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Bruce & Brahms

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Bruce & Brahms

Tuesday, January 16, 2024—7:00pm

Tuesday, January 16, 2024—7:00pm
In Your Community
1 hour and 30 minutes
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At MexicantownCDC Café -Galería
2835 Bagley St, Suite 600, Detroit, MI 48216

Brahms was ready to retire, but the playing of a clarinetist brought him back in. DSO violinist Will Haapaniemi calls one of results of this new muse, the Clarinet Quintet in B minor, “one of the best chamber works ever written.” DSO Principal Clarinet Ralph Skiano joins for Brahms’s late miracle plus “joyful and always vital” music by American composer David Bruce.

Program

DAVID BRUCE
Gumboots
JOHANNES BRAHMS
Clarinet Quintet in B minor, op. 115

Artists

Ralph Skiano

Principal

Ralph Skiano was appointed Principal Clarinet of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra in 2014 after serving in the same position in the Richmond Symphony and the Des Moines Metro Opera. He has also appeared as guest Principal Clarinet of the Seattle Symphony, the Cincinnati Symphony, and the Cleveland Orchestra.

Skiano has been involved in numerous music festivals including the Mainly Mozart Festival, the Peninsula Music Festival, the Britt Music Festival, Festival Lyrique-en-Mer, and the Tanglewood Music Center. As a soloist, he has been featured with ensembles in the United States, France, Germany, and Switzerland. In 2010, Skiano was a guest artist at the Oklahoma Clarinet Symposium and was a featured soloist with the Baton Rouge Symphony at the 2014 International Clarinet Association Convention. Skiano appeared as a soloist several times with the Richmond Symphony, most notably performing concerti by Mozart, Weber, and Copland. He made his solo debut with the DSO in March of 2015, performing Mozart's Concerto for Clarinet.

Skiano has served on the faculty of the schools of music at James Madison University and the College of William and Mary and has presented masterclasses at UVA, Towson University, Louisiana State University, California State University Northridge, Michigan State University, Northwestern University, and the University of Maryland.

Under the guidance of Richard Hawley, Skiano completed his Bachelor of Music at the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music in 2002.

Hae Jeong Heidi Han

Korean violinist Hae Jeong Heidi Han first picked up a violin at the age of five. Born and raised in Korea, she continued her studies with JaeKwang Song while attending Yewon School of Arts. When Han was 13, her family moved to Vancouver, BC, Canada, and she continued her studies with Robert Davidovici. While in Canada, she served as Concertmaster of the Vancouver Youth Symphony Orchestra and won first prize at the Kiwanis Competition, the Burnaby Clef Concerto Competition, and the Young Artists of British Columbia Competition.

Han received both her bachelor’s degree and graduate performance diploma from the Peabody Conservatory of Johns Hopkins University, earning the Peabody Merit Scholarship for both programs. During her time at Peabody, Han studied with Victor Danchenko and was the Concertmaster of the Peabody Concert Orchestra. While pursuing her degrees, she won the first prize in the Marbury Competition and was awarded the Josef Kaspar Award. She was also invited to join the Keshet Eilon International Violin Mastercourse in Israel to study with Shlomo Mintz.

Currently, Han plays with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra as a second violinist and lives in Detroit, Michigan where she enjoys making great music with her colleagues and husband, DSO violinist Will Haapaniemi.

Will Haapaniemi

Will Haapaniemi is a violinist born in Los Angeles with Finnish ancestry. He joined the Detroit Symphony Orchestra in 2014 alongside his wife and violinist Heidi Han. Haapaniemi wanted to be a violinist from the time he was two years old, when he saw Itzhak Perlman perform on Sesame Street. Many other interests competed with his practice time—some of his favorites being the martial art Capoeira, dance, and training for his glider pilot license.

Much is owed to Haapaniemi’s master violin teachers, Yoko Takebe and Michael Gilbert of the New York Philharmonic, who he studied with at the Manhattan School of Music. In high school, Haapaniemi was fortunate to study with Mark Kaplan and fondly remembers lessons with Ruggiero Ricci in his home in Palm Springs. Also of great influence was his cousin Paul Roby of the Philadelphia Orchestra and his aunt Linda Grace, whose tireless support encouraged him to be the musician he is today. Without the phenomenal support of Haapaniemi’s parents, none of this would have been possible.

Haapaniemi is active as a soloist and chamber musician, occasionally throwing viola into the mix. An avid outdoorsman, he hikes at every opportunity, and pays homage to his Finnish heritage by skiing during the winter.

James VanValkenburg

Assistant Principal

As Assistant Principal Viola of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, James VanValkenburg came to orchestral playing after a fulfilling 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 US. 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 in Evian, France.

Since joining the DSO in 1986, VanValkenburg 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 Viola of the Bellingham, WA music festival in 2012 and 2013 and 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 prior.

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 including Menahem Pressler, Gidon Kremer, Mischa Maisky, David Shifrin, and Isaac Stern. Recent recordings include a violin and viola duet by William Bolcom, Piano Quartets by Franz Waxman, the Stravinsky Septet on Koch, and the Beethoven Septet on Philips.

VanValkenburg is in demand as a soloist and chamber musician. He became 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.

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

Jeremy Crosmer

Jeremy Crosmer is a remarkable artist—both as a cellist and a composer. He completed multiple graduate degrees from the University of Michigan in cello, composition, and theory pedagogy, and received his DMA in 2012 at age 24. From 2012 to 2017 he served as Assistant Principal Cello with the Grand Rapids Symphony and joined the Detroit Symphony Orchestra in May of 2017.

Crosmer is the composer and arranger for the GRS Music for Health Initiative, which pairs symphonic musicians with music therapists to bring classical music to hospitals. In March of 2017, the Helen DeVos Children's Hospital launched a music channel that runs continuously, using four hours of meditative music composed by Crosmer and performed by musicians of the GRS.

Crosmer is a founding member of the modern music ensemble Latitude 49. He is also a current member of the band ESME—a duo that aims to broaden the education of classical music by bringing crossovers and mashups of pop and classical music to schools throughout Michigan. ESME released its first CD in December of 2016.

In April of 2013, Crosmer toured London with the Grand Valley State University Chamber Orchestra performing the Boccherini G Major Concerto, No. 7. He performed the Vivaldi Double Concerto with Alicia Eppinga and the GRS in March of 2016. While still in school, Crosmer was awarded the prestigious Theodore Presser Graduate Music Award to publish, record, and perform his Crosmer-Popper duets. He recorded the duets with Julie Albers, and both sheet music and CD recordings are available online.

Crosmer has taught music theory, pre-calculus, and cello at universities across Michigan. He draws mazes, writes science fiction, and plays good old country fiddle in his spare time.

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