2018-2019 Guest Artists



ShadowGrass is a group of young musicians from Western North Carolina and Southwestern Virginia who crossed paths at local fiddller’s conventions in the summer of 2014. They began a musical journey that has led them to play and compete together.

Although they have their own style, ShadowGrass is honored to be playing in the shadow of great bluegrass legends. Holding to their bluegrass roots, fast picking, and fresh arrangements have earned the band numerous awards in youth and adult competitions across the region. In 2016 they placed 5th in the adult bluegrass band category at the Galax Fiddler’s Convention. ShadowGrass has had the privilege of playing at exciting venues, including Heartwood and The Crooked Road,The Blue Ridge Music Center, The Lincoln Theatre, The Historic Earle Theatre, and at festivals such as the National Folk Festival, MerleFest, HoustonFest, the Richmond Folk Festival, SPGBMA, and IBMA. They were honored to be chosen as a featured youth band for the IBMA World of Bluegrass Festival in 2016.

Their foot-tapping music and charming personalities continue to draw a crowd and gain encouraging fans with each new place they visit. ShadowGrass is looking forward to contributing to the heritage of bluegrass music for years to come

The band includes Presley Barker, guitar; Kyser George, bass; Luke Morris, mandolin and Clay Russell, banjo. All of the members are award winning youth musicians. ShadowGrass is striving to be the next torchbearers to carry on bluegrass music to future generations.

ShadowGrass has been called “one of the most thrilling bluegrass bands to emerge from the musically-rich Crooked Road area in recent memory” ShadowGrass has also appeared on the Today Show with Al Roker during the 2016 IBMA World of Bluegrass Week in Raleigh. Presley and Kyser have also appeared on Little Big Shots on NBC.

Christina Bouey

Canadian violinist, Christina Bouey, is hailed by the New York Times for playing “beautifully,” by the New York Post, “When violinist Christina Bouey spun out that shimmering tune, I thought I died and went to heaven,” and by Opera News, for playing “with exquisite, quivering beauty.” Among her awards and prizes include the Grand Prize at the Fischoff Competition, Osaka International Chamber Competition, Hugo Kortchak Award for outstanding achievement in chamber music, Heida Hermann International, Canadian National Music Festival, Queens Concerto Competition, and the Balsam Duo Competition.

Christina has performed as soloist with the Greenwich Symphony, Cayuga Chamber Orchestra, River Cities Symphony, Tonkünstler Ensemble, Metro Chamber Orchestra, Bergen Symphony, Prince Edward Island Symphony, Banff Orchestra, Shattered Glass and the Hemenway Strings. Her solo and chamber credits include Carnegie Hall, Esterházy Palace, Yamaha Center Auditorium, Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Schneider Series, the Dame Myra Hess series, La Jolla Summer Fest, Kneisel Hall Festival, Emilia Romagna Festival, Harvard Club of New York, Montreal Chamber Festival, Kansas International Music Festival and the Indian River Festival. She has also been featured on WQXR New York. Christina has collaborated with artists such as David Chan, Jeremy Denk, Paul Coletti, Lynn Chang, Robert DeMaine, Steven Doane, Rosemary Elliott, David Geber, Clive Greensmith, Toby Hoffman, Chee-Yun Kim, Yura Lee, Cho-Liang Lin, and Bright Sheng.

Christina graduated from Manhattan School of Music (2013) with a Professional Studies Certificate in Orchestral Performance, studying with Glenn Dicterow and Lisa Kim as a full scholarship student, (2012) with a Professional Studies Certificate, studying with Laurie Smukler, and in 2011 she received a Master of Music, while studying with Nicholas Mann. Her Bachelor of Music (Magnum cum laude) is from The Boston Conservatory; where she studied with Irina Muresanu as a full-scholarship student.

In June 2014, as part of the 150 year celebrations on PEI, professional dancers from Ballet Jazz de Montreal performed a modern dance to her first compositional commission for solo violin, with Christina playing it on the violin. Christina is currently serving as concertmaster of the Cayuga Chamber Orchestra, is a member/founder of the Ulysses String Quartet, and plays in a duo with pianist Tatiana Tessman. She plays a 1900 Scarampella on generous loan from the Canada Council Instrument Bank.

Steven Doane

Internationally known soloist, recitalist, chamber musician, recording artist, and pedagogue Steven Doane appears at festivals and on concert series throughout the United States and overseas. Doane received his BM from Oberlin Conservatory and his MM from SUNY Stony Brook. He received a Watson Foundation Grant for overseas study in 1975, and had further studies with Richard Kapuscinski, Bernard Greenhouse, Jane Cowan, and Janos Starker.

