Sunday, April 30, 2017

Julian Müller, 'cellist

 Dear Friends,

I want to share this letter I received from Julian Müller, a fine young 'cellist the Ferris Burtis Music Foundation has been helping with his education and career for the past several years. The Foundation welcomes tax free gifts to help young artists like Julian pursue their talents. 

If you would like to send a tax free gift to the Foundation:
Ferris Burtis Music Foundation
Berkshire Taconic Foundation.
800 North Main St.
Sheffield,MA 01257

Any gifts will go to help these fine young artists and will be greatly appreciated.

Herbert Burtis 

Image result for julian muller cello

Dear Herb,

I hope all is well with you! Since it has been a while I am updating you on how things have been going this past year and looking forward to next year! 

This has been one of the most fruitful years of my learning and education thus far! I have been working immensely hard with my teacher on truly honing in on what I want to say as a musician and how I can most effectively communicate and share the music that I care so deeply about. I have given more performances this year than any before. The Mannes Orchestra celebrated the Mannes Centennial this year with a large Gala Concert at Carnegie Hall with highlights from great repertoire including, Verdi Rigoletto, Mozart Piano Concerto and the last movement of Mahler's Symphony No. 2. I was chosen to be principal of the cello section for this concert, which was a total blast! The evening was hosted by Federica von Stade who also sang a few selections! 

In addition to performing in concerts and recitals for my friends and fellow composers at school, I am working towards my own graduation next week! This is short notice but I cordially invite you to my recital at Mannes on Sunday, May 7th at 5:30pm for a program of some of my favorite works: Harbison Solo Cello Suite, Messiaen Louange, Debussy Sonata and Brahms Sonata No. 2 in F Major!

Regarding next year, I auditioned to continue my studies at Mannes with my wonderful teacher, in a Professional Studies Diploma! I also auditioned for a couple doctorate programs at SUNY Stony Brook and at Rutgers, but did not receive much financial assistance from either program that enabled me to pursue that degree. I have decided to return to Mannes in order to stay in New York City, a city that a truly love and continue to establish myself as an artist here for the time being. The PSD degree allows for more time to work outside of school with less academic requirements and more credits that are geared towards performance. I think this will be a great segue for me to work out of a home base in a school environment, to continue to hone and refine my skills with my teacher and to establish more connections with my colleagues as we all make our forays out into the "real world." I will be taking plenty of auditions next year for fellowship programs for various ensembles (chamber and orchestra) that can really kickstart and help propel young artists into creating sustainable careers!

I am so lucky to have your continued support as I continue to forge my way in the current musical landscape! I hope I can continue to be a representative of your foundation in a meaningful way and perhaps play some more concerts in the future to benefit the foundation. 

I also have been trying to continue to figure out ways of fundraising for my cello and so far we have accrued about 5,000 dollars towards it, also with your very generous contribution, which I am very thankful for. I wonder if you may have any more ideas about possible donors? Perhaps they could make a tax deductible donation to the foundation as further incentive? The instrument has really been such an inspiring part of my development, that, without it, I don't think I would have been able to realize many of the ideals and ideas of sound that I discuss with my teacher, and how to shape and share my voice, through the instrument it in a meaningful way. I really want to actively find a way to be able to play this instrument for longer, to put a down payment on it, so I don't have to return it back to my loaner and be without an instrument that I have really grown to love. 

Thank you so much for everything that you do for me again, without your support, nothing I have been able to experience through my education would be possible. I hope to see you soon, maybe even at my recital, but I know it is a last minute invitation and a trek down to the city. If not, definitely in the summer, I would love to come visit and play for you! I am going to be in Switzerland for a couple of weeks to start the summer off on a tour and residency, teaching and playing concerts in Lausanne, Benigns, Nyon and Geneva! Then I have some of June and July at home before spending five weeks up at the Caroga Lake Music Festival. I really look forward to hearing from you and seeing you soon!
All the best,


Tuesday, February 24, 2015

May Concert

The Ferris Burtis Music Foundation is pleased to announce that this year's benefit concert will feature Julian Müller, brilliant young 'cellist, and Justina Golden, gifted mezzo-soprano. All proceeds will go to support the work of the Foundation.

The Ferris Burtis Music Foundation
The Berkshire Taconic Foundation


The Sandisfield Arts Center


A Benefit Concert

Sunday, May 24, 2015                                4:00 p.m.

