Painting by Lory Williams Winford
JAMES CAMPBELL, CLARINET
James Campbell has been called “Canada’s pre-eminent clarinetist and wind soloist, by the Toronto Star,"Canada's premiere clarinetist" by the Ottawa Citizen and “a national treasure” by the CBC. He hasperformed as soloist and chamber musician in over 35 countries with over 60 orchestras including theBoston Pops, Montreal Symphony and the London Symphony. He has collaborated with Glenn Gouldand Aaron Copland and toured with over 35 string quartets, including the Guarneri, Amadeus (when hereplaced an ailing Benny Goodman on a tour of California) and Vermeer.
Of his over 40 recordings, theBBC and The Times of London rated his recording of the Brahms Clarinet Quintet as the best availableand his CD “Stolen Gems” (Marquis Records) won a Juno. He has been named Canada’s Artist of theYear, awarded the Queen’s Gold and Diamond Jubilee Medal, an Honourary Doctor of Laws, the Orderof Canada and has recently been inducted into the CBC’s Classical Music Hall of Fame. James Campbellhas been Artistic Director ofthe Festival of the Sound since 1985and was Professor of Music at the famed Jacobs School of Music, of Indiana University from 1988-2019.He regularly gives masterclasses throughout the world and is a Conn-Selmer Artist.
DAVID CHIRIBOGA, GUITAR
David Chriboga is a Spanish Guitarist, based in Chicago. For the last two decades he's specialized in Spanish Guitar. David has performed over 1,000 weddings, luxury events and concerts. He has loved every minute of his musical journey and is grateful to get to entertain people for a living. David not only plays traditional Spanish Guitar classics, but loves adapting popular music into his repertoire. He said, "It’s always fun to see peoples reactions when they hear some of their current favorite songs, played instrumentally on a Spanish Guitar with a new twist."
JULIA CORONELLI, HARP
Born and raised in the city of Chicago, Julia Coronelli is the Principal Harpist of the Milwaukee SymphonyOrchestra. Previously, she held positions as Principal Harpist of the Sarasota Orchestra, as well as theNew World Symphony in Miami Beach. Her playing has been described byThe New York Timesas"precise and shimmering", and as "exquisite," "exceptional," and “stunning" byThe Miami Herald. Shehas performed in the role of Principal Harpist in many of the world's greatest halls, including Teatro allaScala (Milan), Musikerverein (Vienna), Philharmonie de Paris (Paris), Kolner Philharmonie (Cologne),Philharmonie Luxembourg (Luxembourg), Teatro San Carlo (Naples), Teatro Maggio del MusicaleFiorentino (Florence), Lugano Arte e Cultura (Lugano, Switzerland), Bunka Kaikan (Tokyo), SymphonyHall (Birmingham, UK), Oriental Art Center (Shanghai), National Centre for the Performing Arts (Beijing),National Concert Hall (Taipei), Festival Hall (Osaka), Carnegie Hall (New York), and Orchestra Hall(Chicago). Additional performance credits include regular concerts with the Chicago SymphonyOrchestra, as well as the New York Philharmonic, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra (UK), St.Louis Symphony, and San Diego Symphony. Ms. Coronelli has joined the Chicago Symphony Orchestraon four recent tours under the direction of Riccardo Muti, including two international tours as GuestPrincipal Harpist. She holds degrees from The Juilliard School and Chicago College of Performing Arts.
JENNIFER GUNN, FLUTE
Jennifer M. Gunn was appointed flute and piccolo of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra by Daniel Barenboim in 2005. Since joining, she has been active in the life of the Orchestra in many ways, including performances on its contemporary music series MusicNOW, the CSO Chamber Music series and the Once Upon a Symphony series designed for families with young children.Gunn also has served as a piccolo and flute coach for the Civic Orchestra of Chicago, participated in the Dream Out Loud Music Education Advocacy Campaign and joined Zell Music Director Riccardo Muti for several of the programs for at-risk and incarcerated youth at Chicago-area juvenile justice centers.
