News

St. Cecilia Music Center Brings the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center to Grand Rapids on March 16, 2017 Featuring Esteemed Artistic Director/pianist Wu Han, and Five World-class String Musicians Performing Music by French Composers

St. Cecilia Music Center proudly presents six world-class musician from the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center on March 16, 2017. The evening’s program is entitled “French Virtuosity” featuring co-artistic director and pianist Wu Han, performing with colleagues Kristin Lee, Yura Lee and Arnaud Sussman, violin; Richard O’Neill, viola and Nicholas Canellakis, cello.

The program will include:

  • Leclair Concerto in E minor for Violin, String Quartet and Continuo, Op. 10, No. 5
  • Françaix Trio for Violin, Viola and Cello
  • Ravel Tzigane, rapsodie de concert for Violin and Piano
  • Chausson Concerto in D Major for Violin, Piano and String Quartet, Op. 21

Concert tickets are $38 and $43 and can be purchased by calling St. Cecilia Music Center at 616-459-2224 or visiting the box office at 24 Ransom Ave. NE. Tickets can also be purchased online at www.scmc-online.org.

Other highlights of the evening will be:

  • A pre-concert wine and hors d’oeurves reception from 6:00 – 7:00 pm in the 2nd floor newly renovated Ballroom for $15;
  • A pre-concert artist talk. Musicians performing that evening will take part in a question and answer session moderated by Executive Director Catherine Holbrook in Royce Auditorium from 7 – 7:30 pm preceding the concert; and
  • complimentary post-concert wine, coffee and dessert reception for the audience to meet the artists and obtain signed CDs of their releases

Cathy Holbrook, Executive Director of SCMC explains, “Sometimes people have the idea that chamber music concert will be stuffy and that the artists will be unapproachable. This idea can’t be further from the truth! The artists from the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center are some of the most fun and outgoing people I’ve met. And this exuberance shines through during their exquisite performances. I’m very excited to have Wu Han and these five world class string artists here to engage with our enthusiastic Grand Rapids audience in the intimate Royce Auditorium.”

About the Performance

The music of France has been perennially vibrant, colorful and elegant. In this thrilling program, comprised of works by Leclair, Françaix, Ravel, and Chausson, CMS Co-Artistic Director, pianist Wu Han, heads up a cast of six CMS artists that are sure to dazzle and delight with their incomparable virtuosity: on violin, the thrilling artistry of Kristin Lee, Yura Lee and Arnaud Sussmann; on viola, the remarkable Richard O’Neill, and on cello, the inspired playing of Nicholas Canellakis. Leclair’s Concerto for Violin, String Quartet and Continuo exemplifies the values and aspirations of the Age of Enlightenment: clarity and rationality; balance, harmony and proportion; and avoidance of excess or exaggeration. Français’s Trio for Violin, Viola and Cello which follows is infused with the composer’s signature exuberance and impeccable craftsmanship. Bringing this program to a scintillating close is Chausson’s Concerto for Violin, Piano and String Quartet, a tour de force work, which synthesizes brilliant instrumental virtuosity and intimate ensemble playing like no other.

For more information about the performing artists and The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center see www.chambermusicsociety.org. Program notes are available upon request.

The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center Series

In 2015, SCMC renewed a three-year contract with The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center and is thrilled to continue its collaboration with CMS’s artistic directors, David Finckel and Wu Han, who were named “Musicians of the Year” by Musical America in 2012. Finckel and Wu Han became the artistic directors of St. Cecilia’s chamber music series in 2012, and since that time, have brought the exquisite performances of CMS of Lincoln Center to Grand Rapids. These concerts feature the best chamber musicians in the world in dynamic and beautifully performed programs that can be heard in St. Cecilia’s Royce Auditorium and at Lincoln Center in New York City. This is a unique partnership and a wonderful testament to St. Cecilia Music Center’s acoustically superb Royce Auditorium and to Grand Rapids as a cultural destination for artists from around the world.

Artist Bios

Wu Han – Co-Artistic Director/Pianist

“When pianist Wu Han arrived in the U.S. from Taipei, in 1981, she spoke not a word of English. Today, she is the modern model of the American success story, equal parts impresaria, scholar, performer, teacher, cheer leader, and recording producer.”

“As both personality and artist, Wu Han seems to light a fire wherever she goes; she is a self-confessed risk-taker, a passionate, committed artist too busy making a difference to ever take credit.” – Musical America

David Finckel and Wu Han are among the most esteemed and influential classical musicians in the world today.  They are recipients of Musical America’s Musicians of the Year award, one of the highest honors granted by the music industry. The talent, energy, imagination, and dedication they bring to their multifaceted endeavors as concert performers, recording artists, educators, artistic administrators, and cultural entrepreneurs go unmatched. Their duo performances have garnered superlatives from the press, public, and presenters alike.