Julian Müller, ‘Cellist

Justina Golden, Mezzo-soprano

Clifford J. Noble, pianist
Anne Chamberlain, pianist

Music by Brahms and Mahler

Justina Golden

For ticket reservations send a check  to 
Herbert Burtis,

53 Rood Hill Road, Sandisfield, MA 01255

made out to ‘Ferris Burtis Foundation’.
Tickets are $20.00 each

Tickets are also available at the Arts Center website:

Please give me your email address with your order.

The Sandisfield Arts Center is located on Hammertown Road, just off Rte. 57 in Sandisfield, MA.

At the moment the Ferris Burtis Music Foundation, a fund of the Berkshire Taconic Foundation, is helping five very talented young musicians with the expense of their education and career.

If you wish to make a more generous tax-exempt gift to the work of the Foundation, here are the categories available. You will get two tickets and your name will be included in the program.

Founder- $1000.00 or more
Angel- $700.00- $999.00
Benefactor-$500.00- $699.00
Sponsor- $300.00- $499.00
Friend- $100.00- $299.00

We appreciate any help you can give. For more information my email address is

Saturday, February 14, 2015

A note from Gabi

 It is messages like this that make the Ferris Burtis Music Foundation worth the work. If you would like to make a tax-free contribution to this work, please mail your check to:

Ferris Burtis Foundation
Berkshire Taconic Foundation 
800 North Main Street
Sheffield, MA 01257

Dear Mr. Burtis,

    Thank you very much for continuing to support me in my education! I’m having a great year at Lawrence- I’ve now declared my majors in organ performance and religious studies. The Brombaugh organ here is absolutely marvelous. It’s a 49 rank tracker organ that’s especially well-suited for early German music, so practicing Bach is just wonderful.
    This year I have the privilege of directing a third through fifth grade children’s choir at a local church, as well as accompanying an adult church choir and the university women’s choir. The combined Lawrence choirs just performed the Bruckner Mass in E minor and we’re beginning work on the Bach St. John Passion for a performance this spring. All of these choral opportunities are phenomenal and I’m learning so much as a singer, accompanist and teacher!
    I’m very excited to begin taking voice lessons this spring with Teresa Seidl. I’ve also taken conducting this year, as well as piano pedagogy. In religious studies, I’m getting my fill of Christianity and Islam now, and look forward to Buddhism courses in the coming years.
    Thank you again for your support- I am incredibly grateful that you and your foundation are making it possible for me to receive this education.

                                            Gabi Makuc 

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Our Year in Music

The Ferris Burtis Foundation is proud of the work being done by the five young musicians it has sponsored this season. All were winners of Foundation grants to help in their studies and careers.

The Foundation welcomes tax-free gifts, which will enrich the work it is doing. Make checks payable to: 
Ferris Burtis Foundation
Berkshire Taconic Foundation
800 North Main Street
Sheffield, MA 01257 
Herbert Burtis and the late John Ferris.

The following are reports received from the five young musicians detailing their activities this past year and how the Ferris Burtis Foundation has aided them in their studies and careers. 

Gabriella Makuc. Over the past year, Gabi's studies of music at Lawrence University have been quite diverse. She has just returned from her choir's performance at the North Central ACDA convention in Des Moines, Iowa. Gabi both sings in and accompanies Cantala Women's Choir. She recently performed the Grieg C minor sonata for violin and piano, and participated in a studio recital of the complete Goldberg Variations. Aside from piano performance, Gabi has interests in music education and sacred music, and is beginning to study organ. She conducted a children's choir performance and taught a classroom music lesson for the first time this past fall. Over the summer, she attended a Dalcroze Eurythmics intensive at the Lucy Moses School in New York. Gabi enjoys bringing music into the community- she currently accompanies a children's church choir and an adult church choir, and has volunteered in teaching music at the local Boys and Girls Club. This spring, she is organizing a regular concert series for a local nursing home. Gabi enjoys the academic side of music at Lawrence. This winter, she helped to organize a music theory symposium for the study of Tchaikovsky's Sixth Symphony. She will continue to pursue studies in music theory, music history, and the connections between religion, myth and music. She sincerely thanks the Ferris Burtis Foundation for supporting her studies. Without the financial aid of the fund, this rich Lawrence experience that combines liberal arts and music would not be possible for her.

