Thursday, September 1, 2016
at 7:30 PM
Nightingale Concert Hall
- Stephanie Sant’Ambrogio, violin
- Jonah Kim, guest cellist
- James Winn, piano
Apex Concerts proudly opens its sixth season on the first day of September. The season will consist of nine concerts featuring some of the foremost chamber musicians from around the world in exciting and daring repertoire. The September 1st performance presents University's ensemble-in-residence Argenta Trio (James Winn, piano; Stephanie Sant'Ambrogio, violin; Jonah Kim, guest cellist) in an evening entitled Brilliant B's. Featuring magnificent works by Beethoven, Bunch and Brahms, the evening promises to be a magical opener for an incredible year of concerts.
Mélanie Bonis (1858-1937) Soir, Matin (Evening, Morning), Op. 76 (1907)
Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827) Piano Trio in C Minor, Op. 1 No. 3 (1794)
Johannes Brahms (1833-1897) Trio No. 2 in C Major, Op. 87 (1882)
Stephanie Sant’Ambrogio, violin
Praised as an “expressive and passionate chamber musician” by the San Antonio Express-News, and described as a “violinist who most often takes your breath away” byGramophone Magazine, Stephanie Sant’Ambrogio enjoys a varied performing and recording career as a soloist, chamber musician and orchestral leader. Associate Professor of Violin and Viola at the University of Nevada, Reno and member of theArgenta Trio, she is also Artistic Director of Cactus Pear Music Festival, which she founded in 1997 while serving as Concertmaster of the San Antonio Symphony. Previously First Assistant Principal Second Violin of The Cleveland Orchestra, under Christoph von Dohnany, she toured and recorded internationally with this ensemble for eight seasons.
Ms. Sant’Ambrogio has a discography of over seventy-five orchestral and chamber music CDs. Fanfare Magazine described her recent Johannes Brahms: The Violin Sonatas CD, as “play[ing] with immaculate technique, impeccable intonation, lustrous tone, and emotional warmth.” Audiophile Review wrote, “Fine readings of great finesse, rich coloring and complete understanding.” Her other releases include Late Dates with Mozart; and Going Solo: Unaccompanied Works for Violin & Viola on the MSR Classics label, and Argenta Trio: The Piano Trios of Felix Mendelssohn on Bridge Records. She has performed as a soloist and chamber musician throughout the U.S. as well as in Mexico, Canada, Estonia, Sweden, Ghana, Italy, Peru and Chile. In 2010, she won the Alan Bible Teaching Excellence Award at UNR and was also appointed Concertmaster of the Fresno Philharmonic Orchestra by Music Director Theodore Kuchar. In addition to her active performing career, Stephanie is devoted to teaching serious young violinists, many who have won positions in America’s symphonies and universities.
Ms. Sant’Ambrogio has performed and taught at various festivals including: Music in the Vineyards (CA); Bach, Dancing and Dynamite Society (WI); Orcas Island Chamber Music Festival (WA); Nevada Chamber Music Festival (NV); Round Top Festival Institute (TX) and Tuckamore Festival (Newfoundland, Canada). Her chamber music activities have included performances and recordings with such noted artists as William Preucil, Ida Kavafian, James Buswell, Richard Goode, David Schifrin, Walter Trampler, Anne Epperson, Jon Kimura Parker and Gunther Schuller. She is featured in chamber music recordings under the Arabesque, Bridge Records and MSR Classics labels, and her live concert performances are heard on National Public Radio’s Performance Today. Ms. Sant’Ambrogio has performed as first violinist with the Miami String Quartet and has been a guest artist with The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, performing at both the Lincoln and Kennedy Centers. She toured Italy with Mikhail Baryshnikov’sWhite Oak Dance Project, toured extensively throughout Ohio with Cleveland’s Myriad,and for ten years performed with the Amici String Quartet, of which she was a founding member. Ms. Sant’Ambrogio studied with and was the graduate assistant to Donald Weilerstein at The Eastman School of Music, where she received her Master of Music degree. Previously she received her Bachelor of Music degree with distinction from Indiana University as a scholarship student of Laurence Shapiro and James Buswell.
