This year's festival features:
Stefan Jackiw, Violin | Orion Weiss, piano | Kyu-Young Kim, violin | Maiya Papach, viola James Garlick, violin | Sæunn Thorsteinsdóttir, cello | Ani Aznavoorian, cello | Yoonah Kim, clarinet | Richard O'Neill, viola | Stephen Schermer, double bass | Eric Han, cello
Stefan Jackiw is one of America’s foremost violinists, captivating audiences with playing that combines poetry and purity with an impeccable technique. Hailed for playing of "uncommon musical substance" that is “striking for its intelligence and sensitivity” (Boston Globe), Jackiw has appeared as soloist with the Boston, Chicago, Cleveland, New York, Philadelphia, and San Francisco symphony orchestras, among others.
This season, highlights include performances of the Mendelssohn Concerto with the Dallas Symphony, under Juraj Valcuha, and the Minnesota Orchestra, under Ilyich Rivas. He also returns to the Utah, Omaha, and Kansas City Symphonies, and in Europe, tours with the Antwerp Symphony Orchestra, and performs with the Residentie Orkest, Copenhagen Philharmonic, and the Helsinki Philharmonic. Further afield, he appears with the Singapore Symphony and Tasmanian Symphony, and returns to Korea to perform with the KBS Symphony Orchestra.
Jackiw is also an active recitalist and chamber musician. In recital, Jackiw performs the complete Ives Violin Sonatas with Jeremy Denk at the Tanglewood Festival, ahead of their upcoming recording of the works for Nonesuch Records. He has performed in numerous important festivals and concert series, including the Aspen Music Festival, Ravinia Festival, and Caramoor International Music Festival, the Celebrity Series of Boston, New York’s Mostly Mozart Festival, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Washington Performing Arts Society and the Louvre Recital Series in Paris. As a chamber musician, Jackiw has collaborated with such artists as Jeremy Denk, Steven Isserlis, Yo-Yo Ma, and Gil Shaham, and forms a trio with Jay Campbell and Conrad Tao. At the opening night of Carnegie Hall’s Zankel Hall in New York, Jackiw was the only young artist invited to perform, playing alongside such artists as Emanuel Ax, Renée Fleming, Evgeny Kissin, and James Levine.
Born to physicist parents of Korean and German descent, Stefan Jackiw began playing the violin at the age of four. His teachers have included Zinaida Gilels, Michèle Auclair, and Donald Weilerstein. He holds a Bachelor of Arts from Harvard University, as well as an Artist Diploma from the New England Conservatory, and is the recipient of a prestigious Avery Fisher Career Grant. He lives in New York City.
Violin (2019 Special Guest Artist)
One of the most sought-after soloists in his generation of young American musicians, the pianist Orion Weiss has performed with the major American orchestras, including the Chicago Symphony, Boston Symphony, Los Angeles Philharmonic, and New York Philharmonic. His deeply felt and exceptionally crafted performances go far beyond his technical mastery and have won him worldwide acclaim.
His 2018-19 season sees him beginning that season with the Lucerne Festival and ending with the Minnesota Orchestra, with performances for the Denver Friends of Chamber Music, the University of Iowa, the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, the Albany Symphony, the Kennedy Center’s Fortas Series, the 92nd Street Y, and the Broad Stage in between. In 2017-18 Orion performed Beethoven's Triple Concerto with the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, toured with James Ehnes, and soloed with twelve orchestras around the United States. Other highlights of recent seasons include his third performance with the Chicago Symphony, a North American tour with the world-famous Salzburg Marionette Theater in a performance of Debussy’s La Boîte à Joujoux, the release of his recording of Christopher Rouse’s Seeing, and recordings of the complete Gershwin works for piano and orchestra with his longtime collaborators the Buffalo Philharmonic and JoAnn Falletta.
