Trio 360 ° are emerging Canadian artists with a passion for innovative artistry. Violinist Bijan Sepanji first performed with hornist Ashley Cumming in Italy, and they partnered with pianist Nina Zhou while completing their graduate studies at Indiana University. Lauded for their artistry and diversity, the trio is in demand for solo and chamber engagements worldwide. With a passion for education, they are also heavily involved in the school community, providing lessons, masterclasses and seminars on music and the 360° performer: teaching young musicians about branding, marketing, stage presence, performance techniques, programming and multi-sensory performance experiences. The trio will be seen in upcoming months across Canada and the United States.
Ashley Cumming is an in-demand hornist hailing from Cambridge, Ontario. She is featured as a soloist, orchestral and chamber musician worldwide, including principal horn with the Aradia Ensemble in Sulmona, Italy, and section horn with the UANL Symphony Orchestra in Monterrey, Mexico, Columbus Indiana Philharmonic, Richmond Indiana Symphony Orchestra, and Orchestre de la Francophonie in Montreal, Quebec. She was a featured soloist at the International Women’s Brass Conference in Michigan, MidWest Workshop in Wisconsin, and at Wilfrid Laurier University in Ontario. Ashley was also a concerto soloist with the Sooke Philharmonic in British Columbia and the Kitchener Waterloo Symphony Youth Orchestra in Ontario. She has performed in prestigious programs such as the Banff Centre Summer Masterclasses, and International Sommerakademie in Austria. Ashley is ABD at Indiana University for her Doctorate of Music where she studied with Jeff Nelsen, Richard Seraphinoff, and Dale Clevenger.
Violinist Bijan Sepanji is a multi-faceted performer with a career just as diverse as his background. Hailing from Tehran – Iran, Bijan has performed under the baton of conductors such as Peter Oundjian, Zubin Mehta, Yoav Talmi and Johanes Debus. He recently performed in chamber recital with Canadian clarinetist James Campbell and he has been invited to perform with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra for the 2012 – 2013 season. In addition, Bijan has worked closely with well-established artists such as Mark Fewer, Ian Swensen, Leon Fleisher, Mayumi Seiler, Erika Raum and Miriam Fried. His performances include numerous violin and chamber music recitals throughout North America and the middle-east including Turkey and Iran. Bijan’s interest in contemporary repertoire has led him to premier works by some of the most successful up-and-coming composers including Kevin Lau’s Second String Quartet and Melody Eötvös’s The King in Yellow. Bijan is also a dedicated teacher and pedagogue, having recently taken part in the Fairview Project at Indiana University which provides highly structured violin lessons to some of the most underserved communities in Bloomington, IN.
A prizewinner at the 2010 Shean Competition, the twenty-six year old Winnipeg pianist Nina Zhou has extensive experience working in both solo and collaborative settings. Her most recent engagement brought her to Miami to collaborate with the New World Symphony in a two-week John Cage Centennial Celebration under Michael Tilson Thomas. Other performances, awards, and scholarships have led her to perform Prokofiev’s Concerto No.1 under the baton of Bridget-Michaele Reischl (as winner of the Oberlin Concerto Competition), record with CBC radio 2 for their Sunday Afternoon in Concert Program, and receive grants such as the Canada Council for the Arts Professional Classical Musician Grant and the Indiana University Travel Grant Scholarship. Summer festivals include the Aspen Music Festival, Banff Keyboard Festival, and Orford Arts Academy, which gave her the opportunity to work with prominent musicians such as Marc Durand, Joseph Kalichstein, Julian Martin, Jon Kimura Parker, John Perry, and Nelita True. Nina received her Bachelor of Music from Oberlin Conservatory with Canadian pianist Angela Cheng, and is currently completing her doctorate studies at Indiana University, where she received her Master’s degree as well, under the mentorship of Brazilian pianist Arnaldo Cohen. In her spare time, Nina enjoys reading and baking, and loves to discuss new and exciting ways to raise community awareness for the arts.