Equally at home on flute or piccolo, Gunn has been featured as a soloist with the Orchestra on many occasions. She made her flute solo debut under the direction of Ludovic Morlot on the MusicNOW series playing Shirish Korde’s Nesting Cranes in 2007. A year later, she made her piccolo debut as soloist under the direction of Harry Bicket performing Vivaldi’s Concerto in C Major (RV 443) on the CSO’s subscription series. Gunn also has featured asa flutist in Bach’sBrandenburgConcertos with her CSO colleagues under the direction of both Nicholas Kraemer and Pinchas Zukerman. In June of 2019, Gunn was featured as piccolo soloist under the direction of Music Director Riccardo Muti in Vivaldi’s C Major Concerto (RV444), and also gave the CSO premiere of Ken Benshoof’s Concerto in Three Movements for Piccolo andOrchestra.Gunn has enjoyed many occasions to join colleagues in a variety of performance settings.
In the Chicago area, she has been a guest with the Bach Week Festival, Dempster Street Pro Musica, Music of the Baroque and the Civitas Ensemble. Beyond Chicago, Gunn has enjoyed collaborations at the Sunflower Music Festival in Topeka, Kansas; Buzzards Bay Music fest in Marion, Massachusetts; Arizona Music fest in Scottsdale, Arizona; and the St.Bart’s Music Festival in Saint Barthélemy, French West Indies.
Bound by a passion for playing music of the 17th and 18th centuries, Heartland Baroque members, Martie Perry and David Wilson, baroque violins and Barbara Krumdieck, baroque cello, hail from North Carolina and Indiana, and often perform together in other well-known historically-informed period instrument ensembles around the country. Heartland Baroque dives into the baroque musical world with vigor, showing off the immediacy and technical brilliance, the vivacity and profundity, the lilt, complexity, and spontaneity of its composers. Most recentlyHeartland Baroque completed a residency at the esteemed Avaloch Farm Music Institute, and were featured in concerts at the 2018North Carolina H.I.P. Music Festival, and the 2022 Mallarmé Chamber Players concert series. They have also performed concert tours in North Carolina, and have presented programs at the Boston andBerkeley Early Music Festivals, as well as at the 2015Early Music Festival for Grace. HeartlandBaroque's debutC.D.,The Benevolent Monarch, was released in 2022.
AUSTIN HUNTINGTON, CELLO
Austin Huntington was appointed principal cellist of the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra in June 2015 at the age of 20, currently making him one of the youngest principal musicians in amajor American orchestra. He was recently the runner-up for the San Francisco Symphony's principal cello position in March 2022 as well as a finalist for the Boston Symphony Orchestra's principal cello position in March 2018.During the summer, Austin is a principal cellist for the Mainly Mozart Festival and Grand Teton Music Festival Orchestras.
Austin is a former first prize winner of the Stulberg and Irving M. Klein international string competitions and is a top prize winner of the Schadt national cello competition.An avid chamber musician, Austin has collaborated with artists such as Itzhak Perlman, Augustin Hadelich, Wu Han, Jean-Yves Thibaudet, Garrick Ohlssohn, and Edgar Meyer.
Austin holds a Bachelor of Music degree from the Colburn School Conservatory of Music and a Masters of Music degree from Indiana University, where he studied with Ronald Leonard and Eric Kim respectively. He plays on a beautiful old Italian cello made in Florence, c. 1740.
ANDREAS IOANNIDES, PIANO
Cypriot pianist Andreas Ioannides enjoys a diverse and exciting career rooted in his passion for performing and teaching. He has given recitals throughout Europe, Asia, North and South America, appearing in venues such as Boston Symphony Hall, the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., the Hamburg Konzerthaus, the Seoul Arts Center, the Temppeliaukio Kirkko in Helsinki and the Municipal Theater of Rio de Janeiro. He has received enthusiastic reviews by the Boston Globe, and his performances have been broadcast on television and radio across three continents.
Andreas has made concerto appearances under maestros Neil Varon, David Effron, Paul Nadler and Roberto Tibiriçá. His chamber collaborations include such artists as Joseph Swensen, Atar Arad, Peter Stumpf and composer PQ Phan. A prize winner in the BNDES International Piano Competition in Rio de Janeiro and the Hastings International Piano Competition in the UK, he recently turned his attention to recording projects, including a 2-disc album released by Naxos in 2020 in honor of the 250th anniversary of Beethoven’s birth.