         21 year-old cellist, Julian Müller started playing the cello at age five. He is currently studying at the Cleveland Institute of Music with Sharon Robinson. Past teachers include Ronald Feldman, with additional studies received from Georg Faust.

In 2014 Müller collaborated with artists from the Cleveland Orchestra, Carolyn Warner, Stephen Rose and Robert Vernon and the Cleveland Quartet's Peter Salaff in the 10th annual Carolyn Warner and Friends concert.

In both 2013 and 2012 Müller was a member of the New York String Orchestra Seminar (NYSOS) performing in Carnegie Hall. 2013 was the 45th Anniversary of the Seminar and it was the 20th anniversary of director Jaime Laredo leading the orchestra, making it a special year with NYSOS alumni (who hold distinguished positions in major orchestras around the world) performing alongside the student artists. Soloists this year included, Leon Fleisher, Bella Hristova, and the Johannes Quartet, and in 2012 Jonathan Biss, Anthony McGill and Cicely Parnas.

Müller has performed in masterclasses for Alisa Weilersten, Hans Jørgen Jensen, the Pacifica and Attacca String Quartets. Chamber music coaches include Pamela Frank, Sylvia Rosenberg, Lucy Chapman and members from the Cleveland, Juilliard, Tokyo, Borromeo and Cavani String Quartets.

This past fall Müller became an assistant artistic mentor at the Chamber Music Connection in Worthington, OH, a program dedicated to the study of chamber music for ages 5-18, where students can discover their musical potential and flourish through studying and performing with peers and nationally acclaimed artists. Müller plans to continue teaching, coaching and collaborating with the program for many years to come.

In 2011 Müller won first prize at the Uel Wade Music Competition. He has also been awarded three grants from the Ferris Burtis Foundation, and the Henriette Reiss Award. In 2010 Müller won first prize at the Stefan Concerto Competition and second prize at the Uel Wade Music Competition.

Müller completed three years in the ASCAP award winning Empire State Youth Orchestra as assistant principal and principal cellist, playing in the Mozarteum, Rudolfinum, Carnegie Hall, the Fisher Center at Bard, the Palace Theater, Proctors Theater, Ozawa Hall at Tanglewood, and Troy Savings Bank Music Hall.

Müller was a member of the Berkshire Symphony from 2008-2011. Soloists with the Berkshire Symphony have included: Peter Serkin, Miriam Fried, Adam Neiman, Mihail Jojatu and Haldan Martinson.
Last summer Müller attended the Young Artist Program at Yellow Barn and the Caroga Lake Music Festival. In the summer of 2012 Müller was a young artist at the Manchester Music Festival. In past summers Müller has attended Meadowmount Music School, studying with Melissa Kraut and Hans Jørgen Jensen, and the Kinhaven Music School.

Yvgeny Kutik 2013_6643fin

Hailed for his dazzling command of the violin and its repertoire, as well as a communicative immediacy
that harkens back to the legendary Romantic 
masters, Russian-American violinist  
Yevgeny Kutik has become a highly sought-after artist on the concert stage worldwide.

In his German debut with the WDR Rundfunk Orchestra, Yevgeny “enraptured the crowd” (Der Westen) with his performance. Of his New York City orchestral debut with the Riverside Symphony, The New York Times said his violin projected “an old-fashioned rhapsodic style, which was magnified 
by (his) rich, sweet tone.” Yevgeny’s other recent performances have included highly successful appearances with the Tokyo Vivaldi Ensemble in Japan, the world-premiere performance of the concerto Versus by Ron Ford with the Tanglewood Music Center Orchestra, which received praise from both The New York Times and The Boston Globe
and a return appearance with the Boston Pops and Keith Lockhart. As a recitalist, he has been 
presented by the Phillips Collection in Washington D.C., National Arts Club in New York City, Dame 
Myra Hess Series in Chicago and in Europe at the esteemed Ludwigsburger Schlossfestspiele 
(Germany) and Verbier (Switzerland) festivals.

In his 2011-2012 season, Yevgeny Kutik was 
featured in debuts with The Riverside Symphony at Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall, Washington DC’s Embassy Series, Germany’s Norddeutsche Philharmonie Rostock, The East Texas Symphony Orchestra, and a residency at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, performing recital and orchestra programs, as well as conducting a masterclass. 

