top of page

Artist Biographies

Festival Artists

Maria Newman           -                             Composer | Violin

1.jpg

Praised by American Record Guide as, "Energetic and exciting...", American composer Maria Newman has been commended and recognized by the U.S. Congress for her work in the field of original music composition, live performance, and recording. Her compositions have been performed and screened in such elite venues as Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center, the U.S. Capitol Building on Capitol Hill, the National Archives in Washington D.C., Hearst Castle Private Theater, the President’s Own Marine Band Barracks, Nokia’s NOVO Theatre, Heidelberg Castle, Brevard Center for the Arts, the Music Scoring Stages of 20th Century Fox, MGM, Paramount, Sony, Universal, and Warner Bros., among many others. Newman has been featured in spotlight one-on-one interviews paired with live concert performances on CBS Sunday Morning, and National Public Radio's From the Top with Christopher O'Riley. Additionally, her silent film scores are featured regularly on Turner Classics. Named a George Wellington Miles Scholar of Yale University, Newman is an elected member of the American Academic Music Honor Society, Pi Kappa Lambda.

Maria Newman's original library of compositions have earned her accolades as an Annenberg Foundation Composition Fellow, a Mary Pickford Library Composition Fellow, and as a Variety Music Legend. Her music is featured frequently on radio and television around the globe, and live-in-concert at numerous music festivals, chamber music series, and film festivals.

Maria Newman is Composer-in-Residence with the Malibu Coast Chamber Orchestra, SPaCE Salon Concerts Los Angeles, and the Malibu Coast Silent Film Orchestra. Fanfare Magazine has lauded Newman’s compositions, hailing, “This is real genius.”  She has been celebrated by NPR’s on-air icon of musical opinion, Jim Svejda, (Author and Host of The Record Shelf Guide to the Classical Repertoire) as, “Hugely musical, bewitching, witty, profound and playful, with an instantly recognizable and unusually appealing musical personality, Maria Newman is one of the most charming and distinctive composers of her generation.” 

In the international spotlight, Maria Newman is the acclaimed viola soloist in Miklos Rozsa’s Viola Concerto with the Nuremburg Symphony (Germany) on the GRAMMY Award-winning Symphonic Hollywood CD (Varese Sarabande label). She also appeared as the physical animation inspiration and violin soloist for the character of “The Grasshopper” in the 1996 Walt Disney release of Tim Burton’s, James and the Giant Peach.

Maria Newman is the youngest of 9-time Academy Award-winning composer Alfred Newman's seven children. She is also the sister of lauded film composers/conductors Thomas Newman and David Newman, and the cousin of the amazing Randy Newman. Maria Newman’s recording studio is based in Malibu, California, where she resides with her family in a California craftsman home designed by the brilliant architect, Eric Lloyd Wright. Newman is married to American conductor, Scott Hosfeld.

Nina Evtuhov           -                                                 Violin

Screen Shot 2023-04-21 at 4.11.10 PM.png

Nina Evtuhov is a Yale-trained classical violinist and founder of the Fiddler on the Lawn concert series in Pacific Palisades, CA. Nina has performed as a soloist and chamber musician in some of the greatest venues around the world, as well as on countless film and television scores. 

Scott Hosfeld      -                                        Music Director | Viola

IMG_8365.jpg

Critically Acclaimed Conductor & Music Director of the award-winning Malibu Coast Chamber Orchestra (MCCO), Malibu Concert on the Bluffs Orchestra, and the Malibu Coast Silent Film Orchestra; Scott Hosfeld is a favorite among his professional colleagues and students. He serves as Director of Orchestras and Ensembles for the Idyllwild Arts Foundation and Academy. Hosfeld has been principal conductor of the Icicle Creek Chamber Orchestra, the Kairos Festival Orchestra, the Dorian Festival Orchestras, the Shenandoah Valley Bach Festival Orchestra, the Icicle Symphony Orchestra, the Central Washington University Chamber Orchestra, and the Eastern Sierra Symphony Chamber Orchestra. Mr. Hosfeld has led concerti for premiere international concert soloists Nathaniel Rosen, Camilla Wicks, Andrew Shulman, Paul Coletti, Delores Stevens, Steven Doane, Darol Anger, David Perry, Peter Longworth, Hal Ott, Eric Kutz, Miko Kominami, Denise Dillenbeck, Spencer Martin, John Michel, Carrie Rehkopf and Mike Marshall, among many others.     

