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BRAHMS FOR SIX

DSO Digital Concerts

BRAHMS FOR SIX

DSO Digital Concerts

Thursday, February 18, 2021—7:30pm

Thursday, February 18, 2021—7:30pm
Orchestra Hall
45 minutes

Principals from the DSO’s string sections perform Brahms’s rich and inventive second sextet. Please note: Originally scheduled guest violinist James Ehnes is unable to appear in tonight’s concert.

Program

BRAHMS
Sextet No. 2 in G major, Op. 36

Artists

Kimberly Kaloyanides Kennedy

Acting Concertmaster

Kimberly Ann Kaloyanides Kennedy won her coveted position as a violinist with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra at the age of 22. In 2003, Kennedy further realized her dream when she became Associate Concertmaster.

Kimberly began her study of the violin at the age of 5 in Dayton, OH. Being the daughter of a Minister of Music and church organist allowed her many chances to share from her heart in front of congregations. Her love of music became what undoubtedly would be her career as she pursued her studies at Brevard Music Center and Interlochen Arts Camp as the Governor’s Scholar for the state of Ohio. She continued her studies at the Sarasota Music Festival; spent four summers at the Aspen Music Festival on Fellowship, as Associate Concertmaster of the Chamber Orchestra; spent three years at the Harid Conservatory in Boca Raton, Florida with Sergiu Schwartz; and finally landed at the University of Michigan with Paul Kantor. It was half way through her senior year at Michigan in 1998 that her hard work paid off, when she joined the first violin section of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra.

Throughout her training, she won several prizes in competitions around the country, including the Grand Prize in the National MTNA competition and 1st prize in the Greek Women’s National Competition in Chicago; the Skokie Valley Concerto Competition, where she performed Barber Violin Concerto; the Universtiy of Michigan Concerto Competition, where she performed Ravel’s Tzigane; and the Harid Conservatory Concerto Competition, where she performed the Mendelssohn Violin Concerto. Kimberly was one of the few Americans invited to the International Violin Competition of Indianapolis in 1998. She solos regularly with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra.

Kimberly enjoys performing chamber music regularly around Michigan with various groups, including the Detroit Chamber Winds and Strings, on series such as Chamber Music North, Fairlane Concert Guild, Pro Mozart, Classical Brunch in Birmingham, and the Great Lakes Chamber Music Festival.

Kimberly is passionate about serving others through her music, both at church and around the community. She loves teaching and sharing what God has put in her heart with her students. Kimberly and her husband Bryan Kennedy, fourth horn of the DSO, are strongly committed to this orchestra and to this region. They believe in the future of this great organization and intend to work diligently to ensure that it remains the internationally renowned and artistically revered Detroit Symphony Orchestra.

Kimberly and Bryan live in Plymouth with their two beautiful children, Ethan and Lauren, as well as their two dogs, cat, hamsters, fish and bunny.

Hai-Xin Wu

Acting Associate Concertmaster

Violinist Hai-Xin Wu joined the Detroit Symphony Orchestra violin section in July 1995 and was appointed Assistant Concertmaster of the DSO in June 2004. He previously performed throughout the United States, Europe and his native China.

At the age of 12, Hai-Xin was selected as the violin soloist of the Chinese Young Artists’ group to tour the former Yugoslavia. In May 1995, he made his Carnegie Hall debut in New York City, performing the Paganini Violin Concerto with the New York Concert Senior Orchestra. Hai-Xin was also featured as soloist with the Pro Arte Chamber Orchestra for its 25th Anniversary Gala Concert in Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center; with the Manhattan Chamber Orchestra on its recording and Midwest tour; and with Bergen Philharmonic (New Jersey), among others.

Hai-Xin has won competitions including the Waldo Mayo Violin Competition, the Friends of Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra Competition and the Manhattan School of Music Concerto Competition. He also won a special prize in the 2002 Lipizer International Competition. He earned his Bachelor of Music degree from the Manhattan School of Music as a scholarship student of Ariana Bronne.