Also known for his affinity and enthusiasm for chamber music, Weiss performs regularly with the violinists Augustin Hadelich, William Hagen, Benjamin Beilman, James Ehnes, and Arnaud Sussman; the pianist Shai Wosner; and the cellist Julie Albers; and the Ariel, Parker, and Pacifica Quartets. As a recitalist and chamber musician, Weiss has appeared across the U.S. at venues and festivals including Lincoln Center, the Ravinia Festival, Sheldon Concert Hall, the Seattle Chamber Music Festival, La Jolla Music Society SummerFest, Chamber Music Northwest, the Bard Music Festival, the Bridgehampton Chamber Music Festival, the Kennedy Center, and Spivey Hall. He won the 2005 William Petschek Recital Award at Juilliard, and made his New York recital debut at Alice Tully Hall that April. Also in 2005 he made his European debut in a recital at the Musée du Louvre in Paris. He was a member of the Chamber Music Society Two program of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center from 2002-2004, which included his appearance in the opening concert of the Society’s 2002-2003 season at Alice Tully Hall performing Ravel’s La Valse with Shai Wosner.
In March 1999, with less than 24 hours’ notice, Weiss stepped in to replace André Watts for a performance of Shostakovich’s Piano Concerto No. 2 with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. He was immediately invited to return to the Orchestra for a performance of the Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto in October 1999. In 2004, he graduated from the Juilliard School, where he studied with Emanuel Ax.
Piano (2019 Special Guest Artist)
Kyu-Young Kim, Artistic Director and Principal Violin of The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, is one of the most versatile and accomplished musicians of his generation. His appointment as the SPCO’s Artistic Director in January 2016 marked the first time a playing member had been tapped to take the artistic helm of a major American orchestra. Previously, Kim served as Senior Director of Artistic Planning with the SPCO all the while continuing to perform in the orchestra, and since assuming a dual role as musician and administrator in 2013, the SPCO has named five new Artistic Partners, opened its new Concert Hall at the Ordway Center for the Performing Arts, and toured domestically and internationally to great critical acclaim.
Under Kim’s artistic direction, the SPCO has been consistently recognized for its innovative programming and the clarity of its artistic profile. Most recently, the SPCO was nominated for a 2018 Grammy Award for best chamber music performance for a recording of Schubert’s Death and the Maiden Quartet in a new arrangement by Artistic Partner Patricia Kopatchinskaja. Of the SPCO and its programming, Rob Hubbard of the Pioneer Press wrote in March 2017, “Chalk it up to an increasingly adventurous group of artistic partners or the growing empowerment of the orchestra’s musicians in programming decisions and conductor-‐less collaborative performances, but SPCO concerts feel a lot more like exploration than they used to.”
The Twin Cities Business Magazine recognized Kim in 2017 in its list of 100 People to Know. In naming Kim as honorable mention in the Minneapolis Star Tribune’s 2016 Artist of the Year awards, Terry Blain wrote, “Player, thinker, planner, mover, shaker – Kyu-‐Young Kim had a major influence on the Twin Cities arts community in 2016, setting new standards for what’s possible in the world of classical music.” In 2014, Kim and the SPCO were awarded an ASCAP Award for Adventurous Programming for its commitment to contemporary music.
As a violinist, Kim has toured throughout North America, Europe and Asia, performing in such prestigious venues as Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center, the Seoul Arts Center, the Palais des Beaux Arts (Brussels), and the Beethoven-‐Haus (Bonn). As a founding member of the Daedalus Quartet, winners of the Grand Prize at the 2001 Banff International String Quartet Competition, he performed in many of the major halls of Europe, including the Musikverein (Vienna), the Concertgebouw (Amsterdam), the Philharmonie (Cologne), the Cité de la Musique (Paris), the Mozarteum (Salzburg), and the Megaron (Athens), and was a member of Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center’s Chamber Music Two Program. He has also served as guest concertmaster of the Pittsburgh Symphony, the Minnesota Orchestra, and the Mostly Mozart Festival Orchestra, and was a core member of the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra from 2010-‐2016. As a member of the Pacifica Quartet from 1997-‐1999, Kim won the 1998 Naumburg Chamber Music Award. Kim has received degrees from the Curtis Institute, the Juilliard School, and the Cleveland Institute of Music, and has studied with Donald Weilerstein, Robert Mann, Jaime Laredo, Yumi Scott and Shirley Givens.
