Meet the Hutchins Consort
As an ensemble, the Hutchins Consort brings together eight brilliant musicians: strong individuals, musically gifted and open to the experimentation that is necessary to confront the challenges of adapting traditional performance practices, as well as inventing new techniques to master the instruments Dr. Hutchins created. The group includes two visionary composers who have written and arranged a vast anthology of works that embraces virtually every known musical genre. All the music is either transcribed from standard repertoire or composed specifically for the Hutchins Octet to accommodate the unique sonic structure of these instruments. This collection gives the ensemble diversity in performance that few traditional groups can match and is key to its success in bridging the gap between popular culture and classical music. Whether playing as a single, powerful string octet or augmenting the group with a stable of equally inventive guest artists, performances by the Hutchins Consort are a refreshing departure from the customary classical music fare.
Joe McNalley – Bass Violin
Founder and Artistic Director
Joe McNalley began bass violin studies at the age of eleven, and started writing orchestral music in his early teens. Formal training with Edwin Barker, Ran Blake, Miroslav Vitous and Hankus Netsky at the New England Conservatory of Music was followed by advanced studies with Bertram Turezky at U.C. San Diego. Mr. McNalley has played with a number of notable musicians in the classical, jazz, and world music realms and has been honored several times for his solo and ensemble playing. He has performed with George Russell, Vinnie Golia, Jimmy and Jeanie Cheatham’s Sweet Baby Blues Band, Jay McShann, Eddie “Mr. Cleanhead” Vinson, Thad Jones, and other notables of Jazz and Blues. As the founder of the Hutchins Consort, he has written over 220 arrangements and original compositions for the Hutchins Violins.
Mark Dresser – Contrabass Violin
Mark Dresser has been composing and performing solo contrabass and ensemble music professionally since 1972 throughout North America, Europe and the Far East. A brilliant contrabass player, Mr. Dresser has performed and recorded with many of the luminaries of ‘new’ jazz composition and improvisation, including the Anthony Braxton Quartet, as well as diverse groups led by Ray Anderson, Tim Berne, Anthony Davis, Gerry Hemingway, John Zorn, and others. He has a relationship with the Hutchins instruments that spans almost two decades.
Frederick Charlton – Bass Violin
Composer-in-Residence (In Memoriam)
Frederick Charlton has received worldwide acclaim for his unique playing style and versatility, which carried him into collaboration with such leading artists as James Galway, Glen Campbell, Amy Grant, John Tesh, David Foster and Michael W. Smith. In addition to his superb playing ability, Mr. Charlton sets the industry standard as a prolific composer and arranger. He has been commissioned for new works and arrangements by individual performers and symphony orchestras, including the Pacific Symphony, Carlos R. Nakai, Chamber Music Sedona, James Pellerite, R’eut Ben Zen, the Amadeus Trio and Saadoun Al’Bayati. As Composer-in-Residence for the Hutchins Consort, his talents have significantly influenced the Consort’s repertoire, both in arrangements of traditional classical music and new compositions specifically written for the Violin Octet.
Maksim Velichkin – Baritone Violin
Maksim Velichkin has been active as a solo performer, chamber and orchestra musician, both locally and throughout the world. Mr. Velichkin has worked with such outstanding conductors and instrumentalists as James Levine, Kurt Masur, Charles Dutoit, Yuri Temirkanov, Wolfgang Sawallish, Herbert Blomstedt, Christoph von Dohnanyi, Neemi and Paavo Yarvi, Sarah Chang, Maxim Vengerov, Yuri Bashmet, Dmitry Sitkovetsky, Bobby Mc Ferrin, Joshua Bell, Gabriela Montero, Lynn Harrell, Misha Maisky, Frans Helmerson. He has been active in the jazz and popular music scene, having performed and recorded with Stevie Wonder, Billy Childs, Burt Bacharach, Chris Botti, Josh Groban, John Legend, Bernadette Peters, Natalie Cole and many others. As a pianist, Mr. Velichkin performed J.S. Bach’s Concerto for Two Pianos in C minor at Carnegie Hall, Saint-Saens’s Carnival of the Animals in Sydney, Australia and as a harpsichordist, he was invited to play at the Bachwoche Festival in Berlin where among other pieces he performed Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto #5 with members of Vienna and Berlin Philharmonic. Maksim is a co-founder of the Classical Underground, a co-producer of Music@Mimoda concert series and the producer of M3 Classical concert series.
