Faculty

Our award winning faculty is eager to help our attendees grow as cellists and as musicians. Click on their name to learn more.

Hans Jørgen Jensen

jorgenjensenMr. Jensen has performed as a soloist and recitalist in the United States, Canada, Europe, and Japan including solo appearances with the Danish Radio Orchestra, the Basel Symphony Orchestra, the Copenhagen Symphony and the Irish Radio Orchestra. He has given numerous workshops and master classes across the United States, Canada, and Japan including those at the University of Cincinnati, the Royal College of Music in Calgary, the Music Bridge Festival in Calgary, the Glenn Gould Professional School in Toronto, the University of British Columbia, the International Banff Center, Southern Methodist University School of Music, the University of Arizona, the University of Denver, the University of New Mexico, the Texas Music Festival, the University of Colorado, the National Suzuki Convention, the Midwest Orchestra and Band Convention, and Indiana University School of Music.

His former students are members of major orchestras throughout the United States and Canada. His students are first prize winners in the MTNA National Competition, the ASTA National Competition, the Sphinx Competition, the Stulberg International Competition, the Madison Symphony Young Artist Competition, the Corpus Christi International Competition, the Chicago Symphony Young Artist Competition and the Fischoff Chamber Music Competition. They are also prize winners in the WAMSO Young Artist Competition, the Klein International Competition, and the Lutoslavski International Cello Competition.

Mr. Jensen was awarded the Copenhagen Music Critics Prize, the Jacob Gades Prize, the Danish Ministry of Cultural Affairs Grant for Musicians, and was the winner of the Artist International Competition that resulted in three New York Recitals. In 1998 he was named the outstanding teacher of the year at Northwestern University and in 1999, the outstanding studio teacher of the year by Illinois ASTA. In 2001 he was awarded the U.S. Presidential Scholar Teacher Recognition Award by the U.S. Department of Education. He joined the faculty of the Robert McDuffie Center for Strings as a Distinguished Artist in Fall 2011.

Nick Curry

NickCellophotoDr. Nick Curry is the Associate Professor of Cello at the University of North Florida. At UNF, he also serves as the coordinator of scholarships and admissions for the music department and as the area coordinator for strings. He is a founding member of Trio Florida with violinist Simon Shiao and pianist Gary Smart, featuring new compositions as well as timeless classics. In early 2015, he joined fellow Jacksonville musicians Aurica Duca, violinist, and Clinton Dewing, violinist/violist, as founders of the Lawson Ensemble to play and promote chamber music in the region. From 2004-2007, he served as the assistant professor of cello and the cellist in the Rawlins Piano Trio at the University of South Dakota.

He was born in Atlanta, Georgia, and graduated from The Westminster Schools, where his chamber music coaches included Martha Gerschefski and Allan Sandlin. Nick received his Bachelor of Music, cum laude, from Vanderbilt, where he studied with Grace Mihi Bahng. While at Vanderbilt, he served as Professor Bahng’s teaching assistant and was the recipient of the Jean Keller Heard Award for Excellence in string performance. Nick then served as Hans Jorgen Jensen’s teaching assistant for five years at Northwestern University, earning both his Master and Doctor of Music degrees. He also was the teaching assistant to Professor Jensen at the Meadowmount School of Music for four summers. At Northwestern, Nick performed as soloist with the Northwestern Philharmonic Orchestra and won the Northwestern Chamber Music Competition.

Nick’s chamber training includes master classes with the Emerson String Quartet, the Pacifica String Quartet, and the Blair String Quartet. Private studies also included summers in Canada and Italy studying with Harvey Shapiro of Julliard fame. Nick has played concerts in Austria, France, Italy, Slovenia, Spain, South Africa, Taiwan and Turkey, and throughout the United States. In April of 2006, he performed as a soloist on National Public Radio (USA) Garrison Keillor’s Prairie Home Companion on the King Amati (ca. 1538) cello. The performance was heard by over 4,000 people live and by approximately four million on radio and can be found on the Prairie Home Companion website archives.

