A native of Chicago, violinist Aimee Kreston spent her formative years studying with with renowned pedagogue Almita Vamos. She is a graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music where she studied with Jascha Brodsky, Yumi Ninomiya, and Felix Galamir. She continued her studies with the legendary concertmaster Michel Schwalbe. In 1989 Ms. Kreston became the youngest member of the Minnesota Orchestra and a year later won the post of Principal Second Violin in that ensemble. From 1993 to 1997 she served as Concertmaster of L’Orchestre de Paris, the only American in that ensemble. She has been privileged to work with some of the worlds greatest conductors such as Leonard Bernstein, Sergio Celibidache, Carlo Maria Giullini, Gorge Solti, and Pierre Boulez.
After moving to Los Angeles in 1998, Ms. Kreston joined the Los Angeles Mozart Orchestra as concertmaster, and in June of 2000, she was engaged as Concertmaster of the Pasadena Symphony. Ms. Kreston enjoys a lively and demanding schedule in the motion picture industry. She has performed on the sound tracks of over a hundred movies including “Finding Nemo,” “Up” and the soon to be released “Jungle Book.” Ms. Kreston has been heard in live broadcasts on NPR, toured Alaska with the Vista Trio, and has performed as soloist at the Carmel Bach Festival. Ms. Kreston has performed in nearly every European country, having appeared as soloist at Amsterdam's Concertgebow and as chamber musician at the Chatelet Chamber music series in Paris, the Reims music festival, and at the Queluz Chateau festival in Portugal. Ms. Kreston was a prizewinner of the Tibor Varga International violin competition in Sion, Switzerland in 1989 and at the WAMSO Young artist’s competition in Minneapolis in 1988.
A committed teacher, Ms. Kreston has been a prime mover of Project Harmony, a program designed to bring high quality, low-cost musical training to disadvantaged children in Los Angeles. In 2002, she traveled to Cambodia where she conducted teacher training at the Phnom Penh conservatory. She is also on the faculty of the Henry Mancini Institute at UCLA and at the Colburn School in downtown Los Angeles. Ms. Kreston's graduating seniors have been invited to attend Indiana University, San Francisco Conservatory, Hartt School of Music and the USC Thornton School of Music, among others. Ms. Kreston is married to Pasadena Symphony Principal Violist Andrew Picken.
Seattle native Elizabeth Hedman received her Bachelors and Masters degrees from the Cleveland Institute of Music, studying violin with Donald Weilerstein. An active orchestral, chamber, and recording musician, Hedman is the Associate Concertmaster of The Santa Barbara Symphony, Concertmaster of the Eastern Sierra Symphony, a member of Central4, and has performed on recordings for film, television and records. Also, Elizabeth is a recording artist for Buysoundtrax records; her discography can be found on iTunes, Amazon, and other retail music outlets
Andrew Picken teaches violin and viola from his private studio in Los Angeles as well as at Pepperdine University and the Colburn School. He is the Principal Violist of the Pasadena Symphony, and has served as Associate Principal Viola of the Los Angeles Opera Orchestra since 2004. He has also served as Principal Violist of the Long Beach Symphony, Glendale Symphony and Los Angeles Baroque Orchestra. He is Principal Violist of the Los Angeles Master Choral Orchestra and has been a member of many Southern California ensembles including the Los Angeles Mozart Orchestra, the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra, the Santa Barbara Symphony, and Pacific Symphony Orchestra. He is a regular performer in the Chamber Music Unbound festival in Mammoth Lakes, Ca. and has also lent his talents to the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, Oregon Bach Festival and the Nevada Chamber Music Festival, among others. A dedicated pedagogue, Andrew has helped many students to realize their goals on the viola. His students have matriculated into many of the top music schools in the country including Juliard, Oberlin, New England Conservatory, Boston University, Colburn Conservatory, and USC. A member of the Pasadena String Quartet, he has performed with the Music Guild concert series in Belair as well as at venues throughout Southern California. He has appeared as a guest artist with the Henschel String Quartet, the Lafayette String Quartet, the Felici Piano trio, and has recorded with the Coup d’Archer String quartet on the Crystal Records Label. He has performed in chamber music series with members of the Artemis String Quartet, Robert Vernon, and Lynn Harrell, among others. As a conductor, he has lead the orchestra at the Rocky Ridge Music Festival in Estes Park, Colorado. He is married to Pasadena Symphony Concertmaster Aimee Kreston.