Andreas has served as Lecturer of Piano at Indiana State University and is currently Assistant Lecturer of Piano at the Cork School of Music at Munster Technological University in Cork, Ireland. He is also Artistic Director of RiverSong Music Inc., a non-profit organization that promotes community education and enrichment through classical music . He holds a Doctor of Music degree from Indiana University, mentored by pianist Menahem Pressler.
RACHEL DOEHRING JACKSON, SOPRANO
Soprano Rachel Doehring Jackson has been praised by Opera News for the “tender fragility” other performances. Most recently, she sang in Experiments in Opera’s podcast opera Aquanet &Funyuns, featuring five mini-operas by composers Kamala Sankaram, Michi Wianko and others. Excerpts from her latest self-produced recital, “Songs of Devotion: Music for the New Year,” aired on WCNY Radio’s Fresh Ink.
On the concert stage, Jackson made her Albany Symphony debut as Susannain scenes from Le Nozze di Figaro conducted by David Alan Miller, later returning for the symphony’s American Music Festival. While at Bard Conservatory, she was the soloist in a concert of Mozart songs with world-renowned pianist Peter Serkin, and sang in Steve Reich’s Drumming with Sō Percussion. She was the soprano soloist in Poulenc’s Gloriaat Pittsburgh’s Carnegie MusicHall, and in Finzi’sIn Terra Pax, with the Bard College Conservatory Orchestra. In 2017, she sang NY premieres by Shawn Jaeger and Alex Wieser at The Morgan Library and Museum in conjunction with the exhibit ”I’m Nobody! Who are you? The Life and Poetry of Emily Dickinson.”
Jackson has been praised for her “lithe and agile... absolutely loveable” operatic performances (Seen and Heard Intl.), ranging from Flaminiain Haydn'sIl mondo della luna, to Milicain Anna Sokolovic’s Svadba, a Serbian opera for six women, a capella .Jackson is passionate about programming and producing. She was previously the Producer ofResonant Bodies Festival, a three-day festival of contemporary vocal music in Brooklyn, NY. The festival’s legacy album, featuring artists such as Julia Bullock, Caroline Shaw, Arooj Aftab, and Lucy Shelton, received critical acclaim from theNew York Times.Rachel Doehring Jackson graduated from Carnegie Mellon University (BFA 16’) and the Bard College Conservatory Graduate Vocal Arts Program, led by the famed soprano Dawn Upshaw (MM 18’).
MARK KAPLAN, VIOLIN
Mark Kaplan has been professor of violin at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music since 2005. Prior to that, he served as professor with distinction at UCLA.
He has established himself as one of the leading violinists of his generation. His consummate artistry has resulted in solo engagements with nearly every major American orchestra, including the New York and Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestras, the Cleveland and Philadelphia Orchestras, the Chicago and National Symphony Orchestras, and the symphony orchestras of St. Louis, Pittsburgh, Baltimore, Minnesota, Cincinnati and Indianapolis. He has collaborated with many of the world's foremost conductors, among them Ormandy, Tennstedt, Maazel, Ashkenazi, Dutoit, Bychkov, Conlon, Ivan Fischer, Foster, Gatti, Masur, Rattle, Robertson, Salonen, Semkov, Skrowaczewski, Slatkin and Zinman; and has appeared regularly at festivals such as Aspen, Blossom, Chautauqua, Grant Park, Ravinia, Saratoga and Wolf Trap.
Kaplan has also maintained a flourishing international career since his European debut in 1975 when he was asked on short notice to substitute for Pinchas Zuckerman, playing the Bartók Concerto in Cologne under the baton of Lawrence Foster. In subsequent seasons he has made highly acclaimed concerto and recital appearances in all the musical centers of Europe--London, Berlin, Paris, Vienna, Prague, Zurich, Amsterdam, Copenhagen and Milan--as well as in Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia, Hong Kong and Singapore. Among the particularly memorable musical experiences for Mr. Kaplan have been Beethoven violin concerto performances with Klaus Tennstedt together with the New York Philharmonic, Cleveland Orchestra and National Symphony Orchestra, several appearances with the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, and his many projects involving the solo works of Bach.