Maiya Papach is the principal violist of The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra. A member of the orchestra since 2008, she has made solo appearances with the SPCO in Mozart’s Sinfonia Concertante with concertmaster Steven Copes, solo directed Benjamin Britten’s Lachrymae and as soloist in Woolrich’s Ulysses Awakes.
Papach has made frequent national and international appearances as a chamber musician, with a versatile profile in her performances of both traditional and contemporary repertoire. She is a founding member of the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE), with whom she has performed frequently at Lincoln Center’s Mostly Mozart Festival, New York’s Le Poisson Rouge, Chicago’s Museum of Contemporary Art and dozens of experimental venues. She has toured extensively in the former Soviet Union with the Da Capo Chamber Players, across North America with Musicians from Marlboro, and has made appearances at Prussia Cove (UK), the Boston Chamber Music Society, the Chesapeake Chamber Music Festival, the Chattanooga Chamber Music Festival and Chamber Music Quad Cities. She is also currently a member of Accordo, a Twin Cities-based chamber music group.
Papach is a 2013 recipient of the McKnight Fellowship for Performing Musicians administered by the MacPhail Center for Music. Through this fellowship and in collaboration with ICE, she co-commissioned a viola concerto by Anthony Cheung, performed at the Mostly Mozart Festival to critical acclaim by the New York Times. She is a graduate of the Oberlin Conservatory and the Juilliard School, and her principal teachers include Roland Vamos, Karen Tuttle, Benny Kim and Hsin-Yun Huang. She performs on a 19th century Turinese viola by Annibale Fagnola.
James Garlick teaches violin at Macalester College and can be found most weeks performing with the Minnesota Orchestra. He has performed concerti from Tchaikovsky to Piazzolla with orchestras including the Northwest Sinfonietta, Everett Philharmonic, Seattle Baroque Orchestra, Cascade Symphony, and Philharmonia Northwest. Recent highlights include a performance of Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto in Medellin, Colombia with Orquestra Sinfonica EAFIT and a tour to South Africa with the Minnesota Orchestra.
James attributes his love of music to his many teachers and mentors in his hometown of Port Angeles. He began lessons with JoDee Ahmann at age five and also worked closely with Phil and Deborah Morgan-Ellis, Nico Snel, Helena Emery, and Ron Jones. As a proud graduate of the strings program in Port Angeles, James believes strongly in the importance of encouraging and fostering music in public schools—not only to nurture young musicians but also to enrich the entire community.
James earned degrees in violin performance from Oberlin Conservatory and neuroscience from Oberlin College as well as a graduate degree from The Juilliard School. He recently completed three seasons as a full-time member of the violin section of the Minnesota Orchestra and also performs regularly with the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra and Seattle Symphony. As concertmaster, James has led Orchestra Prometheus Chicago, the Amarillo Symphony, Juilliard Orchestra, Northwest Sinfonietta, Cascade Symphony, Bellevue Philharmonic, and others. James previously taught violin at St. Olaf College and performs on a 1991 Samuel Zygmuntowicz violin. He lives in Saint Paul, Minnesota with his wife Emily, toddler Arthur, and springer spaniel Ellie.
Violin (Co-Artistic Director)
Icelandic-American cellist, Sæunn Thorsteinsdóttir, enjoys a varied career as a performer, collaborator and teaching artist. She has appeared as soloist with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchester, BBC Symphony Orchestra, Seattle Symphony, Toronto Symphony Orchestra and Iceland Symphony, among others, and her recital and chamber music performances have taken her across the US, Europe and Asia. Sæunn has performed in many of the world’s prestigious halls including Carnegie Hall, Suntory Hall, Elbphilharmonie, Barbican Center and Disney Hall and the press have described her as “charismatic” and “riveting” (NYTimes) and praised her performances for their “emotional intensity” (LATimes).
