The Ulysses String Quartet has been praised for their “textural versatility,” “grave beauty,” “the kind of chemistry many quartets long for, but rarely achieve” (The Strad) as well as “avid enthusiasm … [with] chops to back up their passion” (San Diego Story), “delivered with a blend of exuberance and polished artistry” (Buffalo News).

Founded in the summer of 2015, the group won first prize in the 2018 Schoenfeld International String Competition and the grand prize and gold medal in the senior string division of the 2016 Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition. Ulysses also finished first in the American Prize and won second prize at the Osaka International Chamber Music Competition in 2017. The quartet were most recently grand prize winners of the Vietnam International Music Competition in August 2019.

Consisting of Christina Bouey and Rhiannon Banerdt on violin, Colin Brookes on viola and Grace Ho on cello, the Ulysses Quartet were appointed Lisa Arnhold Fellows of the Juilliard School.

Hailing from Canada, the United States and Taiwan, the Ulysses String Quartet has performed in such prestigious halls such as the Harbin Grand Theatre, Jordan Hall, and the Taiwan National Recital Hall. Recent performance highlights have included their debut at Alice Tully Hall, along with appearances at the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center and La Jolla Music Society Summerfest.  Other notable recent engagements include Buffalo Chamber Music Society, Cecilia Concerts in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Jordan Hall, South Orange Performing Arts Center, Sprague Hall at Yale University, Mostly Music, Rhode Island Chamber Music Concerts, Chamber Music Society of Bethlehem, Premiere Performances Hong Kong, the National Arts Centre in Ottawa, Bargemusic, Eastman School of Music and the Vietnam Connection Music Festival.

For the last three years, Ulysses was in residence at the Louis Moreau Institute in New Orleans, working with the composer Morris Rosenzweig. As a special project, the group will record the quartets of composer Joseph Summer at Mechanics Hall in Worcester, Massachusetts, over the next several years. In 2020 Ulysses will embark on recording projects for five albums involving three quartet albums, and collaborations with artists flutist Ransom Wilson and guitarist Ben Verdery.

Upcoming performances include a Carnegie Hall debut, Montreal Chamber Music Festival, Naumburg Orchestral Concerts Summer Series, the Idyllwild Festival in California, Quogue Chamber Music and the Tilles Center in Long Island, New York, Geneva Music Festival, Music Mountain, Emory University in Atlanta, and Dumbarton Concerts in Washington, DC. 

The group’s name pays homage to Homer’s hero Odysseus and his 10-year voyage home. Additionally, the quartet’s members live in close proximity to the resting place of former U.S. President Ulysses S. Grant in Upper Manhattan. The Ulysses String Quartet believes intensely in the power of music to inspire, enlighten and bring people together. The quartet is committed to sharing this passion by increasing access to and appreciation for classical music while enhancing audience engagement. To this end, the quartet offers interactive programs and workshops for all ages that serve to demystify the traditional repertoire while introducing audiences to exciting new works. Their programs frequently enable participants to learn about the inner workings of a string quartet, and to explore the connections between classical music and our world today.

The members of Ulysses hold degrees from the Juilliard School, Manhattan School of Music, New England Conservatory and Yale University. The musicians perform on instruments and bows graciously on loan from the Juilliard School, Canada Council of the Arts Instrument Bank and the Maestro Foundation. Ulysses is grateful for the support of Shar and Connolly Music.  For further information you can visit www.ulyssesquartet.com


