Cellist and Bermuda Philharmonic Society Board President Kate Kayaian is known for her stunning artistry and for her passion for communicating through music. She maintains a rigorous schedule balancing her solo and chamber music performances with her various teaching projects.
She also performs and records regularly with such acclaimed ensembles as the GRAMMY award-winning group Boston Modern Orchestra Project, and has had the honor of working with the world’s most esteemed conductors and proponents of contemporary music: Pierre Boulez, Oliver Knussen, and Michael Tilson-Thomas.
Originally from Chicago, IL, Kate later studied with Colin Carr at the New England Conservatory of Music. Subsequently, she won a three-year fellowship with the New World Symphony where she performed as principal cellist under the baton of Music Director Michael Tilson Thomas. She has spent summers performing in the Spoleto (USA), Tanglewood, Killington, and Bowdoin Summer Music Festivals, and is the Founder and Artistic Director of the Virtual Summer Cello Festival and the Bridge Online Cello Studio.
She lives in Hamilton with her husband Paul, and teaches cello and chamber music at the Bermuda School of Music.
Alison Black was born in Kingston, Ontario, Canada, and studied Violin Performance and Composition at Queens and McGill universities with members of the Vaghy string quartet and Sonia Jelinkova.
Prior to joining The Menuhin Foundation, she spent the prior twenty years in St. John’s Newfoundland where she was the Concertmaster of the Newfoundland Symphony and Sinfonia and First Violin of the Atlantic String Quartet. She has performed with international artists such as James Ehnes, Colin Carr, Andre Laplante and John Mills. Alison also led the orchestra during five choral festivals in St. John’s, working with conductors such as Bramwell Tovey, Bob Chilcott, Tonu Kaljuste and Owain Arwel Hughes.
In addition to her performance career, Alison has taught privately for twenty five years, with students ranging between the ages of 5 and 75, several of whom have gone on to professional music careers of their own. She has worked extensively with post secondary students in the context of orchestral training and has conducted a number of student ensembles, including the STEP Junior and Intermediate String Orchestras, the string sections of the Newfoundland Youth Orchestra and an ensemble for adult amateur players.
Alison believes passionately in the potential for community building that can come through music and embraces the opportunity to work with people of all ages, backgrounds and levels. In addition to her music Alison enjoys boats of all kinds, swimming, reading and writing.
Laure discovered her love of orchestral music as a violinist in the Cincinnati Symphony Youth Orchestra. She has played in community orchestras and ensembles for over fifteen years in London, Montreal and San Francisco.
Laure moved to Bermuda in 2015 and is currently the COVID systems lead for the Ministry of Health’s Pandemic Unit. She loves how informal and accessible classical music is in Bermuda for adult players looking to pick up their instrument when they can. She plays with the Menuhin Adult Orchestra and has played with the Bermuda Philharmonic Orchestra.
Divan is a Senior Manager at Deloitte currently working in their Risk Advisory and Insurance Audit practice. He is a music enthusiast and amateur player who has been playing the violin from the age of 13.
Originally from South Africa (Johannesburg) he played in the Pretoria Youth orchestra, relocated to Bermuda in 2016 and joined Bermuda’s music scene in 2019 by signing up to play for the Menuhin Adult Orchestra. Divan has also played with the Bermuda Philharmonic Orchestra.
Eric is a Senior Analyst at Validus Reinsurance, Ltd. Eric started playing violin when he was 7 years old as part of the Menuhin school outreach and played with all levels of the Menuhin orchestras. When he returned from university, he joined the Menuhin Adult Orchestra and the Bermuda Philharmonic Orchestra.
Cheresa joined the Bermuda Philharmonic Board in 2019 and has assumed the role of Communications and Social Media coordinator. She picked up the violin for the first time in grade 4, thanks to the Bermuda Menuhin Foundation’s school outreach program. Her passion for classical music followed her through her school education and she passed the ABRSM Grade 8 exam in her last year of highschool. Her musical studies in Bermuda have granted her opportunities to perform with internationally acclaimed artists such as Mark Wood, Bond String Quartet, and with conductor Charles Peltz.
Today, Cheresa is a young professional in Bermuda’s reinsurance industry but continues to foster her love for music by playing with the Menuhin Adult Orchestra and Bermuda Philharmonic Orchestra.