2017 Festival Artists
Ruth Laredo Endowed Piano Chair
Pianist Alessio Bax has been praised for his lyrical performances and compelling, insightful interpretations. He has appeared as soloist with more than 100 orchestras. Find out more at alessiobax.com.
Sponsored by Eugene Istomin Endowed Piano Chair
Canadian pianist Lucille Chung has been acclaimed for her “stylish and refined performances” by Gramophone magazine, “combining vigor and suppleness with natural eloquence and elegance” (Le Soir).
Sponsored by Franziska Schoenfeld
Ran Dank is an Israeli pianist hailed for “impeccable technical surety” (The Washington Post) and was praised by The New York Times as “a strong player with technique and imagination.”
Sponsored by Herschel & Adrienne Ruby-Fink in memory of Annette Fink and Edward Ruby
Pianist James Tocco has a worldwide career as an orchestral soloist, recitalist, chamber music performer and pedagogue. His repertoire of over 50 works with orchestra includes virtually the entire standard piano concerto repertoire. He founded the Great Lakes Chamber Music Festival 24 years ago.
Korean pianist Hun Lee suffered a massive stroke in 2012 putting him in a week-long coma and leaving him paralyzed on the right half of his body. After years of intensive therapy, Lee makes his Festival debut in multiple performances featuring works for the left hand.
Sponsored by James Tocco
Violinist Eugene Drucker, a founding member of the Emerson String Quartet, is also an active soloist. He has appeared with the orchestras of Montreal, Brussels, Antwerp, Liege, Hartford, Richmond, Omaha, Jerusalem and the Rhineland-Palatinate, as well as with the American Symphony Orchestra and Aspen Chamber Symphony.
Leila Josefowicz’s passionate advocacy of contemporary music for the violin is reflected in her diverse programming and enthusiasm to perform new works. She frequently collaborates with leading composers and works with orchestras and conductors at the highest level around the world.
Shouse Institute Director & VIOLIN
Sponsored by David & Meg Lentz
Violinist Philip Setzer, a founding member of the Emerson String Quartet, also tours and performs piano trios, teaches and gives master classes across the globe. Find out more at emersonquartet.com.
Sponsored by an anonymous donor
Concertmaster of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, violinist Yoonshin Song was born in South Korea and made her orchestral debut at age 11. Since, she has built a successful career throughout Korea, the United States and Europe. As a soloist she has performed with many orchestras around the world.
Tien-Hsin Cindy Wu
Sponsored by Beverly Franzblau Baker Young Artist Chair
Praised by Seattle Times as "simply marvelous" and Taiwan’s Liberty Times for “astonishingly captur[ing] the spirit of the music", violinist Tien-Hsin Cindy Wu enjoys a versatile international career as a soloist, chamber musician and educator.
Sponsored by Kathleen Block
Lawrence Dutton, violist of the nine-time Grammy winning Emerson String Quartet, has collaborated with many of the world’s great performing artists, including Isaac Stern, Mstislav Rostropovich, Oscar Shumsky, Leon Fleisher, Sir Paul McCartney and Renee Fleming, among others.
Sponsored by Cecilia Benner
Eric Nowlin began his time with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra as Principal Violist with the 2016-17 season and has been described by the Springfield (MO) News-Leader as "having a full, warm tone, expressive phrasing and effortless technical command.” He has performed extensively throughout the United States, Canada, Europe and Asia.
Sponsored by Cecelia Benner
James VanValkenburg, Assistant Principal Viola of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, came to orchestral playing after a satisfying career in chamber music. As a founding member of the International String Quartet, he toured the world with concerts in Europe, the Far East, South America and the United States.
Sponsored by Cecilia Benner
Clive Greensmith is one of the most successful British cellists of his generation. From 1999 until 2013 he was a member of the world-renowned Tokyo String Quartet, giving over one hundred performances each year in the most prestigious international venues, including New York’s Carnegie Hall, Sydney Opera House and London’s South Bank.
Artistic Director & Cello
Sponsored by Gail & Ira Mondry
Paul Watkins enjoys a distinguished career as a solo cellist, conductor and chamber musician. Winner of the 2002 Leeds Conducting Competition, he became the first-ever Music Director of the English Chamber Orchestra in 2009. Watkins was a member of the Nash Ensemble from 1997 through 2013, when he joined the internationally acclaimed Emerson String Quartet. He was named Artistic Director of the Great Lakes Chamber Music Festival in 2014.
Paul Katz Cello Chair in Memory of Morris D. Baker
Wei Yu was recently appointed Principal Cello, the James C. Gordon Chair, of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra. Before joining the DSO, Yu was a member of the New York Philharmonic for seven seasons.
