Hailed as a “ravishing” performer by the Los Angeles Times, violinist Maia Jasper has appeared as soloist and chamber musician in France, Israel, Canada, Turkey, Portugal, the Netherlands, and throughout the United States.
In 2003, she received her Bachelor of Arts with Honors in Musicology from Yale University, where she was awarded the Master’s Prize in Music Performance. During her junior year at Yale, she received a scholarship to study at the Paris Conservatory (CNSMDP) in France. She completed her master’s degree as a fellowship student at the USC Thornton School of Music in 2006.
An avid chamber musician, Maia has collaborated with such artists as the Ysaÿe Quartet and cellist Paul Katz. In 2008, she recorded early duos of Schoenberg with Los Angeles Philharmonic concertmaster Martin Chalifour for Yarlung Records. She is on faculty at the Colburn School of Performing Arts, where she coaches chamber music.
In January 2010, Maia was appointed to the first violin section of the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra. She joined the first violin section of the Pacific Symphony in 2006. A former member of Musica Angelica Baroque Orchestra, Maia also enjoys baroque performance practice, having led the violin section under the baton of Ton Koopman at Carnegie Hall.
Maia has been a prize-winner and finalist in several solo and chamber music competitions, including the Concert Artists Guild, National Federation of Music Clubs, Corpus Christi International, Carmel Music Society, Pasadena Showcase House, and Chesapeake Chamber Music competitions.
She has been invited to participate in summer festivals such as the Keshet Eilon Violin Mastercourse, Juilliard Quartet Seminar, Music Academy of the West, International Holland Music Sessions, Banff Centre Quartet Residency, ENCORE School for Strings, Great Lakes Chamber Music, Sarasota, and Aspen festivals.
Maia has studied with Martin Chalifour, Gérard Poulet, Kyung Yu, and Michelle Kim, among others. Other musical figures that have helped shape her approach as an artists include Itzhak Rashkovsky, Herman Krebbers, Kathleen Winkler, Paul Kantor and Robert Lipsett. Additionally, Maia has performed in masterclass for Ruggiero Ricci, Ida Haendel, Gil Shaham, Midori, Gyorgy Pauk, Ilan Gronich, János Starker, Rachel Podger, and Ivry Gitlis, as well as for the Tákacs and Juilliard String quartets.
A recent performance “allowed Kumar to demonstrate that, in addition to making an utterly beautiful sound, he is a born leader, and the performance responded to every last facet of a work gigantic in stature.” (Bernard Jacobson, Music-Web International) Also praised by press for his “obvious communicative powers”, “sense of sheer enjoyment”, and having “the precision and tonal richness of a virtuoso”, violinist Kevin Kumar has appeared as soloist with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, among numerous other orchestras.
Kumar has also been active as an orchestral player, serving as Concertmaster of the Schleswig-Holstein Festival Orchestra under Valerie Gergiev and Semyon Bychkov in tours throughout major European cultural centers. He was personally invited by Sir Georg Solti to participate in the Solti Project at Carnegie Hall.
As a devoted chamber musician he has performed in various ensembles and festivals throughout the United States, Europe, and Central America and participated in numerous radio and television broadcasts, including a featured appearance on a primetime NBC sitcom. Kumar has given the world premieres of chamber music and solo works by composers such as Grammy-nominated composer Javier Navarrete, Daniel Catan, R.I. Gordon, and Jeremy Cavaterra.
At the outset of his concert career, Kumar was forced to spend an extended period away from the violin due to injuries; during this time he became involved with songwriting and production for musical artists in the U.S. and in East Asia. Since his return to the stage, he has participated in a variety of activities; appearing as soloist with a number of orchestras in Southern California, including St. Matthew’s Chamber Orchestra and the Riverside Philharmonic, and performing chamber music across the nation. He is also the violinist of the Catgut Trio.
In addition to attending Columbia University and the Manhattan School of Music, Kumar received the Jascha Heifetz Scholarship and his Advanced Studies in Music Diploma from the University of Southern California and Bachelor of Arts degree from Stanford University. He has studied with Alice Schoenfeld, Viktor Tretyakov, Linda Rose, and Gennady Kleyman and benefited from masterclasses with Dorothy Delay and other musical luminaries.