About Us

Browse here to learn more about our players!

Zara Zaharieva, Violin

 

Zara Zaharieva is an eclectic musician who is able to authentically draw upon multiple genres. She has performed with the band Chicago, Jennifer Hudson, Dionne Warwick, Los Hacheros, Mana, Lowen and Navarro, Kygo, Sharay Reed, Ernie Adams, Chicago Jazz Philharmonic, Eldar Djangirov, Donald Lawrence, The Covergirls, Guitarra Azul, Joshua Ramos, Victor Garcia, Darwin Hobbs, Hutch Hutchinson, Yolanda Adams, Arturo Sandoval at Hollywood Bowl, Ray Chew, Lawrence Brownlee, Shirley Caesar, Kurt Carr, Olen Cesari, Donnie McClurkin, Richard Smallwood, Bebe Winans, Ledisi, New Faith Church Choir from Cape Town, South Africa, Avery Sunshine and many more.

 

Zara has recorded and arranged strings for Donald Lawrence, Robert Irving III, Spike Lee’s movie Chiraq, Black Earth Ensemble, the television show Empire, and many studio works including a Donatella Versace commercial. Zara rigorously performs and records throughout Chicago and United States and is constantly pushing her musical envelope.

Edith Yokley, Violin

Edith Yokley is a member of the Chicago Sinfonietta and Soulful Symphony in Baltimore. She has performed with such artists as CeeLo Green, J.Lo,  Common, Barry White, Mos Def, Nancy Wilson, Andrea Boccelli, Sheila E., Smokey Robinson, Aretha Franklin, Donnie McClurkin, Richard Smallwood, Shirley Ceaser, Dennis DeYoung of the Styxx, and Diana Ross and the Supremes. Ms. Yokley has appeared on the Oprah, Today, and Conan O'Brien Shows as well as The Voice. In 2019, as a member of the Covergirls Violin Show, she performed with the band Chicago for their residency at the Venetian in Las Vegas, Summerfest in Milwaukee, and at the Ravinia Festival in Highland Park, Illinois.  As a member of the Red Ridinghood Quartet in Chicago, she has performed for the American Ballet Theater’s return to The Auditorium Theater of Chicago as well as the Musician’s Club of Women Concert Series. 

 

Edith received her masters degree from the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor where as a violin fellow, she studied with Professor Paul Kantor. She has been featured on several CDs including Alicia Keys, Faith Evans, Common, Donnie McClurkin, Joe, and does session work in both Chicago and New York. Miss Edith has performed residencies with DJs at Chicago’s premier clubs like Y, Cuvee, The Roof at the Wit Hotel, and clubs and lounges in Chicago and the rest of the country. 

Victor Sotelo, Cello (Owner)

Victor Sotelo is a critically acclaimed cellist whose dynamic solo and collaborative performances have taken him across the United States and abroad. He has been named a top prizewinner in numerous competitions including Protégé International, Alexander & Buono International, and Arts and Recognition Talent Search. Mr. Sotelo made his solo debut in 2002 performing the Dvorak Concerto with the Louisville Orchestra. He made his Carnegie Hall recital debut in 2010. 

Mr. Sotelo has had the privilege of closely collaborating in ensembles with eminent artists including Yo Yo Ma, Carter Brey, and Midori Goto at the Schleswig-Holstein Festival in Germany. He has been heard in string quartet radio broadcasts from the Rush Hour and Dame Myra Hess concert series for WFMT Chicago. 

Not shy of non-classical genres, Victor has played in live shows accompanying Chance the Rapper, Marco Antonio Solís, Andrea Bocelli, The Temptations, Diana Krall, Kenny Rogers, Johnny Mathis, and The Pointer Sisters. He has also recorded for and appeared on the television show, Empire. Sotelo is a graduate of the Northwestern University Beinen School of Music, under the tutelage of Hans Jorgen Jensen. He has also worked in masterclasses with Gary Hoffman, Miklós Perényi, Aldo Parisot, and Ralph Kirshbaum. Victor has been owner of Accolade Musicians since 2003, providing musicians for events throughout Chicagoland.

Benton Wedge, Viola

Benton Wedge is a member of the Music of the Baroque, Chicago Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Elgin Symphony Orchestra. He performs frequently with Lyric Opera of Chicago and The Grant Park Symphony. He is formerly a member of the Orquestra Metropolitana de Lisboa and the Fidelio String Quartet, based in Lisbon, Portugal, where he also performed numerous solo recitals. He has served as principal violist for the Sarasota and Spoleto Opera Festivals, as well as the Northwest Indiana Symphony Orchestra.


He has appeared on Empire, The Oprah Show and Home Alone 2! He has performed live with numerous artists including Hugh Jackman, Michael Buble, Seth McFarlane, and many others.


As a composer, his music has been performed by the William Ferris Chorale, the choir of Old St. Patricks Church, 4spiel, the Covington String Quartet, and members of the Lyric Opera Orchestra. He has composed, transcribed and arranged for many recording projects. 


He received both his Bachelors and Master of Music degrees from Northwestern University with Professor Peter Slowik.

Elise Dalleska, Violin

Elise comes from a family of mathematicians and scientists. She received a Bachelor of Music from Boston University and a Master of Music in violin performance from Florida State University. She is a former member of the Civic Orchestra of Chicago and has performed with the Milwaukee Ballet Orchestra and Chicagoland Pops Orchestra.

 

Most recently Elise was nominated for a 3Arts award for her performances in Chicago. She maintains a private teaching studio, is a faculty member at the DePaul University Community Music Division, and is a Citizen Musician, an initiative of Yo-Yo Ma and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. 

 

While earning her master's at Florida State University with an assistantship, she was co-assistant concertmaster of the Tallahassee Symphony Orchestra. She has been a substitute member of the Jacksonville Symphony and a finalist for the New World Symphony in Florida.

 

An experienced chamber musician, she studied from 1998-2002 as a young artist at the Kneisel Hall Chamber music festival in Blue Hill, Maine, and is a founding member of Coalesce and Azurite Ensemble. While at Boston University she studied chamber music with members of the Muir Quartet and was associate concertmaster of the Boston Civic Symphony.

 

Elise's teachers have included Roger Frisch, Bayla Keyes, Eliot Chapo, Tom Hall, and Joseph Golan. She has worked with conductors including Cliff Colnot, David Robertson, Daniel Barenboim, and Pierre Boulez while a member of the Civic Orchestra of Chicago. She has played in Master Classes for Jaime Laredo, Donald Weilerstein, the Alban Berg String Quartet, members of the Julliard Quartet, and the Kalichstein-Laredo-Robinson Trio.

Elise Dalleska is an eclectic performer of genres including Americanca, Classical, Jazz, Blues, and Classic Rock. Her students play in top youth and school orchestras in Chicago and have earned distinctions in competitions.