As Ensemble-in-Residence at the Delaware Art Museum, Pyxis performs regularly to sold-out audiences. Their 2010-2011season also included a sold-out concert at the DuPont Hotel Gold Ballroom as part of the Delaware Symphony Orchestra Champagne Chamber Series. Additional appearances include performances at Villanova University (PA), St. Andrew’s School (DE), and a benefit concert with the Harmony for Peace Foundation. They have been heard along the East Coast in concerts from Virginia to Pennsylvania and their 2011-2012 season will include return concert series engagements in Delaware, Maryland, and Pennsylvania.
The musicians of Pyxis are avid collaborators and committed educators. Their collaborations include faculty from New York University, Franklin and Marshall University, West Chester University, Pennsylvania Academy of Music, and the University of North Carolina School of the Arts. Pyxis has performed educational concerts for school children in southern Delaware under the auspices of Coastal Concerts, Inc. and they also offer master classes. As private instructors they have a significant impact on their musical community, reaching over 80 students on a weekly basis.
The quartet takes its name from the constellation Pyxis, also known as the Mariner’s Compass, whose symbol is the compass rose. The points of the compass rose represent the new artistic directions the group will travel together while recognizing the different backgrounds and experiences of its musicians.Click here
to visit the Pyxis Piano Quartet online.Meredith Amado, violin,
Praised by critics for her “technical aplomb and musical responsiveness,” violinist Meredith Amado enjoys a career that spans continents and musical styles. Ms. Amado’s first love is chamber music, and in that capacity she has collaborated with a broad range of today’s finest talents playing recitals across the United States to consistent critical acclaim. Ms. Amado has been heard as a soloist and recitalist in Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Colorado, Texas, Iowa, Missouri, Illinois, North Carolina, Virginia, Delaware, Pennsylvania and New York. Her strong devotion to chamber music and entrepreneurial spirit and has given rise to two successful chamber music series (in Missouri and Delaware), a string quartet, a piano quartet and a string trio that made two Atlantic crossings with Cunard’s Queen Elizabeth II. Currently, she performs with pianist Hiroko Yamazaki both in recital and as members of the newly formed Pyxis Piano Quartet – the resident ensemble of the Delaware Art Museum.
Her reach is equally broad as an orchestral player, having toured the West Coast, Midwest and East Coast as a member of the Saint Louis Symphony and the Oregon Symphony. Ms. Amado is the former Associate Concertmaster of the Delaware Symphony and the Oregon Ballet Theater Orchestra. She has also made frequent appearances with the New Jersey Symphony, the Orchestra of St. Luke’s, the American Symphony Orchestra and the Opera Delaware Orchestra.
In addition to performing, Ms. Amado is a committed teacher. Understanding the value of early, focused and caring guidance, she has introduced dozens of youngsters and their parents to the joys of making music at New York’s School for Strings, Turtle Bay Music School and Lucy Moses School at Merkin Hall. She has also helped older students launch their careers at the Saint Louis University, Southern Illinois University and Eastern Music Festival. Most recently, she was on the faculty of the Pennsylvania Academy of Music in Lancaster, PA.
Ms. Amado received Bachelor and Master’s degree as a scholarship student at The Juilliard School where she worked with renowned pedagogues Dorothy DeLay, Felix Galimir and Robert Mann. Her pedagogical training was done at the prestigious School for Strings in New York. In addition, she has a certificate in Non-Profit Management from Washington University in Saint Louis, MO.
Ms. Amado lives in Wilmington, Delaware and Blue Hill, Maine with her husband, three children and dog. She plays on a 1662 Nicolo Amati violin.Jie Jin, cello,
has been widely recognized for performances in music capitals in North America, Europe and Asia. She has appeared as a soloist with Bay Atlantic Symphony Orchestra, National Repertoire Orchestra and Shanghai Symphony Orchestra. She hold principal cello positions with National Repertoire Orchestra, Mansfield Symphony Orchestra, Cleveland Institute of Music and Shepherd School of Music Orchestra at Rice University and played with Cleveland Orchestra, Boston Symphony, Houston Symphony and New World Symphony . Ms. Jin has been invited to Aspen Music Festival, Tanglewood Music Festival, Ravinia Festival, Colorado Music Festival, Pacific Music Festival, International Summer Academic Prague-Vienna-Budapest Festival, Beijing International Music Festival, Margess International Festival, Daniel Music Festival and Amadeus Masterclass.
Before her move to the United States, she won First Prize in the National Cello Duo Competition of China, the Bao-gang Elegance Art Award and the Excellent Performance Prize in the National Competition of China. An active chamber musician, Ms. Jin is the founder of the Tang-gu-la String Quartet. The Quartet has toured England, Switzerland, Austria, Holland, Australia and China and received numerous honors, winning Second Prize in the First National String Quartet Competition. Shortly after that, the quartet appeared in Isaac Stern’s Oscar-winning documentary “From Mao to Mozart,” performed for President Bill Clinton.
Ms. Jin began her cello study at age 5. She received her Bachelor’s degree from Shanghai Conservatory of Music. Upon receiving a full scholarship from Shepherd School of Music at Rice University, she came to the United States and studied with Prof. Norman Fischer for her Master’s degree. Ms. Jin also received the Artist Diploma at the Cleveland Institute of Music, where she studied with Mr. Desmond Hoebig.
