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Beethoven’s Late Quartet

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Beethoven’s Late Quartet

Tuesday, November 14, 2023—7:00pm

Tuesday, November 14, 2023—7:00pm
In Your Community
1 hour and 30 minutes
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At North Rosedale Park Community House
18445 Scarsdale St, Detroit, MI 48223

Beethoven wrote his String Quartet, Op. 132 near the end of his life. Completely deaf, he hadn’t heard a sound in years. It was here that Beethoven created transcendent works that DSO cellist David LeDoux describes as “uniquely beautiful gems.” Inside this jewel, Beethoven writes a “Hymn of Thanksgiving to the Divine.”

Program

LUDWIG VAN BEETHOVEN
String Quartet No. 15 in A minor, Op. 132

Artists

Alexander Volkov

A native of Athens, Greece, Russian violinist Alexander Volkov joined the Detroit Symphony Orchestra in 2020.

Volkov studied with Professor Atis Bankas and Peter Seminovs at the Phil and Eli Taylor Academy for Young Artists as well as the Glenn Gould School in Toronto, Ontario. He was a recipient of the Ihnatowycz Emerging Artist Scholarships, receiving a full scholarship for his degree.

During the pursuit of his degree in violin performance, Volkov participated in a variety of festivals, competitions, and training programs. He won first prizes in the Kiwanis, Leons, and North York festivals and was a three-time first prize winner of the Canadian Music Competition, winning the grand prize in 2013. The following year, he won the Glenn Gould Concerto Competition where he performed the Brahms Violin Concerto with the Royal Conservatory Orchestra under the baton of Maestro Leon Fleisher. He also frequently performed as a soloist with the Cathedral Bluffs Symphony, the York Symphony, the Aurora Chamber Ensemble, and the Sherbrooke Symphony Orchestra.

Volkov participated in prestigious orchestra training festivals such as the Music Academy of the West in Santa Barbara, California, twice at the Leonard Bernstein’s Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival in Germany, and three times at the Pacific Music Festival in Sapporo, Japan. These training programs led him to perform as a fellow in the New York Philharmonic and the Boston Symphony Orchestra. Most notably, he trained at the Institute for Orchestral Studies at the National Arts Centre Orchestra in Ottawa, Canada.

Prior to joining the symphony, Volkov held section violin positions at the Canadian Opera Company in Toronto and the Canada and Quebec symphony orchestras in Quebec City, Montréal. He was also a frequent substitute violinist with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra. He owes his achievements to his parents, who are graduates of the Moscow Conservatory and have extensive musical backgrounds.

Jiamin Wang

Originally from Shanghai, China, Jiamin Wang started playing violin at age six. At twelve years old, she entered the highly selective Shanghai Conservatory. While in school, she won the Youth Performance Award at the eighth national Professional Violin Competition in Qingdao, China. The following year, she won second prize in the Bucharest Romania International Violin Competition. Wang studied under Professor Xuan He and won several awards during her time at the Shanghai Conservatory. She graduated with excellence in 2009 before receiving a prominent scholarship to continue her post-graduate studies.

During her graduate studies, she was chosen by world-renowned and Oscar Award-winning composer and conductor, Tan Dun, as the first violin in his Water Heavens string quartet—performing hundreds of concerts over the course of several years. Wang also premiered Tan Dun’s Hero Concerto for Violin and Orchestra with the National Orchestra of Madrid in 2010. As a soloist, she also performed with the Singapore Festival Orchestra, the Shanghai Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Hangzhou Philharmonic Orchestra.

In 2012, Wang attended Bard College Conservatory of Music on a full scholarship where she studied under Weigang Li and Shmuel Ashkenasi. In 2013 she took her first audition and accepted a position with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra. Wang has always been passionate about chamber music and has continued to remain active in that realm after joining the DSO performing with Detroit Chamber Winds and Strings, the Great Lakes Chamber Festival, and others.

During her free time, Wang enjoys being with her husband, two young children, and their French Bulldog. She plays on an Italian violin by Giacomo Zanoli from 1750.

Mike Chen

Mike Chen received a Bachelor and Master of Music from Northwestern University studying violin with Blair Milton. In 1999 he began playing the viola and studied with Li-Kuo Chang. His other teachers included Michael Strauss, Peter Slowik, Keith Conant, and Baird Dodge.

Chen was a member of the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra from 2012 to 2018, a member of the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra from 2003 to 2012, and prior to that, a member of the Civic Orchestra of Chicago from 1992 to 1995. He has performed with the Detroit Symphony, Cincinnati Symphony, Minnesota Orchestra, and Chicago Symphony. In 2017, Chen joined the Cincinnati Symphony on its European Festivals Tour.

He received a master’s degree in conducting at Northwestern University in 1999, studying with Victor Yampolsky and Mariusz Smolij. His other conducting teachers include Gilbert Varga, David Zinman, and Murry Sidlin.

Chen was a conducting fellow at the American Academy of Conducting in Aspen, Colorado in 2008. He has also served as Assistant Conductor of the Saint Louis Symphony Youth Orchestra, Guest Conductor of the Webster University Community Music School’s Young People’s Symphony Orchestra, and Guest Conductor of the Indianapolis Symphony Side-by-Side Orchestra.

David LeDoux

David LeDoux joined the DSO in 2012, coming to the orchestra from the Syracuse Symphony where he previously served as Principal Cello.

LeDoux has appeared as a soloist with the Syracuse Symphony, the Skaneatelas Festival Chamber Orchestra, the Tulsa Philharmonic, the Oklahoma State University Symphony, the Louisiana Sinfonietta, and the Mid-Texas Symphony.

LeDoux is an active and avid chamber musician, performing for many years with the Syracuse Society for New Music. As a committed private teacher, he previously served as a cello instructor for Imagine Syracuse—a music program in an inner-city school that was modeled after the El Sistema program in Venezuela.

Past professional engagements for LeDoux include serving as Principal Cello with the Baton Rouge (LA) Symphony, the Mississippi Gulf Coast Symphony, and the Louisiana Sinfonietta.

LeDoux has studied with Ronald Leonard, Dennis Parker, and Kari Padgett Caldwell. A resident of Madison Heights, LeDoux’s hobbies include reading, running, and watching movies.

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