About Us

Joseph Swensen

    Joseph Swensen
Photo: Jack Dine
Joseph Swensen currently holds the posts of Conductor Emeritus of the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, and Founder and Artistic Director of Unity Hills Arts Centers International (U-HAC). He has also served as Principal Guest Conductor & Artistic Adviser of the Orchestre de Chambre de Paris (formerly known as the Ensemble Orchestral de Paris) and Principal Conductor of the Malmö Opera (Sweden). Joseph Swensen's work with the Orchestre de Chambre de Paris has included highly successful visits to the Folles Journées festivals in both Nantes and Japan (return visits are planned), appearances at the Lucerne Festival, a highly acclaimed CD with works by Camille Saint-Saens and the establishment of an academy for soloist/conductors,the first session of which took place in May of 2011.

Joseph Swensen was principal conductor of the Scottish Chamber Orchestra from 1996-2005 and has toured extensively with the SCO in the United States, the Far East, and Europe. Swensen and the orchestra have also made a series of recordings for Linn records, where Swensen directed the orchestra from the violin in solo concerti and conducted orchestral repertoire by Mendelssohn, Sibelius, Brahms, Prokofiev and Dvorak. His enthusiasm for new music has resulted in many major works written for him by such composers as James MacMillan, Einojuhani Rautavaara, Sally Beamish, Karin Rehnqvist and Eleanor Alberga. The Orchestre de Chambre de Paris, with Swensen conducting was one of only 3 orchestras/conductors selected to premier James MacMillan's new violin concerto (the other two were the London Symphony with Valery Gergiev and the Philadelphia Orchestra with Charles Dutoit.)

Swensen has a number of regular guest conducting commitments in addition to his work in Paris, and Scotland. These include the Orchestre National du Capitole de Toulouse (where he just completed a cycle of all the Mahler Symphonies), London Mozart Players, Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, Netherlands Symphony Orchestra, Orquesta de la Ciudad de Granada, Orquestra Sinfónica do Porto, Adelaide Symphony Orchestra and Estonian National Symphony Orchestra.

Before deciding to dedicate himself solely to his conducting career, Swensen enjoyed a highly successful career as a violin soloist and was an exclusive recording artist with BMG Classics. Nowadays, his occasional appearances as a soloist are a natural extension of his work as a conductor, playing and directing concerti with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, the Orchestre de Chambre de Paris and other orchestras with whom he enjoys a particularly close relationship.

His love of chamber music has resulted in his establishment of the U-HAC Chamber Players (of which he is a member). He also makes frequent appearances at chamber music festivals worldwide including the Music@Menlo Festival in California and the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center in New York City.

Dr. Swensen is also active as a composer. His most recent large scale works include the Sinfonia-Concertante for Horn and Orchestra (The Fire and the Rose), which received its world premier with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra and its European premier with the Netherlands Symphony Orchestra in 2009. Swensen's orchestration of the virtually unknown, 1854 version of Brahms' Trio Op. 8, a work he has entitled "Sinfonia in B" has been performed by numerous orchestras in Europe and the U.S.A. since its premiere in 2007. Due for release in January 2012 on the Signum label is Swensen's own recording of the Brahms Sinfonia in B (with Swensen conducting the Malmo Opera Orchestra), a CD which also includes Dr. Swensen's orchestrations of shorter works by Brahms, Schumann, and Clara Schumann for violin and orchestra (with Swensen as solo violinist).

Joseph Swensen is also a passionate, dedicated teacher and visionary activist. The focal point of all of his teaching activities is now the U-HAC International home base in Townshend, Vermont, USA. It is also the place from which he can preside over the development of all of U-HAC International's other projects. The U-HAC Satellite arts program is one example, where the arts of all cultures are brought in mobile, eco-friendly arts centers, to underserved and underpriviledged rural communities across the world. Joseph Swensen received a Doctorate Degree from the University of St. Andrews (Scotland) in 2001.

Joseph Swensen was born on August 4, 1960 in Hoboken, New Jersey and grew up in Harlem, New York City, (an American, of Norwegian and Japanese descent). He is the proud father of 3 sons and currently maintains residences in Copenhagen (Denmark), Florida, Vermont and New York City.

For more information please visit: www.josephswensen.com, www.ensemble-orchestral-paris.com, www.ensemble-orchestral-paris.com/play-direct-academy, and josephswensen.com/discography.htm.

Click here to view Joseph's CV.

Victoria Eisen-Dine

    Victoria Eisen-Dine
Photo: Jack Dine
Victoria Eisen has an extensive career as a hornist. She has held long-term principal french horn positions with the Stamford Symphony (1984-1996), the Chamber Orchestra of New York (1985-1992) and Solisti New York (1982-1990). She has also made frequent appearances with the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra (at Carnegie Hall, on tour, and on recordings for Deutsche Grammaphone Records), the Orchestra of St. Luke's, the New York City Ballet, the Metropolitan Opera, the New York City Opera, and in numerous Broadway musical productions.

She was a founding member of Hexagon (a piano and wind sextet), which was the first prize winner of the 1988 Young Concert Artists competition in New York. She has participated in the summer festivals of Marlboro, Aspen and Norfolk and in addition to her recordings for Deutsche Grammaphone, she has also recorded for Sony Classical and the Marlboro Recording Society.

Ms. Eisen is also president and co-owner of VJ Publishing Inc., a company devoted to publishing and promoting new works by living composers.

She received her Masters degree from The Juilliard School and her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the Purchase College Conservatory of Music.

In 1999, Victoria received a Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing from Columbia University. Since then she has been active as a registered nurse, and psychological counselor in addition to her work as a musician. Her recent studies include courses in Buddhist Psychology at the Omega Institute for Holistic Studies in Rhinebeck, New York under the tutelage of the revered teacher and writer Jack Kornfield.

Victoria Eisen was born on December 21,1959. She grew up in New York City and currently resides in Riverdale, New York and Vermont. She is the proud mother of three children, Emily (age 23, fashion designer), Nina (age 21, an accomplished visual artist and recognized NCAA athlete) and Jack (age 17, an accomplished photographer).

Click here to view Victoria's CV.