In addition to performing with the DSO, Hai-Xin often plays with various chamber groups, such as the Detroit Chamber Winds and Strings and the Cuttime Players. From 1998-2001, he was a member of the Sonnet String Quartet as quartet-in-residence at Oakland University. He is currently an adjunct faculty member in the Wayne State University Music Department and a violin and chamber music coach with the Detroit Civic Orchestra.

Eric Nowlin

Principal Viola

Violist Eric Nowlin has performed extensively throughout the United States as well as abroad. Eric's performance of Berlioz’ Harold in Italy with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra was described by Classical Source as "outstanding…his distinctive timbre and sovereign musicianship at one with Slatkin’s perfectly paced account… totally compelling."

Past accomplishments include receiving second prize in the prestigious Walter W. Naumburg Competition, first prize in the Irving Klein International String Competition; first prize in the Hellam Young Artists Competition; grand prize in the Naftzger Young Artists Competition; and winner of the Juilliard Viola Concerto Competition. Performances have included solo engagements with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Springfield Symphony in Missouri, Santa Cruz Symphony, Peninsula Symphony, and the Kumamoto Symphony in Japan, as well as recitals in New York, Chicago, San Francisco, Toronto, and Mexico.

Eric is the violist of the Juno and Opus Award winning New Orford String Quartet. Other chamber music activities have included participating in festivals such as the Marlboro Music Festival in Vermont and the Steans Institute for Young Artists at Ravinia. He was a regular member of the Jupiter Chamber Players in New York City, and also toured with Musicians from Marlboro and Musicians from Ravinia’s Steans Institute. Eric was previously the Associate Principal viola in the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, and has served as guest principal viola with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, the Metropolis Ensemble, and Cleveland’s Citymusic, as well as substitute viola with the New York Philharmonic.

Eric is Assistant Professor of Viola at Michigan State University, and has previously been Assistant Professor at the Faculty of Music at the University of Toronto, as well as Instructor of Viola at the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto. He spends time during the summer months teaching and performing at numerous music festivals in the United States and Canada.

He received his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from The Juilliard School, as a scholarship student of Samuel Rhodes. Eric plays on a 1757 J.B. Guadagnini viola on generous loan from the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, as well as a viola from 1910 made by Giovanni Pistucci, and a viola made by Sam Zygmuntowicz made in 2019.

James VanValkenburg

Assistant Principal Viola

Currently Assistant Principal Violist of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, James VanValkenburg 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, as well as the U.S. The quartet won several notable prizes, including the Munich Competition, East & West Artists of New York, and was the first winner of the Premier Grand Prix at the International Chamber Music Competition of Evian, France.

Since joining the DSO in 1986, Jim has participated in several summer festivals including Lockenhaus, Newport, Strings in the Mountains as well as the American String Project in Seattle in 2011. He served as Principal Violist of the Bellingham, WA music festival in 2012 and 2013 and of the Mainly Mozart Festival Orchestra in 2014. In 2016 he was soloist with the University of Michigan Band, an ensemble his father played in over 60 years earlier.

A graduate of the Interlochen Arts Academy and Indiana University School of Music, he has enjoyed chamber music collaborations with many of his favorite musicians, among them Menahem Pressler, Gidon Kremer, Mischa Maisky, David Shifrin, and Isaac Stern. Recent recordings include a violin, viola duet of William Bolcom, Piano Quartets of Franz Waxman and the Stravinsky Septet, on Koch, and the Beethoven Septet on Philips.

Jim is in demand as a soloist and chamber musician, becoming the first violist to be a permanent member of Detroit Chamber Winds and Strings in 2004, and appeared as soloist with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra in 2005, 2013 and 2014. He performs on a rare viola by Antonio Ungarini of Fabriano, Italy, made in 1740.

