Upcoming Events


Cello Fest 2015 


Please contact Dr. Alexander Russakovsky at Alexander.Russakovsky@usm.edu or call 601.266.6851

This event is made possible by the generous support from the Partners for the Arts, University of Southern Mississippi Symphony Orchestra and the School of Music.










Jesús Castro-Balbi, Texas Christian University

Hailed as “an exceptional cellist” (Dallas Morning News), “an artist of the first rank, who commanded a huge range of volume, timbre and emotions” (Fort Worth Star Telegram), and praised for his “rich and warm tone, with lots of variety of inflection and nuance” (New York Concert Review), cellist Jesús Castro-Balbi brings a dynamic presence to the international stage, as a much sought-after soloist, recitalist, chamber musician, mentor, and adjudicator.

 Performance highlight include features at the Lincoln Center Festival, Symphony Space and 12 appearances at Carnegie Hall in New York City, six visits to China, concerts at Leipzig’s famed Gewandhaus, and at prestigious venues in Colombia, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Korea, Latvia, Mexico, and Peru, in recitals and as a soloist with the Aarhus, Aguascalientes, Cannes, Dallas, Fort Worth, Leipzig MDR, and Xalapa Symphony Orchestras, the Mexico City and the UNAM Philharmonic Orchestras, and the National Symphony in Lima.

 His favorite concert repertoire spans from the Bach Solo Suites, concerti from Haydn and Boccherini, through the great romantics Dvorak and Elgar, and modern masters Dutilleux and Lutoslawski, while reserving a special place to chamber music and new music. To date, he appears in 16 compact discs and has presented 47 world premiere performances and recordings, including of 20 works written for him by Esteban Benzecry, Martin Blessinger, Blaise Ferrandino, Robert Garwell, Luis-Jorge Gonzalez, Till Meyn, Andrés Posada, Robert Rodríguez, Edgar Valcárcel, and Samuel Zyman. In 2015, Harmonia Mundi releases the first recording of The Lord of the Air: concerto for cello and orchestra by Jimmy Lopez dedicated to Jesús Castro-Balbi, with the Norwegian Radio Orchestra led by Miguel Harth-Bedoya. Mr. Castro-Balbi is the cellist of the Lin / Castro-Balbi Duo, with pianist Gloria Lin, and of the music project Caminos del Inka. Among other distinctions, Mr. Castro-Balbi is the winner of the Aldo Parisot Prize, the Salon de Virtuosi Award in New York, and of the First Prize at the Carlos Prieto International Cello Competition.

Jesús Castro-Balbi is the first full-time cello professor at the Texas Christian University School of Music in Fort Worth, Texas, where he has developed a first rate studio of talented cellists from around the world. At TCU, he is also the founding artistic director of the TCU Cello Ensemble, the biennial TCU Cellofest, and of the Faculty & Friends Chamber Music Series.  In addition to his work at TCU, he conducts master-classes and lectures at Beijing’s Central Conservatory, The Juilliard School, Paris Conservatoire, Leipzig’s Hochschule, and at the Yale School of Music..

Of Peruvian heritage, raised in France and now a US citizen, Jesús Castro-Balbi is a graduate of the Conservatoire National Supérieur at Lyon, Indiana University at Bloomington, Yale, and earned a Doctor of Musical Arts degree at The Juilliard School. He studied with Iseut Chuat, Marc Coppey, Jean Deplace, Aldo Parisot, Janos Starker, and members of the Amadeus, Borodine, Juilliard, Ravel and Tokyo String Quartets.


Eugene Osadchy, University of North Texas

Cellist Eugene Osadchy is hailed as having "the most refined and balanced string playing" by the New York Times and has been called "a paragon of Russian élan" by the Vancouver Sun. Newsday writes he is "a soloist with a clearly defined musical personality" and is noted for his "extraordinary playing" by the Dallas Morning News. "Mr. Osadchy possesses a very rich tone and is steeped in the great classical tradition. It is good to know that there are ardent keepers of the flame." The New York Sun.

