Pianist Michelle Cann made her orchestral debut at age fourteen and has since performed as a soloist with prominent orchestras such as the Atlanta and Cincinnati symphony orchestras, The Cleveland Orchestra, the New Jersey Symphony, and The Philadelphia Orchestra. Ms. Cann’s 2022-23 season includes an appearance with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, return engagements with the Cincinnati and New Jersey symphonies, and debut performances with the Baltimore, National, New World, Seattle, and Utah symphonies. She makes her debut at Carnegie Hall with the New York Youth Symphony and performs recitals in New Orleans, Little Rock, Sarasota, Toronto, and Washington, D.C. Ms. Cann is the recipient of the 2022 Sphinx Medal of Excellence and the 2022 Andrew Wolf Chamber Music Award. Embracing a dual role as performer and pedagogue, Ms. Cann frequently teaches master classes and leads residencies. She has also appeared as cohost and collaborative pianist with NPR’s From The Top. Ms. Cann studied at the Cleveland Institute of Music and the Curtis Institute of Music, where she serves on the piano faculty.

Stewart Goodyear is an accomplished concert pianist, improviser and composer. Mr. Goodyear has performed with, and has been commissioned by, many of the major orchestras and chamber music organizations around the world. Last year, Orchid Classics released Mr. Goodyear’s recording of his suite for piano and orchestra, “Callaloo” and his piano sonata. His recent commissions include a Piano Quintet for the Penderecki String Quartet, and a piano work for the Honens Piano Competition. His Rachmaninov recording received a Juno nomination for Best Classical Album for Soloist and Large Ensemble Accompaniment. Highlights for the 2022.23 season are his return to the Nashville Symphony Orchestra, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, Montreal Symphony Orchestra, Southbank Centre (UK), and a North American tour with the Chineke! Orchestra.

Jannina Norpoth, Grammy-nominated violinist, made her debut as a soloist with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra at age 14. Her string quartet, PUBLIQuartet, is recognized for unique and genre inclusive programming, earning them the 2019 Visionary Artist Award from Chamber Music America. A versatile musician, Ms. Norpoth performs and writes alongside her husband bassist/guitarist/songwriter John-Paul Norpoth in the folk/rock group HOLLANDS. Ms. Norpoth has performed internationally, including appearances at the Women of the World Festival at The Apollo Theater, Detroit Art X Festival, Montreux Detroit Jazz Festival, Saturday Night Live, VH1’s Save the Music, among others. As a soloist, she has performed with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Birmingham Bloomfield Symphony, Casalmaggiore International Chamber Ensemble, and more.

Violist Paul Laraia has established an international career performing as soloist and chamber musician. 1st Prize winner of the 13th Lionel Tertis International Viola Competition, 1st Prize winner of the 14th National Sphinx Competition, and Gold Medalist with High Distinction at the 5th Manhattan International Music Competition, Paul has also been soloist with major orchestras such as the Pittsburgh Symphony, Atlanta Symphony, Filharmonica de Bogata, New Jersey Symphony, Nashville Symphony, among others. The 2022-2023 season features Paul’s string quartet, Catalyst Quartet, as artists in residence at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. As of 2023, Paul has joined the faculty of the Boston Conservatory at the Berklee School of Music in order to pass on his belief in music’s power to heal and to connect people.

Mary Javian’s goal as a performer, educator, curator and public speaker is to use music to create positive social change in communities. She has presented around the world in these areas for two decades. Ms. Javian has toured and performed with the Philadelphia Orchestra and other world-class ensembles as a double bassist. She has served as principal bass of the IRIS Orchestra and has recorded with the Philadelphia and IRIS orchestras, the Tanglewood Music Center, Network for New Music, Dolce Suono Ensemble, and the Apple Hill Center for Chamber Music. As chair of career studies at Curtis, Ms. Javian has created a dynamic social entrepreneurship curriculum that develops the entrepreneurial and advocacy skills that 21st-century musicians need.

Rolando Morales-Matos is a well sought-after Latin, Jazz and Classical percussionist. He is a band leader/vibraphonist/composer of Latin Jazz group Rolando Morales-Matos & Forward. He has toured worldwide, appearing with artists such as Paquito D’Rivera, Dave Samuels, and Dave Valentine, among others. Rolando has recorded with Ron Carter, Celine Dion, Michael Bolton, and Birdland Big Band. In 2006, Rolando was the recipient of Drum Magazine’s World Beat Percussionist of the Year Award. Since 1997, he has been the Percussionist and Assistant Conductor of the Tony Award- winning Broadway musical The Lion King. Rolando Morales-Matos is a faculty member at Curtis Institute of Music, Temple University, The New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music, and New Jersey City University. Rolando Morales-Matos endorses Pearl Drums and Adams Musical Instruments, Zildjian cymbals, Vic Firth sticks, and Evans drumheads.

Angela Zator Nelson, associate principal timpani and section percussion, joined The Philadelphia Orchestra in 1999 as the first female percussionist ever hired by the Orchestra. Along with performing classical music, Nelson is an active chamber musician with a forte in new music. Nelson joined the faculty at Temple University as adjunct professor in 2001. She has given master classes to numerous students of all ages and has presented classes at the Percussive Arts Society International Convention, the Oberlin Percussion Institute and at the annual Alan Abel School of Orchestral Studies. Nelson is a Zildjian Performing Artist and endorses their cymbals. She also endorses Grover Pro Percussion.

Don Liuzzi joined the Philadelphia Orchestra as principal timpanist in 1989. He was a percussionist with the Pittsburgh Symphony, taught at Duquesne University, and was assistant conductor of the Three Rivers Young People’s Orchestra. He also performed marimba and percussion solos on Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood on PBS. He joined the faculty of the Curtis Institute of Music in 1994. He has been an active chamber-music performer with the Network for New Music, recording for the Albany and CRI labels. A Yamaha performing artist, Mr. Liuzzi consulted on the design of and performs on the Yamaha 9000 series Dresden-style timpani. 

Questions? Contact grace@astralartists.org or 215.735.6999