As a Conducting Fellow of the esteemed conductor of the New York City Ballet, George Manahan; and a viola and chamber music protege of the late great concert artist, composer and pedagogue, Lillian Fuchs, Mr. Hosfeld earned his BM and MM from New York City's Manhattan School of Music with the Highest Honors. Grand Prize Winner of Young Artists International, Hosfeld made his Carnegie Recital Hall Debut in 1980 as violist and founder of the Riverside String Quartet, and won several coveted Aspen Music Festival Fellowships. With the Val Coeur String Quartet, Mr. Hosfeld has toured Soviet Russia,  Europe, Mexico, and Central and South America.

As an entrepreneur, Mr. Hosfeld served as the founding executive and artistic director of the Icicle Creek Music Center (ICMC) in Leavenworth, Washington. Hosfeld’s vision enabled ICMC to grow from an international annual summer festival into a year round Chamber Music and Arts Center, complete with 15 buildings dedicated to serious classical arts teaching and performance (including a concert hall) on a 9-acre campus. Hosfeld’s decade-long tenure at ICMC made possible that organization’s still flourishing curriculum of intense chamber music and orchestral programs for elite professional and highly qualified student musicians in a unique alpine setting.   
                       
In great demand as an educator, Mr. Hosfeld has served as Faculty/Artist-in-Residence for the University of Arizona, Eastern Mennonite University, James Madison University, Louisiana State University, Central Washington University, Omaha Conservatory of Music at the University of Nebraska and Creighton University, and California State University at Long Beach, and continues to direct his popular conducting and chamber music clinics across the continent. Also dedicated to the education of highly qualified pre-college musicians in inspirational environs, Scott Hosfeld founded two exceptionally successful and now long-standing youth orchestras in the 1980’s and early 1990's, one in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia (Shenandoah Valley Youth Symphony), and the other in Washington's Cascade Mountains (Icicle Youth Symphony). Hosfeld is founder and conductor of the Malibu Coast Youth Symphony, established in 2009.

Mr. Hosfeld has served as Music Director and Supervisor on such important historical film restorations as the vintage silent classics, "Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm" (1917) directed by Marshall Neilan and starring Mary Pickford; and "Quality Street" (1927) directed by Sydney Franklin and starring Marion Davies and Conrad Nagel. As Music Supervisor, Hosfeld is currently in production on the independent film, "Heaven's Rain," depicting the true life story of Senator Brooks Douglass. Elected in 1990 at age 27, Douglass was the youngest State Senator to ever serve in Oklahoma. Spurred by the brutal murder of his parents when he was only 16, his very significant and ground-breaking legislation while in office, was a bill ratified in 1992 championing the rights of crime victims.

Commended by the United States Congress, the California State Senate, the California State Assembly, and twice from his home City of Malibu for his work as a major visionary for the non-profit Malibu Friends of Music, Mr. Hosfeld currently holds the Alfred Newman Conducting Chair, and the Camilla Wicks Violin Chair at the Montgomery Arts House for Music and Architecture (MAHMA) in Malibu, California. Hosfeld is the recipient of a 2010 Malibu Music Award as "Classical Artist of the Year."

Paula Hochhalter                -                                Cello

655A4518.jpg

PAULA HOCCHALTER, CELLO, received a Bachelor's Degree in Music Performance from USC. There, she studied with Gabor Rejto and coached with Aaron Copland. She studied further at Yale Summer Quartet Program with the Tokyo String Quartet and Raphael Hillyer. Her quartet performed on the east coast and in Europe at the Munich Chamber Music Festival. 

