On Saturday, March 1st, 2014 at the Ukrainian Institute of America, Music at the Institute (MATI) presented “Destination: Middle Europe.” Works by Mozart, Karabyts, Moszkowski and Franck were performed by Solomiya Ivakhiv, violin; Joseph Silverstein, violin; Sharon Wei St. John, viola; Udi Bar-David, cello; Amy Yang, piano.
JOSEPH SILVERSTEIN has appeared as both conductor and violin soloist with literally hundreds of orchestras in the United States, Europe, Israel, and the Far East. He is also an active chamber music performer and teacher. A graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music, where his teachers included Efrem Zimbalist and Veda Reynolds, he held positions with the orchestras of Houston, Philadelphia, and Denver before joining the Boston Symphony Orchestra in 1955 as its youngest member. Appointed Concertmaster of the Boston Symphony in 1962, he also organized the Boston Symphony Chamber Players in that year and in 1971 became the Boston Symphony Assistant Conductor. Mr. Silverstein was the Silver medalist in the 1959 Queen Elizabeth Competition in Brussels and in 1960 won the Walter W. Naumburg Award. An artist member of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center since 1993, Mr. Silverstein has served as artistic advisor for many orchestras. Music Director of the Utah Symphony from 1983 to 1998, he became Conductor Laureate in the 1998-99 season. He was Music Director of the Chautauqua Symphony from 1986-87 through 1988-89 and for many seasons, Principal Guest Conductor of Seattle’s Northwest Chamber Orchestra. In recent seasons, he has appeared in recital in Philadelphia, Boston, New York, Cleveland, Detroit, and Salt Lake City. He has served on the faculties of Boston University, Susquehanna University, the New England Conservatory, and Yale University, and currently serves on the faculty of the Curtis Institute of Music and the Tanglewood Music Center. Mr. Silverstein has recorded extensively for many labels, including RCA, Deutsche Grammophon, CBS, Nonesuch, EMI, New World Records, Telarc, Pro Arte, Delos, Image, Sony Classical, and BMG-Verdi. His Telarc recording of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons with the Boston Symphony received a Grammy nomination.
Violinist SOLOMIYA IVAKHIV, noted by critics for performing with “a distinctive charm and subtle profundity” (Daily Freeman), enjoys an international career as a soloist and chamber musician throughout Europe, North America, and China. Her numerous festival credits include Tanglewood and the Embassy Series (U.S.), Musique de Chambre à Giverny (France), Prussia Cove (England), Banff Centre and Ottawa ChamberFest (Canada), Modern Music “Contrasts” and the Kyiv International Music Fest (Ukraine), and Verbier Festival (Switzerland). Ms Ivakhiv, who made her debut with the Lviv Philharmonic Orchestra at the age of twelve, has appeared as soloist with the International Symphony, Keweenaw Symphony Orchestra, Henderson Symphony, Londontowne Symphony, Orchestra of Southern Utah, and Civic Orchestra of New Haven in the U.S., and extensively in her native Ukraine with the Lviv Philharmonic, Virtuozy Lvova, and the Ukrainian National Symphony. In China, she has appeared with the Hunan Symphony Orchestra. Many of her concerts have been broadcast on National Public Radio, Voice of America Radio, Ukrainian National Radio and Television, and China’s Hunan Television. Ms Ivakhiv is a graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music and holds a Doctorate of Music Arts degree from Stony Brook University. Her principal teachers were Joseph Silverstein, Pamela Frank, the late Rafael Druian, and Philip Setzer. She is Assistant Professor of Violin and Viola at Ohio University and the Artistic Director of the “Music at the Institute” Concert Series.
