Violinist/Violist Martha Muehleisen has performed throughout the US and Europe as an orchestral, chamber, and solo musician. In 2010 and 2011 she was selected as a participant in the Lucerne Festival Academy in Lucerne, Switzerland where she was able to work with Pierre Boulez and members of the Ensemble Intercontemporain. Martha frequently performs as part of the Peak Frequency Festival at the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs. In the summer of 2017, she was a guest artist with mezzo-soprano Megan Ihnen performing György Kurtág’s Kafka Fragmente at the University of Missouri Kansas City Composition Workshop. In 2019, she performed a lecture recital titled The Art of the Duo featuring works for violin and electronics at the VU Symposium in Park City, Utah, and in 2020 presented a solo violin work at the virtual New Music Gathering. Martha has been fortunate to play under conductors Marin Alsop, Pierre Boulez, Peter Eötvös, David Robertson, and James DePreist. She has also worked with many different composers on chamber and orchestral music including Pierre Boulez, Louis Andriessen, and George Lewis. She completed her Masters Degree at the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University in 2007, studying primarily with Herbert Greenberg, and has also completed a Certificate of Contemporary Music Performance at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, studying with Airi Yoshioka. Martha currently serves as a Lecturer in Violin/Viola at the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs. She performs on a French violin made in 1880 by Nestor Audinot, student of Sébastian Vuillaume.
Violinist/Violist Karine Garibova Violinist Karine Garibova was born and raised in Moscow and started playing violin at the age six studying with Irina Svetlova, Yelena Mazor and Khalida Akhtyamova. Ms. Garibova earned a
DMA in String Quartet performance from the Gnesins’ Russian Academy of Music in Moscow,
Russia. Ms. Garibova is a founding member of the Veronika String Quartet, which launched itself
onto the international arena early, taking top prizes at the Melbourne International Chamber
Music Competition and Shostakovich International String Quartet Competition among others.
Since then, this foursome has appeared in important halls in Moscow, London, Madrid,
Jerusalem, New York and Chicago. Noteworthy collaborations have included those with
members of the Amadeus, American and Fine Arts quartets, and with guest artists Ruth Laredo,
Richard Stolzman, and Lawrence Leighton Smith.
Performances of the complete canon of the quartet repertory, coupled with its devotion to the
modernist idiom, have resulted in a discography of nine recordings on Carlton Classics and
Vienna Modern Masters, featuring an impressive array of works ranging from W.A. Mozart to
Augusta Read Thomas. The Veronika String Quartet has held artistic posts at Colorado State
University - Pueblo and at Ohio’s Lancaster Music Festival, where it currently performs as
quartet-in-residence. Since 2000 Ms. Garibova has also been playing with the Colorado Springs
Philharmonic, where she became Associate Principal Second Violin in 2004. She teaches
privately in Colorado Springs and coaches the Colorado Springs Youth Symphony. Ms. Garibova
is also enjoying collaborating in chamber music performances with musicians from Colorado
Springs, CO to Moscow, Russia.
Michael Sabatka A native of Rochester, New York, Michael Sabatka resides in Colorado Springs where he serves as the Associate Principal Violist with the Colorado Springs Philharmonic and performs with in the chamber series Colorado Hausmusik. Before relocating to Colorado in the fall of 2018, Mr. Sabatka called Alabama home, where he performed regularly with the Huntsville Symphony, Chattanooga Symphony, and as a substitute with the Alabama Symphony. He also had the privilege to play two seasons with the Boise Philharmonic before relocating to the Southeast. An avid chamber musician and teacher, he has served as a faculty member of the Interlochen Summer Arts Camp, Chautauqua Music Camp, as a guest artist at Mississippi State University, in addition to the many summers he has been a staff member at the Credo Chamber Music Festival. He earned his bachelor’s degree from the Oberlin Conservatory of Music, and his master’s degree from Boise State University where he served as a graduate teaching assistant and fellowship string quartet member. Pending the completion of his dissertation project, he will earn his DMA from the University of Alabama, where he was awarded a position in the Capstone graduate string quartet, and in addition served as a graduate teaching assistant. His primary mentors are Peter Slowik and Alice Kanack, and he has also grown both musically and as a teacher from the tutelage of Linda Kline, Wendy Richman, and Jacob Adams. In addition to his life in music, Mr. Sabatka loves the outdoors and enjoys hiking the trails and peaks in Colorado with his wife Erica and their Corgi mix, Bartok.
Clarinetist Sergei Vassiliev is a soloist, chamber musician, orchestral musician and teacher. His recent solo engagements include the Mozart Concerto with the Kharkivsʹka Filarmoniya in Ukraine and "Signature Series" recitals with Colorado Springs Philharmonic Orchestra. In the latter, Sergei played the role of both soloist and artistic director. Sergei appears at Festival Mozaic, Green Box Arts Festival, and Colorado College Music Festival and recently collaborated with Carnegie Hall based DECODA ensemble.Sergei has held principal clarinet positions with Des Moines Metro Opera Orchestra and Boise Philharmonic, has appeared with Houston, Colorado Symphonies, and many other symphony orchestras. He is the tenured principal clarinetist with the Colorado Springs Philharmonic Orchestra. Vassiliev is an adjunct instructor of clarinet at Colorado State University - Fort Collins and University of Colorado - Colorado Springs.
Hornist Sarah Ford joined the Colorado Springs Philharmonic in September 2016. Sarah began teaching at CSU-Pueblo that same fall and now begins teaching horn at University of Colorado, Colorado Springs this September, 2017. Before moving cross-country to Colorado, Sarah earned her Master of Music from the Yale School of Music and her Bachelor of Music degree from Rutgers University, Mason Gross School of the Arts. She has studied with some of the great horn pedagogues such as Denise Tryon, Eric Reed, Bill Purvis, and Radek Baborák in Prague, CZ. During her summers, Sarah has participated in the National Repertory Orchestra, Crested Butte Music Festival, the Pierre Monteux School, the National Music Festival, the Kennedy Center Summer Music Institute, and other programs. Sarah enjoys playing music of all styles and genres and enjoys teaching students of all ages and abilities!
JJ Sechan is Principal Bassoonist of the Colorado Springs Philharmonic,
a position he won while simultaneously finishing his Artist Diploma at
Oberlin Conservatory, as a student of George Sakakeeny. In addition to
performances in Colorado Springs, Mr. Sechan also performs regularly with
Opera Colorado, and the Boulder Philharmonic Orchestra, with whom he
toured to the Kennedy Center as part of the 2017 Shift Festival for American
Orchestras. He has spent his past summers as a fellow at the National
Repertory Orchestra and Sarasota Music Festival, among others.
Born and raised in Highland Park, Illinois, Mr. Sechan began his musical
studies in jazz saxophone at the age of ten. He started studying bassoon at the
age of 15, and has pursued this passion ever since.
Paul Nagem has been principal flute for the Colorado Springs Symphony/Philharmonic since 1994. A native of San Diego, he studied flute there with Damian Bursill-Hall, then principal flute of the San Diego Symphony and now with the Pittsburgh Symphony. He received his Bachelor's Degree from the New England Conservatory of Music, where he studied with Lois Schaefer of the Boston Symphony. Mr. Nagem is the Instructor of Flute at Colorado College. He has performed with the San Diego Symphony, the Colorado Symphony and the Singapore Symphony. Mr. Nagem plays Straubinger flutes.