geoffrey dean, cello

nina gordon, cello

Based in Sofia, Bulgaria since 1992, American cellist Geoffrey Dean has emerged as one of that country's most sought-after instrumentalists. He has performed at many prestigious European music centers, including the Opera Bastille, Gasteig, Sibelius Academy, and Enescu Filharmonica, and as soloist with leading Bulgarian orchestras such as the Philharmonics of Sofia, Plovdiv, Pazardjik, Shumen, and Vidin. In 1997 he joined the world-renowned Dimov Quartet, and has also performed with the Ardenza Trio, the Sofia Quartet, and the Sofia Philharmonic Orchestra.

Mr. Dean is a graduate of the North Carolina School of the Arts and the Indiana University School of Music, where he studied with Robert Marsh and Tsuyoshi Tsutsumi, respectively. His studies with a number of other cellists, including David Kadarauch in San Francisco, CA and Brent Wissick in Chapel Hill, NC; William Pleeth in England and Channing Robbins in Maine; and more recently with Anatoli Krustev and Anssi Karttunen, have also had an important role in various stages of his cellistic development.

Mr. Dean is a founding music faculty member at the American University in Bulgaria and its Fine Arts Program Coordinator. He has presented demonstrations and masterclasses at universities in Greece, Turkey, and the United States, and has spent past summers as Dean of Students at the Killington Music Festival in Vermont, USA.

andrey tchekmazov, cello


Hailed by critics as an “extraordinary musician” (Washington Post), cellist Andrey Tchekmazov is known for his versatility as a soloist, recitalist and chamber musician.

Born in Moscow into a family of professional pianists, Mr. Tchekmazov studied piano and later cello at the Gnessin Specialized Music School in Moscow. He continued his education at the Moscow State Conservatory with Mstislav Rostropovich’s protégé Nataliya Shakhovskaya,, and later at the Juilliard School as a Leonard Rose scholarship student of Harvey Shapiro. At Juilliard he worked closely with members of the Juilliard and Guarneri String Quartets.  Mr. Tchekmazov has made several recordings including a recent release on NAXOS with the Russian National Phiharmonic as well as a recording for the Delos label (to be released).

Ever since his critically acclaimed debut at Carnegie's Weill Recital Hall, Mr. Tchekmazov has enjoyed an active career as recitalist and chamber musician, performing at such renowned venues as Zankel Hall, the Caramoor Music Center, Barge Music, the Rhode Island Chamber Music Series, Bar Harbor Festival, Merkin Concert Hall in New York City and Hampden Sydney, where he was invited to perform by the members of The Emerson String Quartet.

An active educator, Andrey Tchekmazov has been a faculty member at the Rio de Janeiro Cello Encounter, the Lakewood Festival, Russish Abend Festival in Germany,  He has also performed at Westminster College and Brown, Bowdoin, Seton Hall and Princeton Universities. As an orchestral musician, Mr. Tchekmazov was appointed principal cellist of the Moscow Chamber Orchestra and the São Paulo Symphony. His performances have been featured on WQXR, WGBH, NPR and other TV and radio stations across Eastern and Western Europe and South America. 


Nina Gordon is Associate Professor of Cello and Chamber music at Illinois Wesleyan University and former Principal Cellist with the Illinois Symphony Orchestra.

Prior to coming to Illinois, Nina Gordon was Principal Cellist of the Kansas City Symphony and the Kansas City Chamber Orchestra, and taught Cello and Chamber Music at the University of Missouri, Kansas City. Her education includes the Moscow Conservatory (Russia), the University of Tel-Aviv (Israel), and the University of Kansas, Lawrence, where she received her DMA.  Among her teachers were Natalia Shakhovskaya (Russia), Michael Haran (Israel), George Ricci and Edward Laut (USA).

Nina Gordon is the Founder and Music Director of the annual IWU Summer Music Programs which include IWU Chamber Music Festival and IWU Cello Camp.  She is also a faculty member at the Ameropa Chamber Music Festival in Prague, Czech Republic, the International Chamber Music Festival ICMC in Positano, Italy, and the International Chamber Music Academy in Kyustendil, Bulgaria for young and talented musicians.