In high demand year after year among chamber music audiences worldwide, the duo has appeared each season at the most prestigious venues and concert series across the United States, Mexico, Canada, the Far East, and Europe to unanimous critical acclaim.

Highlights of their 2016-17 season include international and domestic tours and collaborations with a stellar lineup of artists and ensembles. This year they celebrate a ground-breaking Live from Lincoln Center broadcast; reunite with violinist Daniel Hope and violist Paul Neubauer for a series of nine concerts in Europe; make long-awaited recital debuts in St. Petersburg and Hong Kong; return to Seoul, South Korea for the sixth annual Chamber Music Today festival; lead a special patrons’ tour to St. Petersburg, Russia; continue the important work of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center (CMS), and launch Music@Menlo’s Winter Series.

David and Wu Han have achieved universal renown for their passionate commitment to nurturing the careers of countless young artists through a wide array of education initiatives. For many years, the duo taught alongside the late Isaac Stern at Carnegie Hall and the Jerusalem Music Center. Under the auspices of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, David Finckel and Wu Han launched the Chamber Music Encounters program in New York and direct the LG Chamber Music School, which serves dozens of young musicians in Korea annually. In 2013, David and Wu Han established a chamber music studio at the Aspen Music Festival and School. David Finckel serves as Professor of Cello at The Juilliard School, as well as Artist-in-Residence at Stony Brook University. David Finckel and Wu Han reside in New York.

For more information, please visit  http://www.davidfinckelandwuhan.com

Kristin Lee – Violinist

Recipient of a 2015 Avery Fisher Career Grant, as well as a top prizewinner of the 2012 Walter W. Naumburg Competition and the Astral Artists’ 2010 National Auditions, Kristin Lee is a violinist of remarkable versatility and impeccable technique who enjoys a vibrant career as a soloist, recitalist, chamber musician, and educator. She has appeared with top orchestras such as The Philadelphia Orchestra, St. Louis Symphony, New Jersey Symphony, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, the Ural Philharmonic of Russia, the Korean Broadcasting Symphony, and in recitals on many of the world’s finest stages including Carnegie Hall, Avery Fisher Hall, Kennedy Center, Kimmel Center, Phillips Collection, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Louvre Museum, Korea’s Kumho Art Gallery, and the Ravinia Festival. An accomplished chamber musician, she has appeared with Camerata Pacifica, Music@Menlo, La Jolla Festival, Medellín Festicámara of Colombia, the El Sistema Chamber Music festival of Venezuela, and the Sarasota Music Festival. She is the concertmaster of the Metropolis Ensemble, with which she premiered Vivian Fung’s Violin Concerto, written for her, which appears on Fung’s CD Dreamscapes (Naxos) and won the 2013 Juno Award. Born in Seoul, Ms. Lee moved to the US to study under Sonja Foster and soon after entered The Juilliard School’s Pre-College. She holds a master’s degree from The Juilliard School under Itzhak Perlman. A former member of CMS Two, she is a member of the faculty of the Aaron Copland School of Music at Queens College and the co-founder and artistic director of Emerald City Music in Seattle.

Yura Lee – Violinist

Violinist/violist Yura Lee is a multi-faceted musician, as soloist and as a chamber musician, and one of the very few that is equally virtuosic in both violin and viola. She has performed with major orchestras including those of New York, Chicago, Baltimore, Cleveland, San Francisco, and Los Angeles. She has given recitals in London’s Wigmore Hall, Vienna’s Musikverein, Salzburg’s Mozarteum, Brussels’ Palais des Beaux-Arts, and the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam. At age 12, she became the youngest artist ever to receive the Debut Artist of the Year prize at the Performance Today awards given by National Public Radio. She is a recipient of the 2007 Avery Fisher Career Grant, and the first prizewinner of the 2013 ARD Competition. She has received numerous other international prizes, including top prizes in the Mozart, Indianapolis, Hannover, Kreisler, Bashmet, and Paganini competitions. Her CD Mozart in Paris with Reinhard Goebel and the Bayerische Kammerphilharmonie, received the prestigious Diapason d’Or Award. As a chamber musician, she regularly takes part in the festivals of Marlboro, Salzburg, Verbier, and Caramoor. Her main teachers included Dorothy DeLay, Hyo Kang, Miriam Fried, Paul Biss, Thomas Riebl, Ana Chumachenko, and Nobuko Imai. A former member of Chamber Music Society Two, Ms. Lee is on the violin and viola faculty at the Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University. She divides her time between New York City and Portland, Oregon. 