Steven Doane and Eastman pianist Barry Snyder have made a series of recordings for the Bridge label. The duo’s recording of the complete music of Gabriel Fauré for cello and piano was awarded the Diapason D’or in France, and has been broadcast throughout the United States and Canada, over the BBC in England, and throughout Europe. The second recording in the series, of works by Britten and Frank Bridge, was also released to critical acclaim. New releases on Bridge include the Rachmaninoff Sonata with Barry Snyder (May 2012) and Britten Solo Suites (due for release in 2013).

Steven Doane received Eastman’s Eisenhart Award for Excellence in Teaching in 1993, and the Piatigorsky Prize in teaching at the New England Conservatory in 1986. As a member of the New Arts Trio, Doane was awarded the Naumburg Chamber Music Award in 1980. He made his Carnegie Hall and Kennedy Center debuts in Don Quixote with David Zinman and the Rochester Philharmonic in 1983.  His Tully Hall recital debut occurred in 1990, and has been followed by numerous recital appearances, including programs in London’s Wigmore Hall, Boston’s Saunders Theater, and many other venues. Steven Doane currently holds the title of “visiting professor” at the Royal Academy of Music, London, where he has done several residencies.

McLain Family Band

Direct from the hills of Kentucky, The McLain Family Band has become internationally known as one of the most spontaneous, creative and spirited groups performing contemporary Appalachian Bluegrass music.

During the years 1968 – 1990 they performed in all 50 states – and 62 countries during 14 international concert tours, some as musical ambassadors of the U.S. Department of State. The McLain Family Band played at the Grand Ole Opry, Carnegie Hall, Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, the Lincoln Center and the Carter Fold. They were featured at thousands of festivals and concerts and performed as soloists in more than 230 appearances with orchestras.

For eleven years, The McLain Family Band hosted The McLain Family Band Festival which was featured on NPR’s Folk Festival USA and produced by Kentucky Educational TV for national distribution. Other television appearances include NBC’s Today Show, The CBS Morning News, ABC’s Good Morning America, The Pearl Bailey ETV Special, The BBC, TNN’s Nashville Now and the Johnny Cash Christmas Special.

The McLain Family Band has consisted, through the years, of various combinations of family members. The core touring band for 2017 & 2018 includes: Raymond McLain, Ruth McLain, Alice and Al White and Daxson Lewis, with occasional guest appearances from Nancy Ann Wartman and Michael & Jennifer McLain.

Miri Yampolsky

Pianist Miri Yampolsky made her orchestral debut as a soloist with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra and maestro Zubin Mehta at the age of 16, playing Prokofiev Piano Concerto No.1. Since then, she appeared with the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra, the Israel Chamber Orchestra, as well as the Mainz Symphony, Orquesta Sinfonica de Valencia, Chicago Chamber Orchestra, National Orchestra of Johannesburg, Cayuga Chamber Orchestra, the Peninsula Music Festival orchestra and Cornell Symphony and Chamber Orchestra.  A first prize winner of the Valencia International Piano Competition Prize Iturbi in Valencia, and the ARD International Music Competition in Munich, Ms. Yampolsky is an avid and active chamber musician, with appearances in festivals such as Tanglewood; Ravinia; Davos; Berlin Festwoche; Tucson Winter International Chamber Music Festival; Olympic Music Festival; Icicle Creek Chamber Music Festival; Peninsula Music Festival; Hitzacker “Music Days”; Schwetzingen Festival; Sessa “Musica d’Insieme” ; Citta di Castelo; Klassikfest Kaisrstuhl; Lucena International Piano Festival and Salzburg’s “Mozarteum”.

Yampolsky’s teachers include Hannah Shalgi, Michael Boguslavsky and Chaim Taub in Israel; Prof. Dmitri Bashkirov and Marta Gulyas at the Escuela Superior De Musica “Reina Sofia” in Madrid, and Leon Fleisher at the Peabody Institute in Baltimore. Yampolsky was a recipient of AICF scholarships between 1985-1996, and is on the faculty at Cornell University and is a co-artistic director of Mayfest. She lives with her husband, Xak Bjerken, and three children, Misha and Anna, and Maya.

