About Maia and Kevin
Violinists Maia Jasper White and Kevin Kumar co-founded Salastina in 2010. They continue to direct it together.
(And no: they aren't married.)
Salastina Co-founders and Co-Directors Maia Jasper White and Kevin Kumar
Maia and Kevin met sharing a stand at the Santa Barbara Chamber Orchestra. They hit it off both temperamentally and artistically. As their friendship grew, they realized they shared similar musical visions, and were energized by using each other as sounding boards.
Maia Jasper White
Maia is a chamber musician, teacher, and musical entrepreneur.
Outside of her work with Salastina, Maia’s chamber music performances have brought her around the country and the world. Highlights include concerts in Portugal, the Netherlands, France, Israel, Canada, and Turkey.
A dedicated teacher, Maia is the Director of Chamber Music at Caltech. The robust program serves nearly 10% of the student body. She served on the chamber music faculty of the Colburn School of Performing Arts for 10 years. Additionally, Maia has taught both violin and chamber music at Chapman University and the Luzerne Music Center. She also served as a guest artist-teacher in period performance practice at CalArts.
Maia joined the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra's first violin section in 2010. She was a member of the Pacific Symphony's first violin section for 10 years. She twice served as Concertmaster of the Crested Butte Music Festival in Colorado.
Her orchestral work also includes scoring for motion pictures and television. She’s contributed to scores by John Williams, Danny Elfman, Tom Newman, and Alexandre Desplat, among many others. Scoring is also how she met her husband, composer Philip White.
Maia studied English and Musicology at Yale, and continued her violin studies at USC and the Paris Conservatory. She received a certificate in nonprofit management from the Center for Nonprofit Management, and was a participant in the League of American Orchestra's Essentials of Orchestra Management Program. She loves writing about music, and gets it out of her system on Salastina’s blog.
Maia and Philip live in Glendale with their son Galen (2) and daughter Naomi (born in March).
A recent performance “allowed Kumar to demonstrate that, in addition to making an utterly beautiful sound, he is a born leader, and the performance responded to every last facet of a work gigantic in stature.”(Bernard Jacobson, Music-Web International) Also praised by press for his “obvious communicative powers”, “sense of sheer enjoyment”, and having “the precision and tonal richness of a virtuoso”, violinist Kevin Kumar has appeared as soloist with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, among numerous other orchestras.
Kumar has also been active as an orchestral player, serving as Concertmaster of the Schleswig-Holstein Festival Orchestra under Valerie Gergiev and Semyon Bychkov in tours throughout major European cultural centers. He was personally invited by Sir Georg Solti to participate in the Solti Project at Carnegie Hall.
He has performed chamber music in various ensembles and festivals throughout the United States, Europe, and Central America and participated in numerous radio and television broadcasts, including a featured appearance on a primetime NBC sitcom. Kumar has given the world premieres of chamber music and solo works by a number of composers, including Grammy-nominated composer Javier Navarrete, Daniel Catan, R.I. Gordon, Jeremy Cavaterra, and Reena Esmail.
At the outset of his concert career, Kumar was forced to spend an extended period away from the violin due to injuries; during this time he became involved with songwriting and production for musical artists in the U.S. and in East Asia. Since returning to the violin, he regularly appears as a soloist and chamber musician, as well as playing on sessions for motion picture and television scoring. He is also the violinist of the Catgut Trio and the co-artistic director of the Canandaigua LakeMusic Festival, a summer chamber music series held in the Finger Lakes region of New York.
In addition to attending Columbia University and the Manhattan School of Music, Kumar received the Jascha Heifetz Scholarship and his Advanced Studies in Music Diploma from USC and Bachelor of Arts degree from Stanford University. He has studied with Alice Schoenfeld, Viktor Tretyakov, Linda Rose, and Gennady Kleyman and benefited from masterclasses with Dorothy Delay and other musical luminaries.
Kevin lives in Huntington Beach with his wife Amy, a physician, and his children Lukas (3) and Samantha (1).