Helen Jane Long is one of the very few young, successful, British female composers, as well as a classically-trained pianist. Helen’s credits for TV and film are numerous, ranging from the Lord of the Rings trilogy, to cult films such as Surveillance, Out In The Cold, and scores for UK’s Channel 4, The BAFTA Awards and Fifth Gear TV programs. Helen has also composed music for a variety of commercials including Bosch, Barclay’s Bank, Mercedes, and Volkswagen.
She leapt onto a piano at the age of 4, training as a classical pianist, and also plays the clarinet, guitar, and cello. The phenomenal response from her fans provoked Helen to send a demo CD of her music to various record companies. She was signed almost instantly to Warner Bros. Records which resulted in her debut album, Porcelain, an expressive, inspiring and evocative collection of compositions. The album immediately hit the UK Charts in the top 5 and lodged there for 6 weeks while Classic FM in London named Helen the “Best New Composer of the Year”.
In between her efforts as a triathlete, Helen wrote and released the follow up to her major label debut, Embers, to critical acclaim. The album is getting major support in both the UK and US. Helen will be supporting the release with a U.S. performance tour with an impressive string quartet that will showcase Helen’s original music.
Her string quartet includes Yuri Kalnits, violin - an exceptional soloist and chamber musician; Jonathan Howells, violin - has worked with Andrew Lloyd-Webber and built an exceptional repution as an extremely versatile performer; Katherine Jenkinson, cello - a scholar of the Royal Academy of Music, appeared and recorded with such artists as Pavarotti and Boccelli, Nick Holland, cello - one of the most internationally respected cellists has performed with the most prestigious orchestras and artists.
Mark Kashper, Associate Principal Second Violin of LA Phil, graduate of the Moscow Conservatoire where he was one of the last and favored students of the legendary Professor David Oistrakh, Mr. Kashper also graduated from the Leningrad Conservatoire. An active recitalist and avid chamber music player, Kashper performs extensively throughout the United States and internationally.
Jura Margulis has performed with the Russian National Orchestra at the Hollywood Bowl, the Montreal Symphony, the Prague Symphony, at the Verbier Festival in Switzerland, and at Martha Argerich's festivals in Lugano, Switzerland and Beppu, Japan. He is Executive Director of the International Piano Academy in Freiburg, Germany, and Professor of Piano at the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, where he swears it is indeed possible to get a fine cup of cappuccino.
Natasha (Rubin) Marin enjoys working both as a soloist and in ensembles. She has been performing extensively in Russia (including venues such as St. Petersburg Philharmonic Hall) and in the United States. She was featured on the radio, TV and recordings.
Kanae Matsumoto is active as a soloist and a collaborative pianist, having performed at many recital halls in Germany, Italy, Russia, Japan and the United States.
Natalia Margulis makes a return visit to CU from Spain, where she is principal cellist of the Orquesta Sinfonica de Madrid. When not accompanying the Madrid Opera, Natasha frequently plays in chamber ensembles throughout Spain and Europe, and has performed at the Verbier and Lugano Festivals.