2021 Young Artists

We are proud to present the members of our 2021 cohort!
Elena Ariza

Elena Ariza

Cello | Cupertino, CA

Elena, 23 recently completed her M.M. from Juilliard as a student of Astrid Schween. Previously she was awarded a B.A. in Computer Science from Columbia University. She has been soloist with the San Francisco Symphony Youth Orchestra, featured on NPR’s “From the Top” radio program, and winner of the Columbia University Orchestra Concerto Competition. She organized three charity events that raised over $12,000 for the Japan earthquake/tsunami disaster in 2011. She aspires to learn all the Paganini Caprices for violin, on cello. Her best musical memory was negotiating performing in two simultaneous concerts, one of which was performing the Dvorak Concerto. Non-musical interests include paper crafting and indoor rock climbing. She can ride a unicycle and has learned the game of chess during the pandemic.

Chih-ta Chen

Chih-ta Chen

Viola | Kaohsiung, Taiwan

Chih-ta, 23 won the Borromeo String Quartet Guest Artist Award at NEC in 2018, resulting in a performance with the Borromeo String Quartet. Chih-Ta is currently pursuing his B.M. degree at the Curtis Institute as a student of Hsin-Yun Huang and Misha Amory. His string quartet, the Nico Quartet, was selected to be the NEC Honors Ensemble for the 2018-2019 season, receiving special guidance and performance opportunities. He is passionate about the string quartet repertoire and aspires to play in a professional quartet one day. Besides music, he also enjoys playing badminton.

Cameron Daly

Cameron Daly

VIOLIN | Malibou Lake, California

Cameron, 24 has a B. A. ’18 (cum laude in Global Affairs from Yale and a M.M. ’20 in violin performance as a student of Ani Kavafian. She was the 2020 recipient of the Yale School of Music alumni Association Prize. She was engaged by the Naples Philharmonic in 2021. Her favorite musical memory is performing throughout Russia as co-concertmaster of the Yale Symphony Orchestra in 2017. Her interests include Soviet history, computer programming, international politics, and surfing.

Po-Wei Ger

Po-Wei Ger

PIANO | Tamsui, Taiwan

Po-Wei, 25 has a B.M from Manhattan School of Music, a M.M. and M.MA from Yale School of Music as a student of Melvin Chen.  His musical achievements include performing with the National Symphony Orchestra of Cuba, being admitted into the Yale School of Music, and invited to attend Taos this summer. He aspires to organize a chamber music series with close friends and perform throughout Taiwan. Outside music Po-Wei likes video games and, although by no means a good one, likes to cook.

Alexander Goldberg

Alexander Goldberg

Violin | San Francisco Bay Area, California

Alexander, 21 is presently getting his M.M. in Violin Performance at Yale as a student of Ani Kavafian and Donald Weilerstein, AND a B. A. in Philosophy. He has been featured in “From the Top” on NPR, appeared as soloist with the Yale Philharmonia and getting his Young Artists Certificate from the San Francisco Conservatory. His musical goals are to acquire a wide repertoire, develop lasting musical relationships with other players and composers and linking music performance with other arts, including literature and philosophy. A favorite music memory was performing the Brahms Violin Concerto with the Yale Symphony. He loves reading the works of Schiller and Aristotle and hopes one day to have a philosophy article published. Outside music, Alexander loves crossword puzzles and collecting vinyl records. He loves food and, during the pandemic, learned how to bake bread and make pizza dough and pasta. As a dual national he is fluent in Italian which was his first language.

Abigail Hong

Abigail Hong

Violin | Cherry Hill, New Jersey

Abigail, 24 is currently pursuing her M.M. degree at The Juilliard School as a Dorothy Delay Scholarship Recipient and a student of Donald Weilerstein. She earned her B.M. from the New England Conservatory as the Presser Foundation Scholar of her class. Abigail won top prizes at the Fischoff and Plowman Competitions and is a Morse and MAP Teaching Artist at The Juilliard School. Abigail has performed at numerous festivals including Lucerne, Olympic, Norfolk, Yellow Barn, Music@Menlo, Spoleto, and Casals as well as with The Charleston Symphony, New Haven Symphony, New World Symphony, and A Far Cry. Abigail loves hiking, coffee, cutting hair, dogs, and being in a hammock. This is her second summer at Taos.

Alena Hove

Alena Hove

Violin | Issaquah, Washington

Alena, 22 has just received her B.M. from Colburn Conservatory as a student of Robert Lipsett.  Her goal is to have a multi-faceted career as a soloist and chamber musician. Her favorite musical memory was the opportunity to perform Beethoven’s String Quartet Op. 18 #4 with Martin Beaver in the Colburn Chamber Music Society. “This was the first time I had ever played so closely with such an amazing and renowned chamber musician, and it was truly one of the best learning experiences I have ever had.” Outside of music Alena enjoys drawing, digital art, and “anything creative to make with my hands.”

