Michael Avitabile // Flute // Founder & Executive Director
Praised for playing that is "warm and vocal" (Boston Musical Intelligencer), Michael Avitabile is a flutist, entrepreneur, and educator dedicated to the music of our time. He is the Founder and Executive Director of Hub New Music, a Boston-based chamber music organization actively performing and commissioning the latest generation of composers. Under his leadership, Hub has regionally and world premiered music by the nation’s most innovative musical minds including Kati Agocs, Daniel Wohl, Missy Mazzoli, Robert Honstein, and many others.
In addition to his work with Hub, Mike has collaborated with today’s most prominent composers including Harrison Birtwhistle, John Zorn, Brett Dean, and Christian Wolfe. He also performs with the Callithumpian Consort, Unitas Ensemble, EQ Ensemble, and Verdant Vibes. As an orchestral musician, he has received fellowships to play with the National Repertory Orchestra, Banff Festival Orchestra, and has also performed with the New World Symphony. He was won first prize in the Ervin Monroe, Donald Voorhees, and Catherine E. MacPhail Young Artist Competitions and has had concerto appearances with the Allentown Symphony and Bethlehem Bach Choir Orchestra.
He holds degrees from the University of Michigan (BM) and New England Conservatory (MM), graduating with top honors at both institutions. At Michigan, we was a Shipman Scholar, the highest award given to any incoming student university-wide. While at NEC he was awarded the John Cage Award for Outstanding Contribution to Contemporary Music. In his free time, Mike is a total foodie and can found reading a recipe blog at any given moment.
David Dziardziel // Clarinet
Described in The Boston Musical Intelligencer as “fluid and acrobatic without strain,” clarinetist David Dziardziel is a multifaceted Boston-based musician. He frequently performs with groups such as the Boston Philharmonic Orchestra, Boston Chamber Orchestra, Haffner Sinfonietta, Unitas Ensemble, Phoenix, Symphony Nova, NEMPAC Opera Project, and Commonwealth Lyric Theater.
An avid chamber musician, David has collaborated with some of the world’s finest artists including legendary harpist Ann Hobson-Pilot and violinist Susie Park, former member of the Eroica Trio. He has appeared in Music for Salem, the Rockport Chamber Festival, and the Sarasota Festival. David is a founding member of Calliope Winds, a wind quintet that has been praised by The Boston Musical Intelligencer as “a highly experienced, technically adept, and mightily talented ensemble.”
As an advocate of new music, David is the clarinetist for Hub New Music, a critically acclaimed chamber ensemble comprised primarily of flute, clarinet, violin, and cello. Hailed by The Boston Globe as “elegant and exacting,” Hub maintains a national touring schedule, while contributing to the vibrant new music community at home in Boston. He has also performed for new music concert series' - Equilibrium (Boston, MA) and Verdant Vibes (Providence, RI). Recent collaborations include those with composers Kati Agócs, Robert Honstein, and Thomas Oboe Lee.
David began studying the clarinet at the age of 14 through University of Hartford’s Community Music Division with Dr. Richard Shillea and Alan Francis. He then went on to obtain his Bachelor of Music from The Boston Conservatory having studied with Michael Norsworthy, and most recently earned his Master of Music from New England Conservatory under the tutelage of Richard Stoltzman.
For more information please visit www.daviddziardziel.com. .
Danny Koo // Violin
“Unstinting in energetic projection every step of the way” (Calgary Herald), violinist Danny Koo has appeared as chamber musician, soloist, and concertmaster all around the world.
Born in Chicago and raised in Philadelphia, Danny received his Bachelor and Masters degrees from New England Conservatory, studying with Donald Weilerstein, Soovin Kim, and Malcolm Lowe, and was the recipient of the Beneficent Society Scholarship and Vernon Scholarship.
Danny is tremendously excited to be a new member of Ensemble Ditto, an extraordinary chamber music group with a vision to introduce new audiences to the chamber music repertoire. An avid chamber musician, Danny has collaborated with Johannes Moser, Kim Kashkashian, Jaime Laredo, Sharon Robinson, Joseph Kalichstein, Michael Nicolas, Richard O'neill, Burt Hara, Donald Weilerstein, David Hetherington, Soovin Kim, and members of the Parker and Dover Quartets. He has also worked with members of the Brentano, Cleveland, Borromeo, and Takács Quartets at various festivals, including the Perlman Chamber Music Program. Danny has also been an artist-in-residence at the Banff and Lake Champlain Music Festivals, which included a performance with the Burlington Chamber Orchestra. Last season, Danny was invited as a ‘rising star’ to Summerfest at La Jolla.
A passionate teacher, Danny teaches at the New England Conservatory's Preparatory School as well as privately in Boston and Korea. Beginning in the 2016-2017 season, Danny joined Hub New Music, a Boston-based ensemble actively performing and commissioning the latest generation of composers.
A strong believer in creating a tangible change in the world through music, Danny has been a part of Kim Kashkashian’s ‘Music for Food’ initiative since its inception and is currently the coordinator for the Women’s Lunch Place Concert Series. In 2012, he was the Artistic Director of NEC’s Japan Benefit Concert. Having won New England Conservatory’s Honors Ensemble Competition two years in a row with both string quartet and piano trio, Danny is very involved in the Community Performances and Partnerships Program at NEC, performing in concert halls, schools, and community centers across Boston.
Highlights for Danny’s 2016-17 season include recitals at the Kennedy Center and Jordan Hall and residencies at Martha’s Vineyard, Southern California, Banff, and Summerfest at La Jolla.
Jesse Christesen // Cello
Hailing from Daytona Beach, Florida, Jesse Christeson has served as Principal Cellist of the Mississippi Symphony since the 2013-14 season. Prior to his appointment, Mr. Christeson received a master’s degree in music performance from Rice University (in the studio of Norman Fischer), and completed his third consecutive summer as a Fellow of the prestigious Tanglewood Music Center.
For several years Mr. Christeson has been very active as a multi-faceted performer and teacher in Houston, TX. In addition to working as a freelance cellist, he performed as a vocalist in the Houston Grand Opera and Bach Society of Houston choruses. During that time, he maintained a full cello studio of pupils from the Rice Preparatory Program and local public schools.
Apart from Tanglewood, Mr. Christeson’s recent summer engagements include the festivals of Aspen, Brevard, and the National Orchestral Institute. He received his bachelor’s degree from Stetson University in DeLand, FL, where he studied cello (in the studio of David Bjella), voice, and philosophy. Mr. Christeson has served as a frequent substitute cellist for the Orlando Philharmonic and Southwest Florida Symphony.