Cynthia Woods – Violin

cynthia woods headshot

Hailed as a conductor with gusto and exuberance (Jim McDonald, the Boston Musical Intelligencer) whose performances have dynamic and immersing outcomes (John Galigour, the Sun Valley News), and recognized for her intelligent and out of the ordinary programming (Vance Koven, Boston Musical Intelligencer), Ms. Woods has become a recognized and respected conductor in the Boston community and beyond.  The Music Director for the Cambridge Symphony Orchestra, Ms. Woods is also a frequent guest conductor, having performed across the U.S., Europe and South America.

Ms. Woods began her conducting career with a literal bang, making her debut with Stravinsky’s iconic masterwork The Rite of Spring and the massive 118-piece Worcester Consortium Orchestra.  Since then she has gone on to a successful career, winning acclaim in all idioms, including opera, choral, chamber, and symphonic orchestra.  She has collaborated with some of today’s great artists, including Joan Tower, Lisa Bielawa, Alexander Korsantia, and most recently, served as the Music Director for Oscar winning director Morgan Neville’s (20 Feet from Stardom) newest documentary.

Along with her conducting activities, Ms. Woods is also a frequent speaker and writer. She has been a guest lecturer at institutions such as MIT and the Longy School of Music of Bard College, a panelist for radio shows such as WGBH’s Callie Crossley, and a frequent contributor to The Boston Herald’s State of the Arts blog.  She was awarded a scholarship to study with the Grammy award winning Takacs String Quartet at the University of Colorado Boulder, received the Dean’s Talent Award while doing her graduate studies at the Hartt School of Music and won a full fellowship to study composition at the prestigious Atlantic Center for the Arts.    In addition to her current roles as Music Director and guest conductor, Ms. Woods also serves on both the violin and conducting faculty of the New England Conservatory’s Department of Preparatory and Continuing Studies.

Mina Lavcheva – Violin

Mina Lavcheva, a native of Sofia, Bulgaria, began her violin studies at the age of 7. She became an active performer at an early age. In 1991, she was selected as participant in “Violino” – a one of a kind quartet consisting solely of violins, with which she performed at numerous festivals and recitals throughout Bulgaria and went on a concert tour in Sweden in 1993. In 1997 she entered the National School of Music in Sofia, where she studied with Professor Evelina Arabadjieva. Mina continued to perform as a soloist, as well as a part of a violin/piano duo. Further studies continued with James Alexander (Professional-In-Residence) at Louisiana State University School of Music, where Mina received her Bachelor’s Degree in Violin Performance in 2006. During that time she performed regularly as a member of the Baton Rouge Symphony, Acadiana Symphony Orchestra and was a sought-after chamber musician. In 2008, Mina graduated from the Boston University College of Fine Arts where she completed her Masters of Music in the studio of Professor Yuri Mazurkevich.

Currently, Mina Lavcheva can be heard performing as a principal violinist of the Portland Symphony Orchestra and member of Rhode Island Philharmonic and Simon Sinfonietta. She frequently performs at the Boston Modern Orchestra Project, Rhode Island Civic Chorale Orchestra, Handel and Haydn Society and is a frequently engaged artist by numerous other chamber and orchestral ensembles in the New England area.


Raluca Dumitrache – Violin

Raluca_headshotBoston based violinist, Raluca Dumitrache enjoys a rich musical life as a recitalist, chamber musician and a teacher.

 In her native Romania she has been featured as a soloist with the Jennesse Musicales Orchestra at the Parliament Hall in Bucharest, the National Operetta Orchestra, the Lyceum String Orchestra and broadcasted live on the Romanian National Radio  Her orchestral experience includes concerts in Switzerland, Denmark, Sweden, Italy, Romania, France, Oman, Nederlands, Mexico, and the United States. She has performed in venues such as the Tonhalle Zurich Concert Hall, and the Royal Opera House.