Canadian violinist, Christina Bouey, is hailed by the New York Times for playing “beautifully,” by the New York Post, “When violinist Christina Bouey spun out that shimmering tune, I thought I died and went to heaven,” and by Opera News, for playing “with exquisite, quivering beauty.” Her recent prizes include 1st Prize at the Schoenfeld International String Competition in the chamber division, Grand Prize at the Fischoff Competition, 1st place in the American Prize, and 2nd prize at the Osaka International Chamber Competition. Among her other top awards include the Hugo Kortchak Award for outstanding achievement in chamber music, Heida Hermann International, Canadian National Music Festival, Queens Concerto Competition, and the Balsam Duo Competition. Christina has performed as soloist with the Greenwich Symphony, Cayuga Chamber Orchestra, Salina Symphony, River Cities Symphony, Symphony of the Mountains, Tonkünstler Ensemble, Metro Chamber Orchestra, Bergen Symphony, Prince Edward Island Symphony, Banff Orchestra, Shattered Glass and the Hemenway Strings. Her solo and chamber credits include Carnegie Hall, Esterházy Palace, Taiwan National Recital Hall, Harbin Grand Theatre, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, Schneider Series, Rockefeller Tri-I Noon Series, Dame Myra Hess series, La Jolla Summer Fest, Premiere Performances Hong Kong, Vietnam Connection Music Festival, Kneisel Hall Festival, Emilia Romagna Festival, Harvard Club of New York, Montreal Chamber Festival, Debut Atlantic, Kansas International Music Festival, L’Archet Concert Group and the Indian River Festival. She has also been featured on WQXR New York. Christina has collaborated with artists such as David Chan, Jeremy Denk, Paul Coletti, Lynn Chang, Robert DeMaine, Steven Doane, Rosemary Elliott, David Geber, Clive Greensmith, Toby Hoffman, Chee-Yun Kim, Yura Lee, Cho-Liang Lin, and Bright Sheng.

Christina graduated from Manhattan School of Music (2013) with a Professional Studies Certificate in Orchestral Performance, studying with Glenn Dicterow and Lisa Kim as a full scholarship student, (2012) with a Professional Studies Certificate, studying with Laurie Smukler, and in 2011 she received a Master of Music, while studying with Nicholas Mann. Her Bachelor of Music (Magnum cum laude) is from The Boston Conservatory; where she studied with Irina Muresanu as a full-scholarship student.

In June 2014, as part of the 150 year celebrations on PEI, professional dancers from Ballet Jazz de Montreal performed a modern dance to her first compositional commission for solo violin, with Christina playing it on the violin. Christina is currently serving as concertmaster of the Cayuga Chamber Orchestra, is a member/founder of the Ulysses String Quartet, and plays in a duo with pianist Tatiana Tessman. She plays an 1820 Pressenda on generous loan from the Canada Council Instrument Bank. To keep up to date with Christina, you can follow her website: www.christinabouey.com.


Violinist Rhiannon Banerdt made her solo debut at age 14 with the New England Symphonic Ensemble in Johannesburg, South Africa. She has since made solo and chamber music appearances at Philadelphia’s Kimmel Center, New York’s Weill Hall at Carnegie, and Boston’s Jordan Hall, among others, with performances hailed by Edith Eisler of Strings Magazine as “real music-making–concentrated and deeply felt”. Ms. Banerdt performs regularly throughout New England with a variety of ensembles and is a founding member of the Ulysses String Quartet, winners of the First Prize at the 2018 Schoenfeld International Chamber Music Competition, Grand Prize at the 2016 Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition, First Prize at the 2017 American Prize Chamber Ensemble, and Silver Medal at the 2017 Osaka International Chamber Music Competition.

A recipient of the 2012 Borromeo String Quartet Guest Artist Award, Ms. Banerdt was invited to perform with the quartet in Jordan Hall. Other collaborations have included performances with the Chiara Quartet, Kim Kashkashian, Paul Biss, and Frans Helmerson. Ms. Banerdt has participated in numerous eminent chamber music festivals including La Jolla Summerfest, Ravinia’s Steans Music Institute, Kneisel Hall Chamber Music Festival, Taos School of Music, and the Castleman Quartet Program.

Ms. Banerdt holds the position of Assistant Concertmaster with the Cape Symphony and has served as Principal Second Violin Boston’s Discovery Ensemble. She was one of two Violin Fellowships for the 2013-2015 seasons with the flagship music education organization Community MusicWorks in Providence, RI, where she taught individual lessons and group classes for disadvantaged youth and performed regularly with the Fellowship Quartet and Community MusicWorks Players. Ms. Banerdt is currently a member of the violin faculty at the Bloomingdale School of Music on New York City’s Upper West Side and a Graduate Teaching Fellow at CUNY Brooklyn College.

