Karen Buranskas is a critically acclaimed cello soloist who has performed throughout the United States and Europe as well as in Brazil and Japan. She received a Performers Certificate and Bachelor of Music degree from Indiana University where she was a student of Janos Starker and Fritz Magg.Upon completion of her studies at Indiana University Ms. Buranskas went to Los Angeles, California to work with Gregor Piatigorsky. She subsequently received a Master of Music degree at Yale University where she was a student of Aldo Parisot.Ms. Buranskas has given recitals in major concert halls in the U.S., Europe, Japan, and Taiwan. The awards that she has received during her career include first prize in the Aldo Parisot Competition in Brazil, first prize in the Concert Artists Guild Competition in New York City, first prize in the Leta Snow Competition in Kalamazoo, Michigan, and first prize in the Rosanna Enlow Competition in Evansville, Indiana. She also received top honors in the Washington International String Competition and the North Carolina Young Artists Competition.Buranskas was the recipient of a Solo Recitalist grant from the National Endowment for the Arts in Washington D.C. for the production of a compact disc recording of compositions for solo cello by twentieth century composers.An established chamber musician, Ms. Buranskas has performed with the Fontana Chamber Music Festival, The Notre Dame String Trio, The Notre Dame Chamber Players, and ensembleND. Performances on the Fontana series, which have been presented on National Public Radio, have included world premieres of chamber works by George Perle, Raymond Zupko, and C. Curtis Smith.As a recording artist, Buranskas has released three highly acclaimed discs for Centaur Records, two with the Notre Dame String Trio and a third featuring 20th century works for solo cello. The American Record Guide review of the solo CD stated, “Karen Buranskas is a magnificent cellist. Her playing…is sinewy, noble, richly eloquent in tone and phrasing.”A Fanfare review of the David Diamond chamber music CD of the Notre Dame String Trio with pianist Ralph Votapek stated:
“These are thrilling and deeply satisfying performances--captured in crystal-clear sound---that leave no margin for error or improvement. An essential contribution to the American chamber-music discography.”
A review from the Shreveport Times: ”Buranskas performed the grand Dvorak Cello Concerto and earned a deserved standing ovation at the finale..."
A review from the Ongaku-No-Tomo Journal: "She possesses a solid technique and a beautiful sound. Buranskas is a cellist to be watched and one hopes for her return to Japan."
Centaur Records released CD featuring the Three Solo Suites by Max Reger in 2014. Soon to be released is another CD, with pianiast John Blacklow, of repertoire by 20th Century Soviet Composers.
Masako Hayashi Ebbesen has been active as a soloist and chamber pianist in Japan, France and the USA. She has a B.M. in piano performance from the Oberlin Conservatory of Music and a Master of Music with high distinction from Indiana University at Bloomington. Her teachers have included Jack Radunsky, Gyorgy Sebok, John Owings and the New Hungarian Quartet. Since the beginning of her performing career, critics on both sides of the Pacific and the Atlantic have held her poetic expression and ardor in high acclaim. She has shared the stage in major halls of NY, Tokyo, Chicago, Paris, Philadelphia.. with duo partners of renown from around the world and has appeared in guest recital series of numerous universities and conservatories in the US, Japan and Europe.
Her multicultural insight acquired on three continents has been shared at masterclasses and the summer chamber music academies she has held with the Strasbourg Chamber Ensemble in various regions of France. Masako taught piano and chamber music at Princeton University until 1999 before moving to Strasbourg where she resides and teaches at the National Conservatory of Strasbourg & the Académie Supérieure de Musique de Strasbourg.