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Viola Faculty

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Maren Rothfritz

Junior Session

BM, Hochschule für Music Detmold

MM, New England Conservatory

DMA, City University of New York, Graduate Center, in progress

Joined LMC Faculty in 2023

Share with us some of your professional accomplishments.

 I am a chamber musician and educator based in New York City. As a member of the Argus Quartet, a nationally touring string quartet, I enjoy seeking colorful musical expressions across a wide range of repertoire old and new. I serve as viola faculty at Brooklyn College and maintain a private teaching studio. 


I grew up in Germany and throughout my education, I was fortunate to learn from some incredible teachers. During my Bachelor studies, I spent two years in Madrid, Spain, studying at the Escuela Superior de Musica Reina Sofia with members of the Alban Berg Quartet, Artemis Quartet and Cuarteto Casals. After finishing my Bachelors, I studied a year with Nobuko Imai at the Conservatory of Amsterdam, The Netherlands. I came to the US when I moved to Boston, MA, to learn from Kim Kashkashian at the New England Conservatory where I completed my Masters degree. During my Doctoral studies at the CUNY Graduate Center I worked with Ettore Causa who teaches at Yale University. 


For two years, I was a fellow with Ensemble Connect, a joint program of Carnegie Hall, The Juilliard School, and the Weill Music Institute in partnership with the New York City Department of Education. I regularly performed chamber music at Carnegie Hall, served as a teaching artist at NYC public schools and received training in community engagement, arts advocacy, and education.


I joined the Argus Quartet in 2019, which is committed to thoughtful programming combining traditional and contemporary music. We value collaboration and often commission and premier new pieces by new composers. Recent collaborations include a commissioned piece by violist/composer Jessica Meyer, recording and performing as part of Jazz pianist Samora Pinderhughes “The Healing Project”, and recording the complete quartet works by composers Donald Crockett and Christopher Theofanidis. 


What excites you about Luzerne Music Center?

I am excited about working with the talented young students and inspiring colleagues at LMC. I love connecting with people because every person is so unique and I nearly always learn from them, regardless of their age. When I was young, I attended festivals and youth orchestra programs myself and they were always life changing in regards to both my playing abilities as well as the friendships I made throughout the session. I am excited to pass on those experiences to the next generation in the idyllic setting of LMC.


What can campers expect to learn while working with you this summer?

I believe that the best way of helping a student is to teach them how to learn best and be their own teachers. I give my students practical tools they can apply during their practicing throughout their life to improve easier and faster. If possible, I like to relate those tools to everyday life as well, since many of them, like self organization skills and approaches to problem solving, apply outside of music making as well. I focus on joyful playing, intentional practicing, a good practice routine and healthy body posture and technique. During chamber music coachings I care deeply about how to communicate well and how to lead and follow each other. 

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James Yoon

Senior Session

BM, Cleveland Institute of Music

MM, Yale University, School of Music

Joined LMC Faculty in 2023

Share with us some of your professional accomplishments. 

Throughout the year, you can find me teaching general music to students ranging from 2-14 years of age as well as directing the strings department at an independent school in Greenwich Village, New York City. Prior to my full-time teaching within the education system, I served as a viola teaching assistant at the Cleveland Institute of Music and a teaching fellow at Yale School of Music, Music in Schools Initiative. 


As a dedicated soloist, orchestral, and chamber musician, I performed all across North America, Germany, Poland, South Korea, and Israel, among others, with many of my performances broadcasting live on WCLV, KBS, and WQXR Young Artist Showcase.


I have been lucky enough to be exposed to chamber music early on and successes in competitions of this genre have allowed me to collaborate with renowned musicians including Midori, Garry Hoffman, Nils Monkemeyer, Hillel Zori, and members of the Orion, Brentano, Leipzig string quartets. I have had rewarding experiences in solo competitions, including First Prize at the KRB International Competition and the Grand Prize at the New York International Music Competition. Invitations and appearances in festivals include the Aspen Music Festival, Lake George, Schleswig-Holstein, Keshet Eilon, Sarasota Music Festival, Krzyżowa-Music, IMS Prussia Cove, and many more.


What excites you about LMC?

I am very excited to immerse myself in mentoring and coaching the young musicians of this generation. Observing growth and fostering creative curiosity are a few of the reasons why teaching is very special to me. I have a great feeling that Luzerne Music Center will be another wonderful opportunity for me to grow as a teacher among other faculty and students. 


What can campers expect to learn while working with you this summer?

I want young musicians to understand the beauty of authenticity. Representing ourselves with true ownership and having a space to share our unique voice is what music is all about. Our individuality is valuable and will be celebrated by way of making music as a community. Violists often come across a struggling path where the awkwardness of the instrument hinders the ability to fully convey our individual ideas and sound. Finding a way to ‘coordinate’ our body to the instrument and playing with comfort will be our top priority as it will ultimately guide us to blossom our distinct sound. 

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