Cellist Troy Chang, a native of Concord, Massachusetts, is in demand in a wide array of musical settings, whether that be symphonic, operatic, chamber, or solo music. He joined the Sarasota Opera Orchestra in 2013, the Sarasota Orchestra in 2017, and since 2015, is Principal Cello of the Southwest Florida Symphony Orchestra. He was on the cello and theory faculty at the Luzerne Music Center in Lake Luzerne, New York, where he also curated the Faculty Chamber Music Series. He currently spends his summers with the Artosphere Festival Orchestra in Fayetteville, Arkansas and as Principal Cello with the Charlottesville Opera Orchestra in Charlottesville, Virginia. On faculty at Florida Southern College, he resides in Tampa and performs regularly with The Florida Orchestra. He holds a Master of Music in Cello Performance from the Manhattan School of Music and a Bachelor of Arts from Brown University. His principal teachers include Fred Sherry, David Geber, Carol Ou, and Joan Esch. Mr. Chang plays a cello ascribed to Paolo Testore from 1763 and his bow is a Hippolyte Lamy from 1920.
Born in the city of Merida, Mexico, Karim Ayala is an active chamber and orchestra
musician in the Tampa Bay area. Karim was a member of the Yucatan Symphony
Orchestra at the age of 16, being the youngest member ever to join the professional
ensemble. He also was a member and rotating concert master with the National Youth
Orchestra of Mexico, has performed with the Jalisco Philharmonic Orchestra and has also
performed the Scheherazade soli with the Round Top Festival Orchestra in 2016. As a
soloist, Karim has performed several times with the Yucatan Youth Orchestra, the Yucatan
Superior Arts University Orchestra, and the Yucatan Symphony Orchestra. As part of his
musical education, Karim has studied with several internationally acclaimed artists such as
the violinist Julia Bushkova, Christopher Collins Lee, Dr. Felix Olschofka and Professor
Katrin Ten Hagen at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy in
Leipzig, Germany. Karim holds a performance degree from the University of North Texas
and currently is pursuing a Master’s degree in violin performance at the University of South
Florida under the instruction of Dr. Carolyn Stuart.