He made his Prague debut at the Lobkowicz Palace 
at the invitation of Prince William Lobkowicz. Mr. Burtis and the Ferris Burtis Foundation made this concert possible because of their personal 
relationship with Prince William (13th Prince Lobkowicz).

Yevgeny continues his close association with the Jewish Federations of North America Speaker’s Bureau, annually performing throughout the United States to raise awareness and promote the 
assistance of refugees from around the world, a 
cause to which he is particularly dedicated.

Yevgeny first made his debut with the Boston Pops and Maestro Keith Lockhart in 2003 playing the Sibelius Concerto as the 1st prize recipient of the Boston Symphony Orchestra Young Artists Competition. He has also been awarded a 2006 
Salon de Virtuosi Grant as well as the 2006 Tanglewood Music Center Jules Reiner Violin Prize. 

A native of Minsk, Belarus, Yevgeny Kutik 
immigrated to the United States at age five. Shortly thereafter, he began violin lessons with his mother, Alla Zernitskaya, and continued with the late Zinaida Gilels. Other principal teachers have included Shirley Givens, Roman Totenberg and Donald Weilerstein. 
Mr. Kutik holds a bachelor’s degree (cum laude
from Boston University and a master’s degree from the New England Conservatory in Boston where he makes his home.
Katie Weiser

Connecticut Magazine calls soprano, Katie Weiser, “Golden Voiced.”  Originally from Litchfield, CT, Miss Weiser is currently pursuing her Masters degree in vocal performance at the Setnor School of Music at Syracuse University where she studies with voice teacher, Janet Brown, and voice coach, Fred Karpoff.  She received her B.A. in music from Smith College 
and was the first vocalist at Smith to be awarded the Concentration in Performance.

Miss Weiser began her classical music education at the age of seven when she joined the semi-professional children’s choir, Chorus Angelicus, and toured internationally under the direction of Paul Halley. She has also appeared in the main stage productions at TriArts Sharon Playhouse since 2000 and has won “the best featured actress in a musical” award from Seven Angels Theatre for her performances as Kim in Litchfield High School’s Bye Bye Birdie and Miss Sherman in Fame. In March of 2009, she was awarded the Burton O. Cowgill award from the New England Music Festival, which is given to the musician who has been a member of the festival for all four years and who has received the highest score in the Solo and Ensemble Festival adjudications.  In her junior and senior year of high school, she won first place in the NATS advanced high school division competitions. 

During her career at Smith College, she studied voice privately with Herbert Burtis, was a member of the Glee Club, Chamber Singers, won the Smith College Concerto Competition as a sophomore, attended the Bel Canto Institute in Florence, Italy, performed as Suor Genovieffa in Puccini’s Suor Angelica, and appeared as a guest soloist with the New York City Ballet.  She was also one of six students selected to represent Smith College in the documentary, “Women of Promise.”

Since coming to Syracuse, Miss Weiser has been a guest soloist with Central New York’s Premier Wind Ensemble (“Central Winds”), she attended OperaWorks’ Winter Intensive Opera Program in Los Angeles, she won the University’s Aria and Concerto Competition, and she has also been an active member of the Syracuse Oratorio Society and Baroque Ensemble. 

Upcoming major performances for Miss Weiser this spring include the role of Lucy in Menotti’s opera, The Telephone, a performance at Lincoln Center with Chorus Angelicus under the direction of Eric Whitacre, a solo graduate recital, and the Aria and Concerto Competition performance.  This summer, she will appear as Cosette in Les Misérables at TriArts Sharon Playhouse before she pursues further operatic study with soprano, Dorit Hanak, at AIMS in Graz, Austria.

Miss Weiser would like to thank the Ferris-Burtis Foundation for their continued support, which has made it possible for her to pursue a career in voice.

Fritz Herrmann is a freshman at Baldwin Wallace University in Berea, Ohio where he is studying organ performance with Nicole Keller.  He has studied 

piano for nine years, alto saxophone for eight years, and organ for four years. Fritz  is all about music, 

and plans to be a musician. He has been a substitute organist at several local churches, and has played as keyboard entertainer at a local restaurant, at art openings, and at the farmers market.The Ferris Burtis Foundation has helped him with his college tuition.