakowsky likes to organize special concerts and events. Shilakowsky String Quartet performs many events every year in New England. Shilakowsky founded, directs and performs as violin soloist of the Bristol Chamber Orchestra, a professional ensemble dedicated to performing music of all periods. Mr. Shilakowsky, performed as a guest leader (a position leading the violin section) of the London Symphony Orchestra performing recording sessions, tours and performances under music director Michael Tilson Thomas and Sir George Solti, Sir Colin Davis and André Previn in performances with Jessye Norman, Yuri Bashmet, Peter Zimmerman, and Kiri Tekanawa, among others. Shilakowsky was the concertmaster for European Tour with Maximillian Schell of My Fair Lady, and was solo violinist for Andrew Lloyd Webber’s German production of Sunset Boulevard.

Harris Shilakowsky is a former concertmaster of the Charleston Symphony Orchestra (D.Stahl), the New Orleans Symphony under Maxim Shostakovich, the Omaha Symphony directed by Bruce Hangen, the Grand Rapids Symphony (Semyon Bychkov), the Orquesta Sinfonica de Las Palmas and the Des Moines Metro Opera Orchestra.  He has also worked with the Boston, Chautauqua and Nashville Symphonies, the Buffalo Philharmonic, the Handel-Haydn Society of Boston, and the Opera Company of Boston. As solo violinist, Shilakowsky has appeared with the New Orleans, Omaha and Charleston Symphony Orchestras, the New England Conservatory and Grand Rapids Symphony Orchestras.  Shilakowsky earned his Bachelor of Music cum laudé from New England Conservatory of Music and a Master's Degree from Yale University.  His teachers include  Joseph Silverstein, Koichiro Harada, Nancy Cirillo,  and Leo Panasevich of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, David Cerone, Vali Bluttner and Yair Kless, chamber music with Joseph Gingold, Louis Krasner, Rudolph Kolisch, Eugene Lehner, master classes and chamber music with Oscar Shumsky and members of the Tokyo Quartet at Yale.


Dani Rimoni

Dani Rimoni graduated from the Rubin Academy of Music, part of Tel Aviv University, with an artist diploma in violin and viola performance. After performing with the Be’er Sheva Simfonietta for one season, he came to Boston to study at the New England Conservatory with Boston Symphony Orchestra principal violist Burton Fine. Mr. Rimoni is principal violist of the Nashua Symphony Orchestra (NH), a member of the Boston Classical Orchestra and the Springfield Symphony Orchestra. He also performs with Boston Ballet, the Boston Pops Esplanade Orchestra, and Boston Lyric Opera. Mr. Rimoni is a founding member of the Kaleidoscope Chamber Ensemble. He has also been on the faculties of the New England Conservatory Preparatory School, the Walnut Hill Preparatory School, and the Brookline Music School.