In addition to his solo music-making, Kaplan is also devoted to chamber music. He appears with pianist Yael Weiss and cellist Peter Stumpf as the Weiss-Kaplan-Stumpf Trio, with recordings and concerts tours world-wide. Prior to that he performed and recorded extensively for two decades in the Golub-Kaplan-Carr trio, with cellist Colin Carr and the late pianist David Golub.
Kaplan has a wide range of repertoire available on compact disc. His second recording of the solo violin works of JS Bach will be issued in early 2016 on Bridge Records, as will a Weiss-Kaplan-Stumpf Trio recording of Fred Lerdahl’s "Times 3", while 2014 saw the release (also for Bridge) of a CD with new American Piano Trios, joining a 2011 recording of Brahms and Smetana Trios. Other recent recordings include concerti of Berg and Stravinsky, the Lalo Symphonie Espagnole and the Concierto Espagnol of Joan Manen, all under the baton of Lawrence Foster, as well as Lewis Spratlan’s Concertino and the tone poem, Le Ménétrier, by Max d’Ollone. Kaplan's discography also includes the Bartók Violin Concerto No. 2 and Dohnanyi Violin Concerto No. 2, violin concerti of Paganini, Wieniawski and Viotti; the Brahms Double Concerto; Spanish Dances of Sarasate; various works of Bartók including the Solo Sonata; violin and piano sonatas of Schumann with Anton Kuerti; and trios of Brahms, Debussy, Dvorak, Fauré, Mendelssohn, Rachmaninov, Saint-Saens, Schubert, Smetana and Tchaikowsky. The Golub-Kaplan-Carr Trio's recording, on Arabesque Records, of Tchaikovsky and Smetana trios, received an INDIE Award for "Best Classical Album by an Ensemble."
He is a graduate of The Juilliard School, where he was a student of Dorothy DeLay and recipient of the Fritz Kreisler Memorial Scholarship. He plays a violin made by Antonio Stradivari in 1685, known as the Marquis.
KEVIN LIN, VIOLIN
Originally from New York, violinist Kevin Lin has received international recognition for his musicianship and “soulful” playing (The Arts Desk). Lin currently serves as Concertmaster of the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra.
Lin is a highly sought after Concert master, previously holding the position of Co-Leader in the London Philharmonic Orchestra. His Guest Concertmaster appearances have included the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, Houston Symphony, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in London, and the Singapore Symphony Orchestra.
Lin has performed as a soloist and recitalist across the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Taiwan, and South Korea. In recent years, Lin has received prizes from the Irving M.Klein International Competition (Fourth Prize) and the Schmidbauer International Competition (First Prize), as well as competed in the George Enescu International Violin Competition and Menuhin International Violin Competition.
Lin spent his early years studying with Patinka Kopec in New York, and later with Robert Lipsett at the Colburn School in Los Angeles, where he received his Bachelor of Music degree. He continued his studies at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia as a recipient of the Mark E. Rubenstein Fellowship, under the pedagogy of Aaron Rosand.
LINCOLN STRING QUARTET
The Lincoln String Quartet, now in its 25th season, comprises four members of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. The quartet has been heard in venues across Chicago, including the Northwestern Winter Chamber Music Festival, the Chicago Symphony Chamber Music Series, Dempster Street Pro Musica, and on WFMT, and has performed in Santiago, Chile at the invitation of the Fundación Beethoven. Its members have performed chamber music across the U.S., in Europe, and in Asia.
Violinist Qing Hou has been a member of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra since 1997. A native of China, Hou studied at the Central Conservatory in Beijing before coming to the United States in 1988 to continue her studies. She holds degrees from the Peabody Conservatory and the New England Conservatory. Before joining the CSO, she was a member of the San Francisco Symphony. An avid chamber musician, Hou has performed on series and at festivals in Boston, Madison, Napa, El Paso and Sun Valley as well as in Europe. She has been heard on NPR’s Performance Today and regularly performs in the Chicago area in various ensembles. In 1997, Qing, along with her sister, CSO violinist Lei Hou and CSO violist Lawrence Neuman (now Qing’s husband), founded the Lincoln String Quartet. As a soloist, Hou has appeared with orchestras in Boston, Baltimore, Chicago, and China. In 2003, she made her first appearance as soloist with the Chicago Symphony performing Mozart’s Violin Concerto in G Major conducted by Daniel Barenboim.
