Ad Astra Music Festival

Est. 2014 in Russell, Kansas


2018 Ad Astra String Quartet


Born in 1991, MADELEINE WETHING began playing the violin at age five. This year, Madeleine played with the Columbus Indiana Philharmonic and the Terre Haute Symphony and won the 2018 Southern Illinois Young Artist Organization Competition. Previous orchestral experience includes being selected to play in the Netherlands Philharmonic-CvA Academy, playing in the NJO Dutch Orchestra Tour and concerts with The Ithaca College Symphony and Chamber Orchestra. Madeleine took part in the Charles Castleman String Quartet Program, Promisek Bach Workshop, Round Top Music Festival, String Academy in France, the 33rd International Music Festival of Portogruaro, and Masterclass Virtuosi in Verona, Italy. She performed in masterclasses of Anner Bijlsma, Liza Ferschtman, and Elmar Oliveira. Influential teachers include Ilya Grubert, Nicholas DiEugenio, and Katie Lansdale. Madeleine is a master’s student at Indiana University where she studies with Prof. Kevork Mardirossian.

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ARMAN NASRINPAY began playing the violin at the age of 10 and has performed at the Kennedy Center, Strathmore Music Center, the Meyerhoff Symphony Hall, and the Shakespeare Theatre for Performing Arts. He was the assistant principal second violinist of the American Youth Philharmonic, principal second of the Londontowne Symphony Orchestra, assistant principal second of the Aspen Philharmonic, and assistant concertmaster of Indiana University’s Concert Orchestra. Arman won the Washington Performing Arts Society’s Feder Competition, the United States Army Young Artists Competition, and the Gretchen Hood String Competition. Along with competitions, Arman has performed in master classes given by Aaron Rosand, Zino Bogachek, Karina Canellakis, Dmitri Berlinsky, Victor Danchenko, Itzhak Rashkovsky, and Ani Schnarch. During summers, Arman played at the Summit Music Festival, Kent Blossom Music Festival, Chautauqua Music Festival, Aspen Music Festival, and the Bowdoin International Music Festival. He studies at Indiana University as a Premiere Young Artist under Simin Ganatra of the Pacifica Quartet.

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CAITLYN FUKAI, 25, is a violist from University Place, Washington. She recently graduated from the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music with a Performer Diploma and Master of Music in viola performance where she studied with Atar Arad. She graduated with her bachelor’s degree from the University of New Mexico in 2015. While in Indiana, Caitlyn served as principal violist of the Richmond (Indiana) Symphony as well as assistant principal/principal of various IU orchestras. A great lover of chamber music, Caitlyn was a member of the string quartet seminar at the Music Academy of the West under the study of the renowned Takács Quartet in 2016. Her group, the Kirkwood Quartet, performs frequently in the greater Indianapolis area at different types of events and venues. This summer Caitlyn will be playing at the Sarasota Music Festival and the Ad Astra Music Festival.


SALLY MURPHY began playing cello at the age of 9, and has since vested her interests in both teaching and performance. She was the winner of the Young Artists division of the Colorado state MTNA competition and also won the MTNA West-Central region division. She has held several orchestral positions, including the Greeley Philharmonic Orchestra, Cheyenne Symphony Orchestra, where she served as the principal cellist, and ensembles throughout North Texas. Sally holds a Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Northern Colorado and a M.M. from the University of North Texas, where she was a graduate teaching assistant and a member of the Bancroft String Quartet. Her primary teachers have included Barbara Thiem, Gal Faganel, and Nikola Ruzevic. In the Fall, she plans to pursue a doctorate in cello performance at Indiana University, studying with Peter Stumpf. Sally plays on a cello loaned to her by the Carlsen Cello Foundation.

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