Flutist David Buck has been praised for his "supple tone, rhythmic dynamism and technical agility." A native of Philadephia, Buck was appointed Principal Flute of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra in 2012. He was previously Principal with the Los Angeles Philharmonic. Buck has performed with the Oregon Bach Festival, the Colorado Music Festival, and numerous others. He is a member of Detroit Chamber Winds & Strings.
Praised for her “first-rate” and “engaging” performances, Elizabeth O’Neil is a multi-faceted oboist who thrives equally in orchestral and chamber settings (Boston Musical Intelligencer). She regularly performs with both established and artist-driven orchestras, including the Boston Philharmonic and Phoenix (Boston, MA).
Calidore String Quartet
Sponsored by Nancy & William Duffy and Martha Pleiss
Jeffrey Myers | Henry Meyer Endowed Violin Chair
The Calidore String Quartet – violinists Jeffrey Myers and Ryan Meehan, violist Jeremy Berry and cellist Estelle Choi – has been described by Gramophone as “the epitome of confidence and finesse,” and praised by the Los Angeles Times for its balance of “intellect and expression.”
Christ Church Grosse Pointe Choir of Men and Girls
Scott Hanoian, Director
Founded in 1949, the choir consists of approximately 20 girls from 4th through 12th grade and professional singers from Grosse Pointe and the surrounding area who sing alto, tenor and bass to complete the traditional choral sound. Find out more here.
Detroit Chamber Winds & Strings
With an international reputation established through performances, touring and recording, the ensemble is committed to bringing to life the body of repertoire that utilizes between 6 and 20 musicians. Now in its 34th year, DCWS presents an annual six-concert subscription series as well as the Nightnotes and Structurally Sound concert series. DCWS musicians are drawn primarily from the Detroit Symphony Orchestra and Michigan Opera Theatre.
Emerson String Quartet
Sponsored by Maury and Linda Binkow
The Emerson String Quartet has amassed an unparalleled list of achievements over four decades: more than thirty acclaimed recordings, nine Grammys® (including two for Best Classical Album), three Gramophone Awards, the Avery Fisher Prize, Musical America’s "Ensemble of the Year" and collaborations with many of the greatest artists of our time.
Sponsored by Kathleen O’Toole Schein and Randolph Schein
Friction Quartet, whose performances have been called “terribly beautiful” (San Francisco Classical Voice), “stunningly passionate” (Calgary Herald) and “chillingly effective” (San Francisco Examiner), exists to expand the string quartet repertoire and audience for adventurous contemporary music. More at frictionquartet.com.
Sponsored by Honigman
Finalists and prizewinners of the 2016 Bordeaux International Competition in France, the Omer Quartet was named the 2013 Grand Prize and Gold Medal Winner of the 40th Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition. Praised by U-T San Diego for playing with a “sense of discovery and adventure, but also with considerable finesse,” they have performed across North America and Europe.
Trio de novo
Sponsored by Lawrence & Isabel Francis Smith Family Foundation
In Spring 2017, Trio De Novo (formerly known as Trio Honoré) welcomed the arrival of violinist Brian Bak. His extensive experience as an avid soloist and chamber musician, as well as his dedication and enthusiasm, has infused the trio with new energy, passion and tremendous joy in the callaborative process.
Each member has enjoyed successes worldwide as soloists, chamber musicians and teachers throughout Southeast Asia, Taiwan, Japan, China, Korea, Italy, Slovenia, Germany, Austria, Croatia and the United States. Trio De Novo is currently based in New York.
Rachel Gottlieb Kalmowitz
Sponsored by Lois & Harvey Freeman
Cantor Rachel Gottlieb Kalmowitz is a member of the American Conference of Cantors, Guild of Temple Musicians, Actors’ Equity Association and the American Guild of Musical Artists. Rachel has 26 years of cantorial experience, serving congregations in New York, Illinois and Michigan.
Lauren Skuce Gross
Sponsored by Lois & Harvey Freeman
Dramatic soprano Lauren Skuce Gross is distinguished for her versatility on both the opera and concert stage. Skuce has performed with many of the world’s top musical organizations, including the New York City Opera, Florida Grand Opera, Hong Kong Opera and the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, among many others.
Stone Composer Fellow
Will Healy is a composer and pianist based in New York. He is the artistic director of Shout House, an ensemble of 15 hip-hop, jazz and classical musicians. After playing trumpet in an Afrobeat band for a few years, he grew interested in collaborating with performers from many corners of the New York music scene.
Stone Composer Endowed Chair
“An exciting composer of the new American generation” (New York Times), Sean Shepherd has quickly gained admiration and return engagements with major ensembles and performers across the US and Europe. He recently completed his tenure as the Daniel R. Lewis Composer Fellow of the Cleveland Orchestra, culminating with the premiere of Tuolumne in April 2013, written for Franz Welser-Möst and the orchestra.