Violinist Lei Hou joined the Chicago Symphony in 1997. Prior to her engagement with the CSO, she won a position in the first violin section of the Cleveland Orchestra. She also has served as assistant principal second violin of the National Symphony Orchestra of Washington, D.C., for six years, appointed by Mstislav Rostropovich. As an active chamber musician and soloist, Hou has performed with Pinchas Zukerman at the Ravinia Festival and Northwestern University’s Winter Chamber Music Festival, with Yefim Bronfman at Symphony Center and with members of the Guarneri and Alban Berg quartets at the Marlboro Festival. She also has extensively performed as leading violinist of chamber groups formed with musicians from the Chicago Symphony and the German Radio Orchestra in concert tours in Germany, France, Italy, Switzerland and Luxembourg. Hou has been a featured soloist in concerts for National Public Radio, WFMT of Chicago and WBJC FM of Baltimore. She has served on the faculties of the music schools of the University of Maryland and the American University. A native of Dalian, China, she studied at the Middle School of Music in Shanghai, China. She also attended the Shanghai Conservatory of Music. Hou earned both bachelor’s and master’s degrees in violin performance at the Peabody Conservatory where she was invited to study with Berl Senofsky under full scholarship.
Violist Lawrence Neuman has been a member of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra since 1991. Before coming to Chicago he was violist with the Miami String Quartet. As a chamber musician he frequently is heard throughout the Chicago area and has performed across the United States, in Europe, and in Asia. He has appeared at festivals and chamber music series in Boston, Marlboro, La Jolla, Madison, Napa, Portland and Davenport. Chamber music collaborators have included such artists as Daniel Barenboim, Pinchas Zukerman, Yefim Bronfman, Lydia Artymiw, Gil Shaham, Simone Lamsma, and Aaron Rosand. During the 1998/99 season Neuman took a leave of absence from the CSO to serve as principal viola of the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra. For over 20 years he has taught viola and chamber music at the Chicago College of Performing Arts at Roosevelt University. A native of Saint Louis, Missouri, Neuman attended the Eastman School of Music, the University of Southern California and the Cleveland Institute of Music, and he was a student of Heidi Castleman, Donald McInnes and Robert Vernon.
Cellist John Sharp joined the Chicago Symphony Orchestra in 1986 as one of the youngest principal players in its history. A top prize winner of the International Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow, he has appeared as soloist with the Chicago Symphony in performances of the Britten Symphony for Cello and Orchestra with Mstislav Rostropovich conducting, the Beethoven Triple Concerto with Itzhak Perlman and Daniel Barenboim, and in concertos conducted by Music Director Riccardo Muti, Sir Georg Solti, Pierre Boulez, Bernard Haitink, Lorin Maazel, Charles Dutoit, and Michael Tilson Thomas. An active chamber musician, Sharp has performed at the festivals of Marlboro, Santa Fe, La Jolla, Vail, and the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, and recorded Tchaikovsky’s "Souvenir de Florence" with the Vermeer Quartet. Born in Texas, Sharp studied the cello with Lev Aronson and later with Lynn Harrell at the Juilliard School, where he earned a bachelor’s and a master’s degree. Prior to his appointment in Chicago, he served as principal cello of the Cincinnati Symphony. He has given masterclasses throughout the United States and in Europe and is currently a professor of cello at Roosevelt University. Sharp plays a rare cello made by Joseph Guarnerius in 1694. John Sharp regularly performs as a duo and in chamber music with his wife, violinist Liba Shacht.
FUTABA NIEKAWA, PIANO
Known for her verve and sensitivity, Japanese pianist Futaba Niekawa pushes the boundaries of her artistry as a soloist and collaborative pianist across genres and disciplines. She has performed throughout the United States, Canada, England, Spain, Taiwan, and Japan and to date has released five recordings (PARMA Recordings, Petrichor Records) and her live performances have been recorded for radio broadcast.