Violist SHARON WEI ST. JOHN has appeared as soloist with the San Francisco Chamber Orchestra, Stratford Civic Orchestra, Orchestra of Southern Utah, Connecticut Valley Chamber Orchestra, and Palo Alto Chamber Orchestra. She has been guest principal violist of the Cincinnati Symphony and the Canadian Opera Company and has worked with such conductors as James Levine, Kent Nagano, Paavo Jarvi, Zubin Mehta and Yuri Termirkanov. She is guest principal violist of Ensemble Matheus in Paris under Jean Christophe Spinosi, and is the co-founder of the award-winning Ensemble Made in Canada. As a recitalist, she has performed throughout North America and Europe, and at the Ravinia, Banff, Sarasota, Prussia Cove, Toronto Summer Music, Tuckamore, Agassiz, Summer Solstice, Festival of the Sound, Ottawa’s Chamberfest, and Verbier Festival in Switzerland. She twice toured France with violinist Joseph Silverstein and pianist Claude Frank. An avid fan of chamber music, she has performed with James Levine, Lynn Harrell, Gary Hoffman, Lawrence Lesser, Peter Frankl, Lara St John, Jonathan Crow, Mark Fewer, Joel Quarrington, James Campbell, James Sommerville and the St Lawrence String Quartet. Ms. Wei studied at Western University with Lorand Fenyves and Ralph Aldrich, at the Curtis Institute of Music with Roberto Diaz and Karen Tuttle, and at Yale University with Jesse Levine. Her honors include awards from the Washington International Competition for Strings, Western’s Alumni Award, Yale’s Viola Prize, a CBC Galaxie Prize, and the grand prize at the London Music Foundation Scholarship competition. She was also featured in Chatelaine Magazine’s 80 women to watch. Ms. Wei has given master classes in China, the U.S. and throughout Canada. She has served on the faculties of Yale and Stanford Universities and is currently assistant professor of viola at Western Ontario in Canada.
UDI BAR-DAVID is widely regarded as one of today’s most versatile cellists. Equally at home as a classical cellist and an innovative improviser of music of all genres, he has performed on international stages with both classical and ethnic musicians from all over the world. He started his musical training at the age of seven in Tel-Aviv and later came to the U.S. to study with Leonard Rose at the Juilliard School, and conducting at the Curtis Institute of Music with Max Rudolph. Winner of the 1976 International Villa Lobos Competition in Brazil and the 1984 WFLN Young Instrumentalist Competition, he has appeared as a soloist with the Philly Pops under Peter Nero, and given recitals in Spain and California, appeared on the TODAY show and radio broadcasts with Network For New Music. As a soloist, Mr. Bar-David has performed with leading orchestras in Israel and recorded at the Jerusalem Music Center founded by Pablo Casals and served as the principal cellist of the International Youth Orchestra, the National Orchestra of New York, and with the American Ballet Theatre. He was a member of the Concerto Soloists of Philadelphia and joined the Philadelphia Orchestra in 1987, where he served on the Board of Directors and as the Artistic Coordinator for the Hear O Israel concert at the Core States Center. As a chamber musician, Mr. Bar-David has collaborated with Christoph Eschenbach, Leon Fleisher, Jaime Laredo, Rudolph Buchbinder, and others, and taught at the Eastern Music Festival. Inspired by visits to Arab, Jewish, and Buddhist villages, in 2003 he became the founder, president, and artistic director of Intercultural Journeys, a non-profit organization based in Philadelphia committed to presenting performances, conferences, master classes, lectures, and other interactions that provide opportunities for musical dialogue and understanding among a variety of cultural traditions.
Pianist AMY YANG is a seasoned soloist and chamber musician. She has concertized in major concert halls throughout the U.S. and abroad in Spain, Poland, Turkey, Switzerland, and China. She has soloed with the Houston Symphony; attended the Marlboro Music Festival, Ravinia Festival, Prussia Cove Master Classes, Verbier Academy; and been a guest artist at Music from Angel Fire, Canandaigua Lake Festival, OK Mozart Festival, Chamber Music Northwest, Music in May, and Olympic Music Festival. Passionate about chamber music, she has shared the stage with such distinguished artists as Richard Goode, David Soyer, Peter Wiley, Arnold Steinhardt, Michael Tree, Ida and Ani Kavafian, David Shifrin, Miriam Fried, Ida Levin, Philip Setzer, Judith Serkin, Fred Sherry, Tara Helen O’Conor, Paul Neubauer, Anne-Marie and Kerry McDermott, Marina Piccinini, Cynthia Raim, Joseph Lin, and Kim Kashkashian. In March 2012 she made her debut with The Great Hall Chamber Orchestra playing Schumann’s Piano Concerto. Founder of The Schumann Project, Ms. Yang curates a special series of concerts and lectures to present Schumann’s complete major solo piano, chamber, and vocal works. Her recording projects include a CD with violinist Chen Xi (Chinese National Record Label) and a live CD and DVD documentary from a tour of Spain with clarinetist Jose Franch-Ballester (Itinerant Records). Ms. Yang is a graduate of The Curtis Institute of Music, The Juilliard School, and The Yale School of Music, where she received the Parisot Prize for an Outstanding Piano Student, as well as the Alumni Association Prize. Her principal teachers were Timothy Hester, Claude Frank, Robert McDonald, and Peter Frankl. She currently Chamber Music Mentor within Curtis’s Young Artists’ Initiative Program.
Music at the Institute is sponsored by the Ukrainian Institute of America.