Hailing from Brooklyn, and comprising a lawyer, a social worker, an archivist, and a non-profit leader, the SORA String Quartet is a group of friends and musicians who share music in unique and public settings since its founding in 2015. Upcoming highlights include the world premiere of Scott Wollschleger's Hollow City, alongside Bartok's string quartet No. 2, and Philip Glass's Mishima. SORA has been a performing and teaching resident at Endicott College's Summer String Music Festival, has given an installation performance of John Cage's String Quartet in Four Parts for Fashion Week's unveiling of Jae Rhim Lee's sustainable mushroom burial suit at the NY Ace Hotel, and give dozens of free performances around New York City. Deeply committed to music for everyone, SORA participates in Make Music New York, New York City's day-long, city-wide festival of free outdoor/indoor music. SORA is:
After being inspired by a peer playing “Jingle Bells” at a holiday recital, 5-year old Allison Dubinski immediately demanded a violin from her percussionist father and could frequently be found following her brother around her childhood home in Indiana playing “Hot Cross Buns” for him. Allison played regularly in her community and was concertmaster of the Hoosier Youth Philharmonic as well as assistant concertmaster next to her teacher of over ten years, Juli Enzinger, in the Bloomington Symphony Orchestra. During her senior year in high school, she was accepted into the National High School Honors Orchestra and was placed concertmaster.
Allison earned her Bachelors Degree in Violin Performance and Psychology from Butler University in Indianapolis, Indiana where she studied with Professor Larry Shapiro. She was also concertmaster and soloist for the Pro Arte Chamber Orchestra under the direction of Maestro Stanley DeRusha.
After graduating, Allison moved to New Jersey to become a Third Grade teacher in Newark and went on to receive her Masters Degree in Social Work from New York University. She continues to seek opportunities that combine her passions for music, education, and social justice. In the meantime, she spends her time cooking delicious food, jogging through Fort Greene Park, and playing in various orchestras and chamber ensembles throughout the city. Although she misses New Jersey and all of its charms, she is thrilled to finally call Brooklyn her home.
Violinist Gabryel Smith began his studies at the age of five with his mother, Susan Slowick. A native of the Boston area, he attended the New England Conservatory Preparatory School and the Young Artists program at Tanglewood. At the age of 17, he made his solo debut, performing Lalo’s Symphonie éspagnole with the Salem Philharmonic in Salem, Mass.
A frequent performer in the New York and Boston areas, Gabe holds a dual degree in Violin Performance and History from N.Y.U. where he studied with Stephanie Chase. He is a member of the SORA quartet, the String Orchestra of Brooklyn, The Orchestra of the Bronx, Urban Playground Orchestra, Empire Chamber Orchestra, concertmaster of the Riverside Orchestra, and is an active freelance musician, performing most recently at venues such as Carnegie Hall, David Geffen Hall, Symphony Space, Bargemusic, Le Poisson Rouge, and Roulette.
Apart from his work as a musician, Gabe is Assistant Archivist at the New York Philharmonic where he enjoys researching and preserving the history of America’s oldest symphony orchestra. As such, he recently complete a Master's in history from NYU, writing his thesis on the performance of German classical music in the United States during World Wars I and II.
Emily Bookwalter is a violist in New York City whose “elegantly rendered” (The New York Times) viola playing and "masterful interpretation" (I Care if You Listen) of contemporary repertoire has helped her amplify the impact of music in our communities. She performs regularly with many large and small groups throughout the country, having served as artist-in-residence at the Berkeley Repertory Theater’s Ground Floor Residency Lab with Brian Carpenter’s Beat Circus, toured with Carpenter’s award-winning Ghost Train Orchestra, has performed with the band Beirut, ShoutHouse, has played numerous times as The Moth’s mainstage musician, has been an artist at the New Harmony Music Festival and Celebrate Brooklyn! Summer Festival, the Lake George Jazz Festival, the Dumbo Arts Festival, and has performed in some of NYC’s favorite venues including Carnegie Hall, the new Whitney Museum, Roulette, Le Poisson Rouge, SubCulture, Jalopy Theater, Highline Ballroom, ISSUE Project Room, Shapeshifter Lab, and more.
Emily has recently modeled and performed for the launch of Coach's 1941 clothing line, performed for the launch of Harry Winston Jewelers new designs, has been featured playing on-screen in the commercial for GMC's Arcadia SUV, and regularly blends the line between visual art and sound in her work. As a true believer in new music, she has appeared on numerous independent albums, including the Ghost Train Orchestra’s 2016 release, Boy Girl Party’s album Dear Dear, ShoutHouse’s self-titled album, and is a player and the Executive Producer for the String Orchestra of Brooklyn’s debut album.
Ken Hashimoto began playing cello at age 4. He spent time as a cello performance major at Peabody Conservatory and the College Conservatory of Music, University of Cincinnati, but after a two-year detour through the physics department, he eventually graduated with degrees in history and international relations. Thereafter, Ken moved to Los Angeles, where (while working as a teacher and in education non-profits) he played as a freelance bassist and cellist on live and recorded sessions—mostly with pop/rock bands and singer-songwriters. Ken took a three-year break from playing music while working in the Balkans on an international development project, but then moved to New York City and earned a law degree, and also resumed playing with bands at venues such as Symphony Space, Carnegie Hall, Bowery Ballroom, Joe’s Pub, and Mass MOCA. Inspired by his older daughter’s cello studies, Ken has now returned to playing classical music—studying and performing cello sonatas with the Alaria program, and playing with the Greenwich Village Orchestra, the New York Repertory Orchestra, the String Orchestra of Brooklyn and the Park Avenue Chamber Symphony. He also plays and performs regularly in quartets and chamber groups.