In demand as a collaborative pianist, Niekawa has performed with Atar Arad, James Campbell, Charles Castleman, Gabriele Ragghianti, and the members of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra among others. She has been engaged as a collaborative pianist at the Banff Centre, New England Conservatory, Meadowmount School of Music, and the IU Summer String Academy. Praised as "a beautifully balanced duo" by Gramophone Magazine, Niekawa’s long-term duo partnership with violinist Kerry DuWors, duo526, has led to numerous performances, recordings, and artist residencies at the Banff Centre and Avaloch Farm Music Institute. Niekawa’s passion for multi-disciplinary collaboration and performing music of her generation have developed into artistic partnerships with composers, dancers, poets, and visual artists. In her leisure-time she plays free-improvisation.
Niekawa is currently a Lecturer in Music (Chamber and Collaborative Music) at Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music. She earned her Doctorate of Musical Arts degree from the Eastman School of Music. Her dedication to pedagogy, mentoring, and performance practice is shown through workshops at duo526’s annual Sonata Seminar, and invitations as a guest teacher at universities across North America.
DR. DAN SATO, PIANO
Dr. Dan Sato is a Japan-born, Hawaii-raised pianist, educator, and researcher who embodies the mottowritten on his favorite T-shirt, “88 keys, 10 fingers—no problem.”
Described by the legendary American virtuoso, André Watts as a musician of “exuberant spontaneity,deep conviction, and serious compositional understanding,” Dan indulges in a rich career performingsolo, chamber music, art song, and operatic repertoire. He has been heard internationally through BBC,WQXR, CBC, KHPR, and major streaming media platforms, and has performed at New Orleans PianoInstitute, Brevard Music Center, Chautauqua Music Festival, and Taconic Music’s Summer Festival. Hefrequently collaborates with artists of his generation including Joohyun Lee, Yeil Park, Rachel Doehring,and Hannah Tarley, and has recorded critically acclaimed albums with Diane Hunger (Deviations) andLeah Plave (Impressions: The Rediscovery of Henriëtte Bosmans).
Affectionately referred to as “Dr. Dan,” he has coached students and taught keyboard literature atSyracuse University and was a faculty artist at the Perlman Music Program, Arts Ahimsa, and Notes By The Bay Music Festival.
Dan currently specializes in solo piano transcriptions, both as a performer and transcriber. Hisadaptation of Ravel’sIntroduction et Allegrowas published by Muse Press in 2020, and he has since thenserved as their editor and scholarly consultant for publications of works by Edouard Risler, LeopoldGodowsky, Keigo Mukawa, and Yui Morishita. He also gave the world premiere of Vincenzo Maltempo’stranscription of theSecond Suitefrom Ravel’sDaphnis et Chloé, which was previously consideredunplayable due to its extreme virtuosic demands.
Photo by Gregory Wang
JOHN SHARP, CELLO
Cellist John Sharp joined the Chicago Symphony Orchestra in 1986 as one of the youngest principalplayers in its history. A top prize winner of the International Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow, he has appeared as soloist with the Chicago Symphony in performances of the Britten Symphony for Cello and Orchestra with Mstislav Rostropovich conducting, the Beethoven Triple Concerto with Itzhak Perlmanand Daniel Barenboim, and in concertos conducted by Music Director Riccardo Muti, Sir Georg Solti, Pierre Boulez, Bernard Haitink, Lorin Maazel, Charles Dutoit, and Michael Tilson Thomas. An active chamber musician, Sharp has performed at the festivals of Marlboro, Santa Fe, La Jolla, Vail, and the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, and recorded Tchaikovsky’s “Souvenir de Florence” with the Vermeer Quartet. Born in Texas, Sharp studied the cello with Lev Aronson and later with Lynn Harrell at the Juilliard School, where he earned a bachelor’s and a master’s degree. Prior to his appointment in Chicago, he served as principal cello of the Cincinnati Symphony. He has given masterclasses through out the United States and in Europe and is currently a professor of cello at Roosevelt University. Sharp plays a rare cello made by Joseph Guarnerius in 1694. John Sharp regularly performs as a duo and in chamber music with his wife, violinist Liba Shacht
Acclaimed as an “outstanding ensemble...cohesive yet full of temperament” (The New York Times), the Verona Quartet has firmly established itself amongst the most distinguished ensembles on the chamber music scene today. The group’s singular sense of purpose most recently earned them Chamber Music America’s coveted 2020 Cleveland Quartet Award, and a reputation for its “bold interpretive strength, robust characterization and commanding resonance” (CalgaryHerald). The Quartet serves on the faculty of the Oberlin College and Conservatory as the Quartet-in-Residence. In addition to its position at Oberlin, the Quartet holds residencies at Nova Scotia’s Lunenburg Academy of Music Performance and North Carolina’s Chamber Orchestra of the Triangle. As committed advocates of diverse programming, the Verona Quartet curates the Up Close Chamber Music Series on behalf of the COT, electrifying audiences from concert halls to craft breweries with their “sensational, powerhouse performance[s]” (Classical Voice America).