An avid chamber musician, she has collaborated in performance with Itzhak Perlman, Mitsuko Uchida, Richard Goode and members of the Emerson, Guarneri, St. Lawrence and Cavani Quartets and has performed in numerous chamber music festivals, including Santa Fe, Seattle, Stellenbosch, Orcas Island, Bay Chamber, Prussia Cove and Marlboro, with whom she has toured. She is cellist of the Seattle-based group, Frequency, and cellist and founding member of Decoda, The Affiliate Ensemble of Carnegie Hall.
In the 2018-2019 season, Sæunn makes her debut with the BBC and Seattle Symphonies performing the award-winning cello concerto, Quake, written for her by Páll Ragnar Pálsson. Chamber music appearances take her to Carnegie Hall in New York City, Glasgow, and Los Angeles, as well as recitals in Reykjavík, Seattle, and Chicago following the Spring 2019 release of “Vernacular”, her recording of Icelandic solo cello music on the Sono Luminus label.
Highlights of the 2017-2018 season included the US premiere of Betsy Jolas’ Wanderlied and the Hong Kong premiere of Sofia Gubaidulina’s Canticle of the Sun, as well as recitals and chamber music appearances in New York City, San Francisco, Seattle, Glasgow, London, and Reykjavík. In addition to collaborating with Daníel Bjarnason on his award-winning composition Bow to String, Sæunn enjoys close working relationships with composers of our time such as Páll Ragnar Pálsson, Halldór Smárason, Melia Watras, Jane Antonia Cornish and Þuríður Jónsdóttir.
Sæunn has garnered numerous prizes in international competitions, including the Naumburg Competition in New York City and the Antonio Janigro Competition in Zagreb, Croatia. She received a Bachelor of Music from the Cleveland Institute of Music, a Master of Music from The Juilliard School and a Doctorate of Musical Arts from SUNY Stony Brook. Her teachers and mentors include Richard Aaron, Tanya Carey, Colin Carr, and Joel Krosnick. Born in Reykjavík, Iceland, Sæunn serves on the faculty of the University of Washington in Seattle, teaching cello and chamber music. For more information, please visit .
The Strad magazine describes cellist Ani Aznavoorian as having “Scorchingly committed performances that wring every last drop of emotion out of the music. Her technique is well-nigh immaculate, she has a natural sense of theater, and her tone is astonishingly responsive.”
Ms. Aznavoorian has appeared as soloist with many of the world’s leading orchestras including the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the Tokyo Philharmonic, the Helsinki Philharmonic, the Boston Pops, the International Sejong Soloists, and the Juilliard Orchestra. She has also appeared as recitalist and chamber musician in over 20 countries spanning 5 continents.
Ms. Aznavoorian is an avid chamber musician and teacher. She is the principal cellist of Camerata Pacifica, one of the premier chamber music organizations in Southern California and she appears regularly at chamber music festivals around the globe. She has also served on the distinguished music faculty at the University of Illinois in Champaign/Urbana, and has spent summers as faculty of the Great Mountains Music Festival and School in South Korea.
Her numerous accolades include being the recipient of the prestigious Bunkamura Orchard Hall Award for her outstanding cello playing and artistry, being named a Presidential Scholar in the Arts, and being a top prize winner of the International Paulo Cello Competition. She is a proponent of new music and she has premiered concertos by Lera Auerbach and Ezra Laderman and continues to expand the chamber music repertoire with commissions from David Bruce, Bright Sheng, and John Harbison. This season highlights include debut appearances at music festivals in Canada, Northern Ireland, and England, and a special benefit concert in Armenia, the country of her ancestors. Ms. Aznavoorian records for Cedille Records and she proudly performs on a cello made by her father Peter Aznavoorian in Chicago.
Hailed by The New York Times for her "inexhaustible virtuosity", clarinetist Yoonah Kim is rapidly earning recognition as a young artist of uncommon musical depth and versatility. Yoonah is a winner of the 2016 Concert Artists Guild International Competition. The first solo clarinetist to win CAG in nearly 30 years, this Korean-Canadian artist joins the ranks of prominent solo clarinetists discovered by CAG, including David Shifrin, Michael Collins, and David Krakauer.
