Sean Neukom was born and raised in North Dakota and has degrees in violin performance from Minot State University (BS) and the Cleveland Institute of Music (MM). Sean is active as a performer, composer, audio engineer, and producer. These roles are realized through his organization, Symbiotic Collusion. Symbiotic, an organization started to develop a sustainable model as an arts organization, has been active since January 2011 and was co-founded with Freya String Quartet. A multi-instrumentalist, Sean plays violin with the West Virginia Symphony Orchestra and drums for the Symbiotic Chamber Orchestra and the indie trio, John Russell.
As an educator, Sean has been on faculty for the New York Summer Music Festival, the St. Claire School for Strings based out of Dunedin, New Zealand, and will be returning to Dakota Chamber Music for his fourth season.
Sean’s composition stems from the desire to continue pushing where tonality and rhythm can go without abandoning melody. Sean has been commissioned by groups including the MSU String Ensemble, the Bismarck-Mandan Symphony Orchestra, Freya Quartet, and the Fresh Ink music series. Most recently, Sean was awarded a commission from the Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble, which premiered in July 2013.
Upcoming studio projects include Symbiotic’s first full scale album The Ghost & Mister Able; Freya String Quartet’s innovative album, Freya Plugged In; and a collaboration with violinist Sandro Leal-Santiestiban featuring Sean’s first four solo violin sonatas. For more information about Sean’s works or Symbiotic, visit his artist page here.
Ashley Buckley, a founding member of Freya String Quartet, studied violin performance at the Cleveland Institute of Music with David Updegraff and at the Carnegie Mellon University School of Music with Cyrus Forough. Ms. Buckley has been featured in chamber concerts throughout the United States including performances at the KennedyCenter for the Performing Arts and Severance Hall while a member of the Starling Foundation String Quartet, and in the Grand County Series as a member of the Parnassus String Quartet. Ashley has been coached by members of the world’s greatest chamber groups, including the Cleveland Quartet, Pacifica Quartet, Alexander String Quartet and Cavani String Quartet.
Ms. Buckley has worked with organizations such as Global Volunteers and Cultures in Harmony to promote music as a means for cross-cultural dialogue. Projects with such organizations have had her work throughout the United States, Ghana and Turkey. Ms. Buckley is a founding member of Pittsburgh’s Living Room Chamber Music Project, a group dedicated to performing concert music throughout Pittsburgh in the comfortable, intimate spaces where chamber music has its roots. Ashley has also performed live with popular artists Barry Manilow, Josh Groban, Clay Aiken, and the Trans-Siberian Orchestra. Currently, Ms. Buckley is an active performer and teacher throughout Western Pennsylvania.
Jason Hohn, a founding member of Freya String Quartet, began his viola studies in Bismarck, ND. Mr. Hohn received his Bachelor of Arts in Music and German Studies from Minot State University as a student of Dr. Jon Rumney and did his Master of Music in Viola Performance studies at the Carnegie Mellon University School of Music under the direction of Toby Appel. As a member of the Dorothy J. Starling Foundation String Quartet, Mr. Hohn has been featured in performances at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Steinway Hall, Severance Hall, and Tong Ji University in Shanghai.
Mr. Hohn has studied chamber music with members of the Ying Quartet, Los Angeles Piano Quartet, and the Cuarteto Latinoamericano. As a recipient of numerous fellowships to some of the finest music institutions, Mr. Hohn has studied at the Brevard Music Center, the National Orchestral Institute, the American Institute of Music Studies in Graz, Austria, and the Ohio Light Opera. Currently residing in Pittsburgh, PA, Mr. Hohn maintains an active viola and violin studio and performs regularly with many of the region’s top ensembles. He can be heard in an upcoming recording of Arnold Schoenberg’s chamber orchestra arrangements of works by Gustav Mahler and Claude Debussy with Juan Pablo Izquierdo on Mode Records. Jason plays on a Kelvin Scott viola.
Katya Janpoladyan is a founding member and cellist of Freya String Quartet. Ms. Janpoladyan is also a founding member of Symbiotic Collusion, a company dedicated to quality performance, education, and innovation through music.
Ms. Janpoladyan is a native of Armenia, where she completed a Bachelor of Music degree and Artist Diploma from the Yerevan State Conservatory under the direction of Zareh Sargissyan and Medea Abramian. Ms. Janpoladyan continued her studies at the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, where she received her Master of Music degree. She is currently a doctoral candidate as a student of Yehuda Hanani.
An active performer, Ms. Janpoladyan is a former member of the State Piano Trio “Shell” of Armenia and a former member of the Baur Quartet with whom she was the 2001 winner of the Pierre Lantiere International Chamber Music Competition. Ms. Janpoladyan has collaborated with artists such as Cyrus Forough, James Dunham, Yehuda Hanani, Ross Harbaugh, Awadagin Pratt, Piotr Milewsky and the Montclair Quartet. She has been featured as a soloist performing with the Yerevan Chamber Orchestra, the Camerata San Marco (NY), and the Mary Miller Dance Company. With the Freya String Quartet, Ms. Janpoladyan has been a featured performer with the Opera Theater of Pittsburgh. Ms. Janpoladyan has also collaborated with several living composers and is an avid proponent of new music.
With a dual passion for performing and educating, Ms. Janpoladyan has served on the faculties of the University of Cincinnati, Wyoming Fine Arts Center, the Cincinnati Starling Project, the Great Wall Music Festival, and the Bacchannalia Festival. She has taught masterclasses throughout the US, China, and Chile. Ms. Janpoladyan currently resides in Pittsburgh where she maintains a private cello studio and performs regularly.
Jason Neukom is the first violinist and founding member of Freya String Quartet, and is also a co-owner and founding member of Symbiotic Collusion. Mr. Neukom was born and raised in the small community of Devils Lake, ND, where at the age of four he began violin lessons with his father, Richard Neukom. Jason studied at Minot State University under Jon Rumney where he received a BSE in Music Education and was a featured soloist with the Minot Symphony Orchestra. Mr. Neukom continued his studies at the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music for a Masters in Music Violin Performance degree under Piotr Milewski and subsequently at the Carnegie Mellon University School of Music in the Performance Residency Program under Cyrus Forough.
Mr. Neukom has been the recipient of many fellowships to study at music institutions such as the National Repertory Orchestra, the National Orchestral Institute, the Britten Pears Festival Orchestra in England, the Opera Theater and Music Festival of Lucca, Italy, and others. Jason has intensively studied chamber music with members of the Ying Quartet, the Fry Street Quartet, the Daedalus Quartet, and other well known ensembles. In addition to his frequent classical concerts, Jason has performed live shows with popular artists such as Barry Manilow, Josh Groban, Lee Greenwood, Trans-Siberian Orchestra, Pink Martini, Belle and Sebastian, Mannheim Steamroller, Tony Orlando, and others. An active educator, Mr. Neukom has worked for various education programs, including the New York Summer Music Festival, and the Cincinnati Starling Project.
Currently, Mr. Neukom resides in Pittsburgh where he maintains an active violin studio and has frequent performances with Freya. Jason also works on artistic projects for Symbiotic Collusion, including composing “covers” for the Chamber Light Players, creating music videos, and is currently working with Sean Neukom as co-producer on projects such as Freya’s in-progress collaborative album, Freya Plugged In, and Freya’s upcoming debut album featuring ten lighter works by Sean Neukom and Richard Neukom. Jason also performs frequently with the area’s top ensembles, including the West Virginia Symphony and Westmoreland Symphony Orchestra as associate concertmaster. You can hear Jason and the Freya String Quartet on the Symbiotic Chamber Orchestra’s new release, ‘The Ghost and Mr. Able’, available now.