In the summers of 2012 and 2013, Dr. Curry was visiting faculty at the Meadowmount School of Music and was full-time faculty at the Tennessee Valley Music Festival. He has presented at national conferences; is a sought after clinician and adjudicator; and active with the Florida Chapter of the American String Teachers Association.

From his undergraduate days, Nick knew he wanted to teach cello and perform chamber music and is grateful to UNF for helping that ambition be realized. He is married to fellow faculty member, Dr. Cara Tasher, and they are the parents of Mia, age one.

Mihai Tetel

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Mihai Tetel began his musical studies in his native Romania at the famed George Enescu Music School. Settling in Canada in 1979, he graduated in 1984 with a Bachelors degree from the University of Toronto as an honors student of the celebrated virtuoso Vladimir Orloff. He earned a Master’s degree from The Juilliard School in 1986, and a Professional Studies Diploma from the Mannes School in New York in 1988. His principal cello teachers have included Lorne Munroe and Timothy Eddy.

Tetel was a winner of the 1987 Artists International Competition which awarded as its prize a New York recital debut at Weill Hall of Carnegie Hall. Prior competition triumphs include First Prize in the Koussevitsky Competition (1984), Montreal Symphony Competition (1983), Canadian Music Competition (1982), and the Toronto Symphony Concerto Competition (1980).

He has appeared as soloist with the Montreal Symphony, Toronto Symphony, Calgary Philharmonic, Edmonton Symphony, Muncie Symphony, Hartt Philharmonia, Sao Paulo Symphony (Brazil), Thessaloniki Symphony (Greece), and the Odeion Wind Ensemble (Holland), collaborating with conductors such as Charles Dutoit, Andrew Davis, Christopher Zimmerman, Edward Cumming, and Boris Brott.

As a recitalist, he has performed in Bolivia, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Hungary, Japan, Romania, Taiwan, and the United States.

Prior to his appointment at the Hartt School in 2007, Tetel has been on the faculty of Ball State University and the Glenn Gould Professional School of the Royal Conservatory in Toronto, and has served as Director of the Alberta College Conservatory of Music in Edmonton.

He has been invited to give master classes at the University of Michigan, Boston University, Southern Methodist University, Oberlin Conservatory, Boston Conservatory, University of Arizona, DePaul University, Cleveland Institute of Music, Baldwin-Wallace Conservatory, St. Olaf College, University of Minnesota, Lawrence University, Indiana University String Academy, McGill University, Camp Encore, Meadowmount, Royal Academy (Seoul, Korea), L’Ecole Alsacienne (Paris), and Shuan-Yin International Festival (Taiwan).

Since 1992 Tetel has directed ARIA International Summer Academy, a highly successful program which offers intensive, professional training to young musicians from all over the world. The program takes place on the campus of Mount Holyoke College in South Hadley, MA.

He has released four CD’s on the Tristan label, and one CD on the Beneficence label. Tetel has also collaborated on several CD’s with cellist Ofra Harnoy for the RCA-Red Seal label.

His performances have been broadcast on National Public Radio, Indiana Public Radio, and the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.

As chamber musician, Tetel has collaborated with the Orion Quartet; violinists James Buswell, Lynn Chang, Ilya Kaler, Bayla Keyes, Mikhail Kopelman, Oleh Krysa, Jaime Laredo, Anton Miller, Felicia Moye, David Russell, Hagai Shaham, Janet Sung, Keng-Yuen Tseng, and Peter Zazofsky; violists Atar Arad, Victoria Chiang, Patricia McCarty, Rita Porfiris, Marcus Thompson, and Rebecca Young; cellists Lynn Harrell, clarinetist Kenneth Grant, pianists Edmund Battersby, Joseph Kalichstein, Robert McDonald, Yong-Hi Moon, Robert Palmer, Antonio Pompa-Baldi, Daniel Shapiro, Barry Snyder, and Peter Takacs; flutists Bonita Boyd, Amy Porter, Carol Wincenc, and Eugenia Zuckerman.

He is a member of the New York-based chamber music group Ensemble Respiro, Rubens Piano Trio, and cellist of the Hartt String Quartet.