Alex Greenbaum – Baritone Violin
Born in New York, cellist Alex Greenbaum began playing the cello at age three. He has performed as soloist or collaborator at diverse venues throughout the city, including Bargemusic, Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, the Brooklyn Lyceum and Le Poisson Rouge. Further from New York, he appears regularly on San Diego’s Art of Élan chamber series and is an affiliated artist with San Diego New Music. Also an active performer in Mexico, Alex was a member of the Orquesta Sinfonica Sinaloa de las Artes, and returned there to perform as soloist with the Tarab Cello Ensemble in the Feria de las Artes. An avid chamber musician and passionate advocate for new music, Mr. Greenbaum performs often with the FLUX Quartet, has appeared with Newband, the Wet Ink Ensemble, Hutchins East and at Music at the Anthology (MATA). He attended the Eastman School of Music, the Royal Northern College of Music, the University of Miami and the Aaron Copland School of Music at Queens College. His teachers include Steven Doane, Marcy Rosen, Ross Harbaugh, Joseph Elworthy and Andre Emelianoff.
Peter Jacobson – Tenor Violin
Peter Jacobson is a Los Angeles based cellist inspired by, “the natural context of music all around us.” He has recorded, performed and toured with great rock, hip-hop, classical, jazz and world music artists from Dr. Dre to Dr. Fred Frith. Mr. Jacobson has performed locally and internationally in Mexico, Asia and Europe, and on radio broadcasts. He studied with Eleonore Schoenfeld at USC as well as at Cal Arts and the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. As a student of North Indian classical music, Jacobson studied with the late sitar master Rahul Sariputra as well as at the Ali Akbar College of Music. He performs with Grammy-winning Southwest Chamber Music, the Concentr8s, The Arohi Ensemble, and with Quartetto Fantastico.
Erin Breene – Alto and Tenor Violin
Erin Breene is in great demand as both a chamber and orchestral musician. Ms. Breene currently holds the position of Assistant Principal Cellist of the Music Center Dance series in Los Angeles and is a member of the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra. Since moving to Southern California, she has performed chamber works with the San Diego-based Camarada, Art of Elan, High Desert Chamber Music series, La Jolla’s Athenaeum, acted as Principal Cellist with the Opera Pacific Orchestra, and frequently performs with the Pacific Symphony. She has served as Principal Cellist of Orchestra Nova, the Juilliard Orchestra, the Tanglewood Festival Orchestra, the Aspen Sinfonia and Rice University’s Shepherd School Symphony where she studied with Paul Katz and obtained her BM degree. Ms. Breene also attended the Juilliard School where she received her MM degree as a student of Timothy Eddy.
Adrienne Woods – Alto Violin
Adrienne Woods grew up in a musical family in the small southern town Florence, South Carolina. She started playing the cello at age four, along with sibling Chris Woods on violin. They were constantly surrounded by classical music and formed a piano quartet with Sherry Woods on viola and Benjamin Woods on piano. She uprooted herself after graduating from the University of South Carolina after studying with cellist Robert Jesselson and jazz instructor Bert Ligon to hone her craft in Los Angeles. The Henry Mancini Institute introduced her to many other styles of music and musicians. Since residing in Los Angeles, Adrienne has played studio work, orchestral works, television shows, and toured with many star artists including Shaggy, Faith Evans, Frankie J, Clay Aiken, Josh Groban, and Michael Buble. She has also been on the American Music Awards with Josh Groban, American Idol with Reuben, BET Awards with The Game, and recorded several music videos including Josh Groban, Kanye West, Rod Stewart. She continues to play with many star and local artists while developing her own music writing and performances with the Hutchins consort on Alto violin.
Carolyn Lechusza Aquallo – Alto Violin
Cellist, improviser and composer, Carolyn Lechusza freelanced in the New York region for many years. She made her New York debut with the American Symphony Orchestra, playing the Kabalebsky Cello Concerto. The following year, Leon Botstein conducted the ASO’s premier of her cello concerto, “Lament”, with the composer soloing. Her composition teachers include Joan Tower and Alvin Curran. Beyond playing the traditional cello repertoire and composing in the conventional instrumental mediums, Ms. Aquallo has improvised with Fred Frith, Joelle Leándre, Pauline Oliveros, Wadada Leon Smith and Cecil Taylor. As a Cota-Robles Fellow at U.C. San Diego, she received her PhD in cello performance.
Alan Busteed – Mezzo Violin
Violinist, violist and pianist Alan Busteed served as professor of chamber music at the Academia Nacional de Orquestra in Lisbon, Portugal, from 1994 until 2001, where he performed with the Quarteto Metropolis, and was featured violin soloist in numerous recitals. A versatile artist, Mr. Busteed performed at the Amherst Early Music festival, played with the Dallas Bach Society and recorded Purcell’s “Dido and Aeneas” with Atlanta’s New Trinity Baroque. As guest concertmaster of the Orquesta de Baja California, Alan premiered new works by award winning composers from Mexico City. He has toured nationally with the Hutchins Consort and, in collaboration with cellist Ruslan Biryukov and pianist Mary Au, performed as violinist in Trio del Mar, an ensemble which has received critical acclaim throughout Southern California.