A native of Los Angeles, Ms. Banerdt attended the New England Conservatory, where she received her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees with honors from the New England Conservatory of Music as a student of Lucy Chapman and Paul Biss, and is currently pursuing doctoral studies at The CUNY Graduate Center studying with Mark Steinberg.


Praised as a “master of the strong lines”, concert violist Colin Brookes is a native of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where he made his solo debut with the Pittsburgh Symphony at the age of 17. A founding member of the award-winning Ulysses Quartet, Colin has taught in the Pre-College Division of the Juilliard School, and the undergraduate programs of Yale University and SUNY Stony Brook.

As a freelance musician, Colin performs with The Knights, A Far Cry, and many others. Festival appearances include Geneva Music Festival, Kneisel Hall, Manchester Summer Chamber Music, and Tanglewood. In June 2013 he gave a solo recital with pianist Euntaek Kim for the St. Gaudens Concert Series in Cornish, NH. 

Colin holds a Bachelor of Music from the Juilliard School and a Master of Music and Artist Diploma from Yale University. His mentors include Ettore Causa, Heidi Castleman, Misha Amory, Marylene Gingras-Roy, Roger Chase, Jeffrey Irvine, and Carolyn Hills. He currently plays a 19th century Italian viola and modern bow, generously on loan from the Maestro Foundation.


Taiwanese-American cellist Grace Ho is an active cello soloist and chamber musician in the United States and Asia. Ms. Ho has appeared as a soloist with orchestras including the Xiamen Philharmonic Orchestra, Evergreen Symphony Orchestra, Vietnam National Symphony Orchestra, Ho Chi Minh City Symphony Orchestra, Sun Taipei Philharmonic, Vienna Ensemble, Lewisville Lake Symphony Orchestra, Manhattan School of Music Philharmonic Orchestra, Kansas Wesleyan Orchestra, and University of North Texas Chamber Orchestra. 

Ms. Ho has achieved numerous awards including First Prize in the Manhattan School of Music Eisenberg-Fried Concerto Competition, winner in the University of North Texas Concerto Competition, and Silver Medal in the Crescendo Music Awards. Ms. Ho has performed in prestigious concert halls such as Carnegie Hall’s Stern Auditorium, Weill Recital Hall, and Zankel Hall, Meyerson Symphony Center, Taiwan National Concert and Recital Halls, and the Opera Houses in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City as the soloist in the 2018 Toyota Tour in Vietnam.

Ms. Ho is a founding member of the Ulysses Quartet, the Principal Cellist of the Miami Symphony Orchestra, and a board member of the International Chamber Players. 

Ms. Ho has participated in numerous festivals include Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival, Norfolk Chamber Music Festival, ENCORE School for Strings, Boston University Tanglewood Institute, Manchester Music Festival, Texas Music Festival, International Festival Institute at Round Top, and Teaching Assistant at Manhattan in the Mountains in 2013.

Ms. Ho received her Doctor of Musical Arts and Master of Music from the Manhattan School of Music, and her Bachelor of Music from the University of North Texas with full scholarships,  and graduating with the Pablo Casals Award from her Master’s Degree. Former teachers include David Geber, Clive Greensmith, Eugene Osadchy, Chao-Fu Lin, Shih-San Lin, Tze-Ming Chen, and Shih-Hui Ho. You can check out Grace’s website here: www.gracehocello.com.


Praised by the Cleveland Plain Dealer as a “Brilliant champion,” and by La Libre Belgique for her “poetic enchantment” and “epic performance,” internationally recognized pianist Sangyoung Kim has gained attention through numerous competitions and performances throughout South Korea, North America, Europe, and Israel. In May 2013, Ms. Kim became a Laureate of the Queen Elisabeth International Music Competition.

Since her orchestra debut at age 9 with the Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra, Ms. Kim has appeared as a soloist with the Yewon Orchestra and won numerous prizes in Korea. After coming to the United States in 2002, Ms. Kim has continued to meet with succession in competitions such as the New England Conservatory Concerto Competition and the Heida Hermannes International Music Competition, San Marino International Piano Competition, and obtained not only the Gold Medal but also the Russian and Chopin etude Prizes from the Usasu Bösendorfer International Piano Competition. Other prizes include the highest honors from the both the Yewon Art School and the Seoul Art High School, and the Carol and Robert T. Henderson Presidential Scholarship from New England Conservatory.

