Karen Bentley Pollick has performed as violinist with Paul Dresher’s Electro Acoustic Ensemble since 1999 and performs a wide range of solo repertoire and styles on violin, viola, piano and Norwegian hardangerfele. A native of Palo Alto, California, she studied with Camilla Wicks in San Francisco and with Yuval Yaron, Josef Gingold and Rostislav Dubinsky at Indiana University where she received both Bachelors and Masters of Music Degrees in Violin Performance. She has several recordings of original music, including Electric Diamond, Konzerto & Succubus, and Ariel View, for which she has received three music awards from Just Plain Folks, including Best Instrumental Album and Best Song. On her own record label Ariel Ventures she has produced Dancing Suite to Suite, <amberwood>, Homage to Fiddlers, Russian Soulscapes, and Peace Piece. She filmed Dan Tepfer’s Solo Blues for violin & piano in Shoal Creek, Alabama, in June 2009.
Pollick was concertmaster of the New York String Orchestra at Carnegie Hall in 1983 and 1984 and has participated in the June in Buffalo and Wellesley Composers Conferences. She has appeared as soloist with Redwood Symphony in the world premiere of Swedish composer Ole Saxe’s Dance Suite for violin and orchestra, the Alabama Symphony, and orchestras in Panama, Russia, Alaska, New York and California.
She has performed in recital with Russian pianist/composer Ivan Sokolov at the American Academy of Rome, Seattle and New York City, throughout the Czech Republic with cellist Dennis Parker at the American Spring Festival, and in England at the Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival. Along with choreographer Teri Weksler and percussionist John Scalici, Pollick received a Cultural Alliance of Greater Birmingham 2008 Interdisciplinary Grant to Individual Artists.
Pollick received a grant from the Alabama State Council for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts for her March 2010 Solo Violin & Alternating Currents concerts in Birmingham, Seattle and at Music Olomouc 2011. She launched Violin, Viola & Video Virtuosity with New York video artist Sheri Wills in November 2012 in Brooklyn and Seattle. She has toured with the Paul Dresher Double Duo since 2009. Pollick performs on a violin made by Jean Baptiste Vuillaume in 1860 and a viola made in 1987 by William Whedbee.
Oana Rusu Tomai
An artist of great depth, versatility and expressive powers, pianist Oana Rusu Tomai is the Founder and Artistic Director of the acclaimed Romanian-American Chamber Concerts and Arts – ROCCA in Seattle, the U.S.A. Oana has earned her Doctor of Musical Arts in Piano Performance and Literature Degree from Eastman School of Music in Rochester, N.Y. where she held the coveted position of teaching assistant. Oana’s talent has been discovered early and as a result, she has been the recipient of prestigious scholarships and grants that enabled her to perform solo and chamber music concerts in Europe and across the United States. Her major teacher was acclaimed pianist and pedagogue Rebecca Penneys.
An ever ambitious music entrepreneur, Oana is the artistic director of the Fountainhead Presents: Classical Concerts in Seattle which present uniquely themed chamber and solo recitals closely coordinated with art exhibits. Oana is an avid chamber music devotee. She performs numerous chamber concerts with members of the Lincoln Center Chamber Music Society, Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, Seattle Symphony and Seattle Opera. She is a frequent guest performer with Seattle Symphony Chamber Concerts, Vashon Chamber Music, University of Washington Concerts, Seattle Public Library & SAM Concerts and King FM 98.1, Seattle’s Classical Radio Station programs.
Currently Oana is involved in studying, performing and recording music of the 20th century with a special emphasis on Romania’s most famous composer, George Enescu. Oana is a tireless classical music promoter; as the co-founder of Konnectclub, an e-commerce social events platform she has organized, supported and marketed countless concerts. In 2019 Oana is particularly excited to perform in the 2019 San Pancho Music Festival and Amsterdam Goethe Institute concerts.