Select highlights of Yoonah’s 2018-19 season include the Mozart Clarinet Concerto with the Maui Chamber Orchestra, and the World Premiere of a new concerto by Eric Nathan for Violin and Clarinet, with violinist Stefan Jackiw and the New York Classical Players, as well as chamber music at the Mainly Mozart Festival in San Diego. Also this season are special performances of Messiaen’s Quartet for the End of Time with Stefan Jackiw, cellist Jay Campbell and pianist Orion Weiss at Princeton University and the Crypt in New York City.
Prior to a busy summer 2018 season—featuring California’s Festival Napa Valley, Maine’s Bay Chamber Music Festival, and a tour of Greece at the invitation of composer Lowell Liebermann—Yoonah’s 2017-18 season had many high points. Starting with her New York recital debut at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall, she also gave debut recitals for Chicago’s Dame Myra Hess Memorial Concerts series, Washington Performing Arts’ Music in the Country series, Chamber Music Society of Little Rock and Union County Performing Arts Center (NJ). She also appeared as concerto soloist with the Arkansas Symphony Youth Orchestra, the Chesapeake Youth Symphony (Maryland), and the DuPage Symphony Orchestra (Chicago).
In 2016, Yoonah became the first woman to win first prize at the Vandoren Emerging Artist Competition, and also the first woman to win first prize at the George Gershwin International Competition. From 2016 to 2018, Yoonah was a member of Ensemble Connect (formerly Ensemble ACJW), a highly selective two-year fellowship program under the joint auspices of Carnegie Hall, The Weill Institute, and The Juilliard School.
Praised by the London Times as "ravishing" the New York Times for his "elegant, velvety tone" the Los Angeles Times as "energetic and sassy...exceptional" and Seattle Times as "sublime" VIOLIST RICHARD O'NEILL has distinguished himself as one of the great instrumentalists of his generation. An Emmy Award winner, two-time Grammy nominee, and Avery Fisher Career Grant recipient, he has achieved recognition and critical acclaim not only as a champion of his instrument but as a social and musical ambassador as well. He has appeared as soloist with the London, Los Angeles, Seoul, and Euro-Asian Philharmonics; the BBC, KBS, Hiroshima and Korean Symphonies; the Moscow, Vienna, and Württemburg Chamber Orchestras; Alte Musik Köln, Kremerata Baltica and Sejong with conductors Andrew Davis, Miguel Harth Bedoya, Vladimir Jurowski, Nicholas McGegan, Eiji Oue, Francois Xavier Roth, Vassily Sinaisky, Leonard Slatkin and Yannick Nezet-Seguin. Highlights of this season include collaborations with Gidon Kremer, concertos with Kremerata Baltica and the Vienna Chamber Orchestra, a European tour and complete Beethoven String Quartet cycle with the Ehnes Quartet, and the 10th anniversary of DITTO, his chamber music project and festival in South Korea.
Dedicated to the music of our time, he has worked with composers Mason Bates, Elliott Carter, Paul Chihara, Unsuk Chin, Mario Davidovsky, John Harbison, Jo Kondo, Chris Paul Harman, Matthias Pintscher, Huang Ruo, George Tsontakis, Melinda Wagner, John Zorn, and has premiered works commissioned and composed for him by Carter, Harbison, Ruo, and Chihara. In 2018 he will premiere composer Lera Auerbach's 24 Preludes with the composer at the piano for Camerata Pacifica.
A popular figure in South Korea, he has appeared on virtually all major television networks and newspapers and publications. His 2004 appearance in the KBS Documentary Series, "Human Theater" was viewed by over 12 million and led to a second series and his popularity with the Korean public. In 2013, he led a documentary series featuring his work with a multicultural youth orchestra for MBC, "Hello?! Orchestra" which led to an International Emmy in Arts Programming and a feature length film that debuted at the Busan International Film Festival. Recently he has been partnering with MBC and OXFAM, which brought him to the northern Rift Valley of Kenya in 2015 where he explored clean water access.
