Live Round Judges

Nicholas Eanet

Nick Eanet began his violin studies at the age of three with Nicole DiCecco, and was an avid chamber musician almost from the beginning, playing quartets by the age of five. When he was only eleven, his young quartet was invited to perform at a festival by Shinichi Suzuki in Matsumoto, Japan. At the age of twelve, he was admitted to The Juilliard School Pre-College where he studied with Dorothy DeLay, continuing at the college with Robert Mann. After graduating from Juilliard with a bachelor of music degree, Mr. Eanet joined the Mendelssohn String Quartet as leader and first violinist.

During his years with the Mendelssohn String Quartet, Mr. Eanet performed around the world in major venues such as Carnegie Hall, Avery Fisher Hall, Wigmore Hall in London, the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, and the Library of Congress. His teaching responsibilities included posts at Harvard University and the North Carolina School of the Arts. Numerous summer festival appearances include the Mostly Mozart Festival, Sante Fe Chamber Music Festival, Aspen Music Festival, Maui Chamber Music Festival, Steamboat Springs Strings in the Mountains Festival, among others. His playing, hailed by the New York Times as "brilliant and passionate," is in great demand: In addition to performing with the Sea Cliff Chamber Players and at Bargemusic, Mr. Eanet is a key member of Amadeus Virtuosi, a chamber orchestra that he also conducts. He has premiered and recorded the violin music of Frederich Nietzsche, available on the Newport Classic label.

Mr. Eanet's exposure to solo work also began when he was quite young. At age eight he was invited by Zubin Mehta to appear as soloist with the New York Philharmonic in one of the orchestra's Young People's Concerts. Two years later, he performed as soloist on the Philharmonic's subscription series and its New Year's Eve gala concert. Mr. Eanet has since performed as soloist with the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra led by James Levine at Carnegie Hall, the Minnesota Orchestra with Sir Neville Marriner, the New York Youth Symphony, and others.

From 1999 until he joined the Juilliard String Quartet, Mr. Eanet was the concertmaster of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, a position appointed by James Levine. During his tenure with the orchestra, Mr. Eanet performed across Europe and Japan, and regularly appeared in orchestral and chamber music concerts at all three venues at Carnegie Hall. Nick Eanet is a native Brooklynite.

Ettore Causa

Immediately following his studies, Ettore Causa was appointed as the First Solo Viola of the Carl Nielsen Philharmonic in Denmark and was also leader of the Copenhagen Chamber Soloists. In 2000, he was awarded both the Schidlof Prize and the J. Barbirolli Prize at the prestigious Lionel Tertis International Viola Competition in England.

Since then, he concertizes in major artistic capitals of the world and has performed in notable venues such as Victoria Hall (Geneva), Salle Cortot (Paris), Teatro Colon (Buenos Aires), Tokyo and Osaka Symphony Halls, and the Zurich Tonhalle. He regularly performs at major festivals, such as Salzburg, Tivolli, Perth, and Festival de Estorial (Portugal).

Since 2001, Mr. Causa has served as professor of viola and chamber music at the International Menuhin Music Academy in Switzerland, and he regularly presents master classes throughout Europe and South America. Additionally, he is a member of the Aria Quartet, with whom he performs throughout the world. Mr. Causa studied at the International Menuhin Academy with Sir Yehudi Menuhin, Johannes Eskar, and Alberto Lysy. His advanced studies were with Michael Tree at the Manhattan School of Music.

He serves as Associate Professor (Adjunct) of Viola at the Yale School of Music since September 2009.

Jeffrey Zeigler

Jeffrey Zeigler is the cellist of the internationally renowned ensemble Kronos Quartet. For more than 30 years this San Francisco based foursome has pursued a singular artistic vision, combining a spirit of fearless exploration with a commitment to expanding the range and context of the string quartet. In the process, Kronos has become one of the most celebrated and influential ensembles of our time, performing thousands of concerts worldwide, releasing more than 40 recordings of extraordinary breadth and creativity, collaborating with many of the world's most eclectic composers and performers, and commissioning hundreds of works and arrangements for string quartet.

Recent highlights include the world premier of a It Got Dark by the Los Angeles based composer, Tom Newman. This work premiered with the Los Angeles Philharmonic in December 2009 and was conducted by John Adams. This past June, Kronos also premiered a new work, Music from 4 Fences, by Jon Rose at the Sydney Opera House. This new work involves the quartet performing on amplified fences with new video by William Williams.

This past year saw the release of Floodplain, Kronos' 39th release on Nonesuch. In Spring 2010 Kronos will also be releasing a new recording on the Smithsonian Folkways label. The release will feature a collaboration with the great Azerbaijani singers Alim and Ferghana Qasimov and also with the virtuoso Afghani Rubab player, Homayoun Sakhi.

Since 2001 Zeigler has performed frequently with the interdisciplinary multimedia production company VisionIntoArt (VIA). This New York based non profit is directed by composer Paola Prestini and is comprised of many of the city's most compelling artists working together to create exciting programs that brim with artistic and intellectual virtuosity. VisionIntoArt concertizes regularly throughout New York City and Europe.

In collaboration with VIA, Mr. Zeigler has been involved in creating new video with filmmaker Davide Faggiano for Michael Gordon's powerful work for solo cello, Industry. Zeigler and VIA will premier a new work by the Mexican composer Felipe Perez Santiago at Galapagos Art Space in Spring 2010.

Jeffrey Zeigler holds a Bachelor of Music degree from the Eastman School of Music where he was a student of Stephen Doane, and a Master of Music degree from the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University where he served as the Teaching Assistant for Paul Katz. He then continued his studies at Indiana University under Janos Starker. Mr. Zeigler has also studied at the Britten-Pears School in Aldeburgh, England where he was a pupil of William Pleeth and Zara Nelsova.