Ondrej Lewit – Soprano and Mezzo Violins
Born in Prague (Czech Republic), Ondrej Lewit began violin study at the age of seven at the Elemntary School of Music, later continued at the State Conservatory of Music and obtained his MA degree graduating at the Academy of Performing Arts. As a member of Camerata Pragensis, Camerata Nova, concertmaster of J. Suk’s Chamber Orchestra and especially as first violin of Cuartetto Cassoviae, Mr. Lewit has performed and recorded throughout Europe, playing on numerous occasions as a soloist with such notable conductors as R. Barshai, E. Colomer, S. Morgenstern, T. Olilla, D. Shallon, D. Solomon and Y. Talmi. He spent several years in Spain as concertmaster of Tenerife Symphony Orchestra, leader of the OST Chamber Orchestra and Director and Chair of the String Department at Spain’s prestigious Academy of Orchestral Studies. In 2005, Mr. Lewit was appointed concertmaster of Baja California Orchestra and taught violin at its Conservatory of Music in Tijuana, Mexico until 2010. He currently holds the position concertmaster of the San Diego Interfaith Choir and Orchestra and maintains a private violin and viola studio in San Diego since 2004.
Bethany Grace – Soprano Violin
For Bethany Grace, the best part of being a musician is that she can “make a living by living her passion.” To see her play the violin is to experience that passion in action. Her lifelong love of symphonic music began at the age of five when she attended a concert by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Fritz Reiner. Since then, she has played in numerous orchestras, including the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Los Angeles Opera, the San Diego Symphony, the San Diego Opera, the San Diego Chamber Orchestra, the Mainly Mozart Festival and many others, including Concertmaster of the Santa Clarita Symphony Orchestra. A versatile musician, Ms. Grace’s musical career has taken her all over the world to play and record with a wide spectrum of musicians including Yanni, the Moody Blues, Placido Domingo, Pavarotti, Andrea Bocelli, Kenny Loggins, John Denver, The Manhattan Transfer, Mannheim Steamroller, James Taylor and many other great performers. With the Hutchins Consort, she plays everything from Bach to Piazzolla on the soprano violin.
Igor Tchetchko – Soprano Violin
Mr. Tchetchko received his undergraduate degree from the Stoliarski School. He completed his advanced studies under Professors Leonid Kogan and Sergei Kravchenko at the Tchaikovsky Conservatory in Moscow, where he worked with the Borodin Quartet and performed as a soloist with the Moscow Philharmonic. Now residing, performing and teaching in Southern California, Mr. Tchetchko also served as concertmaster of the Orquestra de Baja California.
Steve Huber – Treble and Soprano Violins
Steve Huber is a Juilliard graduate and former violin student of Dorothy DeLay and Sally Thomas. He has enjoyed a successful career as a symphony violinist in such orchestras as the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra in Texas, Orquestra Sinfonica do Estado de São Paulo (OSESP) in Brazil, and as oncertmaster, the Orquestra Filarmonica de Lima in Peru.At 17, Huber wrote his first orchestral piece “Genesis Overture,” which was performed by the Juilliard Pre-College Orchestra and for which he was awarded the Boosey and Hawkes Young Composer Award by the ASCAP Foundation. His compositions have been performed by the Key West and Fort Worth Symphonies and the renowned ETHEL string quartet.Steve Huber has performed and recorded as an improvising violinist and keyboardist in such styles as Afro-Peruvian, salsa, rock, blues, new age, jazz, latin jazz and bluegrass with artists such as Keith Emerson, Giovanni, Susana Baca, Spyro Gyra, Jerry Brown, Munyungo Jackson, Marcus Belgrade, Haakon Graf, New York Voices, Absolute Ensemble, John Nitzinger, Hijos del Sol, Julio Andrade, Frágil, Nito Mestre of Sui Generis, Gian Marco, Santino, Elvis Schoenberg’s Orchestre Surreal, Tina Guo, and Randy Jackson of Zebra. He is a member of the acclaimed pirate rock group “The Pirates Charles.”Huber wrote the music for the “Shorty & Morty” short film series, which has won an award in the Comfy Shorts Film Festival in Australia. Recent projects include arranging music and leading the string section for Bollywood composers Salim and Sulaiman Merchant, also known as Salim-Sulaiman, and touring as Assistant Concertmaster of the Classical Concert Chamber Orchestra.