Annie (SeEun) Hyung

Annie (SeEun) Hyung

Cello | Orange, California

Annie, 21 is currently attending Northwestern University for her B. M. performance as a student of Hans Jorgen Jensen. She was a participant of the New York String Orchestra Seminar and toured with Michael Tilson Thomas and Marin Alsop as Principal Cellist of the National Youth Orchestra in 2017 and 2018. Her favorite musical memories are of touring abroad, sharing music with new audiences, and learning about different cultures and methods of communication through musical interaction. Annie loves cooking/baking and has always loved reading and writing and will enjoy traveling once it is safe to do so. Her family moved a lot during her childhood, so she has a lot to share about those geographical locations/homes. Her second favorite thing is her love of dogs and her dog especially which she confesses is “ridiculously spoiled.”

Brian Isaacs

Brian Isaacs

Viola | Forest Hills, NYC

Brian, 21 has earned two degrees from Yale; a B.A. in Sociology, a Certificate in German, and a M.M. in Viola Performance as a student of Ettore Causa. In 2019 Brian joined the New Haven Symphony Orchestra. He was a prizewinner at the 2019 Anton Rubenstein International Viola Competition and has served as Principal Violist with several youth orchestras. His goals are to learn from and be inspired by fellow musicians and have fun the process.  Brian’s best musical memory is performing the first movement of Schubert’s Cello Quintet outdoors…. only for everyone’s sheet music to fly away, shoulder rests to drop, and end pins to slip! Audience members helped to retrieve the scattered items, all with very liberal time taken between cadences to fix things. He loves to cook with friends and work it off by biking.  This past year has reminded Brian how much of a privilege it is to play music with others and is looking forward to returning to this again in Taos.

Evan Johanson

Evan Johanson

Violin | Seattle, Washington

Evan, 22 is studying at the Colburn School as a student of Robert Lipsett. He was the recipient of the Dorothy Richard Starling Foundation Scholarship and his string quartet (The Hart Quartet) won the Ziering-Conlin Initiative for Recovered Voices Showcase and Competition in 2019. His musical goals is to perform with a string quartet in residency somewhere or be a concertmaster of a great orchestra. His favorite musical memory is a two-week tour to China with the National Youth Orchestra of the USA, under the direction of Charles Dutoit performing Berlioz’s Symphonie Fantastique. Other than music Evan has many interests: watching NBA or playing a pick-up game at the court, fitness, and boxing. He rides a motorcycle to get around the non-stop traffic in L.A. His second favorite thing is tied with ice cream and traveling. This is his second summer at Taos.

Haekyung Ju

Haekyung Ju

Violin | Korea

Haekyung, 23 has a B.M. degree from New England Conservatory as a student of Soovin Kim. She has performed with several orchestras in Korea and was a festival fellow in the Aspen Music and Colorado College Music festivals.  Her musical goal is to contribute to society and heal people through music. A favorite musical memory is the first time she performed with an orchestra in Korea. It was a very special experience which opened her eyes musically.  She loves baking and cooking and looking for new great places to travel.

Colin Laursen

Colin Laursen

Viola | Durham, North Carolina

Colin, 27 has earned degrees from the Cleveland Institute of Music (B.M.), the Juilliard School (M.M.) and is presently working on a doctorate degree at the Glenn Gould School as a student of Paul Kantor. He hopes to pursue a diversity of professional experiences as a chamber musician, ranging from historical performances to contemporary art music. In addition to playing both violin and viola, Colin is a composer. His best musical memory is working with the pioneering minimalist composer Terry Riley on one of his compositions for string quartet. His second favorite thing, other than music, is cinema.   His brother Orin, a violinist, is an alum of Taos from 2017.

Allen Liang

Allen Liang

Cello | Kaohsiung, Taiwan

Allen, 22 has just received his B.M in performance from the Eastman School of Music as a student of  . In 2015 and 2019 he was the winner of the Chimei Arts Award in Taiwan and in 2020 won the concerto competition at Eastman, performing the Dvorak Cello Concerto with the Eastman Philharmonic. He aspires to have a career in a professional string quartet. During the pandemic, although missing the summer music festivals and meeting new people, Allen focused on his own musical development. Having had two summers as a young performer at Music@Menlo, Allen hopes that Taos will top that experience. Allen still plays the piano, which was his first instrument. He is interested in supporting efforts to prevent language endangerment and is searching for what musical elements “truly represent me as a Taiwanese citizen”. He was born left-handed but writes with his right hand.

