Filippo Aldrovandi Reina, Maxwell van Hoeij, Julia Hernandez, and Evan Nicholson

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The Maschera Quartet formed during the summer of 2020 on front porches and back decks of Tallahassee, Florida. As a quartet they have participated in the Hilton Head Chamber Music Institute and Chamber Winter Camp of the Tallahassee Youth Orchestra. They have been coached by Dr. Shannon Thomas, Professor Greg Sauer, and Dr. Pedro Maia.

Filippo Aldrovandi Reina, 16, started playing violin at age four and viola at age seven. He regularly studies violin with Shannon Thomas and viola with Pamela Ryan. He has participated in several music institutes and festivals, where he studied violin with Asja Kushner, Ching-Yi Lin, Cornelia Heard, and Carolyn Huebl, and viola with Dorotea Vismara, James Przygocki, Victoria Chiang, and Caroline Coade. Filippo has played in master classes with Ray Chen, Atar Arad, Victoria Chiang, and Csaba Erdelyi. He has participated in the Green Mountain Chamber Music Festival in 2018 and 2020 and the Castleman Quartet Program in 2019. In 2019 he also attended the Aspen Music Festival. Filippo has enjoyed attending the Hilton Head Chamber Music Institute in 2020 and the Online Solo Strings Intensive program in summer 2020 and winter 2021. He has performed solo violin with the Northwest Florida Symphony Orchestra as winner of the Junior Division of the 2016 NFSO Young Artist Competition. In 2016 and 2018, Filippo has been one of six finalists in the Junior Category for the National Solo Competition of the American Viola Society. He is a member of the Tallahassee Youth Symphony Orchestra and has been part of the TYSO Quartet, with whom he won the 2020 high school division of the NOLA Chamber Festival. Filippo is a junior at Lawton Chiles High School and a member of his school’s chamber orchestra and varsity cross country and track teams.

Maxwell van Hoeij, 17, has studied with Dr. Shannon Thomas at FSU for six years. He attended numerous music festivals and institutes where he studied violin with Aaron Rosand, Cornelia Heard, Carolyn Huebl, Aaron Berofsky, Kevin Lawrence, Marcin Arendt, and Sharan Leventhal. Maxwell has played in masterclasses with Aaron Rosand, Mikhail Kopelman, Rachel Barton Pine, and Charles Wetherbee. He’s attended the Online Solo String Intensive, Aspen Music Festival, Hilton Head Chamber Music Institute, Boston University Tanglewood Institute, Credo, Interlochen Center for the Arts, and Summit Music Festival. He has served as concertmaster of the Jacksonville Symphony Youth Orchestra (2013-15, 2017-2019), First Coast Youth Orchestra (2017-2018), North Florida All District Orchestra (2017) and at the Los Angeles International Music Festival (2018). Max secured prizes in the American String Teachers Association, American Protégé International Piano and String Competition, the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra, Big Bend Young Artist, and Kennesaw State University Young Artist Competitions. He has performed as soloist at Weill Recital Hall and Stern Auditorium at Carnegie Hall, and was selected as the Moscow Ballet Wunderkind winner in 2018. Last year, he was a finalist in the Hilton Head Concerto Competition. Maxwell is passionate about music and education. As a senior, he’ll graduate among the top of his class at Lincoln High School and will receive his Associate of Arts at the Tallahassee Community College in April 2021.

Julia Hernandez, 18, started on violin at age seven and switched to viola at age nine. For nine years, she studied with Dr. Colleen Manseau-Wade. Julia attended the 2017 Interlochen Center for the Arts summer orchestra program, where she was a violist in the World Youth Symphony Orchestra and the Interl-octet, and the 2020 Hilton Head Chamber Music Institute. In 2017, Julia was the runner-up of the Big Bend Community Orchestra Young Artist Concerto Competition. Every year from 2015-2020, Julia was selected for the Florida All-State Orchestras, serving as principal viola in 2018. Julia also served as principal viola of the Lawton Chiles High School Orchestra (2016-2020) and the Tallahassee Youth Orchestras (TYO) Symphony Orchestra (2016-2020). In 2019, she was the second chair viola of the Stanford Summer Symphony Orchestra. From 2018-2020, she was the violist of the TYO String Quartet, with whom she won first place in the 2020 NOLA Chamber Fest Barbara Philleo High School Division. Having graduated summa cum laude from Lawton Chiles High School in May 2020, Julia is currently a freshman at Stanford University majoring in computer science with a prospective minor in music. At Stanford, she is a violist in the Stanford Symphony Orchestra and studies with Lesley Robertson, violist of the St. Lawrence String Quartet.

After a brief stint on violin, Evan Nicholson began studying cello at the age of four. His primary teachers have been Pamela Devenport, Avi Friedlander, Martin Gueorguiev, and Wendy Warner. Currently, Evan studies with Daniel Laufer. Evan spent four summers at Green Mountain Chamber Music Festival studying with Alan Rafferty, Sarah Kim, and Alison Wells. For two years, Evan has attended the Bowdoin International Music Festival where he studied with Stephen Doane and David Ying. Evan has participated in cello workshops in Cincinnati, Birmingham, Memphis, and Jacksonville and has played in the Franklin Pond Chamber Music program and the Emory Youth programs including AJCO, EYCP, and EYSO. In 2019, Evan performed the first movement of the Dvorak Cello Concerto with EYSO and the Columbus State Symphony Orchestra. In 2021 Evan is scheduled to perform with the Northwest Florida Symphony Orchestra and the Dekalb Symphony as a result of their Young Artist Concerto Competitions. During the summer of 2020, Evan participated in the Hilton Head Chamber Music Institute and the Cincinnati Young Artists Cello Workshops. A passionate chamber musician, Evan currently plays in the Maschera Quartet and is a senior at the Midtown International School.

You can find the quartet’s performance here.

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