This season’s guest artists come to us from around the world.
Melanie Chae was born in Seoul, trained in London and is now based in Vienna. She studied at the Purcell School and the Royal College of Music in London. She has won several prizes at international competitions. Chae has performed in Korea and throughout Europe as a soloist and chamber musician. She serves as music director of studies at the Lech Classic Music Festival. She has given concerts as a soloist and with her husband, Edwin E. Soo Kim, in Vienna, London, Lindau, Koblenz, Seoul, Hannover and beyond—as well as in Tucson, in Beethoven’s Triple Concerto with SASO in February 2015. Chae also devotes herself to chamber music.
Russian conductor Anton Shaburov, a former student of Gennady Rozhdestvensky at the Moscow State Conservatory, is chief conductor and artistic director of the Ural State Mussorgsky Conservatory Symphony Orchestra in Yekaterinburg, his home town, as well as of the Ippolitov-Ivanov Institute Symphony Orchestra in Moscow. Rozhdestvensky declared, “Anton Shaburov is a conductor of exceptional musical culture. His interpretations are distinguished for impeccable artistic taste, well-organized structure and emotionally bright performance.” Besides leading conventional orchestral concerts, he has also supervised festivals dedicated to the likes of Rachmaninov, Liszt, Tchaikovsky, Shchedrin and Zolotaryov. He is also active as a conductor for the stage, particularly in Russian opera and ballet. As a guest conductor, he regularly performs with leading Russian orchestras and holds assistant professor positions both in Moscow (Ippolitov-Ivanov State Musical Pedagogical Institute) and Yekaterinburg (Urals State Mussorgsky Conservatory), leading his own conducting classes.
James Dick has brought to life the works of classical composers for audiences from New York’s Carnegie Hall to the Academic Capelle in St. Petersburg, Russia. Dick’s playing melds modern-day energy and technique with an Old World graciousness and civility, resulting in a passionate sound that keeps audiences engrossed. In addition to his schedule as a world-renowned guest artist, Dick in 1971 established the Round Top Festival Institute in Round Top, Texas to nurture and incubate aspiring young musicians. The Institute (today operated under The James Dick Foundation for the Performing Arts) has grown to a 210-acre European-styled campus where distinguished faculty each year teach nearly 100 young artists and the Festival Institute provides year-round education and performance programs for audiences. He has received numerous honors and commendations, including the Texas Medal of Arts, the Chevalier des Arts et Lettres from the French Ministry of Culture, and Honorary Associate of London’s Royal Academy of Music. James Dick is no stranger to accolades. From his youth, he has been recognized for his talent and for his contributions to music. He studied with Clifford Curzon in London, and went on to—in a single year— win prizes in the Tchaikovsky International Piano Competition (Moscow) and the Busoni International Piano Competition (Italy), and was a finalist in the Leventritt Piano Competition (New York).
Grammy-nominated flutist Carol Wincenc is the recipient of the 2011 Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Flute Association, and the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Society of Arts and Letters. A muse of many of today’s most prominent composers, she has premiered concertos written for her by Christopher Rouse, Lukas Foss, Henryk Górecki, Joan Tower, Paul Schoenfield, Jake Heggie, Peter Schickele, Roberto Sierra and Tobias Picker. She has performed with most of the leading orchestras of North American and Europe, and participates in chamber festivals far and wide—including the Tucson Winter Chamber Music Festival. As a result of her fascination with the flute family, Wincenc created and directed a series of International Flute Festivals at the Ordway Theater in Saint Paul featuring such diverse artists as Jean-Pierre Rampal, Herbie Mann and Tucson-based Native American flutist R. Carlos Nakai. A renowned pedagogue, master-class performer and juror at the most prestigious international flute competitions, Wincenc continues her teaching legacy at both Stony Brook University and her alma mater, the Juilliard School, graduating masterly students now holding prominent orchestral and teaching positions worldwide.
Edwin E. Soo Kim
Edwin E. Soo Kim began studying the violin at age 7 and one year later won a music competition in his native Korea. After high school he moved to Vienna to continue his violin studies. He was the top prize-winner in several international music competitions. In Europe and Asia, Kim has soloed with numerous orchestras and performed recitals. He has released several recordings, including one supported by the city of Verona and another celebrating the 200th year of Schumann’s birth. Currently, he is professor at Hanyang University in Seoul and lead soloist for the annual Lech Classic Music Festival in the Alps of western Austria. Kim previously performed the Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto with SASO in November 2013, and Beethoven’s Triple Concerto with his pianist-wife, Melanie Chae, and SASO principal cellist Zoran Stilin in February 2015.
Saxophonist Ashu has established an extraordinary ability to communicate with audiences around the world through his charismatic and emotive performance style. He has repeatedly defied conventions by winning major international awards and competitions traditionally won by pianists and violinists. Critics have described him as “just as much fun to watch as to listen to” (Dallas Morning News) and “ready to cultivate the masses” (Chicago Tribune). Ashu has developed a pioneering career as the first and only full-time concert saxophone soloist. He says, “The saxophone is really an incredible instrument. It can be played with such emotional intensity and sing like a voice. It’s capable of tremendous beauty.” With the unique ability to captivate general as well as classical audiences, Ashu has shown that the concert saxophone can reach beyond stylistic categorization and to a large diversity of people. He received his bachelor and masters degrees from Northwestern University, and is currently based in the Chicago area.