Evelyn Estava, violin

    Violinist Evelyn Estava has earned recognition as one of the top performing artists in her native Venezuela. She has made many guest soloist appearances with orchestras in North and South America, including the Mexico State Symphony, the Simón Bolivar Youth Orchestra of Venezuela and the Orquesta Sinfonica de Falcón. This season she will perform as soloist with the Central Jersey Symphony and Orquesta Filarmónica Nacional.

    At age 15, Ms Estava became a member of the Simón Bolivar Youth Orchestra of Venezuela, the crowning jewel of that country’s celebrated music education program “El Sistema”. Later she won the Associate Concertmaster position in the Orquesta Filarmónica Nacional, where she was also the first violinist of that orchestra's string sextet. Ms. Estava completed her musical studies at the Simón Bolívar Conservatory in Caracas, where she was a student of José Francisco Del Castillo. She has studied chamber music with Josef Gingold, Philip Setzer, Lawrence Dutton and Arnold Steinhardt, and performed for six years at the Killington Music Festival in Vermont, where she was a scholarship student and assistant of  Margaret Pardee. She has also played in Master Classes for Augustin Dumay, Olivier Charlier, Ruggiero Ricci, Eugene Fodor and Henryk Szeryng.

    Ms. Estava performs regularly with the Harrisburg Symphony, the Hudson Valley Philharmonic and the Westfield Symphony. She currently serves as concertmaster of the Plainfield Symphony, and is the first violinist of the Madison String Quartet. As winner of the Artists International Special Presentation Award, Ms Estava made her New York debut in 2005 at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall.

Rebecca Harris-Lee, violin

Rebecca Harris-Lee has been a mainstay in the New York musical scene for several years. She has performed with orchestras and chamber ensembles across the region, ranging from the Westfield Symphony, the Northeastern Pennsylvania Philharmonic, and the Princeton Symphony to appearances on Broadway.

        Ms. Harris-Lee began her studies with Linda Cerone at the Cleveland Institute of Music as a recipient of the Margaret Randall scholarship. She received degrees from the Oberlin Conservatory and the Cleveland Institute, studying under Stephen Clapp and Donald Weilerstein.

         An active chamber musician throughout her career, Ms. Harris-Lee has appeared with members of the Cavani Quartet, Eunice Podis, as well as numerous performances with her father, cellist Alan Harris. She was principal second violin of the Ohio Chamber Orchestra and an active freelance performer in Cleveland prior to moving to the New York area.

          In addition to her performance career, she maintains an active teaching studio in Montclair. She has three wonderful children with her husband, saxophonist Mike Lee.

Michael Avagliano, viola

    With a tone described as “both bold and graceful” by The Washington Post, violinist/violist Michael Avagliano has received acclaim as a soloist and chamber musician in the United States and Europe. Mr. Avagliano has performed with the New Jersey Symphony, the Singapore Symphony, and the Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra. He currently serves as concertmaster of the Baroque Orchestra of North Jersey and the Metropolitan Orchestra, as well as principal second violin for the Plainfield Symphony. He has appeared as soloist with the New Sussex Symphony, the Plainfield Symphony, the Orchestra Society of Philadelphia and the New Jersey Youth Symphony, as well as in numerous solo recital engagements. 

    Also an active freelance musician, Mr. Avagliano frequently performs with several orchestras in the region, including the Harrisburg Symphony, the Westfield Symphony, and the Princeton Pro Musica. He has also served as concertmaster for many orchestras and summer festivals, including the Garden State Philharmonic, the Plainfield Symphony, and the National Orchestral Institute.  Praised for his versatility as a musician, Mr. Avagliano covers a wide variety of musical genres, having worked with artists ranging from Jaime Laredo and Seiji Ozawa to the Moody Blues and Ray Charles.

    Mr. Avagliano received a Bachelor’s degree from Indiana University in 1995, studying under Mimi Zweig and Yuval Yaron. He completed a Master’s degree at Rutgers University studying under Arnold Steinhardt. Also an accomplished violist, he has performed at the Killington Music Festival, the Brevard Music Center and with the Singapore Symphony in that capacity.


Gerall Hieser, violoncello

   Praised for her beautiful tone and musicianship, cellist Gerall Hieser began her musical education in Newport News, Virginia, studying piano and singing harmony with her mother, also a cellist. After moving to Pennsylvania she fell in love with the cello and studied with Metta Watts and Orlando Cole at the New School of Music in Philadelphia. Gerall continued studies with Mr. Cole earning a Bachelor’s Degree in Music from Temple University. She received her Master of Music degree from the Mason Gross School for the Arts at Rutgers University as a student of Paul Tobias.

         In the 1980s she began playing Southern Appalachian style fiddle and traveled to North Carolina and Virginia to study with some legendary old fiddlers including Tommy Jarrell. Gerall has played for square dances and has won a few fiddle competitions!

         Ms. Hieser is a passionate and devoted cello teacher and maintains an active studio at her home in Bernardsville, New Jersey, and at Drew University.  She is a founding member of  the Madison String Quartet, and performs with the Gabriel Chamber ensemble as well.  Gerall is the Assistant Principal cellist of the Westfield Symphony (NJ), and is Music Director of the Vermont Music and Arts Center, a summer program for adult amateur musicians.

         Gerall is married to French Hornist Tony Cecere and they perform as a Duo inventing new sonorities for cello and horn.