The five internationally acclaimed artists who will perform next at the USCB Festival Series have studied under exceptional professors at the best schools, have won major prizes and have played the world’s finest music at the world’s grandest venues and music festivals. They have also performed with great artists such as Yo-Yo Ma, Jaime Laredo, Joshua Bell, Menahem Pressler and the St. Lawrence String Quartet and played with great orchestras in music centers such as New York, Philadelphia, Chicago, Washington, Paris, Quebec, Montreal, Moscow, Tokyo, Cologne and London. On May 1, they will play Schubert, Berio, Mozart and Dvorak in Beaufort, South Carolina.
Yehonatan Berick is in high demand internationally as soloist, recitalist, chamber musician, on violin as well as on viola, and pedagogue. His busy concert schedule has already taken him throughout North America, Europe and Israel.
His recital programs have featured, among others, Bach’s complete Sonatas and Partitas, and Paganini’s 24 caprices, each cycle performed in a single day or concert. On CD, Berick has recorded for the Centaur, Summit, Gasparo, Acoma, JMC and Helicon labels. His recording with the Amici ensemble, entitled Contrasts, has won rave reviews in the Canadian press. Other CD features include the Grand Concert for violin, piano and string quartet by Chausson; Chamber Music by Paul Ben Haim; The Impossible Dream by Gerhard Samuel; and Mordechai Seter’s unaccompanied violin sonata. Many of his concerts are broadcast on Radio and TV in Canada, Europe and Israel.
Prior to his current appointment as Professor of Violin at the University of Michigan, Yehonatan Berick was on the faculties of McGill University and the Eastman School of Music. He has been invited as teacher and artist-in-residence at Bowdoin Music Festival, Killington Music Festival, The Shouse Institute, The Beethoven Seminar, Music@Menlo, Sounds in the Valley and the JMC Young Players’ Unit in Israel, and has presented masterclasses worldwide.
Yehonatan Berick started his musical education at the age of six. Having graduated from highschool at 16, he entered the Tel Aviv University’s Music Academy, and completed his studies at the College-Conservatory of Music at the University of Cincinnati, earning a full tuition and a Summa cum Lauda. His principal violin teachers were Ilona Feher, Henry Meyer, Kurt Sassmanshauss, and Dorothy Delay. He had theory teachings with composer Sergiu Natra, and attended masterclasses with such artists as Isaac Stern, Henryk Szeryng, Max Rostal and Josef Gingold. One of the brightest talents of Israel, Berick won several Clairemont Awards, and received yearly stipends from the America-Israel Cultural Foundation.
Yehonatan Berick is currently playing on a violin by Joseph Guarneri from 1735, on a generous loan from the RAD Instrument Foundation and its head Yehuda Zisapel, and a viola by Stanley Kiernoziak from 2003.
Violist Hsin-Yun Huang, recognized as one of the leading violists of her generation, came to international prominence in 1993 when she was winner of the top prize of the ARD International Music Competition in Munich and the Bunkamura Orchard Hall Award. In 1988, Ms. Huang was the youngest-ever Gold Medalist of the Lionel Tertis International Viola Competition on the Isle of Man. These and other honors have propelled a career as soloist and chamber musician on stages of major concert halls throughout North America, Europe, and the Far East.
Recent highlights include concerto appearances with the City of London Sinfonia; the Amarillo Symphony; the Naumberg Orchestra in New York City’s Central Park and the Dalbavie Viola Concerto with the ICE a Miller Theater in New York City. George Benjamins Viola Viola with violist Misha Amory for Carnegie Halls Making Music series at Zankel Hall and a part of Elliot Carter’s Celebration of his 100th Birthday at Zankel Hall. Other solo performances have included concerto appearances with the Bavarian Radio Orchestra in Munich, the Zagreb Soloists in Paris, the Tokyo Philharmonic in Tokyo, the Berlin Radio Symphony in Berlin, the Russian State Philharmonic, the National Symphony of Taiwan, the Taipei City Symphony and with the Evergreen Symphony Orchestra.
Ms. Huang has recently embarked on a series of major commissioning projects for solo viola and chamber ensemble. In July 2006 she premiered a new work from Houston-based Taiwanese composer Shih-Hui Chen, Shu Shon Key (Remembrance) with the Broyhill Chamber Ensemble at An Appalachian Summer Festival in North Carolina. The work was co-commissioned by the festival along with Da Camera of Houston and the Chinese Performing Arts. The Evergreen Symphony Orchestra has commissioned a version of the work for solo viola and orchestra which received its world premiere in Taipei in 2008.
A new work from Steven Mackey, also for solo viola and chamber ensemble, was premiered at the Aspen Music Festival in the summer of 2007. Subsequent performances include presentations by the Fulcrum Point New Music Project in Chicago, the La Jolla Summer Festival, Salt Bay Chamberfest and at Princeton University.
Ms. Huang was a member of the Borromeo String Quartet from 1994-2000. In 1998 the Borromeo String Quartet was awarded the prestigious Cleveland Quartet Award, chosen by the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center to be members of Chamber Music Society Two, and featured in a Live from Lincoln Center telecast. She recently founded the Variation String Trio with violinist Jennifer Koh and cellist Wilhelmina Smith.
Hsin-Yun Huang came to England at the age of fourteen to study at the Yehudi Menuhin School with David Takeno. She continued her studies at the Curtis Institute with Michael Tree, and at the Juilliard School with Samuel Rhodes. Currently residing in New York City, she is a dedicated teacher, serving on the faculties of The Juilliard School and the Mannes College of Music and has given master classes at major music programs in the USA, Europe and Asia.