Clara Neubauer

Clara Neubauer

violin | New York City, New York

Clara, 19 is currently studying at the Juilliard School as a student of  Li Lin and Itzhak Perlman.  She is a Kovner Fellow at Juilliard and winner of the National Young Arts Foundation competition. Clara seeks to forge authentic human connections through music-making. Her most recent music memory is “sight-reading Brahms B flat Sexted outside in Central Park in October of this year. It was my first time seeing or playing with some of my closest friends in many, many months, and my first time reading this masterpiece. I will never forget the overwhelming joy and energy of that reading! Outside music Clara love playing ping-pong and chess, and baking. She is an avid pancake enthusiast and loves sampling different types, especially Dutch Babies!!

Daniel Orsen

Daniel Orsen

Viola | Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Daniel, 26 has degrees from Oberlin Conservatory (B.M ’16) and New England Conservatory (M.M. ’18).  He is particularly proud of earning 3rd place in Pack 817’s (Cub Scouts) Rain-gutter Regatta. His goal is playing Reger and Hindemith viola solo sonatas for the Super Bowl half-time show. Daniel’s best musical memory is performing the Brahms C Minor Piano Quartet at a festival in Poland a few years ago.  Second to music Daniel love Barbecue Ribs. Outside music he enjoys cycling and cross-country skiing. After experiencing lower back and leg injuries over the past few years his looks forward to finishing an Ironman.

Jasmine Pai

Jasmine Pai

Cello | Tenafly, New Jersey

Jasmine, 24  has degrees from Northwestern (B.M. as a student of Hans Jensen) and the New England Conservatory (M.M. as a student of Yeesun Kim). She as attended the Aspen, Sarasota, Great Mountains, and YAP@Ottawa National Arts Centre summer music festivals. She seeks a career in chamber music. Her favorite musical memory is returning to her childhood music school and mentoring young cellists. Outside music Jasmine loves photography and illustration. Second to music she loves cooking.

Lucas Stratmann

Lucas Stratmann

Violin | New York City, New York

Lucas, 24 holds degrees from the Juilliard School (B.M. ’19 and M.M. ’21) as a student of Sylvia Rosenberg. In 2016 he won the Aspen Violin competition and served in the concertmaster pool of the Juilliard Orchestra from ’20-’21. He looks forward to exploring ways to make classical music accessible to those who aren’t already in love with the genre and bringing his passion for music to the forefront of presentation. He cherishes the moments during performances when eye contact with others shares a mutual understanding of a feeling that is only expressible through music.  During the pandemic Lucas started a sports card trading business on eBay. Second to music he is on a search to find the best Rigatoni and Pho in New York City.

Jakob Taylor

Jakob Taylor

Cello | New York City

Jacob, 23 has degrees from New England Conservatory (B.M.) and Rice University Shepherd School of Music (M.M) as a student of Desmond Hoebig. His awards include 1st prize at the Shepherd School of Music Concerto Competition in 2020, a Fischer Prize named scholarship in ’19-’21, a Merit Scholarship at the New England Conservatory from ’15-’19, and Principal Cello at the Shepherd School Symphony Orchestra ’19-’20. His favorite musical memory is flinging a loose baby tooth out of his mouth as a boy at the the Met while hitting a high note and watching the tooth soar into the audience during a live in HD taping of The Magic Flute. Outside music Jakob is a licensed sailor and scuba diver, avid reader, cyclist, and amateur chef. During the pandemic Lucas did a lot of reading, explored new trails, and looked for chances to be safely with friends and loved ones.

Chaojun Yang

Chaojun Yang

Piano | Shanghai, China

Chaojun, 26 earned a B.M. and B.A. in French from Bard Conservatory. Her 80-page senior thesis focused on the relation of music and Henri Bergson’s philosophy. She has just completed her M.M. from the Juilliard School as a student of Hung-Kuan Chen. She will be collaborating with Grammy award winner and jazz recording artists, Bob James after attending Taos this summer.  She aspires to create more accessible platforms for people from various backgrounds to listen to classical music; to introduce great music from lesser-known composers and perform music from other sources to piano.  Her favorite musical memories are sharing/performing/teaching music in different countries for audiences of divergent backgrounds. Her hobbies include Bikram yoga and collecting reproductions of ancient Chinese landscape paintings. During the pandemic she began wroting reviews for movies, books, and music CDs.  Other than music Chaojun loves travel, visiting museums, exploring great food around the world, or just lying in Central Park with her two finches.

From Our Artistic Director

“Returning to Taos and the School of Music after the quiet of this pandemic year will undoubtedly mark one of the true high points in my life. I have greatly missed the community of this remarkable town and its people, the company of my colleagues, and the privilege of working with the extraordinary young artists who come here to study at the onset of their professional careers.

After nearly four decades of being a part of this grand vision so confidently set in motion by Chilton Anderson and his likeminded friends back in 1962, it’s hard not to reflect on the effect it has had on me. More than any other single personal or professional experience, the School has helped shape my thinking as an educator and the ideals I hold to as a practicing musician. More than I can adequately express, I always have and always will be affected in the most profound way by the gifted performers who come here to work and learn.”

– Robert McDonald
Pianist