She has worked with major recording artists over the past 35 years, including Andrea Bocelli, Barbara Streisand, Paul McCartney, Michael Jackson, and James Taylor. Hochhalter is in high demand as a studio musician for film scores, requested by John Williams, Danny Elfman, Marco Beltrami, Mark Isham, Jerry Goldsmith, James Newton Howard, Henry Jackman, Benjamin Wallfish, David and Thomas Newman, Randy Kerber and Hans Zimmer, with whom she also toured in 2017 and performed at Coachella along with other venues.

She has been a member of the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra and has performed with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, The Hollywood Bowl Orchestra, The New West Symphony, and the Santa Barbara Symphony, and is now a member of the Malibu Coast String Quartet, with whom she has recorded extensively on original works by composer Maria Newman. She has been a performer at various festivals around the country, including the Mozart Festival in San Luis Obispo and the Strawberry Creek Festival in Malibu as well as the Music Academy in Santa Barbara.

She has also been a staple for many jazz musicians including Chick Corea and Don Ellis and in addition she was the featured performer on Nan Schwartz’s Grammy-nominated album and the song “Aun Tengo Ganas de Ti” sung by Javier Almaraz. Hochhalter believes that musical collaborations like these can span several genres and provide a new ‘take on things’ that is fresh and exciting. 

Wendy Prober                      -                              Piano

Screen Shot 2023-04-13 at 3.36.35 PM.png

WENDY PROBER, PIANO has performed throughout the U.S. and Israel as a critically acclaimed chamber musician and soloist. The founding pianist of the award-winning Viklarbo Chamber Ensemble and presenter of the popular Los Angeles based, SPaCE Salon, she has taught at Loyola Marymount University, the University of Judaism, and the Omaha Conservatory of Music Institute. A former Executive Director of the Los Angeles Jewish Symphony (LAJS), she is on the Board of Directors and recently received a commendation from the City of Los Angeles for her work as an LAJS Teaching Artist. Ms. Prober has been a featured soloist with Robert Kapilow’s wildly celebrated, “What Makes it Great” series and locally has been soloist with many orchestras including Los Angeles Jewish Symphony, Malibu Coast Chamber Orchestra, Palisades Symphony, Chamber Orchestra of St. Matthew's, Occidental-Caltech Chamber Orchestra, the Brentwood Westwood Symphony Orchestra and Riverside County Philharmonic. She has played with Israeli Master Percussionist Chen Zimbalista;  L.A. Chamber Orchestra Principal Cellist Andrew Shulman;  cellist Michael Fitzpatrick;  cellist Emilio Colón at Indiana University, Los Angeles Philharmonic members violinist Mark Kashper and cellist Barry Gold; on Andrea Clearfield's Philadephia Szalon; and has performed at the Consulate General of the Czech Republic in Los Angeles. She has performed TV/film composer Charles Fox’s Victory at Entebbe concerto, including at the Rubin Academy in Tel Aviv and with the LAJS at the historic Orpheum Theatre in downtown L.A. where Fox wrote, “Wendy’s playing was as beautiful, spirited and rich in feeling as I could imagine.” 

 

Highly sought after as an expert in new music, Prober is a close collaborator with composer Maria Newman, for whom she has premiered and recorded dozens of the composer’s works including the 2015 premiere of her piano concerto, Emma McChesney. Of her recording of Newman’s Maskil Piano Sonata, American Record Guide writes, “I can’t imagine a more committed or convincing performance.” Recent composer residencies with Newman include Indiana University, Central Washington University, and the Eastman School of Music.  In 2018, Prober appeared on CBS Sunday Morning with composer/violinist Newman in a feature on the Newman family musical dynasty.