In his tenth season as artistic director of DITTO he has introduced tens of thousands to chamber music in South Korea. On its first two international tours, DITTO sold out Tokyo's International Forum and Osaka Symphony Hall as well as the Shanghai Concert Hall. The first violist to receive the Artist Diploma from Juilliard, he holds a Bachelors of Music from The USC Thornton School of Music magna cum laude and a Masters from The Juilliard School: Donald McInnes, Karen Tuttle and Paul Neubauer were his mentors. In 2007 he was honored with a Proclamation from the New York City Council for his achievement and contribution to the arts. He serves as Goodwill Ambassador for the Korean Red Cross, The Special Olympics, UNICEF and OXFAM, runs marathons for charity and serves on the faculty of the Music Academy of the West in Santa Barbara.
He performs on two rare violas: one made by Matteo Goffriller of Venice, the ex-Trampler, made in 1727, and the other, a Gasparo da Salo, ex-Iglitzin, the Counts of Flanders.
Viola (Co-Artistic Director)
Stephen Schermer, Double Bass, is a Port Angeles native and proud 1981 graduate of the PASD music program. He currently performs with TORCH, a Seattle based quartet focusing on composition and cross genre collaborations. Mr. Schermer is a member of the Pacific Northwest Ballet Orchestra and is an Affiliate Artist at University Of Puget Sound. Previously he has held positions with the Oregon Symphony and the Spokane Symphony and performed often with Seattle Symphony and Seattle Opera. He has been a part of many chamber music series and festivals including First Mondays at Jordan Hall, The Jacobsen Series, Walla Walla Chamber Music Festival, Moscow Chamber Music Festival, Women Who Score, and the Olympic Music Festival. He is active in the recording industry and is sought after as a clinician, coach, and adjudicator throughout the Pacific Northwest. Mr. Schermer received his BA with honors from Eastern Washington University, his MM with honors as Outstanding Musician from the New England Conservatory, and continued his studies for 2 summers at the Tanglewood Music Center.
Korean born Canadian cellist Eric Han made his concerto debut with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra at the age of 14. Following his debut led to many engagements with Toronto Sinfonietta, Toronto chamber players and Symphony by the Sea in Boston. In collaboration with world-renowned conductor Sir Andrew Davis, he recorded a live performance of the Elgar cello concerto on the Yamaha Canada label.
As an avid chamber musician, Eric has performed with many of world’s leading musicians such as Joseph Silverstein, Roberto Diaz, Ani and Ida Kavafian, Cho-Liang Lin, Chee Yun, Lynn Harrell, Gray Hoffman, Paul Coletti, Jörg Widmann, Jan Vogler, Thomas Demenga Classical guitarist Jason Vieaux and the members of the Altenberg Trio, Borromeo quartet and Orion String Quartet. As a recitalist, Eric has performed in many of world’s prestigious halls, including Zankel Hall Carnegie, 92nd St. Y, St. Martin in the fields, and the Queen’s Hall in Edinburgh.
Eric has been the recipient of many awards in Canada and the US, including the Tom Thomas Scholarship, Toronto Symphony Orchestra Scholarship, and Schimidbauer international string competition and 2012 Sylva Gelber Award. As a guest artist and artist-in-residence, Eric has participated at numerous festivals, including the Moritzburg Festival, La Jolla Summerfest, Music@Menlo, Sarasota Music Festival, the Banff Centre, Orford Arts Centre and is on faculty at Marrowstone music festival.
Eric studied with David Hetherington at the Glenn Gould School, and holds a B.M. from the Colburn School of Music, under the tutelage of Ronald Leonard. He is a recent recipient of an Artist diploma from the Curtis Institute of Music, where he studied with Peter Wiley and Carter Brey.
Eric has joined the Seattle Symphony Orchestra as their 4th chair cellist and is acting principal cellist for Seattle Opera Company. He plays on a cello made by Frank Ravatin (2003 Vannes) and modern bow by Bernard Walke, on generous loan to him from the Maestro Foundations.