Fountain Ensemble Bios in Text Format Fountain Ensemble

Fountain Ensemble is an innovative mixed chamber music collective composed of some of New York's finest chamber music artists. It performs a diverse repertoire stretching from the masterworks of the past to music of today's emerging young composers.

Drawing on its dual history as a flexible, mixed ensemble (Fountain Chamber Music Society, founded in 1999) and an award-winning quintet with concerts throughout the United States (Fountain Ensemble, founded in 2003), Fountain unified the best aspects of the two concepts under the Fountain Ensemble name in 2010.

Fountain's recent seasons have included a sold-out Carnegie Hall recital debut, critically acclaimed performances at Zankel Hall and West Palm Beach's Kravis Center, and concerts throughout the United States. Fountain performances have been broadcast on WQXR and its recording of Laurie Altman's "On Course" was released in 2008.

Outreach and educational appearances have also formed an important part of Fountain's work. Among many other educational projects, Fountain collaborated extensively with The Weill Music Institute at Carnegie Hall, creating numerous performances for children as well as recordings for two animated short films and an interactive website, "The Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra".

Fountain has frequently premiered new works, including two clarinet quintets by Jonathan Keren commissioned by the group and compositions of Menachem Zur, Michael Berkeley, and Darius Milhaud.

Individually, Fountain's members are among New York City's most sought-after chamber music players. They have performed at some of the country's most distinguished institutions, including the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, the Metropolitan Opera, Carnegie Hall's Making Music Series, and the Ravinia Festival; and bring to Fountain a richness of music-making experience.

Cellist Alistair MacRae

Praised as "Créme de la Créme" on National Public Radio's "Performance Today", violinist Cyrus Beroukhim has received international recognition as a soloist, recitalist, and chamber musician. His recent performances of Bach and Vivaldi Concerti with the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields were heralded as "flawless and sensitive" by the Zeitung im Espace Mittelland (Switzerland). He has appeared at major venues worldwide including Novell Hall in Taipei, Theaterplatz and Paul Klee Zentrum in Bern, Lobero Theatre in Santa Barbara, Kravis center in Palm Beach, The Barns at Wolf Trap in Washington D.C., Qualcomm Hall in San Diego, Ravinia Festival in Chicago, and various halls throughout Japan, Germany, Luxembourg, and Israel.

Currently based in New York City, Mr. Beroukhim is a member of Fountain Ensemble, Manhattan Sinfonietta, America's Dream Chamber Artists, and the Zukofsky Quartet, currently in residence at Bargemusic. In November 2008, the quartet will present the complete Milton Babbitt cycle at Columbia University's "Composer's Portraits" series and the University of Chicago's "Contempo" series. Mr. Beroukhim also enjoys exploring the music of other living composers, and has premiered works by Jonathan Dawe, Noel Zahler, and Joshua Fineberg, among others. He has recorded numerous records for Vanguard Classics, Arabesque, Furious Artisans, Aeon, and New World Records, and has been broadcast live on NPR, WQXR 96.3 (New York), and K-Mozart (Los Angeles). As an established musical leader, he currently serves as concertmaster of the New York Symphonic Ensemble, Sympho Orchestra, and the Barbad Chamber Orchestra.

Born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin from Iranian descent, Mr. Beroukhim began his violin studies at the age of two. His early musical training was nurtured by Mimi Zweig and culminated in a successful debut with the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra at age 15. He pursued his undergraduate degree at the Oberlin Conservatory under Roland and Almita Vamos, and went on to receive his Master of Music degree at The Juilliard School, where he studied with Cho-Liang Lin. In May 2007, he received his Doctorate of Music from The Juilliard School as a C.V. Starr Foundation Fellow.

Jesse Mills

Grammy-nominated violinist Jesse Mills enjoys performing music of many genres, from classical to contemporary, as well as composed and improvised music of his own invention. In 2004, Mr. Mills made his professional concerto debut with the Ravinia Festival Orchestra conducted by Nicholas McGegan in a unique partnership with Salsa trombonist Jimmy Bosch. This project combined a classical performance of Vivaldi's Four Seasons, with Mr. Mills as violin soloist, and a Salsa band arrangement of the same piece, fronted by Bosch and Mills as improvising soloists. A successful performance at Ravinia led to bookings with the Phoenix, Colorado and Green Bay Symphonies for the 2005-2006 season. In past years, Mr. Mills has performed as soloist with the Juilliard Pre-College Chamber Orchestra, the Teatro Argentino Orchestra in Buenos Aires, Argentina, the New Jersey Symphony, the Sarah Lawrence College Symphony, the Plainfield Symphony, the Hudson Valley Philharmonic, and the Aspen Music Festival's Sinfonia Orchestra as winner of the Festival's E. Nakamichi Violin Concerto Competition. 

