Preston Hawes, violinist and conductor, is presently a faculty member at Washington Adventist University, where he lectures, is in charge of string instruction, and is Director of the New England Youth Ensemble (NEYE) and orchestral studies. He is also Artistic Director and concertmaster of the New England Symphonic Ensemble, professional branch of the NEYE, which is the resident orchestra of Mid-America Productions at Carnegie Hall. As a soloist, Hawes has been associated with the NEYE since 1996 after attracting attention in Canada for his accomplished performances in national competitions as a teenager.
He has performed in nearly thirty countries (and counting) while touring with the NEYE in Europe, Russia, Mexico, South America, Africa, Canada, and the U.S. He has also performed in notable venues such as St. Martin-in-the-Fields, The Kennedy Center, Carnegie Hall, and Moscow's House of Culture, as well as on Mexican National Television. He has been hailed by the European Academy of Arts and Sciences as an electrifying and virtuosic" performer with "exquisite taste and rare talent" (Janos Czifra, ASAE).
Hawes began studies on the violin at age five. At age thirteen, he placed third in the nation at the Canadian Music Competition. Two years later he completed with highest honors all requirements for the ARCT diploma (Associate Performer of the Royal Conservatory of Toronto) from the Toronto Conservatory of Music and, in the next two years, won top honors in the Saskatchewan Concerto Competitions. In 2000, he became Senior String National Alternate in the Canadian Music Festival.
From 2002 to 2004, Hawes attended Columbia Union College, now Washington Adventist University, under a full tuition scholarship, after attending Mannes College of Music in New York for undergraduate study. Following completion of a B.Mus. at CUC in 2004, he attended Yale University where he completed an M.Mus. in performance and an Artist's Diploma (AD). He studied with Ani Kavafian at Yale and was awarded the Stephen Hendel Scholarship for three consecutive years. He is presently a candidate for a DMA at the Peabody Conservatory of Music at Johns Hopkins University where he studies with Violaine Melancon.
Hawes has also studied violin with Gerald Fischbach (University of Maryland), Sally Thomas (The Juilliard School of Music), and Victor Danchenko (Curtis Institute of Music). Additionally, he has also taken lessons with Hyo Kang, Gerard Poulet, Ida Kavafian, Silvia Marcovici, Virginia Gene-Rittenhouse, and others. He has received chamber music coaching from the Tokyo, Borromeo, Brentano, and Miami string quartets as well as the Meadowmount Trio.
In his role as an orchestral violinist, Hawes has performed with the Greenwich Choral Society orchestras, Orchestra New England, Yale University Philharmonia, Baltimore Chamber Orchestra, Waterbury Symphony, New London Symphony, Lancaster Symphony, and Midaltantic Symphony orchestras. He has played under the batons of Sir Neville Marriner, Krzysztof Penderecki, Marin Alsop, Phillipe Entremont, and John Rutter, among others.
Hawes has participated in a number of summer festivals and schools, including the Mozart International Choral Festival in Salzburg, Festival of the Aegean, Taos Chamber Music Festival in New Mexico, Fontainebleau Ecole Americaine, Meadowmount, and others. He debuted as a conductor/soloist in a joint concert with Janos Czifra, Kapellmeister at the Salzburg Dom, to open the 2008 Mozart International Choral Festival and in 2009 was invited to direct the opening concert of that festival.
Sources: Information provided by Preston Hawes, 2008-2012; Rachel Ponder, "Life after graduation: Preston pursues a higher calling," CUCTODAY, 28 September 2006; Columbia Union Visitor, "Master Musicians," Preston Hawes, August 2009, 13,14.