Ms. Kim has appeared as soloist with the NEC Philhamonia Orchestra, Concord Orchestra, Phoenix Symphony Orchestra, Orchestre Royal de Chambre de Wallonie in Belgium, and the National Orchestra of Belgium. Other featured performances include recitals at Chopin Hall, Kumho Gallery and Kumho Art Hall in Korea, Norris Cultural Center in Illinois, Williams Hall and Jordan Hall in Boston, Cleveland Play House Bolten Theater in Ohio, Eckhardt-Gramatte Hall and Roza Centre in Calgary, Canada, the Courchevel Music Festival and Music Academy of Villecrozein France, Tel Aviv Museum of Art in Israel, Théâtre Royal de la Monnaie in Belgium, and the Paderewski Piano Academy in Poland. In 2009, Ms. Kim was invited to the Kennedy Center in Washington. D.C to give a recital as the part of the Millennium Stage Concert series.

As a chamber music lover, Ms. Kim’s chamber performances have been frequently heard in Jordan Hall, Fraser Performance Studio at WGBH Radio, and Harvard University. Ms. Kim participated in an extensive tour of the Boston area, playing Schoenberg’s Pierrot Lunaire with other musicians including flutist Paula Robison as the narrator. She also collaborated with composer Michael Gandolfi in a performance of his Resin in Resonance (2008) which was broadcasted by WGBH. Recently, Ms. Kim’s commercial recordings of David Owens’ Piano Sonata for Two Pianos has been released by Albany Records in July 2014 and of Joseph Summer’s “You May Think of Art” by Parma Recordings Company in February 2015.

After graduating from Seoul Art High School as a student of Kyung Sook Lee and Bon Hee Ku, Ms. Kim has studied at New England Conservatory, where she earned DMA, under the guidance of Wha Kyung Byun and Russell Sherman.


Miroslav Sekera ranks among the preeminent members of the young generation of Czech pianists. His exceptional talent was first spotted at the early age of three years by the distinguished educator, Professor Zdena Janžurová. Miroslav was a child prodigy who was ready to take up at that tender age, along with piano also the study of violin with Professors Zdenek Vyoral and Josef Novák. Very soon, he began to reap triumphs not only in concert appearances, but also in numerous junior performing competitions, as both pianist, violinist and chamber player. He then made an unforgettable experience which has remained imprinted in his memory to this day: namely, participation in the making of the marvelous film, Amadeus. As it happenned, the film’s director, Miloš Forman, was looking for a child actor to impersonate Mozart in his early years. The six-years-old Mirek proved the ideal choice, thanks to his unique virtuoso skills at playing violin and piano. Those who have seen the movie will surely recall the little boy displaying incredible bravura performing spinet and violin blindfold…

Some time after that experience, Mirek found himself confronted with the definitive choice of the instrument on which to concentrate fully in his further study. The piano prevailed, and there followed years of study at the Basic Art School in Prague´s Voršilská Street, from where he advanced to the Prague Conservatory´s class of Professor Eva Boguniová, all through his studies there simultaneously frequenting also the class of Professor Martin Ballý. He then pursued his schooling at the Academy of Music in Prague, with Associate Professor Miroslav Langer. He graduated in 1999, as the Academy’s best solo piano graduate.

While still studying at the two schools, in 1991, he won first prize in the Chopin Competition at Mariánské Lázne. In the following year, he received first prize from the conservatory students contest in Pardubice.

His many awards won in prestigious interpreting competitions at various points of his career have included first prize from the prestigious Chopin Competition at Mariánské Lázne (1991), first prize from the conservatory students contestin Pardubice(1992), first prize from the competition organized by the Prague Academy of Music (1999), where he also received a scholarship from Yamaha: as well as second prize from the international competition at Gaillard, France (2000), and first prize from the Johannes Brahms International Competition at Portschach, Austria (2002).