 

As founding pianist and Managing Director of Viklarbo Chamber Ensemble, Ms. Prober wrote and received multiple grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the California Arts Council, Utah Performing Arts Tour and the Los Angeles Cultural Affairs Department. Bringing vitality and diversity to the concert stage, they have nationwide performances include: The Cerritos Center • The Bruman Chamber Music Series of the UCLA Center for the Performing Arts • Dame Myra Hess Concert Series •California Plaza Grand Performances • Syracuse University • La Jolla Athenaeum Arts and Music Library • Caltech • Museum of Neon Art • Laguna Beach Chamber Music Society • Newport Harbor Art Museum • Los Angeles County Museum of Art • Pittsburg State University • Dallas Museum of Art • Twentieth Century Unlimited • Brigham Young University • Maurice Abravenel Hall • University of Utah • Chamber Music Society of Logan • Southern Utah University • KiMo Theatre • Kerr Cultural Center • Verde Valley Concert Association • Willamette University • Headwaters Council for the Performing Arts • Memphis State University New Music Festival • University of Hawaii • Honolulu Academy of Arts. 

 

Ms. Prober received her Bachelor of Music degree from Northwestern University where she studied with Robert Weirich, graduating with honors and elected lifetime member of the National Music Honors Society Pi Kappa Lambda.  She worked with John Perry at the Aspen Festival, later earning her Master of Music with him at the Thornton School of Music at the University of Southern California. She has performed in master class for Claude Frank, Murray Perahia and Menahem Pressler, and was resident artist at the Sarasota Music Festival and Banff Centre for the Arts.

 

 Ms. Prober is Principal Pianist of the Malibu Coast Silent Film Orchestra, whose performances include the Private Theatre of Hearst Castle, Eastman School of Music, University of Maryland, Annenberg Beach House, Central Washington University, LA’s Grand Performances, as well as the San Luis Obispo International Film Festival with legendary actress Katherine Ross; their recorded performances for silent film are regularly broadcast on such networks as Turner Classic Movies. She is resident pianist at the Montgomery Arts House for Music and Architecture (MAHMA), the Malibu Coast Music Festival, LAJS Chamber Players and regularly tours with violinist Lindsay Deutsch and TAKE 3, a pop-rock/classical crossover group. 

Martha Thatcher                  -                         Soprano

IMG_1238.JPG

Martha Thatcher is an American actor, singer, writer, director, and artistic producer currently located in Los Angeles, California. Named 2012's Malibu Music Award's "Young Artist of the Year," Ms. Thatcher's career has taken her across the country, from Los Angeles, to New York City, and everywhere in between.  A Susan Carter Theatrical Scholar, she has been featured on film and television, as well as at the world-renowned Oregon Shakespeare Festival in Ashland, Oregon. An accomplished singer, Ms. Thatcher has been featured at many historic Los Angeles venues, from Hearst Castle to the Montgomery Arts House for Music and Architecture in Malibu, California, and at many historic venues across the continental United States.  Ms. Thatcher recently completed a ten-month contract with the famed Oregon Shakespeare Festival, where she was  member of their 2019 Acting Company. 

Ms. Thatcher graduated Summa Cum Laude from the Oregon Center for the Arts at Southern Oregon University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Performance. While there she was named a Susan Carter Theatre Scholar, by competitive audition, and a Leon Mulling Theatre Scholar. During her time at the OCA she received the distinction of three Kennedy Center ACTF Irene Ryan Nominations, and three Kennedy Center ACTF Certificates of Merit for Outstanding Ensemble Work. 

Ms. Thatcher is an artist-in-residence at the Montgomery Arts House for Music and Architecture, where she performs regularly in both in-person and virtual performances. 

In addition to her work as an actor and singer, Ms. Thatcher is the Creator, Showrunner, Lead Writer, Director, and Producer of "Burn The Witch: The Series" - An urban fantasy action-adventure series currently streaming on Youtube.

 

To watch "Burn The Witch: The Series," click here.

Isabella Thatcher                  -                         Soprano

JT_01331.jpg

Isabella Thatcher (she/her) is a Los Angeles based actor and singer best know for her work with the Malibu Friends of Music. Isabella has toured extensively throughout the continental United States, and was recently featured in the 2020 Malibu Coast Chamber Music Festival as a vocalist and spoken word performer. She is a recent graduate of the Oregon Center for the Arts at Southern Oregon University, having worked with nationally renowned artists such as U. Jonathan Toppo, David Kelly, and Scott Kaiser. Isabella is a cellist and playwright driven to tell exciting and diverse stories on stage and screen.

bottom of page