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Candlelight Staff

Irina Kaplan Lande, Artistic Director

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Irina Kaplan Lande is Artistic Director of the Candlelight Concert Society, where she conceives and implements the artistic vision for the series by bringing outstanding musicians, maintaining artistic excellence, fostering creative diversity, and building the organization’s reputation as an internationally-recognized music presenter.

A graduate of St. Petersburg Conservatory in Russia, Irina Kaplan Lande was trained in that school’s famous tradition of piano playing. She has been on the faculty of the Peabody for over 20 years, teaching piano and chamber music, and has served on the faculty of the College of Notre Dame and Towson University. Her students have participated in numerous competitions, and have achieved successful placements at prestigious music schools and universities across the country.

In 2003, Irina founded the Poulenc Trio, one of the world’s most prominent piano-wind trios. The group has been critically acclaimed, by the New York Times and Washington Post, and has appeared on concert series and at music festivals in 45 states and around the world, including the Ravello Festival in Italy, the San Miguel de Allende Festival in Mexico, and the White Nights Festival in Russia. Irina has performed with violinist Hilary Hahn, the Thibaud Trio of Berlin, soprano Hyunah Yu, clarinetists Alexander Fiterstein and Anthony McGill and poet Lia Purpura, among others.

As Artistic Director for the group, Irina has been the driving force behind the Trio’s commitment to commissioning, performing and recording new works from living composers. Since its founding, the Trio has greatly expanded the repertoire available for the oboe, bassoon and piano, with 22 new works written for and premiered, including three triple concertos for Trio and full orchestra. She has released two albums with the Trio – “Poulenc Plays Poulenc” and “Creation” on Delos label.

In her free time she loves to ski in the winter and forage for mushrooms in the summer.

Lei Yang, Operations Manager

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Lei Yang is Operations Manager of the Candlelight Concert Society where she focuses on Candlelight’s day-to-day operations including bookkeeping, processing ticket orders and contributions, and assisting Artistic Director with concert preparation. Her work also includes assisting with preparation of grant reports, outreach contracts, and providing artistic and marketing support.

Lei’s formative experience in hospitality management, administration, and research has allowed her to work with a diverse cross-section of the population including adults, children, and adolescents of different ethnicities, religions, and backgrounds. She has become familiar with working in multidisciplinary teams for the purpose of delivering excellent customer services.

Lei holds a Master of Science degree in Business Management from University of Warwick in England; a Master of Arts degree in School Psychology from Alliant International University in California, where she also earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Hospitality Administration; and a certificate in School-Based Mental Health Services; She also holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Management & Information System from Queen’s University of Belfast in Northern Ireland, UK. Lei is a certified QuickBooks user.

Cynthia Fischer, Marketing Coordinator

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Cynthia Fischer is Marketing Coordinator of the Candlelight Concert Society where she works on getting the word out about Candlelight on social media, the CCS website, through advertising, and outreach events. She enjoys being behind the scenes, promoting incredible artists and their work.

Cynthia is a published art historian and a professional musician. Her passion for visual art has led her to teaching positions at universities, administrative work at the Smithsonian and the National Gallery of Art, and opportunities in the commercial art world through art insurance, art galleries, and the management of high-value estates. In music, she is a vocalist trained in the classical, choral, and jazz genres, and is a project manager at a boutique classical record label and has previously assisted in the management of chamber music concert series. She possesses both the skills and passions of an artist, along with the logical, sequential mind of an administrator— a rare combination in the realm of fine arts.

Cynthia earned a PhD in 2013 from Virginia Commonwealth University with a dissertation on Whistler’s Peacock Room. She has a master’s degree in art history from American University (2005), and a bachelor’s degree in art history with a music minor from Duquense University (2003).

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