Meet the new
2021-2022 IRIS ARTIST FELLOWS!
Pedro Maia, violin
Brazilian violinist Pedro Maia is a versatile artist, passionate about chamber music and teaching. He has performed in some of the most prestigious venues throughout Asia, Europe, South America, and North America including Weill Hall at Carnegie, Sala São Paulo, and Seoul National Theater. His orchestral and chamber music engagements have led Pedro to collaborate with artists such as Shlomo Mintzs, Itzhak Perlman, Roberto Diaz, Alex Klein, Yo-Yo Ma, Albrecht Mayer, Giles Apap, Igudesman and Joo, among others. As a dynamic chamber musician, Pedro founded the ensembles Cosmos New Music and Trio Riva that both focus on studying and performing works written by composers of diverse backgrounds. He was the founder and director of Tallahassee’s first chamber music festival, the Tallahassee Winter Chamber Music Festival, and was also the founder, artistic director, and the conductor of the Tallahassee Youth Orchestra Camerata. Pedro holds doctoral and master’s degree in performance from Florida State University and a bachelor’s degree in violin performance from the University of Southern Mississippi. As an Iris Fellow, he is working with the orchestra programs at Kingsbury High and Douglass K-8 as well as teaching violin at Star Academy School. Pedro is looking forward to sharing his knowledge and work with the kids in the Memphis community, as well as collaborating and performing with the incredible musicians of Iris Orchestra.
Gabriel Hightower, cello
Gabriel Hightower is a cellist from Columbia, Maryland. He received his Bachelor’s in Fine Arts from the University of Maryland, College Park and completed his Master of Music Degree from Carnegie Mellon University. His teachers have included Anne Marindale Williams, Eric Kutz, and Ben Myers. Gabriel has had the opportunity to play in masterclasses for renowned musicians such as Norman Fischer, Amit Peled, St. Lawrence String Quartet, and the Harlem String Quartet. As an avid collaborator, Gabriel has performed with groups such as the Alexandria Symphony Orchestra, Prince George’s Philharmonic, Redline String Quartet, Kyle Simpson Jazz Collective, Darlingtonia and more. These engagements have had him performing all over the East Coast. Gabriel is excited to be joining the IAF program and performing with an orchestra again and learning more about Memphis’ rich music history.
The Iris Artist Fellowship residency program offers emerging musicians from historically underrepresented populations in classical music a year of outstanding performance experience with guided opportunities to exercise their passion for community service through music engagement. Learn More about the Iris Artist Fellowship Program.
If you would like to support the Iris Artist Fellowship residency program, Marcia Kaufmann, Executive Director, is available to talk. She would be delighted to discuss ways to structure your gift so that it is helpful to this program and these emerging artists, while being meaningful and personal to you. Marcia can be reached at the Iris Orchestra office at (901) 746-9948. Correspondence and gifts should be forwarded to her attention at: Iris Orchestra 1801 Exeter Rd. Germantown, TN 38138.