Meet the 2021 Artist Launch Fellows

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Antek Olesik

Antek Olesik (Katowice, Poland) started his musical education and won his first competition at the age of seven. He has since won 21 prizes on a national and international level, including the First Prize of International Marimba Festiva Competition 2014 and 2018 (Bamberg, Germany), International Vibraphone Competition 2015 (Luxembourg), International Competition Young Virtuosos 2015 (Sofia, Bulgaria), and Tomarimbando International Percussion Competition 2017 (Tomar, Portugal).

As a concerto soloist, Antek made his debut playing Ney Rosauro’s Second Marimba Concerto with the Collegium Musicum Aschaffenburg (Germany) at the age of twelve. He has since performed with the National Polish Radio Symphony Orchestra, Silesian Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra, Silesian Chamber Orchestra, and Zabrze Philharmonic Orchestra. In September 2019, along with the Frost Percussion Group and New World Percussion Consort, he premiered Charles Wuorinen’s Second Percussion Symphony. He is a member of the PNEUMA chamber ensemble.

Upon graduating from the State Secondary Music School Karol Szymanowski (Katowice) in 2019, Antek joined the Frost School of Music, pursuing his Bachelor of Music Degree under the guidance of Svet Stoyanov and Joseph Petrasek.

Antek Olesik holds the President’s Scholarship and DiMare Exceptional Music Scholarship at the University of Miami.

Ashley Shalna

Ashley Shalna is an American soprano from Tampa, Florida. Shalna’s recent engagements include the role of Clara in Florida Grand Opera’s production of Signor Deluso as well as Eurydice in Frost Opera Theater’s production of Les malheurs d’Orphée. In the summer of 2021, Shalna will participate in the Patti and Allan Herbert Frost School of Music Program at Salzburg as an award-winning scholar. Shalna has also appeared as La Chauve-Souris (L’enfant et les sortilèges) at the Frost School of Music, where she prepared Suzel (L’amico Fritz) for a performance cancelled due to COVID-19. Previous roles include Gretel (Hansel and Gretel) and Berta (Il barbiere di Siviglia) at the University of Florida, and Papagena (Die Zauberflöte) at the German Vocal Arts Institute’s Summer Program in Seattle, WA. Shalna holds a Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Florida and is currently pursuing a Master of Music degree at the Frost School of Music.

Deco Saxophone Quartet

Based in Miami, Florida, the Deco Saxophone Quartet was born out of a project in collaboration with the Chinese Embassy to produce a concert for the 2020 Lunar Festival in China. Since the concert’s conclusion, they have added these pieces to our performance rotation, championing the traditional music of China. They are equally passionate about music and effective community outreach both at home and abroad, bridging the gap between nations and their music, and promoting the sonic possibilities of the saxophone to those who would otherwise be unaware of the instrument’s capabilities. Both as a group and individually, Deco has performed for and taught community members that range from elementary school to retirement.

The Deco Saxophone Quartet strives for its programming and performance to inspire the listener to actively seek out music from other cultures and from under-represented composers. It is Deco’s mission to spread chamber music education and resources as far and wide as possible, placing an emphasis on helping the next generation of musicians to discover works that would not otherwise have been in their repertoire.

Priscila Navarro

Peruvian pianist Priscila Navarro is the first prize winner of several international competitions, including the Liszt-Garritson International Competition in Baltimore, Maryland; Beethoven Sonata Competition in Tennessee; Chopin International Competition of Texas; Artist Series of Sarasota, Florida; Imola City Awards, Italy; and most recently the Heida Hermanns International Music Competition in Connecticut. She received a special prize for her performance of Bach at the International City of Vigo Competition in Spain, where she was one of five finalists from over 400 participating pianists, with a jury presided by Martha Argerich. Recently, she was selected as one of 14 semifinalists for the Liszt International Competition in Ultrecht, Netherlands. The competition was canceled due to the coronavirus crisis. As a chamber musician, Navarro regularly performs with a wide variety of musicians. Last year, she performed in several cities in Peru with violist Jodi Levitz, viola professor at the Frost School of Music.

Navarro is passionate about the social role of music. This summer she will be presenting a program of lesser-known Latin American composers at the Bravo Piano Festival in Hilton Head, South Carolina. As a pedagogue, her dissertation involved adapting folk Peruvian music as teaching material for beginning pianists.

Navarro is currently a doctoral student in piano performance and pedagogy at the Frost School of Music, where she also completed Masters and Artist Diploma degrees as a student of Santiago Rodriguez, Kevin Kenner, and Dr. Naoko Takao. She graduated Summa Cum Laude from Florida Gulf Coast University where she studied with Dr. Michael Baron. She began her music studies at the age of 9, in the National Conservatory of Peru with Professor Lydia Hung. Navarro has been on the jury at several competitions, most recently the Chopin International Competition for Latin American pianists.