As a chamber musician, Jesse Mills has performed at Lincoln Center's Alice Tully Hall, New York City's Merkin Concert Hall and Bargemusic, Carnegie's Weill Hall, Columbia University's Miller Theater, Boston's Gardener Museum, the Cooper Arts Series at Cooper Union, the Rising Stars series at Caramoor, the Ravinia Festival's Bennett-Gordon Hall, and at the Marlboro Music Festival. He performed on the opening night of The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center's "A Great Day in New York" series with pianist/composer Peter Schickele, and this concert was broadcast live on WNYC 93.9 FM in New York.

Mr. Mills is an avid performer of contemporary works. As a member of the FLUX Quartet from 2001-2003, he played in many concert halls around the world, performing music composed during the last 50 years. Among these concerts were 3 performances of Morton Feldman's String Quartet No. 3, a six-hour-long work of immense beauty.  He has played extensively with renowned cellist Fred Sherry in works by Reich, Wuorinen, Schoenberg, and avant-garde composer and saxophonist, John Zorn. In 2004-2005, they recorded Schoenberg's String Quartet Concerto and various chamber works of Anton Webern for NAXOS, as well as Zorn's String Quartet, Necronomicon, on Tzadik.

Mr. Mills is co-founder of Duo Prism, a violin-piano duo with Rieko Aizawa. He is also a member of Nurse Kaya, an ensemble comprised of string quartet plus bass and drums which exclusively plays compositions written by its members; much of this music involves improvisation. The group plays in traditional venues such as concert halls and clubs, as well as in schools, hospitals, and jails. In 2005, Nurse Kaya was awarded a Residency Partnership Grant from Chamber Music America, which resulted in a successful week-long residency in the public schools as well as at the Rialto Theater of Loveland, Colorado.  Mr. Mills was an integral part of New Spirit - a new recording on the Verve label by jazz pianist, Makoto Ozone. Several performances of this project will be presented next year.

Jesse Mills began violin studies at the age of four. He graduated with a Bachelor of Music degree from The Juilliard School as a student of Robert Mann in 2001. He has previously studied with Christiane Pors, Naoko Tanaka, and Itzhak Perlman.

Dov Scheindlin

Acclaimed by the New York Times as an "extraordinary violist" of "immense flair," Dov Scheindlin has been violist of the Arditti, Penderecki, and Chester String Quartets.  His chamber music career has brought him to 28 countries around the globe and won him the Siemens Prize in 1999.  He has appeared as soloist with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra of Amsterdam, the Radio Symphony Orchestra of Berlin, the Paris Radio Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Munich Philharmonic.  Mr. Scheindlin has recorded extensively for EMI, Teldec, Auvidis, Col Legno, and Mode, and won the Gramophone Award in 2002 for the Arditti Quartet's recording of Sir Harrison Birtwistle's Pulse Shadows. As a member of the Arditti Quartet, he gave nearly 100 world premieres, among them new works by Elliott Carter, György Kurtág, Thomas Adès, and Wolfgang Rihm.  He has also been broadcast on NPR, BBC, CBC, and on German, French, Swiss, Austrian, Dutch, and Belgian national radio networks. 

Dov Scheindlin was raised in New York City, where he studied with Samuel Rhodes and William Lincer at the Juilliard School.  He has taught viola and chamber music at Harvard, Wilfrid Laurier University, and Tanglewood. He has regularly participated in summer festivals such as Salzburg, Luzern, and Tanglewood, and has also been acting violist of the Mendelssohn String Quartet.  He has performed with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center and the Met Chamber Ensembles, and his chamber music partners have included members of the Juilliard, Alban Berg, Tokyo, and Borodin String Quartets, as well as concertmasters of many major symphony orchestras.

Dov Scheindlin currently lives in New York, where he is a frequent performer with the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra and the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra.  He plays a viola by Francesco Bissolotti of Cremona, made in 1975.

Alistair MacRae Cellist Alistair MacRae has appeared as a soloist, chamber musician, and orchestral principal throughout the United States and in Europe, Asia, South America, and the Middle East. He has performed with acclaimed artists such as Boris Berman, Kenneth Cooper, Robert Taub, and members of the Tokyo, Takacs, and Emerson Quartets. His playing has been praised for its "rich sound and lyrical phrasing" (Palm Beach Daily News) and his performances have been featured in radio broadcasts across the United States on WWFM The Classical Network and WQXR.

