Events & Tickets
Born in Louisville, Kentucky, second-year Violin Fellow Christopher Robinson recently held the role of Concertmaster for the Cleveland Opera Theater, while leading performances of Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro. His music festival performances include the Aspen Music Festival and School, Great Wall International Music Academy in Beijing, China, and the Mozarteum Summer Music Academy in Salzburg, Austria. An avid chamber musician, Mr. Robinson has been featured in the Tuesday Musical Association at the Akron Art Museum performing premieres of contemporary chamber music. He studied chamber music with members of the Cleveland, Cavani, Ariel, Muir, American, Arianna and Great Wall string quartets.
Mr. Robinson began studying the violin at age 10 with Gloria Spurlock, and later continued violin studies at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music with Kurt Sassmannshaus, earning his bachelor of music degree in 2015. Most recently, he earned his master of music degree from the Cleveland Institute of Music studying under Joan Kwuon.
Passionate about teaching and community engagement, Mr. Robinson served as director of the Sassmannshaus Tradition from 2014-15. The Sassmannshaus Tradition is a beginning string program in the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music Pre-college where he also taught violin lessons, chamber music, ear training and music theory. He is also the founder and artistic director of the Giovani Vecchi Concert Series, which explores new ways to attract and expose younger audiences to classical music.
As an outdoorsman and Eagle Scout, Mr. Robinson enjoys cycling, backpacking, hiking, kayaking and canoeing. During the summer of 2015, he joined his family on a 221-mile backpacking trip on the John Muir Trail in the Sierra Nevada Mountains of California.
Stephanie Block is a second-year Viola Fellow at the New World Symphony. Praised by the Sarasota Observer as “exceptionally talented” and “a virtuosic performer,” she has performed as a soloist with several Chicago-area symphonies and recently gave the U.S. premiere of Alejandro Cardona’s Sweet Tijuana: Danzas Fronterizas for Viola and Orchestra with the New Juilliard Ensemble. Ms. Block has served as Principal Viola with the Juilliard Orchestra, Music Academy of the West Festival Orchestra and Sarasota Music Festival Orchestra. She also holds a gold medal from the Junior Division of the Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition. Ms. Block was recently selected to participate in the inaugural Keston MAX London Symphony Orchestra Fellowship through the Music Academy of the West and will be playing with the London Symphony in January 2019.
Ms. Block has worked with several renowned chamber musicians, including Michael Tree, Shmuel Ashkenasi and Ralph Kirshbaum, as well as the Brentano, Borromeo and Miró quartets. She has worked under conductors Gustavo Dudamel, Jaap van Zweden, Stéphane Denève, Elim Chan and Larry Rachleff. She also has a passion for jazz music and performed with Wynton Marsalis at Dizzy’s Jazz Club: Coca-Cola in New York as part of Daniel Chmielinski’s group Four by Four.
Born in Barrington, Illinois, Ms. Block received both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from The Juilliard School under Heidi Castleman, Hsin-Yun Huang, Misha Amory and Cynthia Phelps.
A survivor of the rare cancer Langerhans Cell Histiocytosis, Ms. Block organized a benefit concert to raise money for the Histiocytosis Association and is committed to continuing fundraising through her music. Outside of music, she is an accomplished runner and triathlete. She has been an age group winner in the Girls’ Best Friend and Chicago Supersprint Triathlons and a top prizewinner in the Chicago Triathlon.
Drew Comstock is a second-year Cello Fellow at the New World Symphony. Winner of the 2017 Glenn Gould School Chamber competition as cellist of the Hensel Quartet, he has performed in leadership positions with the New England Conservatory Philharmonia, McGill Symphony and Royal Conservatory Orchestra. Mr. Comstock has also performed in orchestras across North America, including the Canadian Opera Company Orchestra (Toronto), North Carolina Symphony, National Repertory Orchestra (Breckenridge, CO) and Boston’s Discovery Ensemble.
A passionate chamber musician, Mr. Comstock has appeared in several summer festivals, such as le Domaine Forget, Toronto Summer Music Festival and the McGill International String Quartet Academy. In 2017, at Music by the Sea in Bamfield, British Columbia, the Hensel Quartet was joined by esteemed violist Steven Dann for the Brahms’ Second Viola Quintet. Mr. Comstock has played chamber music with cellist David Geringas, violinist Barry Shiffman and members of the New Orford String Quartet, and studied chamber music with Timothy Ying, Andre Roy, Borromeo String Quartet and members of the Alban Berg string quartet. Mr. Comstock has performed in master class for Laurence Lesser, Raphael Pidoux, Phillipe Muller and Raphael Wallfisch. In 2016, as a member of the Glenn Gould Ensemble, he collaborated with composer Osvaldo Golijov to present three of Mr. Golijov’s chamber works with Toronto’s Against the Grain Theatre Company.
Mr. Comstock won a Temerty Family Foundation Scholarship at the Glenn Gould School in Toronto, where he completed an artist’s diploma while working with former Cleveland Orchestra Principal Desmond Hoebig and soloist Andres Diaz. Previously, Mr. Comstock completed a master’s degree at McGill University after studying with Montreal Symphony Principal Brian Manker, and a bachelor’s degree from New England Conservatory under the tutelage of Borromeo Quartet cellist Yeesun Kim.
Carson Marshall, Violin
First-year Violin Fellow Carson Marshall aims to inspire audiences with generous and passionate performances in both formal and unconventional concert settings. Originally from western Massachusetts, he has performed on the PBS radio show From the Top and is a recipient of the Jack Kent Cooke young artist award.
Mr. Marshall has attended the Aspen Music Festival and Music Academy of the West, where he studied with Paul Kantor, Alex Kerr, Kathleen Winkler, Jorja Fleezanis and Glenn Dicterow. In 2017 he served as Co-Concertmaster of the National Repertory Orchestra, performing Richard Strauss’ Ein Heldenleben and Ernest Chausson’s Poeme.
Mr. Marshall attended Rice University in Houston, where he completed his bachelor’s and master’s degrees, studying with Paul Kantor. Mr. Marshall was also a core member of the Kinetic ensemble, The Transitory Sound and Movement Collective, and served as a violin coach for the Houston Youth Symphony.
When not performing or practicing, Mr. Marshall prefers to be outside and is an avid fly-fisherman, rock climber and mushroom forager.