TheVerona Quartet has appeared across four continents, captivating audiences at venues such as Carnegie Hall, LincolnCenter (New York City), Kennedy Center, Library of Congress (Washington, D.C.), Jordan Hall (Boston), Wigmore Hall (U.K.) and Melbourne Recital Hall (Australia), and has performed at festivals including La Jolla Summerfest, Chamber Music Northwest, Caramoor, Alpenglow, and Bravo! Vail, and with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center.
The 2022-23 season will see the Verona Quartet return to Carnegie Hall and Buffalo Chamber Music Society as well as debut at esteemed series including the Chamber Music Societies of Utica and of Williamsburg, Clemson University’s Utsey Chamber Music Series, Feldman Chamber Music Society, Friends of Chamber Music Kansas City, and Howland Chamber Music Circle. The Quartet will also participate in guest artist residencies at the Yong Siew Toh Conservatory in Singapore, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and the University of Texas at Austin.
A string quartet for the 21st century, the Verona Quartet champions the rich breadth of the string quartet repertoire from the time-honored canon through contemporary classics. Notable commissions and premieres include works by composers Julia Adolphe, Corey Dundee and Sebastian Currier as well as Michael Gilbertson’s Pulitzer Prize-nominated Quartet. In addition to the 2023 premiere of a string quartet by Derek David, the Quartet will premiere Ritus Sanitatemby Texu Kim and a work for string quartet and yangqin (Chinese dulcimer) by Cheng Jin Koh, commissioned and highlighted by the Smithsonian’s Freer Gallery in recognition of its Centennial.
The Verona Quartet’s critically acclaimed debut album, Diffusion, features works of Janacek, Ravel and Szymanowski and was praised by BBC Music Magazine for its "radiant glow" and Cleveland Classical for the “Verona’s technical precision, expressive freedom, and brilliant, dramatic phrasing”. The Quartet’s second album, SHATTER, will showcase works written for the Verona Quartet by American composers Julia Adolphe and Michael Gilbertson as well as Reena Esmail’s Ragamala, in collaboration with Hindustani vocalist Saili Oak.
In addition to promoting contemporary music, the Quartet strives for a dynamic, imaginative approach to collaboration and programming that champions cross cultural and interdisciplinary enterprises. The Verona Quartet looks forward to collaborations with pianists Anne-Marie McDermott and David Fung, violist Masumi Rostad, cellist Joshua Roman and world-renowned pipa player Wu Man. Past projects include a live-performance art installation with artist Ana Prvački, performances with dancers from Brooklyn’s Dance Heginbotham, artistic exchanges with traditional Emirati poets in theUAE, and a collaboration with GRAMMY-winning folk trio I’m With Her.
Drawing from the mentorship of the celebrated Cleveland, Juilliard and Pacifica Quartets, the Verona Quartet’s rapid riseto international prominence was fueled by top prize wins at the Wigmore Hall, Melbourne, M-Prize and Osaka International Chamber Music Competitions, as well as the 2015 Concert Artists Guild Competition.