Mr. MacRae made his Carnegie Hall (NY) solo recital debut at Weill Hall in 2001. As a chamber musician, he has appeared on Carnegie Hall's Making Music Series, as a member of the Berkshire Bach Ensemble (MA), with the Manhattan Sinfonietta, and at summer festivals such as Monadnock Music (NH) and the Music Festival of the Hamptons (NY). He has also been heard with numerous ensembles at major New York chamber music venues such as Carnegie's Zankel and Weill Halls, BargeMusic, Merkin Hall, and Miller Theatre at Columbia University. His recent seasons have included premiere performances of new works at Princeton, Yale, and Columbia Universities; and recordings of chamber music by Telemann and Laurie Altman, as well as music for The Discovery Channel.

In addition to being the cellist of Fountain Ensemble, Mr. MacRae is Co-Artistic Director of the Fountain Chamber Music Society. He also teaches cello at Princeton University and has given master classes and lecture-performances at the University of Utah, Palm Beach Community College (FL), and Kings College (PA).

After completing the A.B. degree and earning a Certificate in Musical Performance at Princeton University, Mr. MacRae received his Master's degree from Manhattan School of Music, where he was a cello student of David Geber and studied chamber music with Isidore Cohen.

Gilad Harel

A native of Israel, clarinetist Gilad Harel is an avid chamber music player, a new music promoter and an active klezmer/world music performer.

Gilad Harel is co-artistic director of Fountain Chamber Music Society, New York; and the clarinetist of the Fountain and the Proteus Ensembles. He was a guest performer with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, America's Dream Chamber Artists, the Zephyros Wind Ensemble, the Solstice Ensemble, and he is on the faculty at the Apple Hill Center for Chamber Music in New Hampshire. His chamber music festival appearances include the Music From Salem Festival, NY; Craftsbury Chamber Players Festival, VT; Apple Hill Center for Chamber Music, NH; Crested Butte Music Festival, CO; The Music Festival of the Hamptons; the Pensacola Chamber Music Festival, FL; and the Yellow Barn Chamber Music School and Festival, VT.

Gilad Harel has participated in premiere performances and recordings of works by Bruce Adolph, Jonathan Keren, Harold Farberman and Israel Sharon, and has collaborated with composers such as Tania Leon, Joshua Fineberg, Rand Steiger, Tristan Murail, George Edwards, Menachem Zur, Samuel Adler, Thomas Z. Shepard, Ofer Ben Amotz, and Steve Burke. Gilad is a member of the Manhattan Sinfonietta, the American Contemporary Music Ensemble, Kaprizma Ensemble for new music, Jerusalem; and has played with the New York Art Ensemble, SEM Ensemble, Argento Ensemble, the Sospeso Ensemble, the New Millennium Ensemble and the Erick Hawkins Dance Company. Gilad’s new music festival appearances include the American Festival of Microtonal Music; the Lincoln Center Festival, and the Focus! Festival.

Gilad Harel is a member of the Sexteto Roberto Rodriguez, playing Cuban/Jewish music. They have recently performed at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, and have released 2 new albums for the Tzadik recording label. Gilad is a founding member of Klezshop - a klezmer trio playing their own original compositions; and a frequent guest with the Metropolitan Klezmer Band. He has participated in maestro Giora Feidman’s Klezmer clarinet festival, and appeared at the Safed Klezmer Music Festival in Israel.

As an instructor, Gilad Harel is a substitute teacher at the Juilliard Pre-College Division, and faculty at the 92nd Street Y Music School, New York. He has given master classes at the Hamilton College, NY; the Southeastern Oklahoma State University, the Temple University of Texas and the Community College of West Palm Beach, Florida. He is on the faculty at the Apple Hill Center for Chamber Music in NH, and was a guest faculty at the Putney-Vermont Chamber Music Intensive, and the Young Artist Program for outstanding musicians, Amherst College, Massachusetts. This summer, Gilad was invited to be on the faculty at the XI International Summer Course in Shropshire, England.

Gilad is a graduate of the Juilliard School, New York; the Conservatoire National de Musique de Paris; and the Israeli Conservatory of Music, Tel-Aviv. He was a recipient of the America Israel Cultural Foundation scholarships for 10 years.

Copyright 2014 Fountain Ensemble

Photo Credit: Michael Benabib