ANNA KONG, VIOLIN A native of northern Virginia, Anna Kong recently graduated with her Master of Music degree in violin performance at the Peabody Conservatory of The Johns Hopkins University, under the tutelage of Herbert Greenberg. She obtained a Bachelor of Music degree with honors in violin performance at George Mason University in 2015. Starting lessons at the age of 12, she had earned the position of associate concertmaster in both the regional and all state orchestras. She was also a two-time recipient of the NSOA award and, in her four years of high school, served as concertmaster of the chamber and symphony orchestras. Previously, Ms. Kong served as concertmaster of the Mason Symphony Orchestra. She has played with the American Festival Pops Orchestra, McLean Orchestra, Arlington Philharmonic, and is a seasoned pit musician. As a teacher, she has taught at Potomac Arts Academy, Vienna Summer Strings, and enjoys teaching privately as well as actively freelancing around the DC Metropolitan area. Previous principle teachers include Julia Sun and NSO violinists Peter Haase and Jennifer Kim. She has participated in master classes for Charles Castleman, Ricardo Cyncynates, Elizabeth Pitcairn; she has also taken lessons with Zino Bogachek, Oleg Rylatko, Jessica Fan, William Preucil, and Paul Arnold. During her summers, she has attended the Castleman Quartet Program 2013, Summit Music Festival 2015, and the National Orchestral Institute in Summer 2016, where she had the privilege of playing under the baton of Minnesota Orchestra director Osmo Vänskä. This past summer, she had the opportunity to play with the Prague Summer Nights Festival Orchestra in the Czech Republic and Austria.
ZACHARY WHITAKER, CELLO Zachary Whitaker is a freelance cellist and teacher in the DC Metropolitan area. He has performed with the Fairfax Symphony Orchestra, the Pro Arte Chamber Orchestra of Greater Washington, the Loudoun Symphony Orchestra, the Mclean Orchestra, and has performed in numerous venues including The Music Center at Strathmore, The Lyceum in Old Town Alexandria, Merriweather Post Pavillion, The Library of Congress, the Center for the Visual and Performing Arts at George Mason University, and others. During his summers, Zachary has participated in the Eastern Music Festival in Greensboro, NC, apprenticed with the National Music Festival in Chestertown, MD, and has been a fellow with the National Orchestral Institute and Festival in College Park, MD.
Additionally, Zachary has been an active cello teacher since 2012, and is currently maintaining a private studio at The Potomac Arts Academy at George Mason University. Zachary’s primary teachers include Amy Frost Baumgarten and Dr. Roman Placzek.
FAITH ZUNIGA, PIANO Faith Zúñiga recently performed Prokofiev Concerto No. 1 and Beethoven Concerto No. 5 with the Mason Symphony Orchestra. She was also a 1st Prize winner of the George Mason University Concerto Competition. Additionally, she won 1st Place in the UIUC Clara Rolland Undergraduate Piano Competition. Other competition awards include Semifinalist in the Victor Elmaleh Concert Artists Guild Competition, Semifinalist in the Byrd International Piano Competition, and 2nd Place in the American Protégé International Piano and Strings Competition. Zúñiga took part in the inaugural edition of the Valencia International Piano Academy in Spain, where she studied with teachers from Juilliard, Peabody, and the Madrid Escuela Superior de Musica Reina Sofia. A native of Illinois, Zúñiga has performed in Costa Rica, Italy, Spain, and the United States. Zúñiga is currently a Doctor of Musical Arts student at George Mason University, where she studies with Dr. Anna Balakerskaia. She has studied at the Conservatory of East Central Illinois; the Interlochen Arts Academy in Michigan; the Instituto Superior de Artes in San Jose, Costa Rica; the Conservatorio Benedetto Marcello in Venice, Italy; the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and Indiana University at South Bend. For more information, visit faithzuniga.com.