A committed teacher, her students won the top prizes in the competitions, performed in Carnegie Hall, Kimmel Center and performed with orchestra as the soloist. Ms. Jin is currently on the faculty at Chamber Strings Summer Workshop. She can also be heard performing in the Pyxis Piano Quartet (ensemble in residence at Delaware Art Museum). Ms. Jin serves as Principal Cello of the Bay-Atlantic Symphony Orchestra and performs with Baltimore Chamber Orchestra
Symphony and Harrisburg Symphony.Amy Leonard, viola,
is a Philadelphia native who received viola performance degrees from the Oberlin Conservatory and the Manhattan School of Music, and has studied baroque viola at Oberlin’s Baroque Performance Institute. Principal teachers have included Leonard Mogill, Jeffrey and Lynne Ramsey Irvine, Karen Ritscher, Charles Bruck, and Jane Starkman. Though much of her career has been devoted to the teaching and performing of orchestral music, Ms. Leonard is also an active recitalist and chamber musician, participating in a number of music festivals in North America and Europe such as Aspen, Banff, Spoleto USA, and Mostra Mozart in Venice, Italy.
Ms. Leonard also enjoyed a decade-long relationship with the Pierre Monteux School in Hancock, Maine, first as student, then as administrator and director of the school’s chamber music series. Past orchestral positions have been with the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra, the New World Symphony (Miami Beach, FL), and as assistant principal violist with the National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland, where Amy performed with the internationally recognized contemporary ensemble Nua Nos, or “New Noise.” She taught viola at Southeastern Louisiana University in Hammond, Louisiana for four years; her students are now members of the Mississippi and Baton Rouge Symphonies.
As an educator, Ms. Leonard currently maintains a large and lively studio at the Shipley School in Bryn Mawr and at her home. Recent recital appearances have been at Calvary Episcopal Church in Wilmington, DE, and at the Philadelphia Ethical Society. She is also very much in demand as a free lance musician, performing as a member of the contemporary ensemble Relache, the Delaware Symphony Orchestra, and the baroque ensembles Tempesta di Mare and Brandywine Baroque. Ms. Leonard also performs frequently with other ensembles such as the Pennsylvania Ballet Orchestra, Philly Pops, Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia, Princeton Symphony and Opera Delaware.Hiroko Yamazaki, piano,
has been heard throughout the United States and abroad as solo recitalist and collaborative pianist. Her appearances at summer festivals include Luzerne, Aspen, Rome and International Festival-Institute at Round Top in Texas, where her performance with Minnesota Orchestra principal oboist, Basil Reeve, was recorded for NPR. She was soloist for Rachmaninov’s Rhapsody on a Theme by Paganini
with the Wilmington Community Orchestra and has been invited to perform with them in November of 2010. Highlights of recent seasons also include Master Players Concert Series at the University of Delaware, as featured artist in Delaware Symphony’s Champagne Chamber Series, violin and piano duo recitals with Meredith Amado, and with Pyxis Piano Quartet, the ensemble-in-residence at the Delaware Art Museum.
Ms. Yamazaki was a prizewinner in the Delaware Contest for Young Musicians, as well as the winner of the Austrian-American Society Musical Scholarship Competition, which provided her summer studies at the Mozarteum in Salzburg. She graduated with a Bachelor of Music Degree in piano performance from the University of Maryland as a Creative and Performing Arts Scholarship student of Anne Koscielny and was a recipient of the Presser Foundation Award. She later returned to the University of Maryland, where she received a Masters of Music in Collaborative Piano studying with Rita Sloan.
Ms.Yamazaki also has extensive teaching experience. She taught at the Darlington Fine Arts Center, Luzerne Music Center and held the position of adjunct faculty at the University of Delaware. She spent summers as Accompanying Coordinator and Teaching Assistant to Rita Sloan, Director of Collaborative Arts Program at the Aspen Music School and Festival in Colorado. Currently, she is on the faculty at the Cathedral Choir School of Delaware and Master Piano Faculty with Distinction at The Music School of Delaware, where she previously served as chair of the piano department.Guest artist for the October 17 and 18 concerts: Ruotao Mao, violin,
is an active soloist, chamber musician while holding numerous concertmaster posts in the tri-state area. His playing was described by The Classical New Jersey as "Virtuoso display of world-class magnitude." and "The level of playing has reached far beyond mere technical competence." A native of Beijing, China, Mr. Mao graduated from the New England Conservatory of Music with “distinction in performance” award. He earned his Master Degree in Music from the Mason Gross School of the Arts where he studied under violinist Arnold Sternhardt of the Guarneri String Quartet. He also studied with Dorothy Delay, Paul Kantor and Masuko Ushioda. As a chamber musician, he is one of the founding members of the former Beijing Piano Quartet, winner of “Artists International Chamber Music Series” with appearances in Weill Hall of Carnegie Hall and Alice Tully Hall of Lincoln Center and also the highly acclaimed Amabile String Quartet, the quartet-in-residence at Rutgers University(2000 and 2001). As a soloist, he appeared with orchestras such as the Jupiter Symphony, NEC Symphony, Corelliard Chamber Orchestra, the Brunswick Symphony Orchestra, Riverside Symphonia, Edison Symphony, the Philadelphia Virtuosi Chamber Orchestra, Bay-Atlantic Symphony, Arcadian Symphony Orchestra and Rutgers University Orchestra among many others. In 2004, Mr. Mao premiered a violin concerto by Ernie Stires in Stern Auditorium of Carnegie Hall. He had performance tours in Korea and Colombia, South America. He performed on WNYC, WETS and WDVR-FM broadcasts and is a recording artist for the CRI and Beijing Broadcast Labels. Mr. Mao also serves as the concertmaster of the Delaware Valley Philharmonic Orchestra, Riverside Symphonia, the Bay-Atlantic Symphony and most recently, the Glimmerglass Opera Orchestra. Mr. Mao teaches violin and chamber music at The College of New Jersey and Princeton University.