2017 Ad Astra String Quartet
Out of the many mediums of performing, violinist Michael Cervantes is drawn to the intimate nature of chamber music. Favorite previous collaborations and performances include the Schumann Piano Quintet, Grieg String Quartet and Brahms Viola Quintets. Michael currently studies violin in his home state at the University of North Texas under the tutelage of renowned violinist and pedagogue Julia Bushkova on modern violin and Cynthia Roberts on Baroque Violin. He has participated in masterclasses with Axel Strauss and Fredi Gerling, as well as coachings with Paula Bird, Bruce Berg, George Papich, and Steve Harlos. Through the UNT Early Music program, Michael has had the opportunity to perform at the Boston Early Music Festival along with being a featured soloist in Vivaldi’s Concerto for Four Violins within the past year. Besides being active in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, he has also performed throughout the U.S. and Europe. Michael is looking forward to upcoming solo and chamber performances including works by Biber, Bach, Conus, contemporary composer Kenji Bunch and more.
Karina Sim began playing the violin when her family moved to Moscow in 1999. After attending Gnesin Moscow State Music School and Moscow State Academic Music College of Tchaikovsky Moscow State Conservatory, Karina studied at Moscow State Music Academy of Maimonida and Moscow State Musical Pedagogical Institute of Ippalitov-Ivanov. She has participated in collegiate competitions and international festivals in Austria, Greece, Turkey, including receiving the diploma of recognition at the 2011 International Competition in Ukraine, second prize at the 2012 "Music XXI Century" International Competition in Italy, and winner of the Concerto Competition at the University of North Texas in 2015. Studying with Julia Bushkova, Karina earned a master's degree at UNT in 2016 where she performed Sibelius's Violin Concerto with UNT Symphony Orchestra. Karina is currently working on a Graduate Artist Diploma.
Danny Ibarra is a violist and graduating senior at Fort Hays State University. He currently studies with distinguished violist and conductor Shokhrukh Sadikov. Danny has performed with various orchestras including Hays Symphony Orchestra, Salina Symphony, Hutchinson Symphony and the Harvard Summer Orchestra. Danny began his studies at age eight and was a member of the Wichita Youth Symphony and the Kansas All-State Orchestra. Upon graduating from FHSU Danny will attend Wichita State University to begin his Master of Music in Viola Performance program under the tutelage of Catherine Consiglio, principal viola of the Wichita Symphony Orchestra. Danny aspires to eventually begin his own orchestra program to serve marginalized and underprivileged young people.
Kayla Schoeny will be a senior in cello performance at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, where she studies cello with Dmitry Kouzov and chamber music with Daniel McDonough. She was awarded the Carol Ann Thomas Award from the Elgin Symphony Orchestra in 2013, and was a Thomas J. Smith Competition Winner in 2017. Kayla participates in several ensembles in central Illinois including the University of Illinois Symphony Orchestra, Illinois Modern Ensemble, and Kankakee Symphony Orchestra. In 2014, Kayla was a member of the Maud Powell String Quartet, and participated in coachings with Brant Taylor, Rachel Barton Pine, and Daniel Brewbaker. Previously, she has been involved with festivals such as the 2014 Carnegie Hall Honors Performance Series, the Ravinia Festival, 2014 ILMEA All-State Honors Orchestra, and the Ohio Light Opera. This summer, Kayla will be participating in the Texas Music Festival in addition to completing her first season with the Ad Astra Music Festival.