Arnaud Sussman – Violinist

“Sussmann has an old-school sound reminiscent of what you’ll hear on vintage recordings by Jascha Heifetz or Fritz Kreisler, a rare combination of sweet and smooth that can hypnotize a listener.” – Pioneer Press

Winner of a 2009 Avery Fisher Career Grant, Arnaud Sussmann has distinguished himself with his unique sound, bravura, and profound musicianship. Minnesota’s Pioneer Press writes, “Sussmann has an old-school sound reminiscent of what you’ll hear on vintage recordings by Jascha Heifetz or Fritz Kreisler, a rare combination of sweet and smooth that can hypnotize a listener.” A thrilling young musician capturing the attention of classical critics and audiences around the world, he has appeared on tour in Israel and in concert at Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall, the Dresden Music Festival in Germany, and the Phillips Collection in Washington, DC. He has been presented in recital in Omaha on the Tuesday Musical Club series, New Orleans by the Friends of Music, Tel Aviv at the Museum of Art, and at the Louvre Museum in Paris. He has also given concerts at the OK Mozart, Moritzburg, Caramoor, Music@Menlo, La Jolla SummerFest, Mainly Mozart, Seattle Chamber Music, Bridgehampton, and the Moab Music festivals. Mr. Sussmann has performed with many of today’s leading artists including Itzhak Perlman, Menahem Pressler, Gary Hoffman, Shmuel Ashkenasi, Wu Han, David Finckel, Jan Vogler, and members of the Emerson String Quartet. A former member of Chamber Music Society Two, he regularly appears with CMS in New York and on tour, including performances at London’s Wigmore Hall.

Richard O’Neill – Violist

Violist Richard O’Neill is an Emmy Award winner, two-time Grammy nominee, and Avery Fisher Career Grant recipient. He has appeared with the London, Los Angeles, Seoul, and Euro-Asian philharmonics; the BBC, KBS, and Korean symphonies; the Moscow, Vienna, and Württemburg chamber orchestras; Kremerata Baltica and Alte Musik Köln with conductors Andrew Davis, Vladimir Jurowski, and Yannick Nézet-Séguin. Highlights of this season include collaborations with the Vienna Chamber Orchestra, his concerto debut at the Hong Kong Cultural Center, a European tour with the Ehnes Quartet, and his tenth anniversary season as artistic director of DITTO. As recitalist he has performed at Carnegie Hall, Avery Fisher Hall, Kennedy Center, Wigmore Hall, Louvre, Salle Cortot, Madrid’s National Concert Hall, Teatro Colon, Tokyo’s International Forum and Opera City, Osaka Symphony Hall, and Seoul Arts Center. A Universal/DG recording artist, he has made eight solo albums that have sold more than 150,000 copies. Dedicated to the music of our time, he has premiered works composed for him by Elliott Carter, John Harbison, Huang Ruo, and Paul Chihara. His chamber music initiative DITTO has introduced tens of thousands to chamber music in South Korea and Japan. A former member of CMS Two, he was the first violist to receive the artist diploma from Juilliard and 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, OXFAM, and UNICEF and runs marathons for charity. 

Nicholas Canellakis – Cellist

“Superb young soloist….” -The New Yorker

Hailed by The New Yorker as a “superb young soloist,” Nicholas Canellakis has become one of the most sought-after and innovative cellists of his generation, captivating audiences throughout the United States and abroad. In The New York Times his playing was praised as “impassioned” and “soulful,” with “the audience seduced by Mr. Canellakis’s rich, alluring tone.” He recently made his Carnegie Hall concerto debut, performing Leon Kirchner’s Music for Cello and Orchestra with the American Symphony Orchestra in Isaac Stern Auditorium. A former member of CMS Two, he appears regularly with the Chamber Music Society in Alice Tully Hall and on tour. A frequent soloist with orchestras throughout the country, he also performs numerous recitals each season with his duo partner, pianist/composer Michael Brown. He has been a guest artist at many of the world’s leading music festivals, including Santa Fe, La Jolla, Music@Menlo, Ravinia, Bridgehampton, Bad Kissingen, Verbier, Mecklenburg, Moab, Aspen, and Music in the Vineyards. He is a graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music and New England Conservatory, and is currently on the faculty of the Brooklyn College Conservatory of Music. Filmmaking and acting are special interests of Mr. Canellakis. He has produced, directed, and starred in several short films and music videos, including his popular comedy web series “Conversations with Nick Canellakis.”