Ms Dumitrache has participated in international music festivals such as the Geminiani Music Festival (Italy), Round Top Music Festival (TX), Chautauqua MusicInstitute (NY), Heber Springs Festival (AK), Belfort Music Festival (France), Palofoxiano Music Festival (Mexico), Castleton Music Festival ( US) and Early Music Festival (Netherlands).  In 2010 she toured the United States in the all star chamber orchestra assembled for the  “75 Anniversary of  Porgy and Bess”.   From 2010 to 2012 Ms Dumitrache performed under the baton of Maestro Maazel in the United States, Canada, and Oman.

Ms. Dumitrache principal teachers include Irina Muresanu, James Alexander and Daniel Podlovsky and has performed in master classes for Yfrah Neaman, Jorja Fleezanis and Jacques Israelievitch.

She maintains a very active concert career throughout New England and she is currently a member of the Cape Symphony and New Bedford Symphony and performs regularly with Portland Symphony (ME), Symphony Pro Arte Chamber Orchestra, New Hampshire Symphony and Rhode Island Symphony.

Ms Dumitrache enjoys teaching violin and as a teacher, she strives to be an example to her students and inspire them to achieve their best. She has teaching experience for over 10 years in her private studio and in conservatories in the Boston area.

Kyle Olmstead – Bass

Kyle Olmstead is an active bassist, educator, and audio engineer. He teaches more than a dozen private bass students each week, and performs in groups that include the Cape Ann Symphony and the Gordon Symphony Orchestra. As an audio engineer, Kyle works as a sound designer and production sound engineer for theaters throughout New England.

As an educator, Kyle has 9 years of private teaching experience, and has held the position of double bass instructor for the Wellesley Public School system. He has studied under bass pedagogues Nicholas Walker, Bruce Gertz, and Steve Skop. While actively seeking to develop his curriculum, Kyle has observed and played in master classes by world-renowned bass educators such as Hal Robinson, Paul Ellison, and Francois Rabbath,and lectured at the New York State School of Music Association conference on the unique challenges of beginning double bass repertoire.

While performing, Kyle has given solo recitals, played in orchestral, jazz, and rock ensembles, and played for musicals. He has performed orchestral works by Beethoven, Brahms, Debussy, Dvorak, Mahler, Penderecki, Sibelius, and Tchaikovsky under directors that include Yoichi Udagawa, Bruce Hangen, Ronald Knudsen, Max Hobart, and Jeffery Meyer. He has performed in Boston’s Symphony Hall, Avery Fisher Hall at Lincoln Center,Jordan Hall, The Berklee Performance Center, The Barnstormers Theatre, and the Casey Theatre at Regis College. Lastly, he has performed musicals that include You’re A Good Man Charlie Brown, I Love You Because, Curtains, The Wiz, Ernest in Love, Cabaret, Hello Dolly, Into the Woods, and How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying.

Kyle received a Bachelor of Music from the Ithaca College School of Music. Graduating with honors, his degree required excellence as both a double bassist and audio engineer. Kyle recorded approximately 200 concerts, completed numerous large recording projects, and performed in more than 40 concerts during his time at Ithaca College. Learning from some of the best music educators in the country allowed Kyle to further develop his teaching. He also earned a minor in Marketing from the Ithaca College School of Business.

Seth MacLeod – Cello /Violin

Seth MacLeod earned a BM in cello performance from Boston University, where he studied with Michael Reynolds and George Neikrug. Mr. Neikrug dedicated a cadenza he composed for the Dvorak Cello Concerto to Seth MacLeod.
Seth has performed as a soloist with the Metrowest Symphony Orchestra and will be performing as a soloist with the Wellesley Symphony Orchestra on May 1, 2016. In addition to being the principal cellist of the Wellesley Symphony Orchestra and a member of the Boston Civic Symphony, he also is a member of the Prospero Trio and performs with other chamber groups. He founded the Athena Orchestra which gave its first performance July 26, 2015.
In addition to cello, Seth teaches violin, viola, and bass. He has been studying with George Neikrug, a world renowned string pedagogue, for 9 years. Neikrug teaches a method created by Demetrius Dounis that unifies the technique for string instruments.
Seth currently teaches at 77 Arts Academy in Acton, Lincoln Public Schools, St. Mark’s School in Southborough, and maintains an active private studio. He has also taught as a coach at the New England Conservatory’s Festival Youth Orchestra and the Common Time Music Studio Summer Workshop in Lexington.