Christopher Woods – Treble Violin
The son of musicians, Christopher Woods has played the violin since the age of four. He began studying with Thelma Hawkins and continued with Sherry Woods (his mother) and Won-Mo Kim. He has studied at the North Carolina School of the Arts with Kevin Lawrence, as a scholarship student of Sergiu Swartz at the Harrid Conservatory in Florida, with Fritz deJonge at the University of South Carolina, with Patinka Kopec at the Manhattan School of Music in New York City, and performed in master classes with violinist-violist-conductor Pinchas Zuckerman. In the summers of 1999 and 2000, Mr. Woods was awarded a full scholarship to the Henry Mancini Institute and Jazz Philharmonic Orchestra held at UCLA in Los Angeles, California where he was one of the concertmasters and jazz soloists. Living in Los Angeles, Mr. Woods has performed and recorded with Outkast, Dr. Dre, Jessica Simpson, Justin Timberlake, and Lil’ Wayne, to name a few. In the classical world he is concertmaster of the Southeast Symphony and Center Stage Opera. He is a member of the MASS Ensemble, which tours around the world.
Marta Blalock Zaludova – Treble Violin
Marta Blalock Zaludova started to study the violin at the age of five in the Czech Republic. She earned her Doctoral degree in Musical Arts from the University of Georgia and is dedicated to her research in Eastern European Music and woman composers. Ms. Zaludova currently resides in Los Angeles, California, where she is pursuing a career as a studio and live performer. In addition to her experience as a solo, chamber and orchestral musician, she has crossed over to the non-classical scene, performing and recording with projects in many different genres, from Flamenco to Jazz and Rock.
Andrea Altona – Treble Violin
Andrea Altona began formal studies at the University of Iowa School of Music with Allen Ohmes. She earned her Bachelor’s Degree from the Cleveland Institute of Music where she studied with Linda Cerone and James Stern. Ms. Altona has performed with the Cedar Rapids Symphony, the Akron Symphony, Canton Symphony Orchestra and the Orchestra of Santa Fe. She has also performed with the San Diego Symphony and the San Diego Opera, and played in many national touring shows, including Andrea Bocelli, Linda Ronstadt, “The Lion King” and “The Producers.” Ms. Altona currently serves as President of the San Diego Musician’s Union.
Hutchins Consort East
The Hutchins Consort East is a new ensemble, based in New York City, dedicated to playing the New Violin Family instruments made by Carleen Hutchins. The group is committed to commissioning new works written specifically for the New Violin Family instruments. The group will also focus on performing works of the Renaissance and Baroque to which the instruments bring an unparalleled clarity and balance. The ensemble brings together a group of accomplished and adventurous performers with experience playing modern and early music
Chris Otto – Treble Violin
There are few young musicians whose talent equals that of Christopher Otto in the performance and composition of new music. As a violinist and composition major at the Eastman School of Music, he excelled at both disciplines, earning him the opportunity to apprentice with new music icons Sir Harry Birtwistle, Pierre Boulez, Helmut Lachenmann, and Steve Reich. Mr. Otto has also participated in new music festivals, such as the Lucerne Festival Academy, the Darmstadt Summer Courses, the Stockhausen Courses, the Institute and Festival for Contemporary Music at Mannes, June in Buffalo, and the International Festival of Contemporary Music in Morelia, Mexico.
Emily Dufour – Baritone, Tenor and Alto Violins
Emily DuFour is currently pursuing her Master of Music degree at University of California, San Diego where she is studying with Charles Curtis. She completed her undergraduate studies at Oberlin Conservatory of Music where she was the principal cellist of the Oberlin Contemporary Music Ensemble. In this ensemble she played in many US cities including New York, where she performed chamber works of Lewis Nielson at Carnegie Hall. She also was principal cellist of the Oberlin Orchestra and Oberlin Chamber Orchestra, and she performed with many other orchestras in Ohio. As a member of the Fairchild String Quartet she toured the Washington D.C. area and gave a concert at the Smithsonian Hall of Musical Instruments on the museum-owned quartet of Stradivarius instruments.
Greg Chudzik – Contrabass Violin
Greg Chudzik is an active performer across numerous genres on the double bass and electric bass. He can be seen performing regularly with several new music groups, including Signal Ensemble, Wet Ink Ensemble, and Talea Ensemble. Greg is also a member of several bands, including Empyrean Atlas, Half Waif, and The Briars of North America. He has worked with numerous influential figures in contemporary music, including Pierre Boulez, George Benjamin, Helmut Lachenmann, Charles Wuorinen, Alex Mincek and Tristan Perich. Last January, Greg completed a tour opening for Jeff Mangum, formerly of Neutral Milk Hotel. Greg’s recording credits include playing on the Grammy-nominated “Barcelonaza” by Jorge Leiderman, the album “Americans” by Scott Johnson (Tzadik records), multiple recordings with Signal Ensemble on New Amsterdam and Mode Records, the album “Grown Unknown” by Lia Ices (Secretly Canadian records), and the album “High Violet” by The National.