Violist Nicholas Cords is strongly committed to the advocacy and performance of music from a very broad historic and geographical spectrum. His busy touring schedule has led him in recent years to Carnegie Hall, the Concertgebouw, Alice Tully Hall, the Cologne Philharmonie, and the Library of Congress. As a soloist, he has appeared with the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Chicago Symphony, the Minnesota Orchestra, and with the New York String Seminar Orchestra.
Mr. Cords is a regular member of Yo-Yo Ma’s Silk Road Ensemble, a musical collective that uses the historic Silk Road trading route as a metaphor for musical exchange and creativity in the present. The group has not only traveled to many of the major musical centers of the United States and Europe, but also to China, Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Singapore, India, Egypt, Iran, Syria and a number of the Central Asian Republics. In addition to performing with the ensemble, he has taken a role in the organization and development of new creative projects, programming for concerts and museum residencies and as an active part of two long-term residencies with the group: one at the Rhode Island School of Design and one at Harvard University. Mr. Cords appears on all three of the ensemble’s albums released by Sony Classical; ‘Silk Road Journeys’, ‘Beyond the Horizon’, and ‘New Impossibilites’.
He has appeared frequently on television and radio including a Chinese National Television broadcast from the Great Wall, the David Letterman Show, numerous National Public Radio broadcasts, Good Morning America, a NHK Japan documentary about the Silk Road Ensemble, and a four year run as resident commentator and performer on WQXR New York’s Radio weekly On A-I-R. Mr. Cords is an active member of many ensembles, including the Caramoor Virtuousi, An Die Musik, Richardson Chamber Players, the Stillwater Music Festival, and the Metropolitan Museum Artists in Concert. He is also a founding member of Brooklyn Rider; a multi-faceted string quartet dedicated to creative programming, expansion of the repertoire and innovative collaborations. Brooklyn Rider’s recordings include the critically acclaimed Silent City for the Harmonia Mundi/World Village label with Persian kemancheh virtuoso Kayhan Kalhor, Passport on In a Circle Records, and a collaboration with singer/songwriter Christina Courtin on her recent self-titled album on the Nonesuch label.
Mr. Cords began his musical education at the Juilliard School where he won top honors in the viola competition and subsequently gave the New York premiere of John Harbison’s Viola Concerto at Avery Fisher Hall. He completed his studies at Philadelphia’s Curtis Institute of Music. His teachers have included Karen Tuttle, Harvey Shapiro, Joseph Fuchs, and Felix Galamir. Himself a committed teacher, Mr. Cords spends part of his summer schedule teaching at the Bennington Chamber Music and Composers Conference and during the year serves as viola instructor at Princeton University. He has twice participated as a mentor along with other members of the Silk Road Ensemble in the Weill Institute Professional Training Workshops at Carnegie Hall and has also delivered a series of teacher workshops for the New York City Department of Education on music and the role of it can play in cross-cultural understanding. Mr. Cords plays on an instrument made for him in 2004 by famed Brooklyn maker Samuel Zygmuntowicz.
At the recommendation of Isaac Stern and Alexander Schneider, violinist Carmit Zori came to the United States from her native Israel at the age of fifteen to study with Ivan Galamian, Jaime Laredo and Arnold Steinhardt at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia. Ms. Zori is the recipient of a Levintritt Foundation Award, a Pro Musicis International Award, and a top prize in the Walter W. Naumburg International Violin Competition. Carmit Zori has appeared as a soloist with the New York Philharmonic, the Rochester Philharmonic, and the Philadelphia Orchestra, among many others.
Among the many venues where she has performed as a recitalist are Lincoln Center, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Isabella Stewart Gardener Museum in Boston and the Phillips Collection in Washington D.C. Her engagements abroad have included performances throughout Latin America and Europe, as well as in Israel, Japan, Taiwan and Australia, where she premiered the Violin Concerto by Marc Neikrug. Ms. Zori was an artistic director and frequent performer at Bargemusic in New York, and is now the artistic director of the Brooklyn Chamber Music Society, which she founded in 2002. She has recorded on the Arabesque, Koch International, and Elektra-Nonesuch labels. Ms. Zori is a member of the faculty at SUNY Purchase.
Anchoring the ensemble will be cellist, host and Artistic Director Edward Arron, who has led the Festival Series for the past two seasons with fine and varied programming and impassioned performances. A native of Cincinnati, Mr. Arron made his New York recital debut in 2000 at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Earlier that year, he performed Vivaldi’s Concerto for Two Cellos with Yo-Yo Ma and the Orchestra of St. Luke’s at the Opening Night Gala of the Caramoor International Festival. Since that time, Mr. Arron has appeared in recital, as a soloist with orchestra, and as a chamber musician throughout the United States, Europe and Asia. He recently joined Andrew Armstrong and Jennifer Frautschi on stage with the Orchestra of St. Luke’s, Peter Oundjian conducting, to perform Beethoven’s Triple Concerto.
For more complete bios of the artists and for a complete program, please go to http://www.uscb.edu/festivalseries.
For advance tickets, call Staci Breton at 843-208-8246, Monday – Friday 8:30 – 4:30. Tickets are also available at the door. Tickets start at $40. Doors open at 4 pm and the concert will begin at 5 pm on Sunday, May 1 at the USCB Performing Arts Center on Carteret Street.