Tahirah Whittington is a native of Houston, Texas, and has performed for audiences in the U.S., Chile, France, Italy, and Japan. Solo engagements include a performance with the National Symphony Orchestra
at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC, at Merkin Hall in New York City, and with the New England Conservatory Symphony in Boston, MA. Ms. Whittington is formerly a member of the Acacia String Quartet, winners of the 1999 Artists International Competition. A recipient of the Irene Diamond and C.V. Starr Scholarships, she holds a Master of Music Degree from the Juilliard School, where she studied cello and chamber music with Joel Krosnick and Joel Smirnoff of the Juilliard Quartet. She received her Bachelor of Music Degree from the New England Conservatory, under the tutelage of Laurence Lesser.

Hugh Hinton has performed widely as a chamber musician and recitalist, including concerts and residencies throughout the Middle East as a United States Information Agency Artistic Ambassador. Orchestral engagements include joining the Aequalis Ensemble in performances of Chinary Ung’s Triple Concerto with the Phoenix, New Hampshire, and Honolulu symphonies. Mr. Hinton has performed at summer music festivals, including Tanglewood and Monadnock, and at such concert halls as the Gardner Museum in Boston and the Phillips Collection in Washington, D.C. His recordings of chamber and contemporary music have been broadcast internationally on “Art of the States” and can be found on the Etcetera, CRI, Albany, and Newport Classics labels. Mr. Hinton earned his Bachelor’s degree from Harvard University and Master’s and Doctor of Musical Arts degrees from New England Conservatory, where his piano teachers included Russell Sherman, Wha-Kyung Byun, Lev Vlasenko, and Mykola Suk. A committed teacher, Mr. Hinton has taught music history at New England Conservatory and currently serves as instructor of piano at the Longy School of Music in Cambridge, MA. He has been a member of the Core Ensemble since its founding in 1993.
MICHAEL PAROLA , Percussionist
Michael Parola received his B.F.A. from State University of New York at Purchase and his M.M. and D.M.A. from the State University of New York at Stony Brook. His primary teachers were Raymond Des Roches and Richard Horowitz. Mr. Parola was a founding member and percussionist with the Aequalis Ensemble from 1984-1993. With Aequalis, Mr. Parola toured nationally, presenting hundreds of concerts and master classes in every region of the United States. During the 1992-93 season, he appeared with Aequalis in performances of the Chinary Ung Triple Concerto with the Phoenix, Honolulu and New Hampshire Symphonies. Additional work with Aequalis included national radio broadcasts on NPR’s “A Note To You,” international radio broadcasts for Voice of America and on CD, with a highly acclaimed 1991 release on New World Records. Michael Parola has commissioned many new works for solo percussion, with nationwide performances of pieces by composers such as Edward Cohen, Jorge Liderman, Armand Qualliotine, and James Baker III.
As an orchestral timpanist, he has performed in the American premieres of works by Verdi, Donizetti and Shostakovich. Mr. Parola is active in teaching, with an appointment as percussion instructor at the Conservatory of Music at Lynn University in Boca Raton, Florida. In 1993 he founded the Core Ensemble
in which he serves as Percussionist and Executive Director.
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