Susan Robison

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Cellist Susan Robison is an active performer and devoted teacher. She holds a Masters of Music in Performance from the University of Minnesota and a Bachelors of Music in Performance, cum laude, from Ball State University. Her major teachers include Susan Moses, Mihai Tetel, and Tanya Remenikova.
Robison is a member of the Clara Piano Trio, which was formed in the Fall of 2015. She also performs chamber music with colleagues and friends in various venues in Connecticut. She has toured the south of France and Belize with Les Femmes International.
Robison currently teaches a full cello studio at The Hartt School Community Division, where she also coaches chamber music. Her students frequently place highly in regional orchestra auditions, and some go on to study music in major music schools (including The Hartt School, SUNY Purchase, Boston Conservatory, and Boston University).

She has formerly held adjunct cello and chamber music teaching positions at The Hartt School and The University of Rhode Island. She is now enjoying her time as a mother of two young boys who never fail to keep her life interesting and full of excitement.

Mary Beth Bryant

mary beth bryantMary Beth Bryant studied with Martha Gerschefski and later went to graduate school at the University of Hartford to study with Mihai Tetel where she served as principal cello of the university orchestra. She has performed in master classes for Timothy Eddy, Hans Jorgen Jensen and Amit Peled.

Her students have served as principal of MYSO and EYSO in Atlanta as well as attended All-State Orchestra in Georgia. Mary Beth presented “How to Make your Cellists Yo YO Ma-Velous” for the past two years at the ASTA conference. She loves teaching and finds great joy in seeing her students quickly progress!

Grace Bahng Gavin

Grace Bhang PhotoGrace Bahng Gavin was a scholarship student of Leonard Rose and Channing Robbins at the Juilliard School where she received her B.M. and M.M. degrees. She was a member of the Blair String Quartet and Associate Professor at Vanderbilt University from 1984-1999. Widely acclaimed in concert performances across the country, she has appeared in recital at the Library of Congress, Kennedy Center, 92nd St. Y in New York, Alice Tully Hall and on National Public Radio and Television. She has been in residence at the Aspen, Marlboro, Sunflower, Sewanee, Buzzard’s Bay and the Crested Butte Chamber Music Festivals, the El Paso Pro Musica International Chamber Music Festival, the Sedona Chamber Music Festival, the Highlands/Cashiers Chamber Music Festival, the Irving S. Gilmore International Keyboard Festival and the St. Barths Music Festival.

Ms. Bahng has performed with a wide array of musicians, including: Edgar Meyer, Robert McDuffie, Donald McInnes, Joseph Silverstein, Bela Fleck, Nigel Kennedy, Mark O’Connor, Vince Gill, Trisha Yearwood, Martina McBride and has played on numerous movie soundtracks. Grace lives in Orlando, Florida, where she lives with her husband, Kip, and enjoys competitive tennis and cooking.

Avi Friedlander

Avi_Friedlander-Pic-200x300Avi Friedlander, Cello, is the director of the Barston Suzuki Center at the Music Institute of Chicago, a teacher trainer candidate and founder and former director of Suzuki Talent Education Program of Birmingham. He received his Master’s and Bachelor’s of Music performance degrees from The University of Michigan, and pursued his professional studies degree from The Cleveland Institute of Music.

Mr. Friedlander is the former Assistant Principal cellist of the Atlanta Opera, former member of The New World Symphony and former Adjunct Professor of Cello at Emory University in Atlanta. He has been trained in Suzuki Methods with Dr. Tanya Carey, Pam Devenport, Rick Mooney and Gilda Barston. Mr. Friedlander has also been trained in cello pedagogy with Irene Sharp and teaching group classes with Carey Beth Hockett and Terry Durbin. His primary teachers have included Anthony Elliott, Stephen Geber, Tanya Carey and David Premo and has also studied with Richard Aaron and Hans Jensen. Mr. Friedlander has studied improvisation methods with Eugene Friesen from the Berkley College and performs and records music from classical to rock. Mr. Friedlander currently performs with the String Theory Birmingham and Sunday Jazz Night and writes his own arrangements for solo cello of rock tunes from Jimi Hendrix to Pearl Jam.