Miroslav Sekera makes concert appearances in the Czech Republic and on the international circuit, not only as an outstanding soloist, but likewise as a chamber ensemble player. Since his student years, he has given many full-length recitals in Prague, as well as in other venues in the Czech Republic and abroad. In 2006, he was released a solo CD by Multisonic support of Czech Music Foundation with parts J. Brahms, D. Scarlatti, M. Moszkovski. For contemporary Boston composer Joseph Summer recorded three CDs issued by record company Albany Records and Navona Records. In 2013 he recorded with violinist Josef Špacek CD for Supraphon. He regularly collaborates with Czech Radio. For the second time
appeared as a soloist with the Symphony Orchestra FOK under the baton of Jirí Kout. He regularly collaborates with the mezzo-soprano Dagmar Pecková.


Josef Špaček is fast emerging as one of the most accomplished violinists of his generation. He studied with Itzhak Perlman at The Juilliard School in New York, Ida Kavafian and Jaime Laredo at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, and with Jaroslav Foltýn at the Prague Conservatory. He was laureate of the International Queen Elisabeth Competition in Brussels, and won top prizes at the Michael Hill International Violin Competition in New Zealand, the Carl Nielsen International Violin Competition in Denmark and the Young Concert Artists International Auditions in New York.

Highlights during the 2017/18/19 seasons include a return visit to the Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra and Marc Albrecht, as well as debuts with the Orchestre Philharmonique du Capitole de Toulouse and Thomas Søndergård, the Bamberger Symphoniker and Manfred Honeck, the Scottish Chamber Orchestra and Maxim Emelyanchev, the Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra and Michael Sanderling, the Antwerp Symphony Orchestra and David Zinman, the Orchestre Philharmonique de Strasbourg and Aziz Shokhakimov, the Orchestre Philharmonique de Monte-Carlo and Tomáš Netopil, the Stavanger Symphony Orchestra and Christian Vasquez, the Symfonieorkest Vlaanderen and Daniel Blendulf and the Kyoto Symphony Orchestra and Lio Kuokman. He continues to appear as soloist of the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra for concerts, both in Prague and on tour, conducted by Semyon Bychkov, Jakub Hrůša and Thomas Adès.

Previous highlights include subscription concerts with the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra and Valery Gergiev, a return visit to the Orchestra Sinfonica Nazionale della RAI Torino and James Conlon, his debut with the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra and Jiří Bělohlávek, his Berlin debut with the Konzerthausorchester Berlin and Thomas Sanderling, his Amsterdam Concertgebouw debut with the Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra and Thomas Søndergård, his Tokyo debut with the Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra and Jakub Hrůša and debuts with the Orchestra di Padova e del Veneto and Gerard Korsten, the Sønderjylland Symphony Orchestra and Johannes Wildner and the Symfonieorkest Vlaanderen and Adrien Perruchon (recorded by Mezzo Live HD TV), as well as recital debuts in among others Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. and La Jolla, San Diego.

In addition to the afore-mentioned orchestras Josef Špaček has appeared with orchestras across Europe, the US and Asia, such as the Philadelphia Orchestra, Prague Philharmonia, Orchestre Philharmonique du Luxembourg, Essener Philharmoniker, Tonkünstlerorchester Niederösterreich, Orchestre National de Belgique, Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra, Orquesta Filarmónica de Málaga, Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra, Kansas City Symphony and Queensland Symphony Orchestra.

The late Jiří Bělohlávek was an avid supporter of Josef Špaček and regularly invited him. Other conductors he works with include Semyon Bychkov, James Conlon, Christoph Eschenbach, Asher Fisch, Valery Gergiev, Roy Goodman, Jakub Hrůša, Manfred Honeck, Eliahu Inbal, Jun Märkl, Rossen Milanov, Tomáš Netopil, Thomas Sanderling and Thomas Søndergård.

Josef Špaček gives recitals and takes part in chamber music festivals in Europe (among others at the Rudolfinum in Prague, Konzerthaus in Vienna, Evian Festival, Kaposfest and Schloß Elmau), Asia and the USA (among others at Kennedy Center, Washington D.C., La Jolla, San Diego, ChamberFest Cleveland and Nevada Chamber Music Festival).

