2015 Judges & Master Class Instructors

Sarah Chang, Violin

Heidi Castleman, Viola

Anthony Ross, Cello



Sarah Chang is recognized as one of the foremost violinists of our time, having performed with the most esteemed orchestras, conductors, and accompanists in an international career spanning more than two decades. Since her debut with the New York Philharmonic at the age of eight, Ms. Chang has dazzled audiences with her technical virtuosity and emotional depth. Ms. Chang’s most recent recording for EMI Classics - her 20th for the label - featured the Brahms and Bruch violin concertos with Kurt Masur and the Dresdner Philharmonie, and was received to excellent critical and popular acclaim. Her 2007 recording of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons attracted international commendation, with BBC Music Magazine stating: “She has never made a finer recording.” She has also recorded Prokofiev Violin Concerto No.1 and Shostakovich Violin Concerto No.1 live with the Berliner Philharmoniker under the baton of Sir Simon Rattle; Fire and Ice, an album of popular shorter works for violin and orchestra with Placido Domingo conducting the Berliner Philharmoniker; the Dvorák Violin Concerto with the London Symphony Orchestra and Sir Colin Davis; as well as several chamber music and sonata discs with artists including pianists Leif Ove Andsnes and Lars Vogt. She is the recipient of numerous international awards, including the Avery Fisher Career Grant and Gramophone’s “Young Artist of the Year” award. In 2011, Ms. Chang was named an official Artistic Ambassador by the United States Embassy




Heidi Castleman, Professor of Viola at the Juilliard School of Music, has taught at the Cleveland Institute of Music, the Eastman School of Music, New England Conservatory, SUNY Purchase, Rice University and Philadelphia Musical Academy. Ms. Castleman performed as a member of the former New York String Sextet and as a guest artist with ensembles including the Cleveland, Audubon, Lydian and Cavani Quartets. Master classes and lecture-demonstrations include those given in Vienna, Salzburg, Lubeck, Shanghai, South Korea, as well as in Montreal, Chicago, Dallas, Interlochen and Boulder. During past summers, Ms. Castleman has taught and performed at the Aspen Sarasota, Banff, Eastern and Blossom Music Festivals, as well as at the Perlman Music Program. Ms. Castleman now participates annually in the Heifetz Institute and Sejong International Music Festival. A founding trustee of Chamber Music America (and its President from 1983-87), Ms. Castleman also served on the Boards of the American String Teachers Association (ASTA), the Aspen Music Festival and the Perlman Music Program. She currently serves on the Advisory Board of the Fischoff Competition. Ms. Castleman has been the recipient of numerous awards and honors, including "Teacher of the Year" awards from the American String Teacher Association (1994 and 2004), the Chamber Music America “Richard J. Bogomolny National Service Award” (2001), the American Viola Society “Maurice W. Riley Viola Award for Distinguished Contributions to the Viola” (2004), and in 2006 an Honorary Doctorate degree from the University of Montreal.





Anthony Ross has been the dynamic leader of the Minnesota Orchestra cello section since 1991. He has appeared as soloist many times with the Minnesota Orchestra, performing all the standard cello concertos under Osmo Vanska, Edo de Warart and Eiji Oue. Ross’ recordings include Bernstein’s “Three Meditations from the Mass” with the Minnesota Orchestra under Eiji Oue on Reference Recordings, the George Lloyd Cello Concerto with the Albany Symphony under David Alan Miller on Albany Records, and the Sonatas of Rachmaninoff and Elliott Carter for Boston Records. As concerto soloist, he has played with the Moscow State Orchestra, the Louisville Orchestra, the Dallas Symphony, the Rochester Philharmonic, the South Dakota Symphony, and many other Midwest regional orchestras. Ross has taught at the Eastman School of Music, the Aspen and Grand Tetons Music Festivals, and at the Interlochen and Madeline Island Music Camps. His many festival appearances include performances at the Mostly Mozart Festival, Music in the Vineyards, the Colorado Music Festival, the Rhodes Music Festival in Greece, the Cactus Pear Music Festival in San Antonio and the Bach Dancing and Dynamite Society in Madison. Winner of the Stulberg Competition’s gold medal in 1979, he went on to win the prestigious bronze medal at the 1982 Tschaikovsky Competition in Moscow, the G.B. Dealy Award, and a prize in the Parisot International Cello Competition. Tony was awarded a McKnight Artist Fellowship, once as soloist, and again in 2005 as part of the Ross Rapier Cello Duo.