The Lakes Area Music Festival on Sunday will announce the repertoire and performers to be featured in the 10th anniversary festival season, with an Italian-themed event titled "Celebrating 10."
The event takes begins at 6 p.m. with Italian appetizers and wine tasting in the Luminary Fern event space at the Northern Pacific Center; followed by a 7 p.m. concert. Tickets are $25 and available at the organization's website at lakesareamusic.org; students high school and younger are invited to attend at no charge.
This is the third of a four concert Winter Series of the organization and will feature violinists Jonathan Magness and Sarah Grimes, violists Sifei Cheng and David Auerbach, and cellist Silver Ainomäe, all of the Minnesota Orchestra, with LAMF artistic director, cellist Scott Lykins.
The Italian-themed program will present three chamber music works. Austrian composer Hugo Wolf's lively and enchanting Italian Serenade for string quartet will open the program. Il tramonto (Sunset) by Italian-born Ottorini Respighi will follow, featuring mezzo-soprano Clara Osowski, recent prizewinner at the International Das Lied Competition in Heidelberg, Germany and finalist in the prestigious Wigmore Hall/Kohn Foundation Song Competition in London. Bringing the program to a close is Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky's string sextet Souvenir de Florence, a musical memory after his return to Russia from the Tuscan capital. A special piece to the festival, this virtuosic work served as the season finale of the organization's first concert season in 2009.
Mezzo-soprano Clara Osowski is an active soloist and chamber musician throughout the United States and Europe. She was a 2012 Metropolitan Opera National Council Upper-Midwest Regional Finalist, the winner of the 2014 Bel Canto Chorus Regional Artists Competition in Milwaukee, runner-up in the 2016 Schubert Club Bruce P. Carlson Scholarship Competition and most recently in 2017 named the winner of the Houston Saengerbund Competition and placed third in the Madison Handel Aria Competition. In international competition with pianist Tyler Wottrich, in March of 2017, Osowski became the first ever American prize winner when she placed second at Thomas Quasthoff's International Das Lied Competition in Heidelberg, Germany. In September, the duo was also one of four to reach the finals in the prestigious Wigmore Hall/Kohn Foundation Song Competition in London, and Osowski was awarded the Richard Tauber Prize for the best interpretation of Schubert Lieder. Osowski received
her bachelor of musical arts degree with emphasis in voice from North Dakota State University in 2008, and master of arts degree in voice from the University of Iowa in 2010.
Alabama native Jonathan Magness was appointed the Minnesota Orchestra's associate principal second violin in 2008 after performing as a regular substitute with the orchestra's first violin section for one season. In February of 2014 he was named acting principal second violin. He took center stage as soloist in spring 2011, performing Dvořák's Violin Concerto under the baton of Marin Alsop. He has participated in each of the nine LAMF seasons.
Twin Cities native, violinist Sarah Grimes, joined the Minnesota Orchestra in 2016. She is a graduate of the Northwestern University Bienen School of Music and formerly a member of the Civic Orchestra of Chicago. During the 2015-16 season, she performed full time as a guest musician with the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra. She has participating in LAMF since 2015.
Born in Taiwan and raised in California, violist Sifei Cheng joined the Minnesota Orchestra in 1995. He has served as principal viola of the Charleston Symphony, New World Symphony and Pacific Music Festival Orchestra, and he has led sections under conductors Michael Tilson Thomas, Alexander Schneider, Eiji Oue and Christoph Eschenbach. He began performing with the Festival in 2011.
Since moving to the Twin Cities in the fall of 2007, David Auerbach has cultivated a fulfilling and varied performing and teaching career. He is the principal violist of the Minnesota Opera Orchestra and section player with the Minnesota Orchestra, and has performed regularly with the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra. Auerbach joined the faculty of the University of St. Thomas in 2012. Auerbach earned a DMA from Stony Brook University, a master's degree from the Juilliard School, and a bachelor of science degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, with majors in music performance and molecular biology. He has played at LAMF since 2014.
Silver Ainomäe was born in Tallinn, Estonia. His family migrated from Estonia to Finland and at the age of 12, he was accepted to the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki, and alter studied at the Sibelius Academy and London's Guildhall School of Music and Drama. Ainomäe has performed in more than 30 countries, including concertos with the Estonian National Symphony Orchestra, Finnish Radio Orchestra, Zürich Chamber Orchestra, Tallinn Chamber Orchestra, Polish Radio Orchestra, Tapiola Sinfonietta and Colorado Symphony. Principal cellist of the Colorado Symphony since 2009, Ainomäe has also appeared as guest principal with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Baltimore Symphony, Philharmonia Orchestra, Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra and the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra.
Scott Lykins is the artistic and executive director of the Lakes Area Music Festival. Primarily a cellist, he is a member of the South Dakota Symphony based in Sioux Falls. As a soloist, recent concerto appearances include the Minnesota Philharmonic Orchestra, Heartland Symphony, Northeast Orchestra and the Lakes Area Music Festival. He has received both bachelor's and master's degrees in cello performance from the Eastman School of Music.
Each summer, the Lakes Area Music Festival brings 150 all-star musicians from top orchestras and opera companies around the country for three weeks of chamber music, symphony, opera, and ballet performance in the Brainerd lakes area. The collaborative roster includes talent from ensembles and conservatories such as the Minnesota Orchestra, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, Cleveland Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony, Los Angeles Philharmonic, New World Symphony, Metropolitan Opera, Minnesota Opera, Juilliard School and more.
For more information about the Lakes Area Music Festival, visit lakesareamusic.org.