Eugene Osadchy regularly performs with orchestras in Canada, the United States and Asia. He has performed at the Weill Recital Hall in Carnegie Hall, Alice Tully Hall at the Lincoln Center, and the Glenn Gould Studio in Toronto. In addition, Mr. Osadchy makes frequent appearances at the Bargemusic series in New York, the Autumn Classic series in Anchorage, Chamber Music International in Dallas, Strings in the Mountains at Steamboat Springs, Colorado, International Niagara Music Festival in Canada and Summit Festival in New York.

Mr. Osadchy has also performs and gives master classes throughout Europe, South Africa, USA, Canada, Mexico, Japan, South Korea and Taiwan. He has participated in numerous festivals around the world including the Amsterdam and Groningen International Festivals in Holland, the Stellenbosch International Music Festival in South Africa, Famalicao Music Festival in Portugal, the Vetta Chamber Music Series in Vancouver (where he formerly served as Artistic Director), Music at Blair Athol in Scotland, the Castel Franko di Veneto Festival in Italy, the Mozart Festival in Woodstock, Illinois, as well as Vancouver, Victoria, Banff, Seattle, Sitka, Durango, the Mozart Festival in Long Island, NY, and Maui Music Festivals.

Other musical credits of Mr. Osadchy include recordings with the CBC Radio Orchestra which have received numerous Juno awards - the Canadian equivalent of the Grammies. He has composed two film scores and has several CD’s on the Melodia label featuring his own compositions and arrangements. Mr. Osadchy has made more than 80 arrangements for various cello ensembles. Every summer Mr. Osadchy presents his Annual Summer Cello Clinic.

Mr. Osadchy has won critical acclaim for his recently released CD “Russian Romances” on Seafair-Bolo Records with pianist Anastasia Markina.


Alexander Ezerman, University of North Carolina, Greensboro

Alexander Ezerman, cello, comes from a family where the cello runs four generations deep, including two former associate principals of the Philadelphia Orchestra. A prize winner in national and international competition, he has appeared as a soloist and chamber musician across North America, South America, and Europe. An active advocate and performer of new music, he has been involved in numerous premiers, and has performed all twelve of the "Sacher" pieces for solo cello in a single recital. He has recorded on the New World, Centaur and Innova Labels. In the summer, he is on the faculty of the Green Mountain Chamber Music Festival in Burlington Vermont.

He has previously been on the faculties of the Brevard Music Center and the Killington Music Festival and Texas Tech University, where he was a founding member of the Botticelli String Quartet. Ezerman holds a BM degree from Oberlin College Conservatory and a Master of Music and Doctorate of Musical Arts from the State University of New York at Stony Brook. His primary mentors include Timothy Eddy, Norman Fischer, David Wells and his grandmother Elsa Hilger.


Anastasia Markina, Argyle Music Academy

Born and raised in Saint-Petersburg, Russia, Anastasia Markina started playing piano at almost four years of age, winning her first competition six years later. Her first teacher, Tatyana Shrago, led her to win her first international competition in 1992 in Marsala, Italy. After graduating from Music School, she studied with Alexander Mndoyants and Maria Mekler. In 1994, Miss Markina entered the Rimsky-Korsakov College of Music where she studied for four years with Mary Guseva, former student of Pavel Serebryakov. During that time, she won several international piano competitions, including 1st prize at the 1st International Maria Yudina Piano Competition, 1st prize in solo and 1st prize in chamber music at the Beach of Hope International Music Festival and Competition in Dobrich-Albena, Bulgaria, and was one of the three prize winners at the Peter the Great Music Festival in Groningen, Holland, in 1997. After receiving her diploma with honors from the College of Music, she was invited to study in the United States by Victor Rosenbaum, well-known teacher and pianist, and director of the Longy School of Music in Cambridge, MA. In 1999, she moved to the Dallas-Fort Worth area to continue her education at the University of North Texas, with Professor Vladimir Viardo (Gold medalist of the 1973 Van Cliburn International Piano Competition). While a student at UNT, Anastasia was recognized in competitions here in the United States, with prizes that include 1st prize at the San Angelo Sorantin International Music competition, 1st prize at the First Boesendorfer International Piano Competition, 1st and Grand prize at the Young Texas Artist Music Competition, and 2nd prize at the First Jose Iturbi Music Competition.