Tamara Acosta

The New York Times has called Tamara Acosta’s soprano “solid…her singing clarion-toned and ardent.”  Most recently, Ms. Acosta appeared as the soprano soloist in Vaughan William’s A Sea Symphony with the Ithaca Community Chorus in Ithaca, NY.  Prior to that, she made a return to Sarasota Opera to take part in the annual Verdi Concert, singing the role of Amelia in the Grand Counsel Scene and trio from Simon Boccanegra.  Continuing to focus on the concert repertoire, Ms. Acosta has recently appeared as the soprano soloist in Poulenc’s Gloria and Stabat Mater and has also added the Bruckner Te Deum to her repertoire.

She has been seen as Desdemona with Opera Delaware and prior to that was on the roster at the Lyric Opera of Chicago covering Odabella in Verdi’s Attila and the title role in Puccini’s Tosca.  Two performances of the Verdi Requiem commemorated the 100th anniversary of Verdi’s death with Sarasota Opera followed by a return to Nashville Opera as Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni, having previously appeared with the company as Marianne in Der Rosenkavalier, featuring Helen Donath as the Marschallin.  Later that year, she reprised the role of Marianne with Opera Pacific followed by her Santa Fe Opera debut as Manja in Countess Maritza while also covering the title role in Strauss’ Ariadne auf Naxos.  A longtime favorite at Sarasota Opera, Ms. Acosta appeared in numerous productions with the company including Fenena in Verdi’s Nabucco,  Leonora in La Forza del Destino and  Elvira in Ernani as well as the title character in Janacek’s Jenůfa.  Ms. Acosta appeared in the world premiere of Judith Weir’s The Vanishing Bridegroom with Opera Theatre of St. Louis and was also seen as Octavie in Massenet’s Cleopatre in Alice Tully Hall.

Adrian Smith

With a deep, rich tone and commanding stage presence, baritone Adrian N. Smith is establishing himself as a rising young opera star. Of a recent performance of La fanciulla del West, critics hailed “Adrian Smith’s well-voiced Larkens was memorably affecting.” This summer, he returned to Santa Fe Opera as a part of their Apprentice Artist program performing the roles of Larkens in La fanciulla del West, Friar Jean in Roméo et Juliette, Major Domo in Capriccio, and for their production of Vanessa. Next, he will play Lycos in Hercules vs. Vampires with North Carolina Opera and will perform the Bass Solo in Berlioz’s Roméo et Juliette at Lynn University in Boca Raton, FL.

In recent seasons, Smith performed Zuniga in Carmen with El Paso Opera, Vaughan Williams’ Songs of Travel with Western Piedmont Symphony, Basilio in Il barbiere di Siviglia and Papageno in Die Zauberflöte with Asheville Lyric Opera, Colline in La bohème with Opera North, and Angelotti in a concert performance of Tosca with the Owensboro Symphony Orchestra amidst a wealth of début performances including King Arthur in a performance of Camelot at Glimmerglass Opera, Dr. Grenvil in Atlanta Opera’s La traviata, and The Dodo in the U.S. premiére of Unsuk Chin’s Alice in Wonderland at Opera Theatre of Saint Louis. Additional credits include appearances as Raimondo in Lucia di Lammermoor, The Old Doctor in Vanessa, Frère Laurent in Gounod’s Roméo et Juliette, as Geronimo in Domenico Cimarosa’s Il matrimonio segreto, as Marquis de la Force in Dialogues des carmélites, and in the title role of Donizetti’s Don Pasquale

On concert stages, Mr. Smith’s engagements include Mozart’s Requiem, Bach’s Magnificat and Mass in B Minor, Puccini’s Messa di Gloria, Haydn’s Paukenmesse, Dvořák’s Stabat Mater, Händel’s Messiah and Dettingen Te Deum, and Mozart’s Mass in C Minor at Boston Symphony Hall.

A recent alumnus of Virginia Opera’s Emerging Artist Program, Smith’s assignments included Joseph Porter in Gilbert and Sullivan’s H.M.S. Pinafore, the title role in Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd, Zuniga in Carmen, Truffaldino in Ariadne auf Naxos, and First Nazarene and Fifth Jew in Strauss’ Salome. Last summer, he joined Santa Fe Opera as an Apprentice Artist for productions of La fille du régiment, Salome, and the world première of Jennifer Higdon’s Cold Mountain, based on an epic Civil War novel of the same name by Charles Frazier.

Mr. Smith holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Voice Performance Lenoir-Rhyne University, a Master of Music Degree in Voice Performance from Boston University, and was a member of the Boston University Opera Institute where he earned a Certificate in Opera Performance. He is an alumnus of the young artist training programs at Glimmerglass Opera, Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, and Kentucky Opera. He was a prize winner in the NATS Regional Competition and the Heafner/Williams Vocal Competition, and in 2016, received 1st Place in the South Carolina District of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions.