Faculty                     Home

The Simon String Quartet is a special group of four seasoned performers whose passion for chamber music infuses their collaboration with energy and dynamism. Led by Fiona Simon, a member of the New York Philharmonic, its members each combine careers in chamber music and orchestras, and as soloists and teachers. Although currently based in New York, where they individually perform with some of the most distinguished ensembles in the area, their performing careers have taken them to many different parts of the world. As teachers and coaches, they draw upon their individual expertise in order to make each participant’s experience as stimulating and fulfilling as possible. The Simon Quartet was the ensemble-in-residence at the Summer Conference for String Education and Chamber Music at Rowan College in New Jersey for many years prior to the start of the Summer String-In.

Violinist Fiona Vanderspar-Simon was born in England, and studied there with Szymon Goldberg. Numerous competition successes include prizes in the Carl Flesch and Jacques Thibaud competitions, and the GLAA Young Musician of the Year Award. She has performed as a member of the Academy of St. Martin's in the fields, and the English Chamber Orchestra, and has soloed with the Fires of London. As a recitalist, she has broadcast extensively on the BBC, and performed all over Europe. She has made concerto appearances with the Liverpool Philharmonic, The London Mozart Players, L’Orchestre de la Garde Republican, The New York Philharmonic, and with the London Chamber Players on their tours of China, South Africa and Spain. In addition to her solo work she has made innumerable chamber music appearances, Currently, she is a member of the first violin section of the New York Philharmonic. Mrs. Simon has recorded for Argo Records, English Decca, CBS, and EMI records. "One of England's finest talents."

Violinist Sebu Sirinian, born in Bucharest, Romania, has toured internationally and held residences at Queens College, Bard College, and the Turtle Bay Music School, as the first violinist of the award-winning Meridian String Quartet. He has won distinctions at the Evian International Competition, Chamber Music America and has performed chamber music with Paul Neubauer, Seymour Lipkin, Daniel Phillips and William Sharp. He has performed as a soloist with the New York Chamber Orchestra, Bach Aria Festival Orchestra and the Barbad Chamber Orchestra. Mr. Sirinian has performed as a principal player for the American Symphony Orchestra, Stamford Symphony, the Princeton Chamber Orchestra, and is a member of Brooklyn Philharmonic and Amici New York. He is on the faculty of the New York Youth Symphony Chamber Music Program and has been heard on WQXR and WNYC. His chamber music recordings can be heard on LRC, Liquid Silver, Midder Music Records, Capstone and Arizona Records.

Violist Lisa Suslowicz was born in Chicago and grew up in Miami, Florida. She began playing the piano at age six and picked up the viola for the first time at nine years old. Lisa attended Indiana University School of Music in Bloomington, where she studied with Abraham Skernick and James Buswell. She later  attended the New England Conservatory in Boston  where she completed both Bachelor and Master of Music degrees. Lisa participated in the Juilliard Seminar, the Pensacola Chamber Music Festival, Bach Aria Festival, and in 1989, Lisa co-founded the Griffon String Quartet, Grand-Prize Winner of the 1991 Fischoff Chamber Music Competition.  Lisa has been the Principal Violist with the Boston Philharmonic Orchestra since 1993 and is a frequent substitute violist with the Boston Symphony and Boston Pops Orchestras. Ms. Suslowicz is an active and dedicated teacher in viola and chamber music as member of the viola faculty at the New England Conservatory Preparatory Division and School of Continuing Education where she has maintained a private teaching studio since 1993.

Cellist David Bakamjian performs regularly as a recitalist, chamber player, and recording artist. He has played at New York’s premiere concert halls and has appeared on NPR and WQXR. On baroque cello, he performs with Brooklyn Baroque, the American Classical Orchestra, Early Music New York, Concert Royal, and the Long Island Baroque Ensemble. Mr. Bakamjian has appeared as soloist with numerous orchestras on both baroque and modern cello, and has served as principal cellist for many others. With the Casa Verde Trio, he completed six critically acclaimed national tours as well as a month-long tour of China. He co-wrote and is featured in Evocations of Armenia, a program for solo cello and spoken word that was specially conceived for the Metropolitan Museum in New York City. He taught at Lehigh University for eight years and is the director of the Princeton Play Week chamber music workshops and of the Summer String-In where he performs with the Simon String Quartet. He earned his B.A. at Yale and his doctorate at SUNY Stony Brook. His CD of Boismortier Cello Sonatas was released this year.

Living in New York for the past 30 years has given cellist Joseph Kimura a very diverse musical career. After earning his bachelor and masters degrees from Juilliard, he joined the Laurentian String Quartet, in residence at the Sarah Lawrence College and Ramapo College. He was subsequently appointed principal cellist of the Stamford Symphony Orchestra. He has recorded with EOS for the E.M.I. label and with the Riverside Symphony for the New World label. He has performed on live NPR broadcasts with the Opera Orchestra of New York, at Carnegie Hall. He is a member of Solisti New York and the Westfield Symphony and has performed as soloist with the Orchestra of the State of Mexico, the Stamford Symphony, the Gloria Chamber Orchestra, the Garden State Chamber Orchestra, the Korean Symphony of New York, and the Hoboken Chamber Orchestra. He has played on numerous movie and TV commercial orchestra sound tracks and has performed for many years with Tony Award-winning Broadway shows. For the past seventeen summers, he has taught at the Greenwood Junior Camp in MA. He studied with Paul Katz, Harvey Shapiro and Channing Robbins.

Violist Kimberly Foster was the first recipient of the Georgina Lucy Grosvenor Prize. She holds degrees from the Eastman School of Music where she studied with George Taylor and from Yale University where whe worked with Jesse Levine. Ms Foster-Wallace performs actively throughout the tri-state area as an orchestral and chamber musician. Her numerous credits include the Albany Symphony, the Bridgeport and Riverside Symphonies, the Minnesota and Berkshire Operas, and NY Virtuosi, as well as the Broadway orchestras of Phantom of the Opera and Coram Boy. Ms. Foster served as principal viola of the Allentown Symphony and has been a frequent substitute for the Minnesota Orchestra. She has appeared at many festivals, including the Tanglewood Music Center and the International Festival Institute at Round Top, and has toured Russia with the American Russian Youth Orchestra. Her chamber music performances have been heard on NPR’s Performance Today series. She is also a faculty member of Princeton Play Week.