Lakes Area Music Festival will present Franz Schubert's Cello Quintet featuring returning musicians from Chicago, New York and Hong Kong at 2 p.m. Sunday, May 5, at Northern Pacific Center's Luminary Fern space in Brainerd.
The concert, which will conclude the festival's 2018-19 Winter Series, is open to the public. No tickets are required to attend the concert, however, donations to the festival are encouraged.
Schubert's "Quintet in C Major" is one of the most beloved works in the chamber music repertoire, LAMF organizers stated in a news release. Schubert adds a second cello to the usual string quartet, enhancing the richness and dark subtleties of his final instrumental work. The performers will include returning musicians: violinists Suliman Tekalli and Kitty Cheung, violist Olivia Chew; and cellists Austin Fisher and Scott Lykins.
Tekalli has established his voice as an "exciting and versatile soloist and chamber musician through his visceral yet elegant and mature performance style captivating audiences with the depth of his interpretations an assured technique," the release stated. As the top prize winner of the 2015 Seoul International Music Competition and prize winner in the Sendai, Lipizer and Szeryng International Violin Competition, Tekalli's performing career has taken him throughout the U.S., Canada, Central America, Europe and Asia, gracing the stages of numerous halls including Stern Hall at Carnegie Hall, the Seoul Arts Center, Wigmore Hall and the Millennial Hall at the Kennedy Center among others. He has collaborated and performed with eminent musicians such as Gil Shaham, Cho-Liang Lin, Donald Weilerstein, Paul Watkins, Wu Han and David Shifrin. A native of Daytona Beach, Fla., Tekalli was admitted to the Juilliard School in the bachelor's degree program studying with Hyo Kang, and received a masters degree from the Cleveland Institute of Music studying with and former violinist of the Juilliard String Quartet Joel Smirnoff. His early teachers include Lev Gurevich and Sergiu Schwartz.
Cheung is a member of Contrast Trio, Ensemble-in-Residence of The Chinese University of Hong Kong, first violinist of Romer String Quartet and violin faculty at the Hong Kong Baptist University. She was previously the associate concertmaster of the Hong Kong Sinfonietta from 2011-17. In the past, she performed in the London Symphony Orchestra and the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra and led ensembles making recordings for Loft Records, New World Records and Bridge Records. She has given solo recitals in Germany, Vienna, the U.K., U.S., Thailand, Hong Kong and Shanghai, and made solo appearances with orchestras including the Hong Kong Sinfonietta, Hong Kong City Chamber Orchestra and Lakes Area Music Festival. Cheung earned a doctor of musical arts degree and the performer's certificate from the Eastman School of Music. Prior to this, she received a master's degree in music performance in the Guildhall Artist program with distinction from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. Her teachers included Lin Yao-Ji, Ho Hong-Ying, Charles Castleman, David Takeno and Zvi Zeitlin.
Chew, a native of Long Island, joined the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra in 2014 and served as assistant principal viola in the 2014-15 season. During her orchestral career she has been invited to play at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and others. As a fellow at the Aspen Music Festival she served as principal viola of the American Academy of Conducting at Aspen. She earned bachelor's and master's degrees from Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, where she studied with Alan de Veritch and Stephen Wyrczynski. After her studies at Indiana University, Chew received a full scholarship to Manhattan School of Music's Orchestral Studies program, where she studied with Karen Dreyfus. Prior to joining the Rochester orchestra, she served as assistant principal viola in the Hudson Valley Philharmonic and was a member of the Evansville Philharmonic Orchestra.
Fisher was appointed assistant principal cello of the Colorado Symphony in 2015 and served as acting principal for the 2016-17 season. He made his solo debut with the symphony in October 2016, performing Saint‐Saëns' Cello Concerto No. 1. Previously, he was a member of the New World Symphony in Miami under the direction of Michael Tilson Thomas. As a winner of New World's concerto competition, Fisher was a featured soloist in performances of Schumann's Cello Concerto. Before his time at New World, Fisher was principal cello of the Civic Orchestra of Chicago, where he worked closely with Yo-Yo Ma and musicians of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Fisher earned a master's degree from Northwestern University's Bienen School of Music and a bachelor's degree from the Eastman School of Music, studying under Hans Jørgen Jensen and Steven Doane. Important mentors include Yo‐Yo Ma, Silver Ainomäe and the Miró Quartet.
Lykins' career blends artistic performance as a cellist and pianist with administrative creativity as founding artistic executive director of the Lakes Area Music Festival in Brainerd. As a cellist he is a member of the South Dakota Symphony and Duluth-Superior Symphony and freelances in the Twin Cities. He has served as principal cellist for the National Orchestra Institute, National Repertory Orchestras, Classical Symphony of Chicago, and has played regularly with the Syracuse and New World Symphonies. As soloist, recent concerto appearances include the Minnesota Philharmonic Orchestra, Heartland Symphony Orchestra, Northeast Orchestra and Lakes Area Music Festival. He received his bachelor's and master's degrees in cello performance from the Eastman School of Music, studying with Steven Doane and Alan Harris.
Each summer, the music festival brings over 180 all-star artists from top orchestras and opera companies around the world to perform three weeks of classical music performances in the Brainerd lakes area. From chamber music and symphonic orchestra, to productions of opera and ballet and drawing thousands of attendees each year, Lakes Area Music Festival has become one of the most significant summertime destinations for classical music in the Midwest, a news release stated. For more information about the music festival, visit www.lakesareamusic.org.
Music Mentors Project
A group of musicians with the Lakes Ares Music Festival will perform at the following elementary schools:
• Friday, Crosslake Community Schools.
• 8:40-9:30 a.m. Monday, Baxter Elementary School.
• 10-10:45 a.m. Monday, Riverside Elementary.