Jim has been happily married to Farah since 1986. They have two sons. Noah is working as a manager for a large firm in Philadelphia and Eliot is a data analyst for a tech company in Boston. Jim spends much of his free time training for Ironman Triathlons and has started and completed five, including Ironman Hawaii in 2004.

Wei Yu

Principal Cello

Wei Yu was appointed Principal Cello, the James C. Gordon Chair, of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra by Music Director Leonard Slatkin in 2014. He made his subscription debut performing Dvorak's Cello Concerto and has appeared as soloist with the DSO every season ever since. Before joining the DSO, Wei was a member of the New York Philharmonic for seven seasons.

Wei was a prizewinner at the Hudson Valley Philharmonic String, Holland American Music Society Cello, Music Teacher National Association (MTNA National Collegiate Strings), Canada’s National Music Festival, Calgary’s Kiwanis Festival and China’s National Cello competitions.

An avid chamber musician, Wei has been invited to the Marlboro, Ravinia, Great Lakes Chamber Music and Mainly Mozart music festivals. Wei has recently collaborated with musicians such as cellist Carter Brey and David Soyer; pianists Richard Goode and Menahem Pressler; violinists Augustin Hadelich, Midori and Pinchas Zukerman; and members of the Guarneri, Emerson and Juilliard Quartets. As a member of the New York Philharmonic Ensembles, he made regular appearances at Merkin Concert Hall.

A successful instructor, Wei serves on faculty of Northwestern University Bienen School Of Music. He has given cello masterclasses at universities and festivals in the United States, Canada, Poland and China. During the summer, Wei teaches at the Morningside Music Bridge International Music Festival in Calgary, Canada; Carnegie Hall's National Youth Orchestra of USA and the Center Stage Strings Summer Institute at the University of Michigan.

Born in Shanghai, China, Wei began studying the cello at age 4 and made his concerto debut at age 11, performing Elgar’s Cello Concerto with the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra. He received his B.M. from North Park University in Chicago and M.M. from the Juilliard School. His principal teachers include Mei-Juan Liu, John Kadz, Hans Jørgen Jensen, and David Soyer.

During his first season with the DSO, the Detroit Free Press has praised his performances:

"Nearly all of the soloists made strong impressions, but special mention must go to new principal cellist Wei Yu... The grace, poise, liquid legato and purity of tone and pitch that Yu produced in these few moments were stunning in their authority and beauty — a very good sign for the future of the orchestra." - January 17, 2015

Abraham Feder

Assistant Principal Cello

Abraham Feder began his tenure with Detroit Symphony Orchestra as Assistant Principal Cello in the fall of 2018. Prior to his appointment, he was a member of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra. During the summer of 2018, he served as the Assistant Principal Cellist of the Santa Fe Opera. Abraham began his orchestral career as Principal Cellist of the Sarasota Orchestra and Cellist of the Sarasota String Quartet from 2008-2016.

Abraham has been featured as a soloist with the Sarasota Orchestra, Duluth Superior Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra of the Americas, and the Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestra. In 2013, as a member of the Chroma Quartet, he founded the Tuesdays with Chroma concert series in Sarasota.

An avid chamber musician, Abraham has performed with Ricardo Morales, Amy Oshiro Morales, and Kerri Ryan of the Philadelphia Orchestra; Michelle Kim, Assistant Concertmaster of the New York Philharmonic; Richard Hirschl, Brant Taylor, Kenneth Olson, and Yuan-Qing Yu of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra (CSO); Stephen Balderston, former Assistant Principal cellist of the CSO; Desomd Hoebig, former Principal Cellist of the Cleveland Orchestra; Danielle Belen; Joseph Silverstein; Ray Chen; Christopher O’Riley; and Leonidas Kavakos.

Abraham earned his Master’s Degree under the tutelage of Desmond Hoebig at Rice University's Shepherd School of Music. He received his Bachelor of Music at The Curtis Institute of Music, where he studied with David Soyer and Peter Wiley. His teachers have also included Richard Hirschl and Tanya Carey.

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