Alumni News: September 2023

Balourdet QuartetBalourdet Quartet ’22

The Balourdets are recent winners of a 2023 Barlow Endowment for Music Composition grant, and will begin close work with composer Paul Novak (a 2018 Festival alum) on a new commission. Having finished their residency at NEC, they now begin year-long residencies at Indiana University’s prestigious Jacobs School of Music and with the Chamber Orchestra of the Triangle in North Carolina. The Balourdets were the 2022 Fellowship String Quartet. They were sponsored by George & Christine Bachrach, Peter & Susan Bachrach, Beatrice Français, and Dick Stephenson.

Daniel Dastoor ’23

Daniel Dastoor is a winner of the Canada Council for the Arts Musical Instrument Bank competition and the recipient of the 1700 Taft Stradivarius violin. Daniel says, “After a thrilling and challenging instrument selection process, I cannot wait to spend the next three years with this incredible golden period Strad, and to see where this new journey takes us! A huge thank you to the Canada Council for the Arts for making this dream possible!” Learn about the Taft Strad here: Daniel is a 2023 Fellow alumnus. He was a recipient of the Lewis & Adria Kaplan Scholarship.

Headshot of Lyndon Ji

Lyndon Ji ’15, ’22, ’23

Congratulations to pianist Lyndon Ji for winning first prize at the Chicago International Music Competition and Festival in July! He won both the Grand Prize and a special prize for his “best performance of a Baroque work.” Lyndon is a 2022 and 2023 Fellow alumnus and also attended the Festival is 2015. His Fellowships were sponsored by Lorna & Jack Flynn.

Becca Kasdan ’14, ’19

Becca Kasdan recently received her Doctor of Musical Arts in Violin Performance at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign where she studied with Festival faculty member Meg Freivogel of the Jupiter String Quartet and served as the Violin Teaching Assistant. She is now a Resident Musician at Community MusicWorks and a Teaching Associate at Brown University. For her Doctoral Lecture Recital, Imagining New Possibilities for 21st-Century Classical Music Performance: Drawing Inspiration from the Berlin Cabarets of the Weimar Republic, Becca collaborated with the international exhibit Violins of Hope. Joined by co-founder Avshalom Weinstein, Becca performed a recital on violins restored and recovered from the Holocaust. The concert featured dancers, musicians, visual artists, and puppeteers from seven countries and a performance of two world premieres. Read more about Becca’s updates on her website. Becca is a 2019 Fellow alumna and also attended the Festival in 2014. Her Fellowship was sponsored by Pat Brown.

Headshot of Victor Ni

Zhiwei Victor Ni ’23

In July Victor placed first at the International Clarinet Association Competition. Congrats! Victor is a 2023 Fellow alumnus. His Fellowship was sponsored by Ed & Whitney Selover.


Anthony Ratinov ’21

This month Anthony Ratinov won 2nd Prize at the 64th Busoni Piano Competition! You can check out his performances online here. Head to minute 30 in the video to see Anthony play Franck’s Piano Quintet with the Isidore String Quartet (with Festival alum Adrian Steele ’14, ’15 on first violin). Anthony is a 2021 Fellow alumnus. He was a recipient of the Paul J. Lynskey Piano Scholarship.


Are you a Festival alum with a career development, competition win, or other exciting news? Please share with us here.

ICYMI: Anne Akiko Meyers ’83 on Tiny Desk