Jonah Kim, cello
Critically acclaimed cellist Jonah Kim made his solo debut with Wolfgang Sawallisch and the Philadelphia Orchestra in 2003. The same year, he also appeared with the National Symphony Orchestra in DC where the Washington Post called him simply, "the next Yo-Yo Ma." Mr. Kim graduated from the Juilliard School then the prestigious Curtis Institute in spring of 2006 while only 17 years old, and has soloed with the Philadelphia Orchestra, National Symphony Orchestra, New Philharmonia, Symphony of the Americas, Orquestra Sinfônica Nacional and many others. He has performed recitals at the prestigious Phillips Collection, Kimmel Center, Kravis Center and the Kennedy Center where Anne Midgette of the Washington Post wrote, "[Kim] flirted with the line, shaped it, wrapped it around his fingers, pulled it out in a new dimension, all with practiced ease."
Born in Seoul, Korea, Mr. Kim immigrated to the United States at the age of seven. His father, a pastor at a Korean Presbyterian Church in New York, introduced him to the cello. Despite having no formal musical training, he possessed a keen ear for music. By playing with VHS tapes of Pablo Casals play the Bach's Solo Cello Suites, young Jonah learned strictly by imitation. Within the year, the seven year old was invited to the Juilliard School with full scholarship. He began his professional training at Juilliard, and learned to read music, but it was not until he played for Janos Starker the next summer that he became sure music was his calling. He was attending a New York City public school, learning to speak English, and adjusting to life in the United States. He and his father wrote to Janos Starker for advice. Starker's invitation to play at his masterclass at Indiana University was pivotal, inspiring the young cellist to continue with renewed motivation. Starker later remarked, "Jonah is an exceptional talent. He is at the top of his generation.” Two years later, he was accepted to the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia. During his six years there, he studied under Peter Wiley, Lynn Harrell, and Orlando Cole who praised him as, "one of the most accomplished cellists I have taught in my sixty five years on the Curtis faculty.”
Mr. Kim's recordings and live performances can be heard on national and local radio and TV networks. He also records for popular artists and has collaborated live in concert with the Beach Boys, Andrea Bocelli, Mariah Carey, Cristian Castro, Vic Damone, Regis Philban and Kenny Rogers. He plays on a Jean-Baptiste Vuillaume and Tomaso Eberle generously on loan.
James Winn, piano
James Winn, piano and composition professor at the University of Nevada, Reno since 1997, made his professional debut with the Denver Symphony at the age of thirteen, and has been performing widely in North America, Europe, and Asia ever since. With his duo-piano partner, Cameron Grant, he was a recipient of the top prize given in the two-piano category of the 1980 Munich Competition (Musical America wrote about the team “Not since Josef and Rosina Lhevinne regaled us in the thirties have we heard such technical prowess paired with such genuine musical values”). Dr. Winn has been a solo pianist with the New York City Ballet, a member of the New York New Music Ensemble, of Hexagon (woodwind quintet plus piano), and the pianist and resident composer of the Telluride Chamber Music Festival, as well as a frequent guest with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, Speculum, the Washington Square Contemporary Music Series, the Chamber Music Society of Sacramento, the Group for Contemporary Music, Cactus Pear Chamber Music Festival, La Musica International Chamber Music Festival, and Bargemusic. Well-known as a specialist in new music, he has been involved in numerous world premieres and premiere recordings by many renowned composers, among them 13 Pulitzer Prize winners. He is currently a member of Argenta, UNR’s resident piano trio, and performs regularly in recital with internationally acclaimed New York based violinist Rolf Schulte. An active recording artist, Winn is featured in more than three dozen CDs as soloist, chamber musician, and composer. Dr. Winn’s compositions have been performed internationally. He has received numerous career recognitions including an Artist Fellowship from the Nevada State Council of the Arts and, in 2009, the Governor’s Award.