In November 2005, she performed Rachmaninoff’s Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini with the San Angelo Symphony under Hector Guzman. In January 2007, she was a feature soloist in Ravel's Piano Concerto in G with the Phoenix Symphony under Lawrence Golan. Her many solo, orchestral, as well as chamber music performances in the United States, Mexico and Russia, include performances with Eugene Osadchy and Mark Peskanov in the Barge Music Series in New York City, NY, in 2009, and in the Vetta Chamber music festival in 2010 and 2011 with Eugene Osadchy and Joan Blackman. Other collaborations include, among others, recitals with Paul Rosenthal (as part of the Sitka Music Festival in Alaska), James Galway, Alexander Kerr, Emmanuel Borok, and Joseph Alessi. Together with UNT Professor of Cello Eugene Osadchy she recorded two CDs - "Russian Romances" and "Nacht und Traume" available for sale.


Joohae Kim, University of Southern Mississippi

Born in South Korea, New Zealand pianist Joohae Kim began learning the piano at the age of three. Dr. Joohae Kim studied piano performance at the University of Auckland, New Zealand, completed her Bachelor and Masters degree in with first class under the guidance of the leading pedagogue Rae de Lisle. She has recently completed her doctoral study, with Dr. Read Gainsford at Florida State University, researching four New Zealand piano preludes from 12 Landscape Preludes and later made her debut at the Carnegie Hall performing this work.

Dr. Kim’s performances have earned numerous prizes in major piano competitions, including Kerikeri International Piano Competition, Kapiti Coast National Piano Competition and Christchurch National Piano Concerto Competition. She also collaborated with Bach Musica Chamber Orchestra of New Zealand performing Mozart’s Piano Concerto in C major K. 467. Dr. Kim’s recitals and concerto performances have been recorded and broadcasted by Radio New Zealand and Concert FM Radio for the Young New Zealand series. She has been a Collaborative Guest Artist in Whitehead Hall, Valdosta State University.

Dr. Kim is an active teacher in her field. She has been teaching assistant in Florida State University and also participated as a teaching faculty in FSU Summer Music camp. For her achievements in both teaching and performing piano, she has been awarded the University of Auckland Blues Awards for Achievement in Music in Piano Performance. She is also a recipient of Miss Willa Chapman Award from the Rotary Club of Tallahassee. As of 2012, Dr. Kim is a Collaborative Faculty Artist in University of Southern Mississippi.


Zhaolei Xie, University of Southern Mississippi

Chinese Pianist Zhaolei Xie was a winner in the Bradshaw & Buono International Piano Competition, which led to his debut in Weill Recital Hall of Carnegie Hall in New York City in 2006. He also won the Bronze Medal in the 58th Wideman International Piano Competition. His other awards include the First place in the Young Artist Division of the Tourgee DeBose National Piano Competition in Baton Rouge; Winner of Monroe Symphony Young Artists Competition, Mid-Texas Symphony Young Artist Competition and Texas Christian University Piano Concerto Competition; Second place in the Louisiana Music Teachers Association Collegiate Artist Competition of MTNA and Texas Young Artists Competition.

Mr. Xie has appeared as orchestral soloist with the Monroe Symphony Orchestra, Mid-Texas Symphony Orchestra, Texas Christian University Symphony Orchestra and Southeastern Louisiana University Chamber Orchestra. He is also active as a recitalist, chamber musician and piano accompanist. Mr. Xie has performed piano solo and chamber music in Ed Landreth Auditorium and PepsiCo Recital Hall in Texas and Miller Recital Hall and Greenfield Hall in New York City. He has served as piano accompanist in Southeastern Louisiana University and the Thurnauer School of Music of Kaplen JCC on the Palisades in New Jersey. Mr. Xie has participated in master classes given by Leslie Howard , Yoheved Kaplinsky and Jose Feghali.

Mr. Xie received his piano training in Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing, China and St. Petersburg State Conservatory of Music, Russia from 1993-2004. He earned his Bachelor’s degree with honors from Southeastern Louisiana University, where he was a student of David Evenson and Kenneth Boulton. Mr. Xie holds Master of Music degree in Piano Performance from Manhattan School of Music, and Artist Diploma from Texas Christian University, where he studied with Marc Silverman and John Owings. In 2014, Mr. Xie was appointed as Staff Accompanist in The University of Southern Mississippi.