Supraphon released highly praised recordings of the violin concertos of Dvořák and Janáček, and of the Fantasy of Suk, with the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Jiří Bělohlávek (among others “Recording of the week” of The Sunday Times, “Recording of the month and of the year” of MusicWeb International and 5* in Diapason), as well as a recital disc with works for violin and piano by Smetana, Janáček and Prokofiev with pianist Miroslav Sekera. In 2010 he recorded works by H.W. Ernst for Naxos. His first CD, which was released in 2006, includes a complete recording of the Sonatas for Solo Violin by Eugène Ysaÿe.

He has served as concertmaster of the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, the youngest in its history. The orchestra has named him “Associate Artist” as of January 2016.

Josef Špaček performs on the ca. 1732 “LeBrun; Bouthillard” Guarneri del Gesù violin, generously on loan from Ingles & Hayday.


Acclaimed for his “passionate commitment to the composer and score…” “elegant sense of shape…” “perfected technique [and] a personal aesthetic vision,” Tim Ribchester is expanding an international presence as an inspiring, versatile musical leader, particularly in the fields of baroque interpretation and composer collaboration.

Currently engaged as recitative and continuo harpsichordist under Sir Simon Rattle at the Staatsoper Berlin, Ribchester returns in July 2020 to the Trentino Music Festival, Italy for his sixth season as the festival’s resident baroque conductor, where he has led fully staged productions of Rinaldo, Alcina, L’incoronazione di Poppea, and Dido and Aeneas in collaboration with stage directors David Gately and Greg Eldridge. His forthcoming performing edition of L’incoronazione di Poppea will have its world premiere at this year’s festival. In Boston he has directed the music of composers Joseph Summer and Mary Bichner on operatic and chamber music premieres and recordings for Albany Records and Navona Records, including collaboration with the Ulysses Quartet. Recent engagements include debuts with the Bacau Philharmonic in Romania and the Vidin Sinfonietta in Bulgaria, Les Contes d’Hoffmann in Gidon Saks’ staging for the Delphi Stummfilmkino Berlin, cover conducting Das Rheingold and Eugene Onegin at North Carolina Opera, and an ongoing residency as Coach/Conductor in Residence at Cape Town Opera, where last season he led the Young Artist Program tour of Germany and directed a subscription concert of Handel’s Italian vocal duets. In previous seasons, Ribchester has led rehearsals of the orchestra of the Komische Oper Berlin, Baltimore and Boulder Chamber Orchestras, the Academy of Vocal Arts Chorus, and Opera Philadelphia Chorus, as well as completing a two season contract as Music Director of Delaware County Symphony (Pennsylvania).

Formerly repetiteur and assistant conductor at the Academy of Vocal Arts and Opera Philadelphia, Ribchester is currently based in Berlin where he appears with Neues Barockorchester Berlin and Opus XX Orchestra as harpsichordist, and with the Berlin Philharmonic’s Children’s Concert program as pianist, as well as maintaining a vocal coaching studio with past clients including Maria Aleida, Emily Birsan, Richard Cox, Joyce El-Khoury, Sara Hershkowitz, Mireille Lebel, and Gidon Saks. His recital collaborators have included Julianne Baird, Ian Bostridge, Paquito D’Rivera, Pedro Giraudo, and Ricardo Morales, and his playing is featured in director Park Chan-Wook’s critically acclaimed 2016 feature film The Handmaiden, and in duo with Cassia Harvey on the album The Russian Cello.

Ribchester trained at Oxford University, the Royal College of Music, London, La Schola Cantorum, Paris, and the Advanced Conducting Academy in Bacau, Romania, in addition to conducting master-classes with several distinguished pedagogues in the United States and apprenticeships as assistant to Christofer Macatsoris and Christopher Larkin. Passionate about public arts education, he has served as Manager of the Philadelphia Orchestra’s adult education initiatives and as a frequent pre-concert lecturer and broadcast writer/director/host for the orchestra. He also trained intensively as a tango musician in Buenos Aires and has led and collaborated on tango ensemble projects on three continents, including his own tango arrangements for duos and quintet