The ensemble’s “vibrant, intelligent” (The New York Times) performances emanate from the spirit of storytelling; the Quartet believes that this transcends genre and therefore the name “Verona” pays tribute to William Shakespeare, one of the greatest storytellers of all time.
KATIE WEBER, SOPRANO
Mezzo Soprano Katie Weber is a dynamic and moving performer, with a commitment to text, musicality, and communication through music. "Weber possesses a formidable instrument, with a highly melodious but penetrating timbre."(Rochester Democrat and Chronicle)
Katie's work includes both opera and musical theater. She made her Off-Broadway Debut in Sweetee A New Musical directed by Emmy Award Winner Pat Birch at the Signature Theater at Pershing Square Theater Complex. Other NYC Off-Off Broadway productions include Icons/Idols at Opera America and the New Ohio Theater, Outside of Eden at the New Ohio Theater and Henry Box Brown and The Dizzy Gillespie Theater.
Ms. Weber loves to perform in new works, and has recorded and premiered operas and musicals including Charles Lupia’s Homebound with CNY’s Society for New music, Natalie Elizabeth Weiss’ Borderland, Faye Chiao’s Island of the Moon Kerrigan and Lowdermilk's Republic, Faye Chiao’s Fountain of You, Stephanie Sandberg's Mezzo, Byzantine Choral Project, Helen Banner/Grace Oberhofer's Prinkipo and The Eunics, Brad Ross' Michael Strogoff, Grace Oberhofer's A Doll's House: A New Opera at The Tank Theater as Dr. Rank, and Brad Ross’ Tales of Custard the Dragon with Rochester Lyric Opera.
She has performed in Handel’s Messiah as the Alto Soloist with Syracuse’s Symphora, Performed Leonard Bernstein’s Mass with Tucson’s True Concord, and with Icon/Idols at New York City’s 54 Below. Her work with Eastman’s Bach Cantata series singing BWV 36 & 72 brought her her first international performance in Toronto, Canada.
She received multiple awards, including the Lotte Kenya Young Artist Encouragement Award, the Civic Morning Musicals Ernst Bacon Award, the Eastman Ornest Award, and received 3rd place in the Eastman Jessie Kneisel Lieder Competition.
Born and raised in Syracuse NY, Katie received a double bachelors from the Eastman School of Music in Voice Performance and Music Education, and is pursuing a masters in Vocal Pedagogy at SU’s Setnor School of Music.
ELISABETH WRIGHT, HARPSICHORD
Professor Emerita of harpsichord and fortepiano at the Historical Performance Institute of the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University, a post from which she recently retired after 39 years, Elisabeth Wright is noted for her versatility as soloist and chamber musician and for her expertise in the art of basso continuo improvisation. She is in frequent demand for masterclasses and seminars pertaining to performance practices of 16th to 18th century music. Following graduate studies with Gustav Leonhardt at the Amsterdam (now Sweelinck) Conservatory, she has maintained a distinguished international career performing in many noted venues. Soloist with Tafelmusik, Pacifica, Seattle, Portland and Lyra Baroque Orchestras, she has performed for decades as founding member of Duo Geminiani with esteemed Baroque violinist Stanley Ritchie, with other prominent ensembles, and has collaborated with numerous distinguished artists. She has been broadcast on five continents and recorded for Classic Masters, Milan-Jade, Focus, Arion, Arts Music, Música Ficta, ProMúsica Antiqua, and Centaur. A perpetual student of languages and interested in the relationship between text and music, her research on musical settings of the poetry of Giambattista Marino led to writing a chapter in The Sense of Marino: Literature, FineArts and Music published by Legas Press. Founding member of The Seattle Early MusicGuild and Bloomington Early Music Association, she has served on the board of EarlyMusic America and as panelist for the National Endowment for the Arts, PEW and PennPat and for numerous early keyboard societies, conferences, and academies.
Recent activities include concerts in Minnesota for Lyra Baroque, a chamber tour in the Pacific NW for the Salish Sea Festival, performances with Música Ficta in Mexico and in Poland and, in January, concerts and two recording projects, the first with music from the Bogotá Cathedral Archives and the second a solo harpsichord recording of music by Jean Henry D’Anglebert.