12th Season: To Be Announced Soon!

Press Kit

Gibbs & Main

Founded in 2002 by Karine Stone and Diego Garcia and formerly known as Quartsemble, Gibbs & Main is an innovative chamber music ensemble based in Rochester, New York. The group, comprising five professional musicians, performs classical masterpieces side by side with Latin music and more contemporary repertoire in both traditional and unexpected settings. Gibbs & Main is known for its interactive educational concerts for children and adults, often performing in schools, churches, and libraries, as well as restaurants, art galleries, and parks, bringing high-caliber performances to a wide range of audiences.

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 About the Artists

Karine Stone

Violinist Karine Stone is an active recitalist, chamber musician, teacher, conductor, and arts administrator. An experienced orchestral musician as well, Karine was a member of the Syracuse Symphony Orchestra, has performed as acting concertmaster of the Erie Philharmonic Orchestra, in the first violins of the Santo Domingo Music Festival, the Todi Music Festival, and the Skaneateles Festival, and as Principal Second of the Rochester Oratorio Society. She performs frequently in the second violins of the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra and was the first violinist of the RPO Educational Quintet from 2002 to 2005. Karine performed as concertmaster of the Finger Lakes Symphony Orchestra in the 2010-2011 season and has enjoyed conducting the FLSO and the New Horizons orchestras as guest conductor. Karine is currently on the conducting faculty of the Eastman Community Music School where she conducts the Eastman Youth String Orchestra. Formerly an adjunct faculty member at RIT teaching violin and viola, Karine currently teaches both instruments in her private studio in the Park Avenue area and at the Harley School. Through her freelance work, Karine has provided backup violin for artists such as Josh Groban, The Trans-Siberian Orchestra, Harry Connick Jr., Johnny Mathis, Wayne Newton, and the Capitol Saxophone Quartet. Karine is also the Executive & Artistic Director of Gibbs & Main and is committed to keeping chamber music alive in Rochester.

John Irrera

Violinist John Irrera earned his Bachelor of Music in Performance and Literature degree with High Distinction and Performer’s Certificate from the Eastman School of Music in 2007. He has taken top prizes in numerous competitions, including the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra Albright Award, as well as the David Hochstein Memorial Award competition. In 2002, John was appointed concertmaster of the Rochester Philharmonic Youth Orchestra and appeared with them as a soloist the same year, performing Dvořák’s Violin Concerto in A Minor. The following concert season, John appeared as a soloist with the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, performing Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto. John also performed a solo recital that was broadcast on WXXI Classical 91.5 FM. He has also attended The International Violin Academy at Moulin d’Andé in France, as well as the Bowdoin International Music Festival. As a duo partner with his brother Joseph, John has performed in France, Italy, and Costa Rica, as well as at Carnegie Hall. Currently John serves as concertmaster of the Genesee Symphony Orchestra and is pursuing a Director of Musical Arts at Eastman, studying under Federico Agostini.

Ben Magruder

Violist Ben Magruder is a recent Eastman School graduate, just beginning a professional career in chamber music and music education. Besides Gibbs & Main, he performs and competes in the unique ¡Voila! viola trio, a group dedicated to enlightening others to the possibilities of the viola. Ben also has a passion for teaching, having completed an education degree in addition to his performance studies. He recently helped create the Explore Music! camp for children in Minnesota. A born multi-instrumentalist, Ben has never been able to resist a new instrument. When not performing classical music, he plays guitar or drums with a rock band. He also loves to cook and helped keep himself afloat through college as a chef at a fine restaurant.

Andy Barnhart

Cellist Andy Barnhart began playing cello in the public schools in his hometown of Royal Oak, Michigan (just north of Detroit) at the age of 10. He serves as principal cello of the Orchestra of the Southern Finger Lakes and performs as a substitute with the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra. Andy is on the faculty of the Kanack School of Music and the Eastman Community Music School in Rochester. He was the winner of the Eastman School of Music 2008 Concerto Competition and third prize winner in the 2009 Andrews University International Music Competition. Andy is currently a doctoral candidate at the Eastman School of Music.

Eric Polenik

Bassist Eric J. Polenik was drawn to the instrument’s low sound at age 16 after hearing Beethoven for the first time. While studying at Duquesne University, he served as principal bass of the Pittsburgh Youth Symphony Orchestra. In Rochester, Eric continued his studies with Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra principal bassist Robert Zimmerman, and has since joined the RPO’s bass section. He was a founding member of the NEO Chamber Orchestra, a student-operated ensemble based in Rochester. In addition to serving as principal bassist, Eric was a writer, creating scripts and stories to follow the concerts’ programs.