2016-17 Season Guest Artists

Courtesy photo
Courtesy photo

Guy Fishman


Israeli-born cellist Guy Fishman made his Symphony Hall solo debut in 2005 with the Handel & Haydn Society Orchestra, which he joined in 2002. He was appointed principal cellist at Handel & Haydn in 2011. Mr. Fishman is in demand as an early music specialist in the United States and Europe, performing in recital and with Boston Baroque, Apollo’s Fire, Emmanuel Music, the Boston Museum Trio, Arcadia Players, and El Mundo, as well as performing on standard cello with the Orchestra of St. Luke’s, The Mark Morris Dance Group, and the Albany Symphony Orchestra, among others. Recent highlights include a recitals with Dawn Upshaw and Gilbert Kalish, with Eliot Fisk, and performances at the Colorado Music Festival in Boulder. In addition, Mr. Fishman has toured and recorded with pop artist Natalie Merchant. He has performed in chamber music recitals in Boston’s Sanders Theater, Carnegie’s Weill Recital Hall, and Merkin Concert Hall, and has appeared at the Tanglewood, Kneisel Hall, Chautauqua, and Musicorda festivals. He was a member of the New Fromm Players at Tanglewood, principal cellist of the New York String Orchestra at Carnegie Hall, and has performed in fringe recitals at the Boston Early Music Festival. His playing has been praised as “plangent” by the Boston Globe, “electrifying” by the New York Times, and “beautiful....noble” by the Boston Herald.


Mr. Fishman started playing the cello at age 12, and at 16 began his Baccalaureate studies with David Soyer at the Manhattan School of Music. He subsequently worked with Peter Wiley, Julia Lichten, and Laurence Lesser, with whom he completed Doctoral studies at the New England Conservatory of Music. In addition, Mr. Fishman is a Fulbright Fellow, and spent his fellowship year in Amsterdam studying with the famed Dutch cellist Anner Bylsma. Mr. Fishman has recorded for the Centaur, Telarc, Titanic, and Newport Classics labels. He plays a rare cello made in Rome in 1704 by David Tecchler. 


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Courtesy photo

Craig Schulman


Craig Schulman is the only performer in the world to have performed three of the most extraordinary musical theatre characters ever written. He has appeared in the title roles of Jekyll & Hyde, Andrew Lloyd Webber's The Phantom Of The Opera, and nearly 2,000 performances of Jean Valjean in Les Misérables, on Broadway and around the world.

He was chosen to represent the U.S. at the Les Misérables Tenth Anniversary Concert at Royal Albert Hall in October, 1995, which can often be seen on the PBS broadcast of the event. He has played Che in Evita; Tevye in Fiddler On The Roof and Archibald Craven in The Secret Garden at N.C.T.


He has sung on The Rosie O'Donnell Show, NBC Weekend Today and Guiding Light, and was heard as the voices of "Placido Domingo" and "Luciano Pavarotti" on MTV's Claymation Celebrity Death Match.


Mr. Schulman moves freely between the worlds of Broadway, opera and symphonic pops programs. He has sung Don Jose in Carmen at Opera Carolina, Opera Memphis, and in Colorado; debuted as Judge Danforth in The Crucible at Tulsa Opera; and sang Eisenstein in Strauss' Die Fledermaus with Opera Memphis. He also sang with Sherrill Milnes and Mignon Dunn at Opera Memphis' 40th Anniversary Gala Concert.


Schulman has sung the title role in Honeggar's King David in New York; was the lead soloist in Beethoven's Christ On The Mount Of Olives at Lincoln Center; and appeared with the Cape Cod Symphony in A Night of Italian Opera. Mr. Schulman starred in the critically acclaimed production of The Tender Land at The Long Wharf Theatre; has appeared as Pinkerton in Madama Butterflywith the Orlando and Virginia Opera Companies; and sang the title role in The Tales Of Hoffmannwith the Peoria Civic and Virginia Opera Companies. He debuted as Don Jose in Cincinnati; performed the role of Cavaradossi in Puccini's Tosca in Philadelphia and Orlando (w/ Sherrill Milnes).


He is the creator and producer of the BROADWAY NIGHTS™ Concert Series, and two solo programs: HEROES, MONSTERS & MADMEN™ and CRAIG SCHULMAN ON BROADWAY™. Craig teaches college level acting classes and He is married to prominent New York City voice teacher Monica Robinson, and they are the proud parents of two sons and a daughter. Craig lovingly dedicates his performance to the memory of his daughter Jenna.


Courtesy photo
Courtesy photo

Gwen Laster


Gwen's upbringing in Detroit's Urban and Classical music scene was inspired by her mother's love for blues, jazz, the Motown sound and motivated through her high school orchestra teacher Anderson White. Andy blurred the lines between orchestral, chamber and jazz repertoire using amplified string instruments in orchestra. His raw approach to teaching improvisation was to shout "Stand up, Take a Solo" on string arrangements of Dr. David Baker.


After earning her BM and MM from the University of Michigan School of Music, Gwen relocated to New York City. She emerged herself in recording, touring, playing broadway shows, jazz clubs,traditional and non traditional chamber ensembles and teaching improvisation to string players.


Gwen has won awards from the NEA, ASCAP, Lila Wallace Endowment and Cognac Henessey Jazz Search (1st place).


Gwen's collaborations with popular, global and avant garde artists give her an interesting and diverse set of skills and musical sense abilities. These artists include Alicia Keys, Rhianna; Beres Hammond,saxophonist Joe Giardullo, Angie Stone, Shaggy, Aretha Franklin, Joss Stone, Haitian vocalist Emeline Michel, Anthony Braxton and Leroy Jenkins. Her chamber and orchestral work includes Sphinx Symphony Orchestra, Harlem Symphony Orchestra, Brooklyn Philharmonic, Go Organic Orchestra and Quartette Indigo. She has toured Japan, Cuba, Haiti, Barbados, Anguilla, Jamiaca, Canada, the Dominican Republic and the U.S.


As an educator, Gwen is the founder and artistic director of the Creative Strings Global Music Workshop. This workshop develops the trained string players' improvisation and composition skills. Creative Strings has been presented at Eastman School of Music and was the first non traditional workshop to be welcomed by the Interlochen Summer Arts Camp and the Sphinx Preparatory Academy. Gwen has also authored a violin method book "Music for the Creative String Player",based on concepts from her workshops. Tracks from her book can be heard here http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/gwenlaster and her original music can be heard at CD Baby, iTunes and other digital media.