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Winn / Lenz / Budish / Brownell Piano Quartet

James Winn, Ruth Lenz, Dustin Budish, and Eileen Brownell
Winn / Lenz / Budish / Brownell Piano Quartet

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About the Event

James Winn, piano and composition professor at the University of Nevada, Reno since 1997, made his professional debut with the Denver Symphony at the age of thirteen, and has been performing widely in North America, Europe, and Asia ever since. With his duo-piano partner, Cameron Grant, he was a recipient of the top prize given in the two-piano category of the 1980 Munich Competition. Dr. Winn has been a solo pianist with the New York City Ballet, a member of the New York New Music Ensemble, of Hexagon (woodwind quintet plus piano), and the pianist and resident composer of the 

Telluride Chamber Music Festival, as well as a frequent guest with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, Speculum, the Washington Square Contemporary Music Series, the Chamber Music Society of Sacramento, the Group for Contemporary Music, Cactus Pear Chamber Music Festival, La Musica International Chamber Music Festival, and Bargemusic. Well-known as a specialist in new music, he has been involved in numerous world premieres and premiere recordings by many renowned composers, among them 13 Pulitzer Prize winners. He is currently a member of Argenta, UNR’s resident piano trio, and performs regularly in recital with internationally acclaimed New York based violinist Rolf Schulte. An active recording artist, Winn is featured in more than three dozen CDs as soloist, chamber musician, and composer. Dr. Winn’s compositions have been performed internationally. He has received numerous career recognitions including an Artist Fellowship from the Nevada State Council of the Arts and, in 2009, the Governor’s Award for Excellence in the Arts.


Ruth Lenz is concertmaster of the Nevada Opera and concertmaster of the Reno Philharmonic and Reno Chamber Orchestra. She performs as recitalist, chamber musician, soloist and concertmaster in venues throughout the western United States. She has shared the stage with such notable performers as Itzhak Perlman, Edgar Meyer, Luciano Pavarotti and Natalie Cole. Ruth is a violinist with the Telluride Chamber Music Festival in Colorado and with the Nevada Chamber Music Festival. She has also played in the Sunriver and Spoleto Festivals. Ruth began her violin studies with her mother at age 2, earned her Bachelor's and Master's degrees from the University of Nevada Reno studying with Phillip Ruder, and her Doctorate from the University of Illinois at Champaign/Urbana where she studied with Sherban Lupu and Danwen Jiang.  In addition to performing, Dr. Lenz has a passion for teaching and maintains a large studio of violin and chamber music students.   In her free time, she is an avid equestrian and outdoor enthusiast. Ruth Lenz plays a Simone Fernando Sacconi violin.


Dustin Budish is a native of Reno, Nevada. Dustin began his musical training at the age of eight studying the piano, but soon after a suggestion by his middle school strings teacher he realized his true passion was for the viola. While in high school, Dustin received numerous honors including principal viola of the Nevada All-State Orchestra and a Command Performance. He went on to study at Oberlin College and the Cleveland Institute with Jeffrey Irvine for which he received his BM in viola performance and then received his MM with honors at the New England Conservatory with Martha Katz. While in school, Dustin was a founding member of the Mephisto Quartet, which worked with and performed alongside members of the Cavani, Tokyo, Vermeer, and Cleveland Quartets, and received the Russell Award at the Coleman Chamber Music Competition in 2001. As a Chamber musician, Dustin has performed at the Ravinia and Norfolk Festivals, and in 2005 was invited to Israel to perform with Maxim Vengerov’s Mozart Project with the Verbier Festival Chamber Orchestra. As a member of the New World Symphony in Miami Beach, Dustin was featured as soloist with the orchestra as a winner of the annual concerto competition under Maestro Alasdair Neale’s direction. Also while in Miami, he served as artistic advisor and electric violinist to the “Friends” of New World, catering custom innovative fusions of classical music with hip-hop, electronic, reggae and funk. Presently, Mr. Budish is Principal Viola of the Reno Chamber Orchestra, as well as Personnel Manager and Librarian. He spends his summers a member of the Sun Valley Summer Symphony, and is also a regular substitute with the San Francisco Symphony.

Eileen Brownell is a native of Sparks, Nevada. Ms. Brownell has taught cello and chamber music for over a decade for various institutions, including Bowling Green State University, the Ann Arbor and Flint Schools of performing arts, The University of Michigan, and the Steiner Schools of Ann Arbor. Eileen has co-administrated the Black Glove Cello Festival, a week-long all-cello festival held each summer, since 1999. Ms. Brownell is also active as a chamber musician and orchestral cellist, with experience playing in many diverse ensembles, including the Reno Philharmonic, the Ann Arbor Symphony, the West Shore Symphony Orchestra, and various chamber collaborations. Eileen holds a Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Denver, and Masters and Doctor of Musical Arts degrees from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. 

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